Moving is hard. Moving an entire family including cats is harder. But crating up a home, moving countries, across continents, and to an area I have never actually set foot in is down right scary! Yes the world is our oyster, but only if we can find that slippery little sucker in an ocean of the Unknown.

As positive and adventurous a person as I am, it can feel like the walls are closing in on me, and I haven’t even packed a single box yet.

My biggest challenge since last year when I started actively perusing the net for homes in England, has been to find the right area to move to. England is a big place! It’s not as simple as ‘We’re going’ and a hop skip and a jump and we’re pledging allegiance to the Queen.

So I did all I could to familiarize myself with the way of Mud Island. I spoke to my English bff at length. I started watching British based real estate reality shows. But mostly, I spent hours and hours pouring over my computer and wonky wifi connection. Settling on Kent, an area called The Garden of England, was the easy part. Suddenly I was flooded with new concepts like catchment areas, door-to-door commute times and ofsted ratings.

After months of house-search-fatigue (it’s a real thing, I swear!) I decided it was time to up my game.

I thought speaking directly to agents would be the answer. I sent out a burst of emails listing the things we are looking for, but different agents came back with different ideas. Some said that one of our chosen areas is ‘posh’ while another is ‘less so.’ One used the word ‘up market.’ When pressed, it was suggested that ‘snooty’ may have been a better description. This obviously put me off, but I have never even met the agent – how can I trust them? One mans poo-poo could be another’s potpourri.

So I retreated back into my spider web of online pages, searching and comparing as best I could, and when I eventually came back up for air, I had found what I thought was a winner. I favoured this area because of value for money, schools (my son will be 2 when we move) and commute times for husband to London. Then, when I presented this discovery to all and sunder, beaming like a show-and-tell 6 year old, I was rebuffed with words such as ‘lower income’, ‘higher rate of unemployment’ and ‘worse area’. But I have no idea what that actually means! Aaargh! Is it that the parks are dirty and ridden with discarded needles and rabid badgers…or that there is no Louis Vuitton or Trip Advisor hot spot coffee shop in the high street? Because, obviously I don’t care about LV but I really do care about the state of the child friendly facilities…

Trying to do all my research via the inter webs can get a bit confusing to say the least. And the whole ‘exclusive’ thing that many agents seem to have is taxing. As a buyer, not a seller, since when do I have to promise sole anything while looking for a property? It’s not like we’re dating…

Then it occurred to me that finding a place to live this way is a bit like creating a dating profile, and trying to swipe your way to maternal bliss via a screen. How would my profile go?

  • Young and vibrant family who like our creature comforts, red wine, and glamp our way through a fly fishing obsession…looking for a home to call, erm, home.
  • We like our space, but don’t want anything too brashly bling.
  • We like modern feel, clean lines, but with character and an established garden.
  • Minimum height requirement – none of this low ceiling, exposed beam kak. I don’t feel like spending the rest of my life mildly concussed thank you.
  • Family friendly bricks&mortar, preferably with open plan entertainment kitchen/dining area to match our open demeanors and friendly personalities…but still reserve the right to close the door on that Thomas The Train DVD that’s been playing on repeat for 112 hours.
  • And we love to take long walks in the park.

Clearly I have never done the on-line dating thing because I have no idea how to do this. Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s back to search I go!