The pandemic has caused a shift in people’s perspectives when it comes to their home. As a result, having access to green space and more square footage has become top of the priority list, meaning people are now looking to the British countryside for their next big move. Moreover, research even suggests London’s population could drop over the coming years as a result.
With this in mind, what do those looking to swap the Big Smoke for country living need to know?
Remote locations often lack the same level of connectivity that people take for granted in urban settings. Therefore, for those who rely on technology for work, or day-to-day life in general, this could be a considerable issue. Consequently, homeowners should check the status of essential utilities before making a decision, including:
- Water and drainage connections
- Energy supply infrastructure
- Mobile signal strength
- High-speed internet availability
Not all roads are the same
Although most roads in the UK are adopted, which means they are maintained by the local authority, remote rural properties may be served by private tracks or unadopted roads.
For example, private tracks are maintained by the homeowner or a group of neighbours, which could lead to disputes over who is responsible for tasks such as repairing or even gritting the road. Therefore it is important to understand who is legally responsible for the access, your ability to enforce those obligations and any costs associated with it before you buy.
Get to know the location
If a property is located within a conservation area, or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, there may be restrictions on the alterations that you can make to the property. Therefore, if isolated bliss is what you are after, information about potential development schemes in the area is going to be important.
Most importantly, knowing the location and associated restrictions beforehand could prove an important cost saving exercise in the purchasing journey. Your solicitors will be able to provide guidance around any planning designations, pre-existing covenants or proposed development before you buy.
The price isn’t always right
As a result of an increasing number of people looking to buy homes in rural settings, listing prices could become inflated as sellers try to take advantage of the rise in desirability. By building relationships with local selling agents, you can receive alerts on properties before they come to market and hopefully steal a march on any other interested parties.
Test the waters
If an area seems ideal but there are still feelings of hesitation, renting first can be a simple solution. That way you can get a feel of the location, and identify both the positives and the negatives, without having to make a long-term financial commitment to the purchase of a property.
Find the right support
Solicitors specialising in rural conveyancing are a vital asset to have when purchasing a country property. By assessing the property with a practical eye, they can help to unearth any legal issues early on, ensuring homeowners avoid any unexpected bills or responsibilities in the future.
In conclusion, whether it’s a farm, country cottage, or plot of land, understanding the ins and outs of the area and the property is an essential step in securing the rural dream.
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