MAKING THE MOVE TO CORNWALL
PUBLISHED: 09:36 10 November 2015 | UPDATED: 12:44 30 August 2017
Many incomers to Cornwall travel hundreds of miles to make a new life - and an increasing number are turning to property search experts to find their dream home in the UK’s favourite county
Nicola Oddy has the best job in the UK. She spends her days visiting the cream of Cornwall’s property market searching out dream homes for people wanting to make the move to Cornwall. They say there are few things more satisfying than shopping, other than when you are spending someone else’s money.
Working for Stacks Property Search in Cornwall she hunts out everything from small holdings and grand estates to family homes or cottages suited to couples looking to downsize. Budgets can vary from £250,000 up to £2 million - with clients varying from young families looking to move to the ocean and change their lives to secret celebrity clients looking for a luxury pad far from the madding crowds of London and LA.
In Nicola’s 15 years in the job, strange requests have stayed with her - from people looking for somewhere for their goats to live or room for their grand piano to those in business who need access for regular truck deliveries.
Around half of her clients come from London and the South East, with the remainder coming from overseas and the rest of the UK. Less intent on living in a specific town, Nicola finds her clients increasingly look for an area. People tend to say I want to be on the south coast because it’s windier on the north coast,’ she says. But part of her job is to help people understand their options and dispell some of their myths surrounding areas of Cornwall.
And the desires are changing as people take advantage of Cornwall’s legendary sense of entrepreneurial spirit. It used to be that people moved to Cornwall and wanted to combine it with a new career, but now people move their businesses with them. They might have a small business that is run from their home in London and its expanding so they decide to move here for more space - and they are also employing local people, which is great.’
So how does it work? Think Kirsty and Phil - but without the TV cameras, the deadlines and the faux histrionics. Nicola will charge a retainer while looking - which only expires when the perfect house is found. Nicola will hunt out houses not only through her extensive network of estate agents - who will tip her off on homes before they come on the market - as well as private sales. Once found, clients will look at what’s on offer and if they like it Nicola will negotiate a sale - often able to get a great price - although Nicola is keen to point out her service is not designed to save money. On completion there is a percentage payable on the price of the house.
She’s also careful not to take on clients who are looking for the same thing and boasts a waiting list for clients. You could say Nicola has become the ultimate home accessory.