Obviously, housing, schooling, commuting are top of practicality list but just under the surface the desire and dream of bringing children up in a fresh air with green fields, walks leading to pub lunches with friends and a wide range of cycling routes is also firmly on the list.
How do you find this mystical land I hear you ask? This is what we do day in, day out. Helping families find which location matches the essential practicalities but also taking into account the fundamental and emotional reasons for the move such as clean air, open spaces and family time.
How we help. An recent case study our client wanted a period home in the middle of the Oxfordshire countryside with acres of grounds and potential for horses. They had one-year old twin boys and their time was too valuable to spend searching weekend after weekend in order to finalise a location and then start search for the dream home.
We took the couple out for two Viewing Days in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire and showed them suitable homes which matched the criteria on their wish list. However, after spending time researching the locations, the reality of living in the countryside with the need to commute daily to the city and being in the car ferrying the children around made the couple realise that their ‘ideal home’ would not be so ‘ideal’ in reality.
We steered them towards homes closer to a good commute, with a good sized garden rather than ‘land’ and crucially within a short distance of an outstanding school. The location and house ticked the boxes for schools and commute and, to their delight, also ticked the boxes for walks (from their front door) across fields to country pubs (with a future dog!), and access to wide range of cycle routes through the woods (again from their front door).
The feedback from the clients summed it up perfectly:
With one year old twin boys, we didn’t feel that we would be able to conduct a property search without help. We started our search knowing only that we wanted to relocate from Notting Hill to somewhere west of London which was commutable, but we hadn’t narrowed down our search at all.
A series of day trips with Chiltern Relocation took us to representative properties, mostly in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire, both within towns and in more rural locations. This quickly helped us narrow down our choices.
Chiltern Relocation did not push us in any particular direction and they let us make up our own minds. They facilitated the process by listening to our feedback and adjusting the approach as we went along. Pretty soon we had further narrowed our search.
We thought we would take some time to find a home but within six weeks we had already found a suitable property and by the beginning of November we put in an offer.
There was added complication as there were several other offers, one higher than ours. As clients of Chiltern Relocation we had more credibility as serious buyers and this, along with their strong local connections, helped ensure that our offer was accepted. This property was sold before it was on the market, so we would almost certainly not even have seen it in time without their involvement.
In my view, there would have been a big opportunity cost if we had made the false economy of deciding that paying a relocation agent in general – and Chiltern Relocation in particular – was too expensive. Our search would probably have lasted much longer and we might have ended up paying more or not securing the property we wanted. It also gave us increased confidence that we were paying the right price for the property and for us it seems odd not to seek professional advice when making a financial commitment of this size.
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