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  • Working from home – Lets all move to the country
  • Premier Icon uwe-r
    Free Member

    So like many white collar office types I have not set foot in the office since March, before lock down my employer was fairly flexible, working between 3 or 4 days ‘in office’ was typical. Working from home more than not would have resulted in a few conversations but as long as things were getting done it would most likely have not been an issue although there are HR implications and it was always by lose arrangement.

    So things look like they will change and it could get even more flexible and as a result we are thinking why not move out to the sticks?

    Our big City house would sell for a large amount and we could get an amazing house and live almost mortgage free – but with an awful commute (3 hours ish) and the prospect of some nights in Air BnB type accommodation or even worse in my parents spare room. But maybe only once a week or every other week – Its all a bit unclear.

    Anyone else in this boat?

    Premier Icon franksinatra
    Full Member

    Nope, already in the countryside.

    If I was in your position though I would regard it as a non brainer. I would jus tbe looking to crack on before every other city person tries to do the same. A lot of media bout rural estate agents seeing a big surge in demand, try and get in there quickly

    Premier Icon qwerty
    Free Member

    Will the countryside become urbanised and we’ll all go to ghost town cities for a bit of peace & quiet?

    Premier Icon 5thElefant
    Free Member

    Better hurry up. If everyone does it your big city house will soon be worthless.

    Premier Icon binners
    Full Member

    It seems everyone is thinking the same as you.

    We’re out in the sticks and when properties do now come on the market, they’re gone the same day (our neighbours house recently sold a couple of hours after being put up for sale) and prices are absolutely going through the roof, as are rents.

    If you’re going to do it, I’d get a wriggle on

    Premier Icon grum
    Free Member

    NOOOO, the countryside is mine! Get orf my laaaaaaaand

    Premier Icon Duggan
    Free Member

    “once a week” at parents or an AirBnB seems quite a lot to me, would that be indefinitely? For me, the novelty of that would wear off really quickly if it were a permanent solution.

    Premier Icon nbt
    Free Member

    am definitely considering this. don’t want to be oe of those townies who moves to the coutnry and HAS to have a massive 4*4 then complains because there’s no local shops within 5 minutes walk, and the smells are awful, and the farm is noisy at 6am with the animals bleating for food…

    Premier Icon tillydog
    Full Member

    There has been a sudden upsurge in house sales around us for allegedly this reason. It seems to have gone mad.

    Premier Icon BenjiM
    Full Member

    Anyone else in this boat?

    Quite possibly very soon, sort of. Currently in a job that whilst stable is becoming more and more frustrating and I’ve got a role secured (nothing signed of at the moment, no notice handed in etc.) which is a 90 minute commute from where we live at the moment, however there is the caveat that the work can be done from home it’s almost entireley cloud based. Initially I’ll be needed at the office for training etc., funnily the commute is from the a rural countryside town to a rural countryside town, although if all goes well we’d be looking to move closer in 12 months time.

    It’s a sidestep from what I’m doing at the moment, but in the same industry, however it’s a positive step forward whereas the current employer seems to be looking backwards.

    Premier Icon perchypanther
    Free Member

    Will this be an unexpected boon to the forgotten towns on the outside edges of the commuter belts?

    I live on the outside edge of the Glasgow conurbation (almost halfway between Glasgow and Edinburgh) and can be in the countryside in minutes.

    Our town, in the main, only has two kinds of people in it. People who work / shop / socialise somewhere else and people who don’t have jobs. As a result the town, up till now, caters almost exclusively to the unemployed. The only reason that people move in to the town from elsewhere is the cheap property prices.

    Maybe this’ll change moving forward? Hope so.

    Premier Icon uwe-r
    Free Member

    It seems everyone is thinking the same as you.

    We’re out in the sticks and when properties do come on the market, they’re gone the same day and prices are absolutely going through the roof.

    If you’re going to do it, I’d get a wriggle on

    I’m generally very risk adverse though. In the current climate it seems a bit of a no brainer but what if everything is back to normal in 2 years time and I’m ‘expected’ in the office 3 days a week or more. The risk to me is once we sell the big city house and move the kids schools etc then logistically and financially it would be very hard to move back. The commute would be horrific.

    Premier Icon petec
    Free Member

    It’s happening

    Our road, in our semi rural village, is definitely a target. Two houses (out of 30?) for sale and sold in days. At quite a lot of money. Both families out from London, and both moved in already.

    We’ve had a few notes through the door along the lines of ‘If you’re thinking of moving, we want a house’. If it all helps with the pub and school, I’m all for it.

    and we do have decent FTTP broadband – up to 900Mb – so it’s better than at work…

    Premier Icon bigblackshed
    Full Member

    Need to consider the internet service before the leap to the countryside. In places it’s nonexistent. How are you going to browse STW whilst “at work”?

    Premier Icon the-muffin-man
    Full Member

    You might be working from home at the minute but IMO it won’t last for the majority. I certainly wouldn’t let something as big as a house purchase be based on what has happened in the last six months.

    Premier Icon Dickyboy
    Full Member

    Friends of ours already done this, moved at the end of July, cv19 just proved how easy working from home would be for them.
    Our house 5mins from chiltern line station is looking less financially attractive ☹️

    Premier Icon uwe-r
    Free Member

    “once a week” at parents or an AirBnB seems quite a lot to me, would that be indefinitely? For me, the novelty of that would wear off really quickly if it were a permanent solution.

    The alternative solution is to drive home which would take 3 hours and then drive back again in the morning leaving before 6 and hitting the big city traffic at 8am and crawling through it for an hour.

    The novelty of both has very limited appeal. Hence the uncertainty of what average future office occupation trends will be like is a big issue and to be honest I’m slightly on the side of stay where i am.

    Its age old thing with Kids though, we are 3/4 years out from GCSEs for the oldest. If I wait a year or two then its that much harder for them.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    Already happening, reports in the housing press about demand exceeding supply and pushing up prices in areas that are commutable to London 1-2 days a week. Local contacts here round Nottingham and Derby are getting London based enquiries.

    Act soon if you want to do it.

    Think carefully over the “big house/small mortgage” question. We went for the latter, even on modest wages we overpaid and were mortgage free at 45. Suddenly any job uncertainty disappears once the house is paid for.

    Premier Icon kerley
    Free Member

    I certainly wouldn’t let something as big as a house purchase be based on what has happened in the last six months.

    Nor me. Some companies will see the light and realise people work just as well at home and are happier so may work more along with not needing all that expensive office space but if a vaccine came along next week I imagine most companies would be back to how they were pre 2020 fairly quickly.

    Really depends on who you were work and which approach you think they would use.

    Premier Icon P-Jay
    Free Member

    Yeah I’ve thought about it, my Mrs is generally change adverse at the best of times and throws up many barriers whenever it comes up, uprooting the kids being the made one.

    I’m pretty set on changing jobs post-covid, I don’t know what role that will be, but if WFH is an option it might come with a home move.

    Premier Icon fathomer
    Full Member

    We were planning to move to the countryside this year, early next year. We’ve been talking about it for a couple of years and finally decided to go for it after I had it agreed with work that I can WFH 4 days a week.

    I’ve decided that moving at the minute is a bad idea with the upcoming economic shit storm. The other half disagrees and thinks we should take advantage of the current incentives.

    Premier Icon the-muffin-man
    Full Member

    Bring it on though! We’re just about to put my late mother-in-laws house on the market. Sleepy village, parking for 6/7 cars, double garage (with inspection pit), 3 beds, needs modernizing. Should fetch a shit-ton in this market! 🙂

    Premier Icon trickydisco
    Free Member

    Yup:https://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/trading-city-life-for-sea-mountains-bath-to-s-wales-good-move-or-mistake/

    We have our house on the market in Bristol and looking to move on nr the brecon beacons.
    My work are looking to move to a hub style office where you can book space.. so expected to be in 1 day a week

    If that changes i can alwasy get fully remote work (i’m a web developer)

    Premier Icon trickydisco
    Free Member

    ve decided that moving at the minute is a bad idea with the upcoming economic shit storm.

    this is also worrying me slightly but feel like it’s now or never. Seems everyone in our area is having the same idea (at least families)

    Am being told by the estate agent that there’s a lot of interest from 20-30 somethings wanting to move to bristol as it’s cheap!

    Premier Icon dashed
    Free Member

    We were in the process of moving to the countryside before Covid and now every **** is at it and prices have rocketed.

    Premier Icon uwe-r
    Free Member

    We were planning to move to the countryside this year, early next year. We’ve been talking about it for a couple of years and finally decided to go for it after I had it agreed with work that I can WFH 4 days a week.

    I’ve decided that moving at the minute is a bad idea with the upcoming economic shit storm. The other half disagrees and thinks we should take advantage of the current incentives.

    Another big factor in current demand is the stamp duty thing. It would save the buyers of my house £15k and us about £10k on our purchase. Stamp duty is dead money. But its not a big issue for us as the other issues are just far bigger.

    Premier Icon FuzzyWuzzy
    Full Member

    I can see the appeal but not sure I would if there was still a requirement to be in the office at least 1 day a week (and that meant 3 hours commute each way/staying overnight somewhere the evening before). Every two weeks I could cope with that but not every week.

    Would also depend a bit on how safe I thought my job was as if you did lose it and had to find another then you’re cutting down your options if they have to support frequent remote working (or you’d be looking at moving back to the city again)

    Premier Icon NZCol
    Free Member

    It certainly does seem appealing right now doesn’t it ? BUT being very honest with yourself about – kids, schools, transport, after school activities, social stuff, general services etc is really important – we’ve been looking for another house since this time last year as I already work mostly from home. We were being a bit specific on area and since C-19 it’s gone mental, one place just sold for frankly a stupid amount of money and will be used maybe 4 times a year. Multiply that and in that village (Boat of Garten) theres a lot of holiday homes already. Would be v dull on a wet Wednesday in Nov when you are sat on your tod.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    You might be working from home at the minute but IMO it won’t last for the majority. I certainly wouldn’t let something as big as a house purchase be based on what has happened in the last six months.

    Well lots of things could happen here. If people have already moved then it would increase pressure on companies to let it happen – companies aren’t going to fire a load of their important staff even if they were able to.

    On the other hand, if those people lose their jobs due to the recession, they’re going to find it a lot harder to get more jobs that will offer such flexible terms. UNLESS those bosses hiring are now fans of WFH and have realised they can choose from a larger pool of workers for specialised roles and in theory then get better candidates.

    Premier Icon tomd
    Full Member

    Currently in the process of moving so this is a real dilemma for us.

    Been working from home successfully for going on 6 months but transitioning back now. I can see the direction of travel in our place is everyone back – even if it will take a while. The only lasting change I can see is that limited wfh will continue to happen at the discretion of individual managers. So maybe odd days or 1 day a week depending on role.

    It would feel risky for me to buy into a lifestyle that relies on remote working continuing at my current T&Cs. The obvious issue is that for many roles it can be really hard to recruit the right people at the right time for a specific geographical location. If you successfully make it a remote working role suddenly the available pool of suitable labour increases greatly, even within the UK. Some of the very essential clerical / admin folk I work with have been doing a brilliant job working remotely, but it does beg the question – could someone in India have done that for half the cost?

    Premier Icon IHN
    Full Member

    I certainly wouldn’t let something as big as a house purchase be based on what has happened in the last six months.

    Yeah, whilst we’ve thought similar, it’s tricky to know what the final work outcome is going to be once this all settles down. We’re pretty confident that we’ll be WFH for the majority of the time, but it depends just how much of a majority that is. If, say, we have to go in once a week, we can probably stand a long commute to get there if that means we can live somewhere rural-y. However, just up that to twice a week and that commute starts to become a ballache. So, we’ll see.

    Will this be an unexpected boon to the forgotten towns on the outside edges of the commuter belts?

    That would definitely be a good thing

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Full Member

    I would jus tbe looking to crack on before every other city person tries to do the same

    Definitely already happening here (North Yorks market town) – we had a bidding war for the modest semi next door, it was gone within a couple of days.

    Premier Icon trickydisco
    Free Member

    Another big factor in current demand is the stamp duty thing. It would save the buyers of my house £15k and us about £10k on our purchase. Stamp duty is dead money. But its not a big issue for us as the other issues are just far bigger.

    unless you are in wales

    Premier Icon petec
    Free Member

    it does beg the question – could someone in India have done that for half the cost?

    Our first/second line support and development is done out of Bangalore

    We spend an awful lot of time saying ‘No’ to them. Because it’s not their firm, they appear to have less concerns about making mistakes/trying things out in Prod. Most of my actual team are based around Europe, and the difference is palpable, due – I think – to being actual paid employees, rather than outsourced contractors.

    Now, obviously just my experience. And it does take a lot of personal off our payroll. But it doesn’t appear to work effectively for us.

    Premier Icon onehundredthidiot
    Free Member

    Already happening a cottage that had been empty for 3 years and before that lived in by a hoarder and probably only held up by the hoarding. Called “outsider” honestly that’s the name of the cottage.
    Went on the market for £70k 40 viewers in first week. It’s 8miles from nearest town and 1mile up a dirt road (with questionable access). Sold for £120k to folk from Yorkshire who won’t be able to live there for 5 years.

    Premier Icon CountZero
    Full Member

    We’ve had a few notes through the door along the lines of ‘If you’re thinking of moving, we want a house’.

    Yeah, I’ve had a couple of those recently, probably because I paid off my mortgage last year, and Chippenham is well placed for commuting to Bristol, Bath, Swindon, London, Reading on the train, although ticket costs are eye-watering! It’s also a nexus for the road network, being on the A4, A420, A350, so east/west, north/south – Poole is signposted as you come in from the north.
    And I’m not interested in selling, either!
    With reference to Wales, I can get to Crickhowell in less than an hour and a half, and I have driven to London, parked up in Hammersmith an hour and a half after leaving Chippenham, but that was unusual, it’s normally about two hours.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Full Member

    I can’t afford / don’t want to move but I anticipate in 4-5 years time it’ll be nearer to situation normal.  With Jobs as they are – and of course depending on your role – I wouldn’t want to reduce my options by being somewhere I can’t travel/it’d be a ball ache to travel from over the next few years.

    Premier Icon shooterman
    Free Member

    I’m very tempted to move to an even more rural location myself. However, I can’t help but feel there are some very powerful vested interests who don’t want to let swathes of commercial and office space lie empty.

    Premier Icon grum
    Free Member

    To answer the OP properly no way would I be moving if it was going to involve a lengthy commute/airbnbs etc

    Premier Icon n0b0dy0ftheg0at
    Free Member

    It looks like the high street shops death has been rapidly accelerated since Covid, I can see a lot of those city centre stores like Debanhams being converted into flats. If “everyone” wants to sell their nice urban home and move to the country, who is going to buy them to give those who want to move to the country a handsome profit on their purchase price?

    But there is IMO the huge risk that all these now WFH jobs will steadily sail off overseas for less staff overheads, while those that remain in the UK could well face an effective wage cut over time, so decreasing the size of the mortgage during the move to the country would be a less risky strategy.

    Very tricky situation, but if you are going to do it, act quick before countryside homes prices boom and urban home prices bust!

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