Inspire

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From the people who move you: Charlotte Moxon

The past 18 months really brought the value of ‘home’ to the forefront of everyone's minds. Whether experiences of lockdown led to people deciding they needed more space, wanting amenities on their doorstep, or some land in the countryside to walk on, we are now living in a world where our homes are more important than ever before. And for me and my partner, while there was always a plan to take the plunge and find our forever home, you can argue that the pandemic sped that journey up. Having moved 17 times already, we were lucky enough to be able to buy a home in Buckinghamshire within a village we were already living in. Our new home will be something we can renovate and expand, creating a family home we will enjoy for years to come.

When thinking about how life has changed the past 18 months has really made people realise how much time they got back from not having to commute every day. I am normally based in Sunningdale and would commute into the office by car each day for an hour and a half. While I missed the human contact of people in the office, those hours I reclaimed from not driving enabled me to really enjoy the time at home and in the village in ways I haven't before. Our new house has a lovely garden that backs onto a wood, and while we have the facilities of Great Missenden on our doorstep, we have been able to enjoy its rural location. I think this is something that many people have also been searching for, which is why we had to move quickly to secure the sale.

We had long dreamed of village life, but because we both work long hours, we had never really felt like we had the time to engage in the community to any great extent prior to Covid. However, this changed very quickly during the lockdowns. More time at home gave us an opportunity to get more involved with the village, get to know some of the people around us and support the local businesses within the area. When you aren't able to go anywhere, you appreciate and enjoy what you have on your doorstep.We joined locally organised groups and found ourselves regularly volunteering in the village, we helped deliver groceries and medicines to those shielding and used it as a way to check up on other households and make sure everyone was okay.

When it comes to the impact the pandemic had working with my teams and clients, I really missed people. As a team we were quite used to being apart because we work all over the country, so that wasn't a new thing for us but not being able to meet up every month and being able to have that, you know, “sit down”, was difficult.

We already pride ourselves on being professional, and having a working and business relationship with our developer clients, but we got to know so much more about our clients during this time – the people behind the businesses. During lockdowns it wasn't chasing upon how a site is progressing for example, we were having conversations about how they and their families were getting on, and this is something that has remained. Many developers struggled through the pandemic in different ways; whether it was uncertainty when the sales rates dropped, or delays on construction, we did our best to support them and build our relationships when times were hard and I think this was really valued.

What has also emerged is that more people are interested in buying a new home than before. While renovation projects will always remain popular, there is now a big focus on the ability to spend time with family and friends. As such, many are looking to buy something brand new, something that doesn't require any work or has any surprises. They want to know that their house is done and dusted and it's going to be their secure haven for years to come.

Our relationship has changed with our homes over the past 18 months. The pandemic shone a light on how we currently live versus how we want to live and I think that’s a light that’s unlikely to dim any time soon.


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