Homes for the way we live now

Beaulieu Heath parkland image

With schools and other educational establishments shut for the for large parts of the last year and up to half the workforce based remotely during the first lockdown, our homes have had to become more flexible than ever before.

Spare bedrooms, kitchen and dining rooms have been requisitioned as classrooms, study areas and offices on top of their usual functions, gardens have taken on a renewed importance and certainly aren’t just for summer, and we’ve learned to appreciate the value of having green space nearby, good neighbours and a supportive local community.

As our lifestyles have changed, so have our requirements when searching for a new home. Zoopla reports that 54 per cent of house hunters have reassessed their priorities in response to the pandemic, and demand has increased for larger properties closer to the countryside or parks, in the expectation of spending more time outside as well as indoors. Over half are expecting to commute less than before, and 42 per cent are intending to work from home more often for the foreseeable future, so a dedicated office area or spare room that they can shut the door on at the end of the day is high up on their wish lists. A study by Rightmove has also highlighted our changing priorities, revealing that buyers are seeking bigger homes and gardens, better work areas and proximity to green spaces that they can escape to.

Along with these new requirements, buyers are still after the factors they’ve always desired in a family home – namely a great location, decent transport links, good schools, community spirit and amenities close by. This might sound like a tall order, but Countryside has a whole host of developments right across Essex which tick all these boxes – and more.