Why I think you need help....
The summer holidays are fast approaching and you haven't got a moving date....you're either early stages of planning your move, or you are procrastinating about you move out of London.
I'm no expert in your family circumstances but I'm going to give you a few nudges to help you decide if you're procrastinating for the right or wrong reasons.
You haven't viewed a house yet because you're not sure of the area yet
Get out and about. Seeing houses, even in the 'wrong areas' can help get the ball rolling and build a bit of momentum. Sitting at your desk house-hunting isn't going to result in you buying a house. Locations can look fabulous on paper but might not have the right vibe for you when you visit. Plan a few weekends driving around and getting a feel for different areas. Look at houses at the top and bottom of your budget so you can begin to better understand the local market. This moving out of London thing should be treated like a project - undertake it efficiently to make it happen.
You are certain of the area but haven't viewed a house yet despite trawling the internet daily
You're going to think I'm mad but the chances of you finding a house through rightmove/zoopla/onthemarket/primelocation (or any of the numerous others) is actually pretty slim. Whilst handy for research those portals are really just listing pages. Old fashioned as this sounds you need to call the estate agents. It is in their interests to sell houses as quickly as possible so when they've got a new houses to sell they call up their potential purchasers with whom they have built a relationship. To be on that telephone list you need to meet the agents face to face and speak to them regularly on the telephone. You need to do some viewings and explain to agents exactly what you're looking for so they know to call you when they see your house.
You've seen literally 100s of houses and none of them quite match what you're looking for
Please reassess what you are looking for and remember location matters; the house and your wish list is actually less important. You can change things in a house but you can't change the location. Take your list of 'must haves' and half it. Really you should have just a few things on the list to open up the possibilities for the house. Try not to write off a house before you've seen it. Consider looking significantly below your budget and doing work or adding a bedroom. You need to think outside the box. Perhaps your budget won't stretch in the area you're looking so you might need to look at an alternative area or reduce your demands so your budget will stretch.
You've seen 100s of houses but none of them are in quite the right area
Where you look matters. You need to go back to the drawing board and work out what it is you're looking for in the new location. If you're viewing houses you need to be marking on a map what you like about an area and what you don't like so you start to narrow it down. At the start of the search it's fine to be looking at houses in the 'wrong' area but you should narrow it down. There is little point falling in love with a house in an area unsuited to your needs. However, look carefully at your needs and requirements. It may be you are searching the impossible, you may be worrying about things which don't matter in a location. Living near a great deli and coffee shop should NOT really feature on your location list. You need to keep the list to important factors not the smaller details which you will learn to live with.
You've seen a house but you don't know what to offer
If you're feeling a bit daunted or lost by the process don't panic, that's normal and to be honest sensible. You're about to start negotiating with a professional and their job is to make you pay as much as possible. You need to be absolutely clear of your budget but also what the house is worth to you. You don't want to pay over the odds for a house of course but equally if it suits you perfectly it is worth a bit more to you than if it only fits half of your criteria. A house is worth what someone will pay.
Here at Life After London headquarters we do not underestimate the move out of London. Only you can really know if moving is the right thing to do. We always recommend stepping away from the process with your partner (if you have one) and really talking about the move. Try to remove the rose tinted glasses and look at the situation from a practical point of view - both staying in London and moving out. Try to consider your life in the new location when that becomes the new 'normal'. Write a list of pros and cons for the move and keep it real. Searching for a better quality of life is absolutely fine but at this stage you need to quantify what it is you're looking for, particularly if you're finding yourselves holding back. It may be your subconscious is providing you with a brake. Make sure you listen to it.
Assuming your house is on the market have you considered why it isn't selling? You might find it useful to have a read of this article (click here) which suggests you look closely at your reasons for selling and the asking price. No one wants to drop the price for no reason but equally you're trying to move, to buy a new house and the sooner you get going the better the chance of you negotiating on a deal on the new place - it could all balance out in the end.
What do we suggest to help you move out of London
If you don't know where to start for your move out of London
If you're stuck and don't know what to do for the best in your move you might want to come along to one of our free surgery sessions. These are run by James Greenwood of Stacks and provide a fantastic opportunity to pick the brains of a property expert and ask for advice on areas, budgets, timings and all things to do with your move. For more information about these sessions click here
If you need help choosing the area
If you need help choosing your area we produce personalised reports for people just like you. After a long questionnaire the report will allow you to create a shortlist of areas including information of all the vital ingredients for your move. If you're further ahead in your move and need someone to look at the research you've undertaken and need help 'finishing' off the decision the personalised report can work equally well. To find out more click here
If you need assistance finding the house
If you're struggling to find a house in the area of your choice we would strongly recommend speaking to a buying agent. Buying Agents work on your behalf, searching for properties, in your chosen area in your budget. They have exceptional relationships with the estate agents and can prevent you making a costly mistake buying in the wrong place. We work with a number of excellent buying agents all over the country and we'd love to make recommendations to you - please drop us a note to ask our thoughts and advice on who to speak to for your needs. In the first instance have a read of these articles to help you understand the role of a buying agent. To read Click here
Are you feeling afraid of the negotiating
If you've found a house but you're feeling nervous about the negotiations it's wise to take some advice before you start the process - a good man to call is Henry Pryor. You can pay him £100 and he'll look over your potential house and give you some advice on the negotiating. To read more about the service click here
We want you to be happy with your move out of London - we don't want you to rush but equally we know spending years getting bogged down in the research can be difficult. Why not drop us a line to let us know what is stopping you from making the move out of London.