Within three weeks the family found well-paying jobs, and a two-bed house with a garage, a large space – for £750 a month to rent.
A family from Cornwall forced to leave their home after being left unable to afford to live in their county were surprised to find a dream affordable home – 315 miles away in notoriously upmarket Cheshire.
The North West county is more known for being home to the so-called ‘Footballer Belt’, an area of affluent small towns and villages where several prominent footballers live.
But Luis Candea and partner Jessica, who had lived in Cornwall for 12 years, have bagged a two-bed house with a garage for £750 a month rent after fleeing the crippling housing market crisis in the South West tourist hotspot of Cornwall.
Luis and Jessica’s son was born in Cornwall and they had been living in the same one-bedroom cottage in Roche, St Austel, for years.
After the arrival of their son, they realized they couldn’t stay there any longer, Cornwall Live reported.
With rising heating bills in the poorly-insulated cottage and the need for more space became unbearable even before the pandemic.
With that in mind, the couple began looking for a new place to live – rented or bought – in early 2020. Luis said properties they considered rose by “£50,000-£60,000” in a matter of weeks when Covid hit.
The housing crisis hit Cornwall particularly hard during the pandemic. Housing woes have been well-documented with rising rents, evictions and house prices adding to the demands for local families.
Luis said the state of the housing market in Cornwall was “ridiculous” and that the constant threat of homelessness with the eviction crisis was a point of anxiety for them. “We’re not poor, we’re not well off,” he said.
“We just get by, and a 2-3 bed house in Cornwall with a garage is £1,200-£1,600 a month to rent. How can anyone afford that? People are out of desperation. Homes we view, like one in St Columb, are being bid on by over 300 people. You just don’t have a chance.”
Maintenance worker Luis and park designer Jessica, who also live in fear of redundancy in Cornwall’s unstable job market, made, as a result, the tough choice to leave what has become their home – and the birthplace of their child.
Luis added: “We’ve been here a long time. I don’t consider myself Cornish, but my son is and now we’re leaving. Last November we gave ourselves an ultimatum: find somewhere to live by March, or move out.
“We didn’t, and so we started to look in Chester, Cheshire, where I have some family. Within three weeks we found well-paying jobs, and a two-bed house with a garage, a large space – for £750 a month to rent.
“Chester’s not considered cheap, my family and friends up there laugh at us and say we’re being ripped off. But compared to here – you’re always on the knife edge in Cornwall.
“It’s sad, really really sad. We’re having to give up our life here and think about ourselves and our child.”
The couple, now, will be moving out of Cornwall in the coming weeks. Luis added that while it’s a victory for their house hunt – being forced to leave their county doesn’t feel like it.