Deckchairs on pebble beach.

Coast Versus Country – Which Location Wins?

Well they may both be seen as attractive locations, especially if you are reading this living in the centre of town, but interestingly, when pitched against each other, buying a property by the sea wins every time. But why?

The plus factors of being by the sea

The song ‘Oh I do like to be beside the seaside‘ is certainly expressing the sentiments of many! The idea of living by the sea, for many of us can be traced back to happy family holidays. There is something very special about opening your front door in the morning and breathing in clear sea air.

It is certainly great for good health

A number of medical studies have proved that living by the sea – or within five kilometres of the sea – is definitely good for us. As well as for nostalgic reasons, living by the coast is certainly good for our health as the environment is beneficial both for our heart and for our mood.

It certainly puts us in a better mental state of mind and with so many lovely coastal walks, could well spur us on to be more physically active and to enjoy frequent walks, jogs and swims. Simply sitting on the beach can make us feel relaxed and of course, sitting in the sunshine for 20 minutes every day gives us a much needed boost of Vitamin D to keep colds and other illnesses at bay.

Who wants to live by the coast?

Whilst it may be difficult (but not impossible) for working families with school age children to re-locate to a coastal area, it is a popular buy with people wanting a retirement or second home. Savills the property experts say that buyers are prepared to pay up to 19.4 % more for a coastal location.

The most expensive coastal area to buy a property is Canford Cliffs near Poole where the average property price tag is £650.000 with St Eridillon in North Cornwall second with and average house price of £603,000 and ‘Poldark Land’ – the pretty harbour village of St Mawes coming in a close third.

There are a myriad of different coastal locations to enjoy and certainly those situated along the south coast enjoy good transport connections with major towns including London and do have good facilities close at hand for families.

But what are the bonuses of the country?

Certainly living in the countryside has many fans and many working families have found that they have been able to successfully move out of towns to enjoy a rural setting as long as they have carefully looked at schooling and commuting for work.

For example, there are lovely rural locations around Tunbridge Wells / Tonbridge and both towns have excellent schools and all exceed the required educational SATS levels and the percentage of university entrants. The commute by train to central London is less than 45 minutes.

Living in a rural setting, gives a great sense of freedom and space especially as your next door neighbours can be a distance away. Having said that, living in the country is statistically safer and more secure. Life can be tranquil and everyone enjoys waking to the sound of birdsong rather than commuter traffic so it is good for your health and positive mood.

There is definitely a lovely feeling of being close to nature when you live in the countryside as the passing seasons can be thoroughly enjoyed.

Good homework is essential

Interestingly, it’s not unusual for couples to have differing opinions about living in a rural or coastal setting and many estate agents will laugh and tell you that they should have been trained as marriage counsellors too!

The main thing is that if you are contemplating not just a house move, but a total change of lifestyle, do take your time. Draw up a list of pros and cons for where you are living now versus where you would rather be.

This must include not only proximity to supermarkets but also culture spots including concert halls and cinemas, proximity to regional airports and train services. What are the health facilities like? Restaurants? Clothes shops and other amenities? It is worth visiting your chosen new area – countryside or coast – not just on a warm summer’s day but during the autumn and winter months too.

After all, making the wrong house move might not be quite so good for your health… or your bank balance…

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About the author

Starting his career in Estate Agency, Jeff quickly moved up the ranks to manage his own office for Halifax Property Services. Co-founding Speed Property Buyers in 2008, he has applied this knowledge and overseen rapid expansion of the business.