Among the many side-effects of the coronavirus pandemic has been an exodus from London. With the practice of working from home now having gone fully mainstream, there’s no longer such a high demand for accommodation near to those jobs in the city-centre. Why put up with those sky-high rents, crowded tubes and pollution when you can relocate elsewhere? In fact, by relocating elsewhere, you’ll help to alleviate each of those problems for the times you occasionally do make the trip in the centre of the capital.
So, if you’re locating further out of the city, perhaps even beyond the M25, you’ll be in good company. But if you’re going to get the most from this transition, there are a few things worth bearing in mind.
Can you get into work?
Even if you’re going to be working from home for the rest of the pandemic, and beyond it, there may still be times that you need to make the trip into your central-London place of work. You don’t want to make these occasions require a 4am start – so make sure you’ve picked out somewhere that you can easily commute from.
Biggleswade, for example, is way out north, near to Cambridge. It’s a leafy and desirable part of rural Bedfordshire. But you’ll still be able to get from London St. Pancras to Biggleswade in less than an hour, making it perfect for those once-weekly visits to the office.
Old or New?
If you’re willing to go for an older property, then you might be astonished at how much further your money will go when it comes to the size of the plot, especially if you opt for an older property. Newer builds tend to have smaller footprints, and they don’t have quite the same character as some of the older ones. Your personal taste may determine what’s desirable and what isn’t, but be sure to factor in things like the cost of heating if the property seems really old.
If you’ve got kids, or you’re planning on having them, then the availability of a quality school might factor into your decision making. Fortunately, if you don’t have to worry too much about getting into work, then you’ll be able to cast a much wider net.
Finally, it’s worth thinking about how you’ll be spending your leisure time. A relocation of this sort tends to make green space more available, which means you might spend your weekends going on long hill-walks. But at the weekend, you’ll still be able to make the trip into London for a cultural distraction.