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To ask whether anyone has relocated to Cornwall?

(126 Posts)
Picklesandpies Sat 22-Apr-17 18:06:30

Posting here for traffic. We have just returned from another lovely week on the South coast of Cornwall. I have been going once or twice a year for my whole life (now 32 and taking our children too) and every time I've been in the last few years I've felt more and more that it's somewhere I'd like to live someday. We relocated to Hampshire about three years ago and, whilst I'm not dreadfully unhappy, I just feel there is more to life than where we are now. Dh commutes two hours every day into London, quite a bit of travel etc and the lifestyle here isn't very fulfilling. We love walking, beaches and generally being outdoors with beautiful scenery. Cornwall obviously offers this in spades.

My question is - we live in a £500K+ house where we are now but obviously this is only possible with London salary - but I'm wondering what people do for a living in Cornwall who have biggish houses and a more salubrious lifestyle? Are they all retired? Is it inherited money? Second homes?

We really would look at moving down and don't mind taking a step back on property ladder in order to improve our lifestyle but the jobs that pay a decent (but obviously not London level!) salary just don't seem to be about down there. I'm just confused as to how people can afford the big houses you see.

Have been on Rightmove on the way home and even looking at a much cheaper house, I can't see how we could do it!

PeaFaceMcgee Sat 22-Apr-17 18:09:57

Old family homes that get passed down, people who work in London in the week, some people with their own businesses and 2nd homes, mainly.

PeaFaceMcgee Sat 22-Apr-17 18:13:47

My relative lives in a £500k+ home but only because they bought it in the 1970s when it was affordable!

We managed to relocate home to Cornwall and buy a £250k house here despite a family income of £30k, because a close relative died (inheritance).

Code42 Sat 22-Apr-17 18:15:01

It's the most impoverished area of the UK - I doubt the sort of jobs you seem to have in mind are available in any abundance.

People with large homes are mainly not buying and keeping them via their work in Cornwall, unfortunately: there's the usual London cashers-in, weekend homes, inherited homes - and probably the odd lottery /pools /gambling etc winner.

Koalaid Sat 22-Apr-17 18:17:32

It's a tiny minority who live very well in Cornwall. It's a very poor county. Those who I know who are well off either come from money or have moved down in much the same way you are thinking of, selling property in the south east to fund life in the south west, often continuing to work in professions like teaching, medicine, law etc. If you don't have an established way of making money which transfers to the SW or have enough money that it makes its own money (investing/ property/ shares etc) it can be very difficult. I'd also caution that it's a very different good experience living there as opposed to holidaying there. Of course you know that, but it can be incredibly cliquey and insular. I say this as someone who loves the county. I'd be cautious.

Koalaid Sat 22-Apr-17 18:18:09

Rogue 'good' in there. Sorry.

PeaFaceMcgee Sat 22-Apr-17 18:20:27

It's a very poor county

Indeed - and only propped up by EU convergence funding.

PortiaCastis Sat 22-Apr-17 18:24:06

I've lived in Cornwall all my life and my family have a holiday let business. We are not poor by any means, folk look up figures for our County and forget that a quarter of us are self employed. Which area were you thinking of OP ?

PNGirl Sat 22-Apr-17 18:25:33

My uncle lives there - he was in the navy, had a very well-paid job, and is now retired. He and my (loaded only child) aunt bought a barn conversion in the early 90s when it was probably under 90k.

It's not a place to move to if you need to work.

PNGirl Sat 22-Apr-17 18:26:27

Setting up own business excepted! I mean work in an office for someone else.

ThornyBird Sat 22-Apr-17 18:26:29

We relocated 7 years ago when dh was offered a job that paid slightly less than he was on but was enough to make it worth while. We were in the Midlands and moved to where we are now before house prices locally went ridiculous - we didn't have a huge London type lump of equity - probably wouldn't be able to buy our house now.

Unfortunately the business closed down 2 years later and he was made redundant. He found work quickly but has to travel 'up country' and work away most weeks as there is not much locally. In fact there is not actually much in his sector anywhere at the moment.

But we love it here and make it work because there is no where else in the country we would want to live! We are all very involved in the community and although it can be very 'small town' it is no different to the other small towns we have lived in!

ModerateBecomingGoodLater Sat 22-Apr-17 18:30:50

Yup, moved to SE Cornwall 3 and a half years ago from central London.

We're both doctors, work in Devon.

I grew up down here so kind of knew what it would be like. I don't like the town we live in, but I love the job and the life.

DH was keener to move than me, but has had more issues. He hankers after the work in London.

Relationship has taken a bit of a hit, that might be the move or just life.

BikeRunSki Sat 22-Apr-17 18:31:07

Jobs of people I know who live in Cornwall:
1 - off shore oil worker, works 4-6 shifts on the rig, gets the same amount of time off, can live anywhere in the world basically.
2 - teacher, trained and did teaching practice in Plymouth, 25 years ago
3 - Lecturer at Plymouth Uni
4 - Unemployed after hotel went out of business (business owner).
5 - handyman/painter and decorator- works a lot for holiday lets. Used to work in a quarry.
Also, some bits and pieces of seasonal work on campsites, cafes, hotels, etc.
I agree with others that it is not a county rich in employment opportunity.

Picklesandpies Sat 22-Apr-17 18:36:13

Portiacastis We like the Lizard and Rosand Peninsula the best. Not feeling very encouraged by the replies so far but really grateful nevertheless!

Ellisandra Sat 22-Apr-17 18:36:48

My parents own a £450,000 house in West Cornwall. Retired on OK but not fab pensions. Mortgage paid off but that caused us to have a pretty poor upbringing because it was a big stretch. Richer in retirement than they were raising children. Both worked in local government so reasonably paid and reasonably secure, back then.

I wouldn't go back - not enough jobs, let alone well paid ones. I'd only consider it if I did something like teaching or medicine. Still not loads of job but some opportunity as not location dependent and money OK.

I feel for your husband doing Hampshire commute. Doesn't he mind?! So much of his life commuting.

Picklesandpies Sat 22-Apr-17 18:41:19

Ellisandra He does mind, yes but any closer to London and we could only afford a garden shed! Our house is a work in progress too - and even when it's finished I doubt it would allow us to buy anything bigger. It's not a huge £500K+ house - just the best we could get in this overpriced pig of an area!

loveka Sat 22-Apr-17 18:41:31

I am about to relocate to south east Cornwall.

We can only do it because we have a lot of equity in our house. We are buying a bigger house for less money and so will be mortgage free. The house has an outbuilding in the garden which we will convert into a holiday let. We have also bought a holiday cottage on a holiday let mortgage which we have already started renting out. So the 2 holiday cottages will be a lot of our income. As they are in a very popular place to go on holiday I think we will manage to make a profit- though not a huge amount by any means.

I am actually just sitting here with my note book doing my sums and hoping we're not going to end up very poor! I am also terrified it might all fall through as house sales can. So I am scared of doing it and scared of not doing it all at once!!!

I will carry on working part time and will travel to London most weeks. It will cost a lot in petrol/ train/flights every week!

However, I really have started to question the hamster wheel that is London and the South East. What's it all for? What are all the long hours and brutal commutes for?We will have less disposable income but we will have an amazing sea view, a beach at the bottom of the road and I think that's worth a lot.

I have met (In the village we are hopefully moving to) a few younger people with children who have relocated and who say they would never go back.

If you can find a way of making a living I think it's a fantastic idea. So holiday lets, working from home, if you are a professional it's great. I remember an estate agent hurrying us at the end of a viewing because he wanted to go surfing after work. That sums up the lifestyle I think!

Picklesandpies Sat 22-Apr-17 18:56:59

Thanks for that loveka You have given me a tiny bit of hope! Would write more but dc going nuts now we are home and doing usual panicking over unwritten reading records etc! Huge amounts of luck with your move - your feelings on London and South East are ours too. Just feel it's a really raw deal. So many hours for so little in return. Even the inflated salary doesn't mean much when the houses are so expensive.

PeaFaceMcgee Sat 22-Apr-17 19:02:16

I'd never go back to London or the SE. Feel so lucky to be able to spontaneously choose to eat our tea at a pick of about 20 local Cornish sandy beaches!

In the winter it's wet & wild for months, but there's been a huge foodie revolution here and lots of bargains to be had re eating out etc in low season.

PortiaCastis Sat 22-Apr-17 19:06:04

Yes there's a huge food festival here this weekend.

Rioka Sat 22-Apr-17 19:09:50

We relocated to the south coast of Cornwall several years ago when DH got a good job down here. We love it here but those we know who have a reasonably comfortable life are doctors, teachers, in law and trades with good reputations (eg builders, plumbers etc) as well as those where one part of the couple works up country for most of the week or, like us, spend lots of time up and down the A30/M5 to get to Bristol Airport to make flights for work. Housing in the nice parts of Cornwall may not be much cheaper than where you are now. There are many excellent schools and, if you can embrace the lifestyle and join in with the community, it's a great life although it's not for everyone!

LadyLance Sat 22-Apr-17 19:10:26

My parents did it in the 90s, although their house now probably isn't as nice as you would like (4 bed in a town with a nice garden but no land). They sold a slightly smaller house in London. They worked as teachers, which probably helps a lot.

Cornwall is the county with the biggest gap between wages and house prices. It is pretty hard to find a job where your wages could pay for the type of house you want.

Most people I know with nice houses did it by selling up elsewhere and having a lump sum 20-30 years ago, or are retired so have a decent (for Cornwall) fixed income.

I know a few younger people who have jobs that they can do mostly from home, but otherwise it is genuinely very hard, and the further down into Cornwall you go, the worse it is, because you can't commute to Plymouth etc (not that there are loads of brilliant jobs in Plymouth, but there are some, especially at the uni).

loveka Sat 22-Apr-17 19:10:33

Thanks! I am so excited. And terrified!

FuzzyCustard Sat 22-Apr-17 19:54:35

DH and I relocated here 18 months ago from the SE, but not with any huge sums of money- we just spent the same on another house. I work from home, remotely, for an organization based in the north of England. DH is ill and can't work. We love it here, it has made a really positive difference to our well-being, although we would be described as poor! We own our house outright, and I think that makes a difference.

disappearingfish Sat 22-Apr-17 20:06:38

Well paid jobs are few and far between. We have a nice life in Cornwall because we had 100,000s in equity from previous property deals which has allowed us to buy a lovely house.

But my job pays me 50% of my previous earnings and there's probably 1 opportunity every 5 years for advancement.

It's utterly fabulous living here though smile

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