What do you need to consider when relocating to the West Country Dream

What do you need to consider when relocating to the West Country Dream

Buying property with land West Country Properties

There’s a reason moving house is often referred to as one of the most stressful events in our lives. Combine this with a move across the country and a change of lifestyle, and you’ll soon realise that there’s plenty to consider for those relocating to the South West with the dream of owning their own smallholding or farm.

If you’re looking to make that move, here are just a few things you’ll need to be considering.

What do you want and what do you actually need?

Sometimes, there can be a big difference between the two, and the want can sabotage the need! Whilst it would be lovely to have a heated indoor pool, it is probably more important to have that extra acre of land in which you can grow your income.

You’ll invariably get more for your money when it comes to buying in the countryside when compared to areas within commutable distance of the city, but make sure you don’t get carried away; your focus will need to be evenly spread between business and lifestyle.

This also applies to the area that you want to move to. The idea of being completely out in the sticks and away from it all may seem idyllic to someone tired of the London rat-race, but is it practical? Do you have the time to drive for an hour to get food? How about a two hour drive to a central train station?

Small villages can provide those relocating with a great middle ground. The support of the local community and the proximity of local necessities you’re currently familiar with can be priceless.

Farming plans

Setting clear goals and targets is important when finding the right home and land for you and your family. If you plan on running a smallholding, then a house with a few acres may be just right for you. However, if you plan on growing that smallholding into something bigger within a year or two, it may be worth finding somewhere that suits those needs.

Having an understanding of the likelihood of being able to rent further land can also be something worth considering when it comes to expansion plans. This can often be a more cost effective way to grow, free from the initial capital expenditure on land (which will usually be in excess of £5,500 per acre).

Your future

If you’re moving your family to the countryside, whether they’re toddlers or children, they’re going to grow and your family could too! Whether that’s more children or elderly relatives and friends, it may be worth looking at properties with outbuildings with the potential of conversion.

Many farming families have cashed in on the revenues diversification can bring in the past decade; if you’re looking at unconverted outbuildings then make enquiries as to the chances of getting planning permission, and also gain an understanding of anybody else locally that has undertaken a similar thing. Seeking advice from people that have taken a similar journey and process can be invaluable in terms of knowledge, and it’s exactly where we can help at West Country Dream.

Renovations

It’ll be a decision many of us will have made in the past; we want a ‘project’ but just how much of a project do we want? Building costs can quickly escalate if you get into a renovation without fully understanding the work that needs to be done. Always ensure you get building quotes and the necessary surveys before committing to any purchase in order to save yourself the financial and emotional pain of any surprises.

If you’re after advice or guidance in finding the right smallholding or farm for you then call us on 07816514667

Devon vs Cornwall

Devon vs Cornwall

West Country Life West Country Properties

So you’ve made the first big decision, you want to move the the South West, but it is a pretty big place, so we need to start narrowing your search down. The first step is to decide which county is best for you.

Devon and Cornwall both have so much to offer, with plenty of activities, space, and great schools for the kids. Locals will, however, tell you that they’re different. At first, you might not see that yourself, and that’s why we’re here to help you. Here is a brief overview of each county to help you decide whether your new home is in Devon, or Cornwall.

Devon

Devon is split into a few areas that each have their own personality and style. These areas are East Devon, North Devon, and South Devon. As well as this, there’s also Exmoor and Dartmoor, so there’s plenty of choice available.

East Devon is great for beaches and has a real traditional atmosphere. The Jurassic coast is fascinating and there’s loads to keep kids happy. There’s also a lot of great countryside, with a large number of walking routes and the East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

If you want rural, then check out North Devon. With world class beaches such as Woolacombe and Saunton Sands, as well as the beautiful Exmoor national park, it really is a peaceful and gorgeous place. The only major road, the A361, only reaches half of the area, so be prepared for plenty of winding country lanes!

South Devon is more populated, with cities such as Exeter and Plymouth, and major tourist spots such as Torbay. But it isn’t all bright lights and high street shops, there’s also the iconic Dartmoor national park.

Throughout the county you’ll find farm shops, markets, and plenty of room for livestock whilst retaining a connection to modern life, with local cities Exeter and Plymouth growing rapidly. If you’re after a beautiful piece of the countryside, but stay connected to a small city then Devon is the place for you.

Cornwall

As the 9th largest county in England, and one of the largest coastlines in the UK, Cornwall is definitely the best place for fans of the seaside! The north coast allows you to dip your toes in the Atlantic Ocean, and the South is surrounded by the English Channel.

There’s only one city in the county, Truro, which is fairly central, the rest is small towns and open countryside – perfect for a truly rural lifestyle. The deeper you get into Cornwall, the more you’ll feel like you’re a world away from your old city life.

If you want to throw yourself into farming life, then staying away from the coast will provide you with ample space and many areas are only accessible by small, winding roads. Don’t expect to be able to pop to Tesco at any time of the day here, you’ll be planning your trip a week in advance!
For those looking for an active lifestyle that makes the most of Cornwall’s world-famous coastline, then there are plenty of places to choose from. Many coastal towns have close knit communities and groups of local surfers who know the best spots to catch some waves. Choosing a coastal area doesn’t mean you can’t also have a smallholding lifestyle, there’s plenty of rural areas which are just a short drive from the best beaches in the world.

Looking at moving to Devon or Cornwall, to buy a farm or property with land, get in touch with West Country Dream, on 07816 514667 or visit our contact page.

What matters more, the land or the property?

What matters more, the land or the property?

Buying property with land West Country Properties

If buying a house isn’t hard enough, buying a smallholding or farm can be even more daunting when it comes to knowing what you want.

You’ll no doubt have already pictured the type of property you’d like to live in and the land that comes with it, but which is more important?

Here’s a few key points to help you decide…

Land

Keeping livestock? Growing produce? No matter what it is you’re going to be doing on your smallholding if high quality land is needed to make it a success then this should be at the very top of your priority list.

This is particularly important if the land is going to be your main source of income going forward. Many families and couples will move to the South West and maintain other sources of income in a trade in which they’re already operating. If this isn’t you then the last thing you want is to be uprooting later down the line due to poor ground conditions having ended up in what you wanted to be the forever-home with the wrong land.

Remember, in many places across the Westcountry, you’ll have to pay a premium for land; make sure you work out how much you need to make your venture a reality. Just like buying a house, you don’t want to end up lumbered with a five bedroom property when there’s only two of you!

Space

Seeking a better life for your family in the countryside? Perhaps you’re hoping to start your own family later down the line? Having said that the land you buy is important, we also understand that no matter what your circumstances, you’re wanting to call this home, not just now but in the future. Weigh up where you’d like to be further down the line and address this in the amount of space you move into.

Property

From large, five-bedroom detached farmhouses to smaller three-bedroom bungalows, smallholdings can come in all shapes and sizes.

Ultimately the type of property will depend on your budget, the purpose of the farm/smallholding and the amount of space you need. If you’re hoping to buy a smallholding to run alongside your day job, then the likelihood is the property will be more important than the land. Equally, if the land is a priority then your focus may be less so on the property.

So where do your priorities lay? Have you discussed them?

Price

The price you pay for a property will also be affected by the location. For example, a four-bedroom house with 32 acres of pastureland near Dartmoor will set you back in the region of half a million, whilst a four-bedroom property with 10 acres of land and sea views in Cornwall will leave you with little change out of £1million.

Decide what is more important to you, both in the short and long term, before signing on the dotted line.

The best of both worlds

More land, smaller property? Larger property, less land? Why compromise, when you could have both?

Here at West Country Dream we can find your perfect property with our Land and Property Search service. For more information, call Helen on 07816 514667 or complete our enquiry form here.

New year, new start in the West Country?

New year, new start in the West Country?

Buying property with land West Country Life West Country Properties

Whether you’re considering buying a farm or a smallholding, a common question that frequently crops up is ‘when is the best time to invest’?

With a new year, often comes a new start and here at West Country Dream we’ve been taking a look at why 2016 is the best time to invest in property in Devon and Cornwall.

Stamp duty tax on second homes

Looking at buying a smallholding or farm in the South West, but don’t want to part from your beloved home in the city?

Time is of the essence if you want to buy a second home or buy-to-let property without paying additional Stamp Duty taxes.

Last November the Government announced a new 3% surcharge will apply to each stamp duty band on any additional properties costing more than £40,000. The new rate comes into effect from April and will impact all second home or buy-to-let properties.

Therefore, if you’re considering buying a farm or smallholding this year, as the adage goes; there’s no time like the present, so buy now to save yourself thousands of pounds on extra taxes!

Take a look at the table below for a full break down on the tax rate increase:

Property value

Standard rate

Second home rate (April 2016)

Up to £125,000

0%

3%

£125 – £250,000

2%

5%

£250,000 – £925,000

5%

8%

£925,000 to £1.5m

10%

13%

Over £1.5m

12%

15%

Land prices

Over the years more and more people have realised the benefits of owning a farm or smallholding. From leading a healthier lifestyle to being your own boss, the hike in farm purchases has been reflected in the price of land, which has been climbing since 2005.

In particular, farmland has increased dramatically over the last five years, with figures showing a 52.8% surge in the price per acre from 2010 to 2015! The increase has been good news for people who own land, doubling or in some cases tripling the value of their farms, but it has meant higher prices for those looking to buy.

However, there are signs that prices will begin to stabilise over the next year, making it a prime time to buy that perfect property in the West Country!

Swap that city house for a smallholding in the country

Always dreamed of a fresh start in the country, where your children can play outdoors freely in the security of your own large garden? If the answer is yes, now’s the time to swap that city house for a safe-haven in the West Country.

If there’s one region where prices are guaranteed to increase, it’s London, and if you’re raising a family in the city, the chances are they will struggle to get on the property ladder. Extend your search to the South West and you increase the selection of properties available for the same amount in the city.

For a three bedroom terraced property on the outskirts of London priced at £600,000, you can buy a six bedroom detached property with five acres of land, outbuildings and stunning views in the heart of West Devon.

Looking for a view of the sea? A four-bedroom house on the seafront at Rock in Cornwall will easily set you back in excess of £2 million, but expand your search to just 13 miles up the coast to Tintagel and you could snap up a six bedroom house with outbuildings for less than £500,000!

We can help you find your West Country Dream!

Wanting to take that leap from city life to live a more laid-back lifestyle in the countryside or start-up a smallholding?

Now is the time to sit down and consider where you want to live, what type of property you want, what you want it for and more importantly, how much do you have to spend?

Having difficulty finding time to plan? Let West Country Dream do it for you. Get in touch with West Country Dream on 07816 514667 or visit our contact page.

Hotspots for property investment in Devon 2015/2016

Hotspots for property investment in Devon 2015/2016

Buying property with land West Country Life West Country Properties

With Devon officially the best place to live in England [Country Life Magazine] and its population set to rise by two million over the course of the next 10 years, more people than ever are escaping the hustle and bustle of the city for a life in the country.

But with so many great places in Devon, the big question is where should you settle? We’ve taken a look at five popular places for people wanting to relocate to Devon with their family.

Dartmoor and southern Devon

Searching for a secluded smallholding that can still boast easy access to civilisation? Look no further than the rugged and rolling hills of Dartmoor. The national park is at the heart of Devon and boasts some of the most spectacular views and walks in the county.

Quaint towns like Chagford and Moretonhampstead on the northern edge of the park have direct access to the A30 whilst if you look further South, the market town of Buckfastleigh sits beside the A30.

The English Riviera, Torbay

Wanting to escape city life for a farm or smallholding by the sea? The English Riviera includes the coastal towns of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham.

With beautiful bays and long stretches of sand it’s a popular place with tourists, but patches of land and smallholdings for sale are often popping up in the surrounding villages.

Education plays a huge part of any move with children, so you’ll also be pleased to know the area boasts a strong education system, with nine secondary schools in Torbay and good road and rail links to the university cities of Plymouth and Exeter.

Tamar Valley, West Devon

Not sure whether to plump for Devon or Cornwall? Why not settle somewhere near the border? The Tamar Valley offers the best of both sides, stretching across 24 parishes from Bodmin Moor to Dartmoor along the Devon/Cornwall border.

The valley is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty so no clues why people love this part of Devon! No matter how tucked away you are, farms and smallholdings have great access to main trunk roads and larger towns such as Tavistock and Plymouth; ‘Britain’s Ocean City’ is only a short drive away.

Barnstaple, North Devon

Further north is the market town of Barnstaple, a stones throw from some of the region’s finest beaches. You’ll also find Exmoor National Park just a 30-minute journey to the east; giving you plenty of options for things to do with the family!

Alongside the tourist hotspots, farming is a main contributor to the North Devon economy, with smallholdings and farms for sale in many of the surrounding villages.

Okehampton, West Devon

Always wanted to exchange that city home for a place where your children can roam safely outdoors? Known as the ‘walking centre of Devon’, Okehampton is popular with outdoor enthusiasts and also boasts cycle trails and bridleways. It’s even got its own castle!

Planning to commute to work everyday? The town adjoins the A30, providing direct access to the city of Exeter, which is a convenient 30-minute journey by car, as are most other places from Okehampton!

If you’re looking at moving to Devon, whether to find the perfect family home or to buy property with land, get in touch with West Country Dream at www.westcountrydream.com

Five Cornish hotspots for property investment in 2015/16

Five Cornish hotspots for property investment in 2015/16

Buying property with land West Country Life West Country Properties

Many people believe Cornwall is one of the best areas in the UK to live; since the 1960s the county’s population has grown quicker than the rest of the South West, with potential buyers jostling to enjoy some of the country’s best beaches, stunning views, and a more laid back way of life than those living as a commuter in the South East.

With so many great places to hang your hat, it can be difficult to choose exactly where you want to settle. We’ve taken a look at five popular areas for people wanting to take on a smallholding or move their family to the Duchy.

Rock, Padstow

Rock is one of Cornwall’s gems when it comes to coastal villages. Renowned for its celebrity restaurants and sandy beaches, Rock attracts thousands of tourists each year. However, don’t let its tourism spotlight deter you; there are a number of smallholdings and properties for sale in the area with stunning sea-views, although you will of course pay a premium for if your property can see a glimpse of the blue stuff!

Bodmin Moor

Alongside tourism, farming plays a huge part in the Cornish economy, contributing around £366 million a year. If you’re looking for a rural retreat, somewhere to set up your business where space is in abundance, then look no further than the Bodmin Moor area, home to Cornwall’s ‘twin peaks’ Rough Tor and Brown Willy.

Villages such as St Breward, Blisland and St Kew boast some of the best countryside walks with amazing views of the moor. You may seem like you’re in the middle of nowhere, but links to major roads, the A30 and A39, are easily accessible.

Newquay

Considered as the UK’s surfing capital, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to surfing spots and beach walks. Newquay is not only great if you like surfing, it is easily accessible from across the country — great if you’re looking to set up a business, drawing in customers far and wide. Unlike many coastal parts of Cornwall, major roads go directly into Newquay and the nearby airport offers all year round direct flights to London and Manchester.

Falmouth

Located on Cornwall’s south coast is the county’s largest port, Falmouth. If you’re looking for a smallholding or farm, but don’t want to miss out on Cornish culture, Falmouth is the place to be!

With Cornwall’s capital just a 30-minute drive away and one of King Henry VIII’s finest fortresses nestled nearby, there’s plenty to see and do. If you have a children, education will likely have a huge influence when it comes to your decision to move, so you’ll be pleased to know Falmouth University has an international reputation for excellence. The town also has great rail links; making journeys of hundreds of miles seem less daunting!

Cawsand, Rame Peninsula

If you’re looking to relocate to Cornwall, but want to remain relatively close to a city, Cawsand is just a ferry ride away from Plymouth; ‘Britain’s Ocean City’. By bordering Devon the town offers the best of both worlds when it comes to beaches and the Tamar Valley, an Area of Outstanding Beauty.

If you’re looking for things to do when taking a break from work on the farm or office, Mount Edgcumbe House is well worth a visit or take a stroll through the gardens of Antony House, which you may have spotted in Walt Disney’s Alice in Wonderland!

If you’re looking to move to the Duchy, whether to find the perfect family home or to buy property with land, get in touch with West Country Dream, on 07816 514667.

Buying land or a smallholding in the West Country? The benefits of using a local expert

Buying land or a smallholding in the West Country? The benefits of using a local expert

Buying property with land West Country Properties

If you’re looking to relocate to the South West and buy a smallholding, farm or property with land you’ll have plenty to think about.  Having taken your journey (from a 240 acre beef farm 40 minutes from London to our 350 acre farm on the edge of Dartmoor where we live today) with my husband and children a little over 10 years ago, I wanted to take a look at some of the issues we faced and how a local expert could have helped us throughout the process.

Are you fully up to speed with agriculture or farming?

Many of the people moving to the South West looking for their own slice of the rural dream won’t be coming from a farming background, and may not have any experience at all.

With our experience in agriculture (my husband is a qualified agricultural lecturer and has been farming for decades), we’re able to help those people looking to take the plunge into the good life and explain any pitfalls they mightn’t of thought of, and find the opportunities they otherwise may not have.

Do you know exactly what you need, or indeed, what you’re looking for?

If you’re not familiar with farming, do you know what you’re looking for and where you should be looking? Smallholdings differ significantly from farms, as do properties with land.  The type of land will also depend on the type of livestock you’ll be keeping on it; will it be sheep? Cattle? Or even Alpacas?

We’re able to guide you, set criteria for your search and find the perfect land for your objectives.

Time – where do you find it?

It takes time to move and it definitely takes time to make sure you get it right.  With the property market being as competitive as it is in the South West you can benefit from someone being consistently on the case for you; making sure you’re one of the first to see those perfect finds coming on to the market, rather than the last.

Moving to a new area – how do you know the lay of the land?

Devon and Cornwall are massive areas, each with many unique spots on which you could lay your agricultural cap.  We’ve been living and farming in the area for more than 10 years; we know the areas you should be looking at, and also the ones that wouldn’t be right for you.

When you live a distance from your search tapping into local knowledge is vital.

How do you rule out options when viewings are a real time commitment?

Viewings, when they’re near to where you already live aren’t a problem, but what if you’re currently living more than 200 miles away from the West Country?  View the wrong places and you could give up a whole weekend and a lot of money.

We’re able to pre-vet properties, making sure you’re not racking up miles you don’t need to.  We can also arrange the viewing day for you, allowing you to see the very best there is to offer in one single trip; something we would have loved during our many long trips in the car!

Lower your stress levels!

This may be the biggest move of your life; it will be stressful but we can help you get to where you want to be going, provide you with the support you need to find the best possible option, and to enjoy your new life in the South West.

Why buy a smallholding in Devon?

Why buy a smallholding in Devon?

Buying property with land Farming and agriculture West Country Life West Country Properties

With more and more people looking to move to the South West of England and enjoy all of the benefits of the rural lifestyle, we take a look at why people are taking the plunge and buying a smallholding or farm, and really living the West Country Dream!

Key Facts about where we live:

  • 18% (some 9.3 million people) now live in areas of the UK officially classified as rural.
  • More than half of those living in a rural area are over 45 years old.
  • Property prices are on the up in the South West, having risen by a reported 5% in the past year.

What you get when you get here:

  • Beautiful Coastlines; 450 miles of coastline to be precise!
  • A healthy lifestyle; 81% of people in Devon are classified as being in very good or good health.
  • Quality schools; 85% of schools in Devon are rated as ‘outstanding’ by OFSTED.

A recent survey conducted by Country Life Magazine ranked Devon as the best place to live in the entire UK.  With more than 22,000 people moving to rural areas of the UK each and every year it appears plenty of us agree with their findings!

What can you get for your money?

We’ve taken a look at just how far £1,000,000 will get you in the South West of England and compared it to the London property market.  You may be surprised at the difference between the two; the South West looks like great value!

What you get for £1m in London

  • 2 bedroom apartment
  • 660sq.ft of internal floor space
  • A stones throw from Battersea Power Station

What you get for £1m in Devon

  • 4 bedroom Grade II Listed 16th Century Property
  • 5 holiday cottages
  • 4.5 acres of land

For more information on how West Country Dream can help you realise your dream of moving to a smallholding, farm or property with land in the South West of England please take a look around our site or call Helen Garrett on 07816 514667.

West Country Dream helps those seeking rural life

West Country Dream helps those seeking rural life

Buying property with land Farming and agriculture West Country Life West Country Properties

A husband and wife team are using their extensive knowledge of agriculture to provide those looking for their own slice of the West Country dream a unique opportunity to see exactly what they’ll be getting.

West Country Dream, set up by Helen and Murray Garrett, brings together a unique combination of a farm, self-catering cottage and a number of agricultural courses for those considering moving to the region in the hunt for the good life.

Helen explained, “Around 10 years ago we took the decision to relocate to the South West from our farm in the Home Counties. This process took over a year to complete, involved hundreds of miles of travelling as well as a number of logistical hurdles and headaches. We know that many people look to move to the South West, whether they are already in agriculture or looking to purchase their first smallholding, and we wanted to make this process easier and simpler for them to achieve.”

The business offers a complete property search and selection service, calling upon their own farming experience in identifying the best-suited smallholdings and property with land on the market.

Helen continued, “There are three things we want to help reduce for those looking to relocate; mileage, time and stress. By ensuring we’ve already seen the properties before our clients’ visit we can make sure that they’ll only view ones that could be the perfect home.”

Those on the hunt for rural property with West Country Dream won’t be left in the local hotel; the business has a self-catering holiday cottage on their farm and encourages those looking to test the water to enjoy one of their taster packages.

“We realise that not everyone looking to find a smallholding in the South West will already have farming knowledge. With the holiday cottage on site and Murray’s experience as a qualified agricultural lecturer we thought it was the ideal opportunity to give people the chance to get involved with farming life and learn at the same time.”

For more information about West Country Dream please call Helen Garrett on 07816 514667