Before the pandemic, my husband and I hadn’t planned on selling our flat in Selhurst, South East London, for at least another few years, until we’d saved up some more money. But in just three weeks' time, we’re going to be moving into a three bedroom semi-detached house in Surrey. After living in a one bed apartment for three and a half years, this feels like a mansion for us.
Over lockdown, we realised that we didn't want to live in London anymore. I was on furlough from my job as a New Homes Sales Executive and my husband Luis was working from home. We have two cats, and a tiny garden so all of a sudden things started to feel very cramped. It was particularly tricky when the weather was nice.
I can’t live in this flat anymore.
Rishi Sunak’s decision to cut the stamp duty in July helped hurry up our plans to move. Before, we would have been paying almost £15,000, which was holding us back as we didn’t have enough equity in the house to cover everything. With that gone, it felt like the right time to start looking for a new place.
We found it surprisingly easy to sell our property in London. Originally, I put it on the market for £10,000 higher than what I thought it was worth, but I reduced it after two weeks because I was getting inpatient. Buying in the suburbs can be competitive, and I'd seen how much interest there was in the properties there; I was worried that I would lose out on my dream house. Luckily, my flat was under offer after three weeks and I was able to reserve a property in a new development called Tadworth Gardens in Surrey. I think if I had waited any longer, the prices would have risen by a significant amount.
Am I going to miss London? To be honest, not really. In Selhurst we don’t even know our own neighbours, but down in Tadworth Gardens there seems to be a really strong sense of community. People go jogging together, have communal dog walks and all their children are friends. Although the transport links to central London are amazing, the thing I'm most looking forward to is having plenty of green space – and maybe the opportunity to finally get a puppy, too.