I imagine waking up in my English country house to the sound of birds chirping and having views over acres of rolling hills as my background. It’s a dream that many of us have and a lifestyle that we long for. The simpler life away from busy cities. But let me tell you, finding that elusive picture-perfect country house is no easy task… I’m so excited about this new adventure, but we need to find that special pile of bricks to make all of our countryside aspirations come true first!
We have began our search slowly, taking our time, waiting for the ideal property to become available (and within our budget too :). It became quickly obvious that finding the ideal house is not going to be that easy. A very few available houses and a lots of other people have the same idea as us! The English countryside may be idyllic, but it’s also a competitive and complex market. In this post, I’ll share my findings from our journey so far; sifting through the challenges and delights of finding the perfect period home in the countryside.
Defining your English country house must-haves
Clearly defining our must-have features is important, and sometimes the best way to find out what really is important for you is to visit many different houses. Even the ones you don’t feel excited about on paper. It’s also easy to get caught up in the picturesque charm of a property and overlook practical considerations. That’s why we took the time to carefully identify our non-negotiables, such as the number of bedrooms and size of the house, the size of the garden, and proximity to local amenities or busy roads. Defining our must-haves not only streamlines the house-hunting process but also ensures that your future home will truly fit your lifestyle. In the next section, I’ll share my top tips how to navigate the competitive market and find hidden gems that meet your criteria.
Navigating the competitive market
As the stock for properties available stays low, the market becomes increasingly competitive. It’s not uncommon for a desirable English country house in SW UK to receive multiple offers within days of being listed, even now when the property boom has quietened from the most heated stage after the pandemic. To give yourself the best chance to buy that dream house, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of your budget and non-negotiables. It is equally important to be proceedable to purchase (e.g. mortgage in place and not waiting to sell their own property). Most sellers want an easy sale, so you want to make yourself the most attractive to the house sellers. Be prepared to act quickly and keep regular contact with real estate agents in your preferred area to stay ahead of the game.
Knowing when to compromise is also essential. While it’s important to have a clear list of must-haves, it’s equally important to be flexible and open-minded. I recently visited two houses I had dismissed online for not having what I was after. And although neither of them turned out to be right for us, it wasn’t for the reasons I had discounted them before. By being open to compromise, you may find hidden gems that meet your criteria and exceed your expectations.
Navigating the house buying process in England can be daunting. Having a clear plan and realistic expectations, you’ll give yourself the best chance for finding the dream home.
Knowing when to compromise
While searching for your dream countryside home, it’s easy to get caught up in the wish list list. I know this from first-hand experience. I’m also quick to dismiss properties on online, without ever seeing them. However, it’s important to remember that no property will meet every single one of your requirements. Knowing when to compromise is essential. You may find a property that doesn’t have the exact number of bedrooms you had in mind, but it has an extra room that can be converted into a home office or gym. By being open to compromise, you may find hidden gems that meet your criteria and exceed your expectations.
Being too rigid with your list of requirements can limit your options and make it harder to find the perfect home. Instead, think about what are the most crucial items on your list and where you can be more flexible. For example, if having a garden is a must-have, then compromising on the number of bedrooms may be an option. Or if you’re set on a particular location, then being open to a different style house may broaden your options.
Discovering hidden gems
Being unwilling to explore properties outside of your parameters and list of requirements can result in missed opportunities. To ensure that you’re not closing yourself off to hidden gems, try to keep an open-mind and willing to compromise on some aspects. Perhaps you’re set on a specific area, but willing to consider a renovation project. Or maybe you are happy to live near a busy road for a large garden and bigger house. Either way, it’s important to identify what’s essential and where you can extend some flexibility.
JOURNEY WITH US TO THE ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE
I’m so excited about our next chapter, and planning to enjoy every step of this new adventure. This time we aren’t in a hurry, so can take our time to find the ideal English country house for us. Sharing something so personal openly with the whole world feels too scary, but as so many of you said you’d love to have a chance to come to visit the beautiful period houses for sale, I created a closed community, The Country House Club to take a group of like-minded souls with me on this journey. So if you’d love to tour period houses, the English countryside and seeing beautiful gardens – then keep reading!
Get a front row seat for our English country house search
This is a rare chance to get a closer look, more access, and front-row seats to our English country house search while meeting Mr. Nordic and our children. This means you’ll get to visit the houses for sale with us, enjoy the beautiful gardens and help me find our next home every step of the way. This won’t be the type of content I’ll share on social media.
But more than just sharing the behind-the-scenes of the ups and downs of this new adventure, membership will be a community-driven platform. You’ll have a chance to shape the community too, and help me decide what type of content you’d like to see there.
In addition to the house search, I’m also going to be sharing house tours of our current home (much requested on instagram but I feel this would be a better place for sharing that). A full tour of our little red cottage in Finland is already available there too!
- Member-only Q&A coffee chats
- Q&A sessions with Experts
- Private Community
- Beautiful downloadable wallpapers to brighten up your phone and laptop
- Full tour of our rustic red cottage in Finland
- Downloadable and printable content like planners, to-do lists, etc.
- A full tour of my current house that is not available on instagram