Pretty Cumbrian cottage near Grasmere, The Lake District, England.

Case Study: A Cottage In Cumbria

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At County Homesearch, we always go above and beyond to help you find your dream home. Sometimes, our clients are unaware of the full scope and extent of our property finding services, or the different stages involved in order to secure the property of their choice. 


Using an example of a recent client instruction, we’ve put together a case study to demonstrate what a true off-market property search might involve, as well as the lengths we go to find you your perfect property! 


The Background

The client who instructed County Homesearch was originally from Cumbria, but had been living in the south of England. The client’s family, including their elderly parents, amongst others, remained living in Cumbria.  


A further complication of the client’s situation was their recent relocation to the US with their partner’s job, as well as extensive international travel with work.  Having begun the search themselves two years previously, their increasingly limited time and geographical distance was preventing them from continuing their efforts and responding quickly enough to new instructions.  This, amongst other factors, saw them turn to our property finding service at County Homesearch. 


The Brief


The client’s goal was to find a very traditional and unspoilt Lakeland house or cottage which they could use as a second home in order to be closer to their immediate and extended family. Their own excellent local knowledge meant that they had several stipulations in terms of the property’s location: including total peace and quiet. They had indicated a preferred search area of approximately 30 minutes’ drive from Kendal, but really wanted a property ‘off the beaten track’, in seclusion and tranquility, away from any road noise. 


In a move that was crucial to this search, the client sent a weblink to their County Homesearch property finder, Lisa Green, showing a particular holiday rental cottage as an example of their perfect property.



The Search

This is where the search began! Lisa was able to use the client’s criteria to narrow down the geographic search area to specific villages, valleys and even selected properties. The search obviously had to go wider than simply viewing properties listed for sale with estate agents.  All our property finders are experts at seeking out properties that may not yet be openly available – or perhaps even available at all. 


From there, the hunt continued, and communication became more important than ever. In consultation with her clients Lisa decided that a very targeted approach was key to succeeding in their search for that perfect property. This included flyers placed on local noticeboards, letters to parish councils, flyers through letterboxes – even personalised letters to property owners of desirable properties! 


An advert was also placed in the Westmorland Gazette, as well as more traditional routes of registering the clients’ requirements with local estate agents.



There were several challenges when fulfilling this client brief. The first of these was the highly specific criteria from the client regarding the property and location. At County Homesearch, we know that purchasing a property will be a significant decision and investment for our clients, and as such, certain criteria must be met for the perfect home! Indeed, the client in question had been searching for several years, and had already viewed several properties (which they had then subsequently discounted). They had given lots of thought to the project and tried to find their dream home themselves, but ultimately needed the support of the experts at County Homesearch on their journey to their perfect property. 


Another challenge presented by this brief was that many of the properties in the area are second homes or holiday homes already, so contacting the owners to arrange a conversation isn’t always straightforward!  There can also be local sensitivities in relation to selling to “outsiders”. In this case, the client had local family connections to the area, which helped to overcome any such barriers. 


Once that elusive off-market property had been identified Lisa needed to engage with property owners who hadn’t been considering a sale at all and agree a mutually acceptable price!   This negotiation also required discretion for both our clients and vendors until the completion of the sale. 


What was the timescale?

From initial instruction to completion, this project took just 7 months from initial instruction to completion of the sale. 


What worked?  

In this instance, the success was attributable to a letter to one particular property owner, who was currently living overseas. The property Lisa closed for her client wasn’t just any property, but was in fact the very same one from the original link they had sent to her at the start of the process – we reckon you can’t get any closer to meeting the client’s brief than that! 


If you enjoyed reading about our process and would like to find out more about what County Homesearch might be able to do for you, please do get in touch with the relevant area Director.   Just like we did for this happy client, we can help to make your dream home a reality.