A while back, when I suggested to my husband that we consider a country house near Wellingborough (as we were looking to relocate out of London at the time), he took one look at the map and claimed it to be “too far out of town”. A little research later, I managed to find out that the daily commute would take less than an hour! – Subsequently we moved to Wellingborough and spent 15 happy years there.
The lesson to be learnt here is that although a place on a map can look to be “too far out of town”, continuous improvements to the rail service means that for those who are looking to move out London, a larger leap can be taken if they so wish. Whilst this can be quite disconcerting, especially for established southerners, for those looking to acquire a substantial property with land it can be a very smart move indeed.
Take Grantham as an example – it can look very ‘north’ on the map – But the surrounding countryside stretches for miles – The 60 daily trains take between 1 hour and 1 hour and 18 minutes and you can buy ALOT of property for your money here. For instance, within Grantham there are currently 3 prime properties; a 6 bed with 15 acres for £920,000, an 8 bed Grade ll listed house with 4 acres at £1.290M and an 8 bed rectory with 2.5 acres at £1.35M. These work out at around an astounding £170 per square foot (ignoring the land).
If, you compare this with another location, say Huntingdon – Where the commute time is typically fifteen minutes quicker, a similar spend will buy a property about half the size, and price square foot can comfortably achieve levels around the £400 mark.
If size is of the essence, be brave, and get some advice from a local property consultant – You’ll be surprised with what can still be brought within commuting distance from The Capital.