Life after London: Joanna’s story

For Joanna, her husband and their new baby daughter, it was time for a change. They moved out of their garden flat in Fulham to allow her husband to go back to school, completing a Fine Art Foundation course in Bath followed by a degree in Norwich.

Staying with friends, family and renting in Bath and Norwich gave them the flexibility they needed while Joanna’s husband was studying and she set up a new interior design business working from home.

Buckinghamshire was where Joanna finally chose to settle with her family. More space is one of their favourite things about village life. “We would never have been able to afford such space in London. The privacy, peace, gardens, off-street parking and garage, amazing walks and wildlife on our door step. My children growing up in a safe environment and knowing so many people in it… everyone from the people who run the post office to the restaurants, cafes and shops!”

One of the easiest parts of her move? Selling her London flat. “We had a ground floor garden flat in Fulham within walking distance of Parsons Green tube station and there was always high demand. I sold through the firm I was working for at the time with very little effort.”

Of course, there were downsides. “I missed the ease of access on foot. We rarely used our car in London, because it was so easy to walk everywhere.”

Her most important piece of advice to those thinking about taking the plunge is “do your research and be open to informed guidance on other locations. Try not to make your search criteria too fixed and educate yourself on an area’s geography, architecture, connectivity, schools etc. Consider what your family needs, rather than wants. It is quite common for buyers to declare they want a large garden, not giving thought to whether they are gardeners themselves and what the cost of sourcing a good local gardener!”

Joanna hasn’t left London behind completely. The joy of being only 40 minutes from Marylebone means her family can make the most of London’s theatres, free museums, exhibitions and restaurants.

If you are thinking about moving away from London, why not have an informal chat with one of our experts? Every day we help people swap the capital for the country. Contact us.