Thinking the unthinkable…moving out of London!

    It has been 15 years since my husband and I made the move from London. Since then a lot has happened, including the addition of 3 children and a few years abroad. I thought the move to the country would have me quaffing G&Ts as a result. We don’t, not every day at least, and we haven’t looked back since. The decision was made when I became pregnant with our first child. Our tiny 1 bed flat in Fulham was going to be too cramped for all the paraphernalia that comes with a new baby. So we popped our beloved flat on the rental market (my first and very emotional experience in renting, which I will leave for another blog) and headed to look for a larger more family friendly home, somewhere bikes, kayaks, surf boards and alike could be stored.   At first, we found ourselves in Teddington, clearly not ready to take the full leap out of London and into muddy boot territory.  But from here we started our search for that all important place for family adventures to begin and new friends to find. We spent our weekends visiting various cities we thought we might like and ones my husband could possibly commute from (his job remained in London). We finally decided on Salisbury which hit the mark in terms of a vibrant city, good rail links and some positive schooling options.  Now began the search for a house in the surrounding rural area. We found our ‘forever home’ in Chicksgrove and our family grew to include 2 more children, a cat, rabbits, gerbils,...

Political Uncertainty and the property market

Abnormal is the new normal: how should buyers and sellers deal with continuing political uncertainty? James Greenwood of Stacks Property Search says that over six million people are living in the wrong property because they are anxious about moving home in these politically uncertain times. He says, “Historically the property market would stagnate temporarily as we waited for general elections, Budgets, and other major political events. But since June 2016 we have been in a permanent state of political flux, and there is no end in sight. A big question mark hangs over our Government, and there will be no resolution to the Brexit issue for several years. “Of course it’s not these events in themselves that stop people buying and selling; it’s the fear of the unknown and that the outcome might affect finances, jobs and property prices. Is fear holding you back? “Fear makes us more tentative. Instead of getting on with the job of moving house, potential movers are dipping their toes in rather than jumping in. They are looking, but not putting their property on the market. So they have no clear idea of what their property is worth. They are also not hearing about a great deal of property that might never find its way to the portals; and they don’t know the real value of property they might want to buy as much of it appears on the portals at an inflated price. “For those who, due to changed circumstances or growing/contracting families, have a real need to buy, or sell and buy, our best advice is to accept that abnormal is the...
Post Election Property News

Post Election Property News

Comment from James Roberts, Knight Frank's Chief Economist “While it is easy to assume the certainty of a clear majority government would have been the best outcome for the economy, actually this result has several positive points. Firstly, the government will probably need the support of several other parties, not just the DUP, to get any future Brexit deal through Parliament, in order to off-set any Tory backbench rebellions. Consequently, the pendulum has swung against Hard Brexit, as a compromise deal will have the best chance of commanding broad support in the House of Commons. Also, on a day-to-day basis the next government will be restricted to putting consensual, not controversial, policies through Parliament. This probably rules out any more populist taxes on property, or increases in business regulation. Finally, the swing against the SNP could mean that the idea of a second Scottish independence is now quietly booted into the long grass. In light of the current momentum in the investment market and relative attractions of the UK, plus the likelihood of a weakening currency, we do not expect this result to have a negative impact on overseas investment to the United Kingdom, and believe that occupational markets will remain resilient.” Comment from James Greenwood of Stacks Property Search  "If we were hoping to wake up to ‘strong and stable’, and some political and European certainty to get a sluggish property market onto its feet, it seems we have to wait a little longer. So where does that leave us? In London, prices are approximately 20% lower year on year. We expect buyers, especially overseas investors who will...

LONDON TO BEER

I absolutely love it when I read stories about these kind of moving out of London adventures. I'm booking my trip to visit!  On 10th August 2016 I handed in my Liberty and Virgin Media security pass and walked off to Kensington Olympia station to travel down to Beer. I didn’t look back but as I walked away I checked myself on how I felt. The answer was free! I was free to become the full time Chief Holiday maker and Owner of The Folletts at Beer. I was born in St. Thomas’s hospital opposite Big Ben. I went to Uni in London and worked in London all my corporate life until what I call my ‘wake-up’ moment. In February 2013 my darling Dad went to A&E with chest pains. What we thought was a heart attack turned out to be cancer of the Oesophagus, which was a really late diagnosis and there was nothing the doctors could do other than palliative care to prolong life, not save life. My family went into complete shock and meltdown. How could this wonderful man with a big personality who everyone loved be going to die? Then in April 2013 on her 40th birthday, my very close friend found a lump in her breast. By December of the same year she lost her fight and left her son and my god daughter Kimberley. After my father died, six weeks later Barry’s father died and then his mother. This was our wake up call. We decided life was too short to spend it working for someone else. One of the last things my...
Brexit and the Property Market

Brexit and the Property Market

To what degree is Brexit affecting the property market? – In Stacks Property Search’s view, very little! Brexit is dominating the media, property transactions are low, ergo, Brexit is to blame. But this is a simplified version of reality. James Greenwood of Stacks Property Search says, “The main factors that are restricting the market are, in our opinion, and in this order: Fear, Stamp Duty, lack of mortgage availability, the forthcoming General Election, a reluctance to go through the lengthy and expensive process. Fear is a constant. There’s always a great deal of fear attached to selling and buying property. Can I take on more financial responsibility? Might I lose my job? Will property prices go down? Will I make the right decision? Of course big events such as elections and referendums affect fear – they represent the unknown, and assessing risk relies on knowing about external factors. Stamp Duty – If Stamp Duty reverted to pre-2014 levels, transactions above £1m would double, and the impact would ripple down throughout the market, boosting activity at all price levels. Lack of mortgage availability – 25% of homeowners can’t move because if they were re-certified using new affordability criteria, they wouldn’t qualify for a mortgage of the size they currently have. Furthermore, it’s estimated that 5% of borrowers have a self-certified mortgage and are now ‘mortgage prisoners’. Forthcoming General Election – Events such as elections and referendums do affect the market, but it’s rare that a year goes by without an event such as this, or the promise of one in the near future. There was a General Election in 2015,...

A Countryside Commute

London is essentially three C’s; A Cosmopolitan Cocktail of Conveniences. Work is just a tube journey away, coffee shops and bakeries around the corner, along with elite restaurants, great parks, museums and striking architecture. This ‘on-the-go’ lifestyle is initially what drew you to the city, where you are always at the pulse of activity. But, when the lingering smell of coffee and daily shuffle for the tube starts to grate on you, and not to mention the fact that you miss the fresh air and open spaces out of London, you know you have choices to make. So, where to next? You are probably accustomed to the conveniences of city life, which you would still like to savour, just maybe at a slower pace, amidst fresher air and quieter surroundings. Could a modern new home, set in one of the best places to live in the UK, be the answer? From the wise words of zen Monk, Haemin Sunim, "living life in the slow lane is the answer to happiness". These reassuring words of wisdom should come as a comfort to you amidst your dilemma, but where would be slow enough? The London commuter belt stretches far and wide, where you have a mix of metropolitan cities, seaside towns and many rural villages. Best of Both Worlds? If a village is too isolated for you, and a city too much of a rush, then Fleet could be your answer. This reputable town has been honoured with the accolade of being the happiest place to live, the best place to live, and is also popular with commuters. The train journey, operated by South West Trains, into London is...