We are delighted to have a guest blog this month from Lucy Hutchins. She and her family made the big move down to Hampshire recently, but it wasn’t always an easy ride. We feel this completely sums up the emotions and frustrations of moving to a new area from a distance, and of letting go of London! It also highlights one of the many values of using a good search agent who are able to put their clients in front of properties before they get to the open market…
We’d always know that we would leave London at some point but 17 years after arriving in W6, Hammersmith we were still there! Even with the birth of our first daughter in 2005 the excitement and buzz of London kept us there. However, we knew we wanted our children to have the kind of childhoods we’d had with riding and sailing and outdoor living so we had to work on our dream. As many people do, we drew a circle round London, discounted the north and east as being too far away from family and friends.
Shortly after the birth of our son, we spend endless weekends visiting different towns to see what we thought of them (if only we’d known Kate & Teresa then it would have saved us many hours of legwork!). Having decided on Winchester, our quest then frustrated us further. Our eldest daughter was about to start primary school and we fell in love with St Bede’s school in Central Winchester. Unfortunately property is highly sought after in Hyde because of its proximity to the station and to the town and after months of making offers, many at sealed bids, all of which we lost, we gave up and bought a flat in London which we refurbished from top to bottom at the same time as our youngest daughter came into the world.
Two years later we were drawn towards Twyford, just south of Winchester, not because of the school (although it is great) but because we really found our dream house. Having always liked period properties, we surprised ourselves and our family and friends and put down a deposit on a house that was only built up to first floor level and we spent the next 9 months working with the building company to create a truly bespoke house.
Twyford is an incredible village – it’s so well connected to Winchester, (my husband can drive to Winchester station in under 6 minutes at 6am…although I’m sure that must be breaking some speed limits!) but it has a lovely rural outlook. The sense of community is brilliant and we felt so welcomed from the day we arrived. My three children at are Twyford St Mary’s school and very quickly I was involved with PTA events, organising the School Summer Fair a year after we’d first put our offer down on our house. We really have never looked back. So if you’re thinking of leaving the ‘big smoke’, do so now and certainly before your children are too settled at school!