Leaving London: I swapped Penge for Pangbourne while on maternity leave and have no regrets

Anne Cullen spent long nights awake with her infant son, Xavier, and spent hours looking through property portals, dreaming of a home far from the chaos and noise of London. She said that she was on maternity leave and then went into lockdown. “I was up nursing in the middle of night and I started looking through property porn to see what I might be capable of affording if I moved. “I was also finding it difficult being a mother in London. It is hard to get a buggy on the train, and the traffic is horrible. You get on the bus and people shout at each other. It was not the environment I wanted for my child. Anne Cullen with her son Xavier / Handout. I had moved to London in 2009, and it was wonderful while I was single. I’m now at a point in my life where I want something more. Anne felt uneasy about London after the murder of Sarah Everard. She then stumbled upon a beautiful period house for sale in Pangbourne, Berkshire. She said, “What the hell am I waiting for?” “I want my son, who is now 44 years old, to know what a cow and sheep look like in a safe village where everyone knows him. “Anne, 44 years old, works in anti-financial crimes for a global bank and visited the property in March 2021. She loved it just as much in person as she did online. It also met her two main practical priorities: fast trains to London for work and great schools. In just a few weeks, she had placed her Penge home up for sale and received an offer of GBP620,000. This was a substantial increase of GBP20,000 from the asking price. Anne also received an offer for GBP815,000 for the four-bedroom Pangbourne property. “But I had friends within a 20 minute drive. “I was able join local play groups, swimming lessons – it was so easy to get into, whereas in London you have to wait for months. “I have been proactive in making friends with neighbours and other mothers. I find it easier to meet people and more open than London. I have no regrets.”