Thinking of moving to the Cotswolds? Use this time to explore the towns and villages online to see where might suit you best...
· Sam Butler of the Cotswolds property specialist, Butler Sherborn says that people are already reappraising what’s important in life once Covid-19 passes
· ‘Home is where the heart is’ and the ‘quality of life’ will inform future property choices and lifestyle decisions
· Cotswold stone properties new to the market: Quenington House - the perfect ‘forever home’ - £2.65million, and One Hope Cottage, a great second home - £400,000
“Without in any way diminishing the seriousness of Coronavirus and the impact it is having on the health and wellbeing of so many people, it will pass. We know from previous pandemics and also from what is now happening in China that it will be brought under control and life will return, albeit to a new and different ‘normal’.
“The devastating impact of the virus will have a lasting impact, and significantly alter our lives, including where and how we choose to live ‘After Coronavirus’.
“The process of reappraisal has already started, with people reassessing what’s important to them: our homes, health, food, family, friends and community, schools, work, connectivity, the environment and travel will all be viewed differently,” says Sam Butler, partner of Butler Sherborn.
Homes - “People will reappraise where they want to live, and the idea of treating your house as a home rather than an investment will lead to them taking a longer term view; we will see a return to the ‘forever home’ where you put down roots for you and your children. Those considering a second home will also place greater importance of a UK based property rather than one abroad where access to it cannot be assured, restricted by the whims of airlines and foreign governments.
Health - “The close proximity to good GP surgeries and hospitals will be closely considered, while practitioners of alternative therapies and remedies will also play a growing role.
Food - “There will be an increased emphasis on good, British grown food - people are already questioning the validity of flying in mangetout from Kenya, for example - and having a variety and choice of local convenience stores, supermarkets, farm shops and farmers markets near to home seen as important. ‘Growing your own’ will become increasingly popular, so having a garden or smallholding will be on the list of ‘must haves’ when moving.
Family - “Over recent decades families have moved apart, work often taking them to other parts of the country or even abroad. I think this will change, with families recognising the importance of staying close and supporting one another through the different stages of life.
Friends and community - “Establishing and nurturing a strong network of good friends, and feeling part of one’s local community will be seen as increasingly key elements of our safety, security and sense of belonging.
Schools - “Good schools, be they local authority or private, along with further education colleges are essential for young families, and close access by car and public or school transport to cut down on travelling time and cost will be deemed critical.
Work - “This period of shutdown will have shown many of us that working from home is not only doable, but desirable, and many companies will gear-up to support and encourage this in the future. Obviously, not everyone can do their job from home, but those who can, will benefit from increased contact with their family, reduced stress from commuting, and money saved from reduced travelling.
Connectivity - “The Government has already pledged in the recent Budget to help fund improved broadband, especially in rural areas, which will certainly assist those who spend more time working from home.
The environment - “The Greta Thunberg effect will continue to gain traction, and homeowners will be looking more seriously at things like green energy, especially solar power, ground source heat and wind power generation. As well as costs coming down, such investments make more economic sense if you are planning on staying in your home for a number of years. Food miles and the number of overseas holidays we take will also be questioned increasingly, while properties will need charging points for the growing popularity of electric/hybrid cars.
“When you consider all of the above, it is perhaps not unsurprising that we are already seeing a growing interest from people wanting to move the country, with rural counties to the west of the Home Counties such as Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire seeing a lot of uptake. The view we have picked-up from those looking to leave London is that ‘if we’re going to move to the country, we might as well move well away, while being able to return to the smoke easily by road or rail is still considered necessary for work or social life.
“I can see that post-Coronavirus, there will be a general recalibration: a greater emphasis on the quality of life, a move away from the rampant growth-fuelled materialism that has characterised the last couple of decades, and a renewed interest in family and country living,” he concludes.
Quenington House, Quenington, Gloucestershire
If you’re looking to put down roots for your family and establish your ‘forever home’, Quenington House could be just the answer.
With plenty of space to grow into, and take you through the different stages of life, this beautiful Grade II Listed village house includes a separate cottage and outbuildings, and sits in 3.28 acres of landscaped gardens and paddocks. Dating from the 1800s, accommodation is over three floors and boasts elegant proportions, charm, character and period features such as classic Georgian sash windows, original wooden shutters and double doors with tracery glass panels.
Downstairs is a reception hall, elegant drawing room, sitting room and dining room, a kitchen/breakfast room with Aga and a mezzanine study with an impressive vaulted ceiling over both. There is also a garden room with underfloor heating, utility boot room, cloakroom and cellars.
The first floor includes the master bedroom suite with ensuite bathroom, guest bedroom suite with bathroom and a double bedroom and cloakroom, and on the top floor, two further double bedrooms with cloakroom and two attic rooms.
The self-contained one bedroom cottage can be used for guests, a relative or staff while outbuildings that include two stables and a cart shed provide valuable storage space, with plenty of parking behind secure gates.
Unusual for a house located in the heart of a village, the outside includes up to 3.28 acres of mature gardens, grounds and paddocks offering plenty of privacy while still being part of the community. Quenington is a lovely Cotswold village with family amenities that comprise a primary school at nearby Hatherop, The Keepers, a popular pub, village hall, church and Pilates centre, and surrounded by wonderful countryside offering glorious walks.
Fairford is three miles away, Cirencester eight miles and trains to London Paddington can be taken from Swindon station in around an hour.
Available in the Spring https://www.butlersherborn.co.uk
Guide price: £2.65million
Butler Sherborn - Cirencester - 01285 883740
One Hope Cottage, Longborough, Gloucestershire
As a country bolt-hole second home or buy-to-let, this beautifully renovated cottage in the heart of the popular Cotswold village of Longborough is hard to beat.
Constructed of classic honey coloured Cotswold stone, the south facing living space is wonderfully light and airy, complemented by a beautifully furnished interior and decorated in contemporary colours.
Downstairs there is an open plan sitting/dining area complete with a stone mullion bay window, painted beams and a woodburning stove. The kitchen features painted wooden units incorporating an oven with induction hob and extractor fan, and plumbing for a washing machine/tumble dryer.
On the first floor is a south facing double bedroom with double height ceiling and south facing mullion window, and the ensuite bathroom includes a roll top bath, washbasin, WC and tiled floor. Outside is an easily maintained east facing courtyard garden.
The property has served as a very successful holiday let investment for the current owner and provides a perfect holiday retreat for two, with weekly rates ranging from £499 in the low season to £1,016 in high season.
Located in the heart of the village, Longborough is noted for its annual opera festival in the summer. It has a pub, busy village hall and community-run shop, and sits in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a Conservation Area with glorious views over the surrounding countryside.
Moreton-in-Marsh is three miles away, Stow-on-the-Wold is four miles and Cheltenham 19 miles, with trains to London Marylebone in around 60 minutes from the nearest station. https://www.butlersherborn.co.uk/OneHopeCottage
Guide price: £400,000
Butler Sherborn - Stow-on-the-Wold - 01451 830731