If you're pondering a move to Essex, but can't decide if the county is right for you, look no further...
We love Essex here at Martin & Co - and Chelmsford in particular.
There are so many reasons why Essex is a great place to live, but here are 10 things that are sure to convince you living in Essex is the right move for you.
1. Buying a house in Essex
When it comes to property for sale in Essex, there really is something for everyone.
Here in Chelmsford, we've got traditional Victorian and Edwardian terraced homes in the city centre, which are hugely popular with couples and young families.
Larger 1920s detached homes are also available, as well as more modern properties like those on the popular Chelmer Village and Beaulieu Park developments.
Flats for sale in Essex are also hugely popular with young professionals, either working in the county in places like Chelmsford, Braintree or Brentwood or commuting to London.
Which leads us nicely on to...
2. Essex is so close to London
Need to get to the office in the capital for work, but don't want to live in the city or can't afford London prices?
Then Essex could be the answer.
Chelmsford to London is just a 30-minute train into Liverpool Street, while the A12 road from the city runs directly into the East End.
3. The countryside
Despite being so close to London, one of Essex's big selling points is its green space.
That, among other reasons, is why families flock here from London year after year.
And if it's open space you're after then Hylands Park just outside Chelmsford has plenty of it - 574 acres to be precise!
The Hylands Estate is a stunning example of Neo-classical living and the parkland is endless fun for the children, with an adventure playground and plenty of places to explore.
4. Essex has great schools
Another reason why families are drawn to Essex is the county's superb schools.
Chelmsford, alone, boasts two of the best grammar schools in the country.
King Edward VI and Chelmsford County High are both rated 'Outstanding' by Ofsted, while the city's prep schools St Cedd's and St Anne's are ideal starting points for those looking to get their children into the grammar system.
On top of that, Chelmsford's state primaries are also highly-rated.
Oaklands Infants, The Tyrrells School, Perryfields Junior and Newlands Spring are all 'Outstanding', while the majority of the city's state comprehensives are classed 'Good'.
5. Essex villages are perfect!
Although larger cities and towns like Chelmsford, Colchester, Braintree and Brentwood are where many buyers lay down roots, Essex is also home to some truly stunning villages.
Near Chelmsford, the village of Writtle is a classically quintessential English parish with a village green and even a duck pond.
North of Chelmsford, Broomfield is a popular village for families, while Little Waltham and Great Waltham north of Broomfield straddle the River Chelmer and an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and nature reserve.
6. Essex is a shopper's paradise
Let's be honest, we all like to treat ourselves to a bit of a shopping spree every now and again.
But while Oxford Street's endless shops may come calling, if you live in Essex you don't even need to leave the county to get your fix of retail therapy.
In Chelmsford, shoppers are spoiled for choice.
Bond Street, in the city centre, is only three years old but has really caught the imagination of eager Essex shoppers.
The centre includes branches of John Lewis, Fat Face, Jack Wills, TAG Heuer and the North Face and is within walking distance of Chelmsford train station for those living outside of the city.
High Chelmer Shopping Centre is home to a host of High Street brands like Topshop and Primark, while The Meadows houses Boots, Wilko and a branch of Costa Coffee.
Away from Chelmsford, Lakeside Shopping Centre in East Thurrock is one of Essex's best-known shopping hotspots, while Eastgate in Basildon has more than 100 shops under one roof.
7. Beautiful beaches
As well as city life in Chelmsford, beautiful villages on the outskirts and great links to London, Essex is also home to some of the country's best beaches.
A short hop up the A12 from Chelmsford are Clacton-on-Sea, Walton-on-the-Naze and Frinton-on-Sea, while acclaimed Southend-on-Sea, 30 minutes south from Chelmsford, is home to the world's longest pier.
8. Fun, fun, fun for the kids
We've already mentioned shopping for the grown-ups and the glorious open space of Hylands Park, but Essex is also a great place to live for children, too.
Colchester Zoo is only a short drive away up the A12, while the Sealife Adventure Aquarium in Southend is also hugely popular with families.
And if your kids are sports-mad, Essex County Cricket Club plays its home games in Chelmsford, while Chelmsford City FC play in the National League South at Melbourne Stadium north of the city centre.
9. Fly away from Essex
Not that you'd want to!
But if you are looking for time away from Essex and all it has to offer, you don't need to go far for a flight out.
Stansted Airport is only a 30-minute drive from Chelmsford, while Southend Airport offers flights to a host of European destinations.
And if you can't find a flight at either of Essex's two airports, London Heathrow and London Gatwick are just over an hour away from Chelmsford.
10. The people!
There's a reason why Essex is one of very few places in the UK to have its own TV show - and underneath the pristine white teeth and deep tans of The Only Way Is Essex, the people are down to earth, funny, hard-working and industrious.
Essex saw more businesses start up in the county than anywhere else in the UK in 2018.
Want to know more?
If you're looking for a property to buy or rent in the Chelmsford area, get in touch with the team at Martin & Co.
We're experienced in and knowledgeable about the local property market and can help you find your next property in glorious Essex.