Thursday, 4 December 2014

House-hunting in South West England - June 2011



Castle Combe, Wiltshire

September 2012. Castle Combe in Wiltshire is so pretty and looks untouched. It was used as location to some films/TV programmes – Stardust comes to mind.


In the summer of 2011, we went to the country for a week to view some houses, mostly cottages, in Bath and Wiltshire.
At the start of our search, unfortunately, we were on a very limited budget and it seemed the most practical thing we could have afforded that time was a reasonably-sized house for a young family in an estate, at the same time, good rail connections to London and everywhere else for the husband.

Swindon in Wiltshire fits this category and so we looked at it. I searched forums and even people who lived or had lived there aren’t excited about it. Not much going on. People go there just for the Designer Outlet. When we looked at the estates, I thought no one lived in them. Each house looked like a model house. Each estate was self-contained, with shops and a school within the area. You could feel how the houses were made to look old but that just wouldn’t work when everything was symmetrical and too perfect. As we drove around I thought of Pleasantville, or no, that maybe Truman Burbank would walk past anytime.

I couldn’t fault Swindon through how the estates look; I just didn’t feel it was the special place I was dreaming of. If I could put it this way: I wasn’t born in this country and it had always been my dream to live here. So I moved here and unlike other people who are rooted to where they were born or grew up, I had that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to choose where to live. Also, wouldn’t it be nice for the sprog to grow up somewhere special?

  

Castle Combe, Wiltshire

It is very rare when a house goes on the market in Castle Combe. And anyway, we wouldn’t have afforded it.
As luck would have it, it was that trip to Swindon that had opened more doors for us. We intended to look for houses on our own but upon inquiring about a house, an estate agent insisted that we visited their office. We met a mortgage adviser there and over the next few months he helped us sort our finances that in the end, not only did we find our dream house, we also managed to stay in the South East.

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