I love sharing stories of our members who have experienced the move - their insight is so helpful for you. Perhaps even more useful are those who moved back....
I hope you'll enjoy this story, shared by the wonderful Megan from Rubbastuff.
This is a really useful article - with LOTS to take on board. Remember everyone is unique but there are issues that need to be considered before making the leap. One of our most important roles is making sure you've considered many of these aspects. I know Megan won't mind if I say that so much could have been avoided with the right research - we don't let them make the same mistake again!
Why did we consider leaving London?
- Schools (at the time we first started thinking about it)
- Animals and countryside. I’d grown up in the pony club with dogs and wanted the same for the kids.
- Finance. We run our own company together. Things got quite tough in 2009 and we had another startup we needed time and funds for too.
- Family - My parents lived in Dartmoor (6 hrs away), and we were close to my grandparents, aunt and uncle.
The logistics of moving out of London
Despite our best efforts, we weren't able to find a house to buy before moving so we gave up on trying to find somewhere before our house sold and decided to sell it so we could rent in Somerset.
However, our buyers pulled out the week we were moving. We were already tied into the rental contracts with removals and everything packed up so in a panic we rented out our house and moved as planned with everything.
We chose our place to rent quickly, originally thinking it was going to be a short stay, but because of renting out our house in London instead of selling, the rental property looked like being home for longer.
The first year and beyond....
After the first year I was really unhappy and we decided to move back, but then changed my mind (that was a difficult day for all) and decided to try it for another year. Everyone had said it would take two years. However, after the second year we felt that if we were going to be able to sell our house in London we really needed to live in it. And the end result is we’ve been back here ever since.
What went wrong with our move out of London
- It was hard to make friends. I’d left a really good network in London.
- The rental house was freezing and expensive to heat.
- After years of living in our own home, I found it very difficult living in a rental where you’re not allowed to change anything.
- Family members who lived nearby died.
- I cycle rather than drive but the roads were dangerous, so I spent a lot of time in the car.
- School pick-up times meant there wasn't enough time to go anywhere or do anything. There was a pub in our village, but that was it.
- Our company was going through a difficult time. We had to lose people in the office so we ended up having to be in London more than planned. We had to rent a room in London and have a nanny to look after the children overnight. I missed the kids and it was expensive.
- Having moved to be near a fast train connection to London, it turned out it wasn’t regular and it was expensive.
- My youngest is an August baby and had to start full-time school almost as soon as we arrived. I wasn't ready.
- Because of always going to London I didn’t feel part of the community anywhere and missed a lot of assemblies and get-togethers at school.
- I’d underestimated the cost of transport - trains and having to drive and run a second car.
- Because of the whole mix up with our house sale, finance was tight which made it difficult to entertain, go out to meet people etc.
- Lots of friends and family came to stay as soon as we moved which was nice but it also didn’t give us a chance to explore our new area.
The positives of living in Somerset
- Beautiful countryside
- Wonderful garden
- Family walks
- Close to family
- Friendly school
- Joined a great health club which was wonderful, found a French teacher, signed the children up to swimming lessons etc.
- It all started to fall into place with a new routine. It just takes time to find out about things and I hadn't anticipated that.
- We got a rabbit and two guinea pigs. It seems silly, but that made a huge difference.
Despite it all - despite the double move leaving us all exhausted....we are thinking of doing it all again with lessons learnt! Yikes.
Second time around - lessons learned from our first aborted move out of London
- The limbo part is the worst. Everyone has an opinion. 'One would be mad to move out of London.' It’s hard to escape when you’re living in it.
- This time I’m not telling people we’ve put the house on the market.
- We found a perfect place in Somerset (space, walk to town, near school etc). but it’s gone under offer and we still haven’t sold our house...we're trying not to repeat our mistakes.
- We know that moving out of London is a bit like having your first child. If you carry on living the way you were no one is going to be happy. Once you make changes it all starts to make sense.