Dreaming Of The Good Country Life? Here’s How One Couple Made It A Reality

Shrez and Tom unlocked the value of their London house so that they could buy their dream country cottage, and now you can do the same thanks to Zoopla’s new My Home experience


by Darcy Rive |
Updated on

There’s something so tantalising about city living, isn’t there? The bright lights, the fast pace, the never-knowing-where-your-day-will-go, the people from all over mixing together in this big melting pot of cultures, accents, styles, interests, and ambitions.

But what if your dreams are little more…rustic? What if you want the gentler pace, the fresh air, the space, the ‘good morning’ greeting as you pass a neighbour?

That was the case for Shrez Ghelani and her husband Tom. Three years ago, Shrez, who works in HR analytics, and Tom, who runs his own business, fulfilled their big city goals and bought their first home – a four-bed house with a small garden – in Plumstead, southeast London. Admittedly, the Victorian terrace was “a bit of a wreck”, but over the next couple of years, the couple renovated the place, doing much of the work themselves to save money.

However, while they’d found their place in the city, they couldn’t stop thinking about the countryside, and one place in particular – a detached, five-bedroom, Grade II-listed cottage in east Leicestershire. And when the pandemic hit, they both knew that they wanted to be closer to their family.

“I grew up around here and my parents still live in the next village, so when we visited, we would stop outside and look at the house,” says Shrez. “It was on and off sale for a couple of years, but we were never in a position to buy it until last year, when we saw on Zoopla that it was on the market again and we realised we could actually make it ours.”

Shrez and Tom were able to make their country dreams a reality by unlocking the value of their London house. They had bought it for £395,000, and it was later valued at £550,000. Instead of selling, the couple realised its value by remortgaging and used the equity alongside their savings to buy the cottage.

“We’re people who like a plan but this house ticked every box so we decided to be brave, take the risk and go for it,” says Shrez. “And it’s definitely been worth it.”

Shrez and Tom were able to maximise the financial potential of their home. Research from Zoopla, however, shows that 45% of UK homeowners currently underestimate the value of their home.

Luckily, help is at hand in the shape of Zoopla’s [new My Home experience](https://www.zoopla.co.uk/home-values/?utm_source=Bauer&utm_medium=Branded Content Article&utm_campaign=SuperPeak+21&utm_term=Digital Artcle 1&utm_content=), which gives you an instant online estimate of your home’s worth (helping you decide whether now is the time to sell). Select your address and Zoopla’s industry-leading algorithm will do the rest. You can also check your home’s sales history and see estimates and sold prices for other properties in your area.

[Check My Home on Zoopla and see if it’s time to sell](https://www.zoopla.co.uk/home-values/?utm_source=Bauer&utm_medium=Branded Content Article&utm_campaign=SuperPeak+21&utm_term=Digital Artcle 1&utm_content=)

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