S

ome people who move out of London are intent on leaving the city far behind and embarking on a dramatic life change.

Candice Quinn is not one of those people.

She and her husband Barry exchanged a rented flat in West Hampstead for a four bedroom family home in Northwood, on the borders of London and Hertfordshire and at the far end of the Metropolitan Line.

Candice, 39, and Barry, 45, met in her native Vancouver, Canada. In 2012 Candice moved to the UK, joining Barry in the flat he was renting in West Hampstead.

They loved the area for its central location, great vibe, and proximity to Hampstead Heath. But when they started thinking about having a family things started to change.

The family enjoy exploring Northwood’s nature reserves

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“We could have bought a place in West Hampstead, but it would have been a flat, and we wanted more space, and a garden,” said Candice.

They selected their location analytically, by studying a map of train lines and settling on Northwood because of its tube links to the City, where Barry is chief revenue officer for a software firm. Candice was, at the time, working in sales, and it was also within convenient reach of her work.

“The first time we visited, the moment we stepped off the tube, I thought: “Oh my gosh, I can hear birds”,” said Candice. “There was no noise pollution, which was a real added bonus.”

The family’s new garden, something they would not have been able to afford in Zone 2

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Rather than make a rash mistake the couple – who now have two children, a seven year old son and a five year old daughter – decided to try before they bought, and initially rented a house.

By 2018 they were sure enough about their decision to invest £845,000 on a four bedroom house with a big garden and a loft which Candice uses as an office for the business she started last year, Manisafe, designing gloves which protect hands from UV rays during gel manicures.

“Living in Northwood means we have the best of both worlds,” said Candice. “You can get into London very easily on the Metropolitan Line, and there are much less delays than you get on National Rail. It is also more cost effective. There are lots of lovely nature reserves around us, including the Aquadrome where you can go boating and kayaking.”

For shopping, both Wembley and Watford are close by. “And we have some fantastic restaurants and wine bars on the high street,” said Candice. “It has everything you need nearby.”

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