Watch: How to find your dream home when you want to move out of the city
The coronavirus pandemic has made us all re-evaluate where we are living and whether it works for us.
As many of us are stuck working from home for the foreseeable future, we are spending much more time at home, so the space we have or don’t have, indoors and out, has become a huge talking point for many.
Talking to Yahoo UK, Homes under the Hammer star Martin Roberts reveals his tips and advice when it comes to finding your perfect home.
“A lot of us are thinking, ‘what are we doing living in the centre of a city when we could be living in the countryside?’”
Starting as a BBC local radio presenter, Martin is a household name in the world of property and travel and has been writing and presenting the television programme Homes under the Hammer since 2003 in which he shows us the ins and outs of property auctions and renovations.
Martin explains a few of the key things that should be on your property and investment checklist, and the first one is space.
“One thing that the whole lockdown scenario has created in the property market is a massive demand for properties which have space around them.
“Space in a garden, space to have a home office, space to be able to walk the dogs and the kids to be able to play.
“What we are seeing is a huge increase in demand for properties with gardens. They are selling so much quicker and the prices are definitely higher.”
All the constraints that many of us used to be bound by have now disappeared as commute times have become non-existent therefore the importance of transport links has also become less of a priority.
The lack of restrictions based on our daily commute has changed many people’s working lives, freeing us up to think outside the box, or city rather.
Martin says: “One of the things that lockdown has taught us is that there are opportunities to work from home and work remotely more than there have ever been.
“Suddenly the whole country is fair game. That has got to be brilliant!”
In June a survey by property website Rightmove found that homes with south-facing gardens sold more quickly than others, and properties with south-facing outdoor areas sold two days faster and cost almost £23,000 more than those without one.
The survey said that searches for homes with gardens were up by 42% from buyers and up 84% from renters in May this year compared to May of 2019, and over a third of buyers (36%) and a quarter of renters (26%) want a better home workspace.
Although Martin does recommend making sure there are good communication links and checking the speed of the internet in the area in which you are looking to buy to make sure you can still work effectively from the comfort of your new home.
When it comes to getting more for your money outside big cities and towns, he suggests looking at places on the periphery of the town you are interested in.
For example, he says if you were thinking of moving to Salcombe but it was out of your price range, it might be worth taking a look at Thurlestone or Kingsbridge nearby.
He also says that Bath and Bristol could be a good choice due to the high speed rail links connecting these West Country havens to England’s capital in just an hour and a half.
Martin even suggests looking across the border in South Wales and Scotland, where breathtaking views of the Welsh valleys or the Scottish Highlands could surround you as you conduct video meetings from your home office.
He says: “Cast your net far and wide, I think these are exciting times for investors and the opportunities are there for you if you can seek them out.”