Is 2017 the time to escape to the country?
"Instead of the outdoors being something to be scurried through or avoided if the weather turns, you’ll start to embrace it."
City life does hold many advantages – proximity to round-the-clock entertainment options, schools and food stores around the corner – and so the thought of having to drive a few miles to your next supermarket is enough for you to want to stay put.
However, the trade-off for your nearest town being a bit of drive away is worth it when you understand the benefits associated with rural living. Whether it’s supporting your local food producers, walking your child to the village school or just appreciating your everyday surroundings, you won’t regret the move.
Let’s debunk a few myths first of all, though. Whilst our countryside is undoubtedly beautiful – and Oxfordshire is no exception – it is a living, breathing space, not one preserved just for tourists.
So if you are considering a city-to-country move, make sure you’re aware of the following:
A rural location can be isolating: your house could well be a few hundred yards from your nearest neighbours, and you’ll probably have to use the car for most things.
There are fewer streetlights: appreciating the night sky is an unsung benefit of country life but less light pollution does mean that only the main roads through villages are lit.
The countryside can be a noisy place and sometimes there are unwelcome smells too! Farm machinery rumbling, foxes screeching, owls hooting – it’s all what makes the countryside what it is.
Your car will be a lot dirtier...and that 4x4 suddenly looks a lot more necessary.
Wildlife is not just confined to the outside: depending on the age of your house, you might be sharing living space with insects, mice, even the odd local badger!
Broadband is unpredictable: some rural locations have super-fast broadband, others struggle to receive 3G let alone a decent internet connection.
Your wardrobe will undergo a transformation: it’s out with the heels and leather-soled shoes and in with wellies and all-weather waterproof jackets.
Your favourite take-away isn’t on speed-dial: whilst supermarket delivery services reach most parts of the country, the same can’t be said for your favourite pizza or Indian take-away.
When making the choice for rural living, be sensible about your approach. Why not test it out by spending time in the area you want to move to before you make the leap? Even better, rent long term before you buy to get a true flavour, ensuring you see the place in the quieter, ‘off-peak’ times of the year. If you love it in February, then you’ll love it in the summer. Speak to the locals, ask shop owners what makes it a great place to live.
As a property finder, I can help my clients to find homes that are not always bought and sold via the market. Off-market exchanges are becoming increasingly common, and are one of the ways in which I can help you to make that move from city to country – you too can be the first to see a house that isn’t yet advertised. There’s never a right time to escape to the country so why not make 2017 the year you do?
Moving to the country is not a decision to be taken lightly but it is one that can provide you with very many benefits. Here are a few reasons why it’s worth doing:
It’s safer. The statistics show that you’re almost twice as likely to be the victim of violent crime in towns and cities, and almost three times as likely to suffer a burglary.
You’ll appreciate the changing of the seasons.
You’re a lot nearer to where food comes from and you won’t take it for granted as much.
Local produce really is better!
It’s a great place to bring up a family.
The schools are usually good and the teacher to pupil ratio is normally higher.
The pace of life is less hectic, you will start to slow down.
Instead of the outdoors being something to be scurried through or avoided if the weather turns, you’ll start to embrace it.
You’ll be popular with friends and family; that guest room will certainly get used!
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