We are just about to exchange contracts on a cottage, fingers crossed! I’m very excited about getting my teeth into a little project again and once we have refurbished it we will hopefully use it for holiday lets. The whole process has, however, reminded me how painful and time consuming buying a property is.

As this cottage is not our main home it has been easier to remain fairly pragmatic about it and let fate take its course, if it’s not this one, there will be another. It is an entirely different matter though when it comes to relocating and buying your family home.

We moved out of London over five years ago now. There were a few motivating factors for leaving, primarily to get more space for the children, better schooling and a better quality of life in general. We rather naively thought that by moving out to the country we would be able to afford a much larger house with a big garden in the catchment of a good school. After viewing over 100 houses later, not only was I totally worn out (dragging two toddlers around the home counties to view house after house was not a fun experience) I also realised that our expectations were clearly unrealistic! We had an asking price offer on our house in London so really needed to move quickly. As we couldn’t find anything that we loved within our budget our only option was to rent.

Renting actually panned out to be not such a bad thing as it gave us time to ensure we were in the right location and that the commute was sustainable long term. It was however an upheaval and meant a lack stability at a time when we really needed it. With young children, change going on with my husbands job and a rising property market, it was a fairly stressful time. We wanted to ensure that our big move was absolutely the right move.

On reflection and with the benefit of hindsight, that wonderful thing, we have both said that we would have used a search agent, someone who acts for the buyer rather than the seller. I have recently come across Property Potential, www.propertypotentialsurrey.co.uk, a search agent who specialise in locating both rental properties and properties for sale in Hampshire, Surrey and Sussex.

Had we known about them five years ago, we would have used them as they cover the areas that we were looking in. I have no doubt that it would have made the whole process significantly less stressful. Property Potential was set up by Maranda and Jen, two mums who, like us, moved to the country with their families.

Having been through the process themselves and now living and breathing the local area they have a wealth of knowledge and experience to provide a service which is aimed at helping busy people find not only the right house, but the whole package. They have very good working relationships with local estate agents which means that they often get to hear about houses that haven’t come to the market yet or that are being discretely marketed. There are so many boxes to be ticked when relocating, the right house, the right location, the right school, a manageable commute, and it is all of this that Property Potential can help with.

Jen & Maranda are very generously offering two free orientation tours, on a first come first served basis to two individual families. This will involve a day out with Jen or Maranda looking at areas of interest and viewing three properties within the required budget.

In addition on 12th June Jen and Maranda are having a drop in day in London. They will be offering free half hour slots where potential house hunters can meet them and discuss their needs, there will however be no obligation to use the full service. They will be offering advice in terms of areas, schools, commute and styles of houses. If you are interested in an orientation tour, the drop in session or require any further information please contact Jen or Maranda at hello@propertypotentialsurrey.co.uk Www.propertypotentialsurrey.co.uk

This post was written in collaboration with Property Potential.

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