Dream of moving to the Yorkshire Dales, Wolds or Moors? Here are some tips

Rural estate agents are well stocked with window wipes at this time of year as day trippers and holiday makers press their noses up against the glass to get a better look at brochures, then prod at the pane to point out a potential ideal home to their partner.The summer holiday period is a peak time for cooking up property plans and a move to the country is top of the agenda for many.There are two categories of would-be buyers: the dreamers and those who have the determination and the money to make it happen.“We don’t get quite as many dreamers as we used to but there are still plenty of people who want a change of lifestyle. The desire to move to the country is still strong,” says Tim Gower, who heads up Robin Jessop’s Leyburn office.Those with high pressure, well-paid jobs are common among those who are serious about escaping to the country.“Some want to retire here, others want a change of direction and so they might look at buying a B&B in the Dales. We also get one or two who want total seclusion away from all new technology. One client who previously had a high-flying job has spent two years looking for a small, remote farm that will give him a complete escape,” says Tim.

For those planning to sell a rural home, he urges not to wait until after the summer holidays. “I’d advise people to get their property on the market now. There are plenty of buyers out there.”

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Tips for buying in the country

*Where to look. It’s easy to get fixated on a particular area but it could pay to look outside it.Register with local estate agents and give them a detailed brief of your wants and needs. Not only will you get to hear about properties as soon as or even before they hit the market, a good agent will make suggestions you may never have thought of. Buying in a village full of downsizers when you have children may not be a good idea and agents will have a good idea on the social make-up of the market towns and villages in their patch.*All weathers. Everywhere looks better in good weather so make sure you visit your longed-for location at different times of the year. “It might look rosy in the sun but it may be very different in winter. Some parts of the Dales are certainly wild then,” says Tim Gower.

Snow in Keld in Swaledale. Picture by Tony Johnson.

*Legal issues. It can pay to use a local conveyancer when buying a rural property as they will be familiar with issues such as rights of way and unregistered land. Otherwise, the sale could be delayed.

*Buying a B&B. This kind of live-work home is popular but be prepared for the commitment it requires. There is more to it than changing beds and cooking a full English breakfast. You’ll have to spend time marketing the property, doing the books, redecorating and staying in to meet and greet guests.Tim Gower also advises that you stay in the B&B you are thinking of buying so you can really assess the feel and the facilities.“We’ve had clients who have done this and it’s been a 50/50 split. Two bought after staying and two decided not to.”

*Finding work. There is work in the countryside but many jobs are minimum wage and some are seasonal. Do your research and look on job sites to get a good idea of what is available and whether it would suit you.Tim Gower says; “Some people are driven by money and some are not and will take low paid work in order to improve their quality of life.”

*Transport links. You may dream of living somewhere “away from it all” but think about the practicalities. If you have to travel into work five days a week then you need the journey time to be an hour or less. If it is three days or less you could stretch it to an hour-and-a-half to two hours but any longer will be a chore.

*Broadband. Checking broadband speeds is essential if you are planning to work from home or if you have children who need it for homework/socialising.Some places still have poor speeds, though there are often ways you can improve them. There are broadband postcode checkers online but they are not 100 per cent reliable so ask the homeowners for the truth.

*Amenities. Proximity to shops and pubs is important to many buyers. Remember that If you live five miles from the nearest shop you will have a ten mile round trip to get there and back. The fuel costs will add up.

*A sense of community. Investigate to see if there is a community Facebook page, a monthly newsletter or a book club and check if there is a village hall close by that hosts activities.This will help you judge whether the location has an active community. Be bold and ask around in the nearest pub and shop to assess whether the area is sleepy or not.You may think you want to get away from it all but you could end up being bored with little or no contact with other locals.One of the best ways of meeting people is having a dog as you’re bound to meet fellow dog walkers.