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Rural Relocation: What to Know About Moving to the Countryside

As lifestyles changed over the pandemic, the ‘urban flight’ remains strong, with many city dwellers moving to the countryside for rural, rustic living and pastoral peace.

Faye deGavre

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Jul 23, 2021

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5 min read

Rural Relocation: What to Know About Moving to the Countryside

The experience of living in lockdown gave us plenty of time to acquaint ourselves with our own four walls. For many, space took on a new meaning. Suddenly, the kitchen table became the home office and the only real alone time found by locking yourself in the loo. More than ever before, moving to the countryside has that green-pasture appeal.

With faith in congested city living challenged by recent events and home working set to stay, city dwellers can now find themselves daydreaming about chocolate box cottages, forest-clad hillsides and wildlife-spotting in their own garden. When you leave the urban hustle and bustle behind, the grass of the countryside certainly does look greener – and rural properties for sale are getting snapped up quickly.

But before taking the leap, here are some considerations and tips for moving to the countryside.

Location

What does living in the countryside look like to you? Do you want somewhere quiet, remote with no nearby neighbours? You’ll find plenty of incredible rural properties for sale, but remember that it could entail a trek to the nearest corner shop.

Equally, country living doesn’t mean living in the middle of a field, miles from anyone. A small village, market town or the leafy outskirts of a larger city may suit you perfectly. What’s more, we crunched the numbers and found there are many up-and-coming rural areas which could prove a sound investment.

Work

If your employer is happy for you to continue working from home or you have your own business, the only hurdle you need to clear is securing fast and reliable broadband. You don’t want to end up moving into a communications black hole. Fortunately, network availability improves day by day.

If you’ll be looking for new work in the countryside, be realistic about what opportunities will be available. Salaries tend to be lower outside major cities, even if your living costs are lower too.

Schools

If your children are young or even just a twinkle in your eye, check out the local schools or you could find yourselves needing to move all over again. Before setting your heart on a particular school, find out if it tends to be hugely oversubscribed or often has spare places. Also consider the school day. Will your kids walk or take the bus to school, or will you be driving them every day? If you’re working full-time, is there after-school care?

Transport

If you’re moving to the countryside from London or a major city, you’re in for a shock. There will be limited public transport, and in most cases, you’ll need at least one set of wheels to get from A to B. Most shops and services are a few minutes’ drive away. Running out for an ingredient in the evening could be an issue, especially if you’ve already opened the Pinot Grigio. You’ll also need to be prepared to encounter agricultural vehicles on the roads and navigate narrow, sometimes muddy country lanes: both can make journey times longer. This is something to consider, though you’ll learn to get used to it. It’s also worth keeping a local taxi service number handy.

If you have commuting to consider, a cheaper home further into the countryside could mean a longer journey to work. Keep in mind that a lengthy commute can zap the charm out of living out in the sticks as well as reducing the free time you have to enjoy your rural surroundings.

Lifestyle

Life in the countryside welcomes a slower pace. There are larger properties available, great access to the great outdoors, cleaner air, lower crime rates, close-knit communities and tranquillity you just can’t get from a 30-minute yoga class in Hyde Park. The idyllic picture is true: country dog walks, vegetable patches and village fetes. What bliss.

That said, life in the countryside isn’t for everyone. Shops, doctors and hospitals are usually further away, transport connections may require a short drive to reach a station, and job opportunities aren’t as plentiful as in a major city. Small villages and towns also rely on loyal locals. Independent pubs, hairdressers, cafés, and shops need footfall to stay in business and support the community.

Space

Space is a premium in the city, but this isn’t the case in the countryside. Buying a bigger house and garden is a big attraction, and you’ll almost certainly be getting more space for your money. Depending on your location and home, you could be lucky enough to have rolling fields, lake or mountain views on your doorstep.

But all those extra rooms will cost more to furnish, heat and maintain. Acres of garden mean you need to spend more time mowing the lawn (or hiring someone to help you out). These are additional costs you may not have factored into your budget.

The house

You might be picturing that a run-down cottage would be the perfect canvas for your aspirations: restored beams, wonky walls and lashings of Farrow & Ball. Firstly, be prepared to put some money into the house to tackle classic issues including damp, rotten windows, lead paint, insulation and updating outdated systems. Then get to the cosmetics.

If there’s work to do, you’ll need to hunt down affordable and reliable tradespeople. And if you’re purchasing a period property? Here’s what you should know about these historic gems.

Take advantage of the demand

Own a home in the countryside and thinking of selling? Now could be the right time! With many interested buyers, you could land a quick sale as well as find your next home with ease. On Boomin, you can book a professional valuation online with local agents in just a few easy steps.

Find your next home

With these tips for moving to the countryside, you’re better prepared for your next leap. From quaint cottages to historic manors, there are plenty of rural properties for sale to suit you. Whatever area you’re interested in, use Boomin’s powerful property search. See something you like? Book viewings 24/7 and receive instant confirmation. Get searching.

- The properties featured in this article were live at time of publication.

Faye deGavre

Content Writer