Country houses for sale

The perfect shopping list for a ‘forever home’? Detached, in the country, and close to a decent pub

The ideal 'forever home' has four bedroroms, two bathrooms and a garden that's not too big and not too small, according to new research.

A fascinating piece of research has come our way which will have you oohing and ahhing in recognition if you’re yet to swap city for country – and have you mentally totting up how many boxes you tick if you have already made the move.

The source is a survey of 2,000 people carried out on behalf of Origin, who asked participants what they considered the must-haves in their ideal ‘forever home’.

Some of the answers were the sort of thing you’d expect – lots of natural light, four bedrooms, detached, and in a pretty country location with picturesque views.

But other things were a little more surprising – though none the less desirable for all that. Having four friendly neighbours with whom you’re on first name terms, for example, was on the list; so too was a garden of 1,000 sq ft, a fairly small plot but we’d suppose that manageability is as important as space to many buyers.

The perfect distance from work averaged out at 10.5 miles. That sounds about right to us: close enough to be an easy commute without being so close that you feel its presence even when safely back home.

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There was also a dream price point: £458,000. Good luck finding all the things below at that price tag – although even if you have to pay more, you’ll have time to save. People believed that they’d be 53 before they finally found their perfect place.

Ben Brocklesby, Director at Origin, said: “We wanted to find out more about the concept of the forever home and whether it still existed… Interestingly, more than three quarters of people still believe in the concept.” Given that Ben’s company sells bi-folding doors and other similar home upgrades, he was also delighted to point out that quite a number of the factors mentions are things “which can be incorporated into any home, without the need to move.”

The dream ‘forever home’…

  • Is worth £458,000.
  • Is 10.5 miles from work and has transport links.
  • Has four friendly neighbours – who we are on first name terms with.
  • Is filled with natural light – something 99% of respondents insisted upon.

Inside that perfect home are these rooms…

  • Playroom  x1
  • Reception rooms x 2, one of which will have bi-folding doors out onto the garden
  • En-suites x 2
  • Bathrooms x 2, preferably with power shower
  • Bedrooms x 4
  • A large kitchen/breakfast room with separate utility room

Outside the house you’ll want…

  • Front AND back gardens
  • Driveway and double garage for off-street parking


  • Patio
  • Flowerbeds
  • Summer house and/or a conservatory
  • Somewhere to hang the washing out
  • Gates at the front
  • Veg patch
  • Open fields
  • Garden of 1,000sqft
  • View of the sea, mountains, rolling hills or a field of cows

And as for location? This is how far away you’ll want to be from local amenities:

  • Post office – 1 mile away
  • Doctors – 1 mile away
  • Newsagent / off licence/ corner shop – 1 mile away
  • Pub – 1.5 miles away

scottish pub for sale interior

  • Chemist 1.5 miles away
  • School – 2 miles away
  • Dentist  – 2 miles away
  • Restaurant – 2 miles away
  • Supermarket – 2 miles away
  • Petrol station – 2 miles away
  • Park – 2 miles away
  • Playground – 2 miles away
  • Farm shop – 2 miles away

  • Library – 2.5 miles away
  • Vet – 2.5 miles away
  • Leisure centre – 3 miles away
  • Clothes shop – 3 miles away
  • Cinema – 3 miles away