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Ask the Expert with Alistair Hilton

11/07/2017

There seems to be a lot of developments around Shropshire and the borders, I have an ideal site on the edge of the village, shall I wait a while before doing anything about it?

By Alistair Hilton, head of sales at Balfours.

This is a very good question and one that keeps coming up in conversation with local land owners. It is one that requires in depth consideration.

Firstly, consider whether the site is allocated within the SAMDev (Shropshire's Allocation for New development). If it is, obtaining planning permission may be considerably more straight forward than neighbouring land, which may not fall within the allocation.

Secondly, consider how many of these sites have been either bought, and or are being built. It's clear to see that our local councils and planning authorities are granting more permission in rural areas, but what is the uptake? What is the demand for housing? Where are the house buyers, and where are they coming from?

One piece of advice I am always happy to offer and discuss is “supply and demand.”

Researching how many sites are available at one time and what the demand is for the newly built homes must be at the top of the agenda. This will determine whether a land owner should action a sale, or wait for potentially better market conditions. The wait can take years for the current over supply of inventory to thin out – but then selling for housing is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

The political climate and overall market trends will all play a part, as will the strength of your desire, to make that sale. Every situation is different and even if you believe the site is a decade off your life game plan taking professional advice will provide a fresh perspective which can be hugely beneficial.

Another conundrum which comes up in conversation relates to those considering a rural property saleon the edge of their land: Would it be better to market it as is, or with a few acres? This question is considerably easier to answer: Yes, include a couple of acres.

The uplift in value when selling a few acres attached to the sale of a residential property can create significant uplift in the value of that property. By adding a couple of acres you widen the market to provide “lifestyle” choice.

Those buyers looking for residential property with a few acres will usually be budding smallholders, equestrian enthusiasts or those seeking to acquire a slice of the countryside, and therefore are usually prepared to offer a significant premium.  01743 353511 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Accepted, exchanged, completed – within a calendar month

11/07/2017

When you accept an offer on your home, most vendors would like to think – “this is it, we are on our way;”  but many vendors know to their cost, the long drawn out delays of conveyancing which can follow, eating into months while your life is on hold.

At Balfours we are pedantic in our approach to ensure the sale is achieved as quickly and smoothly as possible. A sale is not a sale until it is completed and every day counts.

Hooked Hill Barn is a great example of just how swiftly a sale can be achieved. In this case an offer accepted early in the month, contracts exchanged before the end of the month and completion was achieved a calendar month to the day after accepting.

Such achievements don’t happen without meticulous attention to detail. Much of the paperwork can be gathered ahead of launching your property to market, we will provide a check list, so that together we ensure you are in the best position to progress the sale, when that offer comes in. We are here to ensure that all the paperwork is in the right place at the right time and those queries and glitches are ironed out with ultimate efficiency.

If you are seeking a swift sale, right through to completion, then call Balfours and we can talk through how, together, we can achieve.

Hooked Hill Main

 

 

 

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See The Flower Show In Full Bloom

06/07/2017

Take a cruise along the loop of the river Severn on The Sabrina riverboat and see the Flower Show in full bloom.

That is the invitation Shrewsbury based Balfours’ lettings and sales teams are putting out to landlords and home owners this week. Charlotte George, Head of Lettings, says: “We will be serving a glass of fizz to all aboard the Sabrina when we launch from the Victoria Quay, near the Welsh Bridge on Saturday afternoon, August 12.”

If you have a property to let or sell and would like to join the cruise, then call Charlotte on 01743 277069 to book your place.

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Home Since 17th Century Now Sits in AONB

05/07/2017

A stone house dating back to the 17th century, today offers an idyllic three bedroom home in the sought after hamlet of Picklescott, some five miles from Church Stretton and 11 from Shrewsbury.

Stone House by name and nature, the house sits to the rear of its plot surrounded by charmed gardens. To the front of the property is a stone barn with potential for conversion, subject to appropriate planning permission, together with a double size garage/workshop which offers potential to run a cottage business from it.   

On the market with Balfours, agent Duncan Scobie enthuses: “Stone House is located within the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.  It’s a beauty which flows through to the property itself and the cottage garden which cocoons it.”

The house is well laid out with the entrance hall giving access to the kitchen, two reception rooms, the study and utility. The dining room, which has a wood burner, forms the earliest part of the house; while the lounge boasts an Inglenook fireplace with log burner. Thechimney breasts are features of the first floor to two of the bedrooms; the third bedroom has a vaulted ceiling, walk in wardrobe and shower room.

Duncan adds: “Picklescott has a vibrant community with the village hall and renowned Bottle and Glass being a part of that. Local primary schools and secondary schools are to be found in Longnor and Church Stretton.”

He continues: “This charming property has scope to update the kitchen and bathroom facilities, which offers bespoke choice to the new owners; we have reflected this in the guide price of £415,000.” For more information call Duncan Scobie on 01743 718801.

Please click here for further information.

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Crisp Pick from Minsterley Orchard

04/07/2017

Balfours has launched to the market a modern and well equipped four bedroom home, with an adjoining building plot.

Situated on Horsebridge Road, at Minsterley, Orchard House is within walking distance of Minsterley’s local amenities, including primary school, village hall, church and a number of shops. Additional facilities are found in Pontesbury, including secondary school, while Shrewsbury is ten miles.

The property has an entrance hall three reception rooms, plus a conservatory. From the living room double doors open, both to the conservatory and to the dining room, extending space to create a wonderful house in which to entertain. While when cosying down a woodburner is flanked by windows to either side.

A light airy kitchen breakfast room benefits from direct links to the dining room and the utility. Beyond the oak staircase are four double bedrooms two are en-suite and there is a family bathroom. An insulated loft offers the opportunity of a games room, or additional living space.

Agent Scott Kemsley says: “Orchard House has location and space to its advantage. To this end beyond the landscaped gardens, planning permission has been granted for an additional dwelling, giving rise to many options to suit personal circumstances. The current house has its own double garage, complimented by a good sized workshop.

Balfours are marketing Orchard House with a guide price of £600,000. For more information call Scott Kemsley on 01743 353511.

Please click here for further information.

Orchard House Main

Orchard House Living Room

Orchard House Kitchen

Orchard House Building Plot

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Farming Talk – Implications Of Holiday Diversification

04/07/2017

Following an increase in demand over the past decade, many of Britain’s farmers and landowners have been gearing up to provide farm stay holiday accommodation. It has been widely reported that there is a demand for accommodation with a tangible link to the ‘real’ day-to-day workings of rural Britain, and on-farm lets are therefore becoming increasingly common. Though it is possible to be cynical about such marketing spiel, there are opportunities available for those that are interested.

There are a number of reasons why such an enterprise may make sense for businesses looking to diversify. A let could create a separate enterprise for family members to take charge, as a step on the ladder toward further responsibility. Alternatively, it could help to justify the renovation or conversion of disused assets.

A number of issues should be considered if businesses are looking at diversifying in this way, beginning with the marketability of the asset. It is important to assess the options on the market in the local area and consider if your proposal will sell; price is not the only factor. Creative farmers have gone one step further, using various objects from shepherd’s huts, through to a converted Sea King helicopter. 

Another point to consider – as for any new enterprise – is the additional pressure it will place on man hours. Such enterprises can be time-consuming and, consequently, some choose to partner with external cleaning or marketing providers, reducing the pressure, but also, the return. 

Holiday lettings are rated standard for the purposes of VAT. Depending on your business, it would be important to consider if you wanted such an enterprise to be run within a VAT registered business (allowing some limited VAT recovery but increasing the end price) or as a separate non-VAT registered business.

If assets are to be converted or created then the possible implications on future inheritance tax should be discussed with your advisors, likewise if it is possible that such assets may be sold.    

Finally, there is the question of business and personal privacy. We are fortunate to live in a part of the country which provides more space than most get to enjoy. If paying guests are to be welcomed onto a holding, then the implications in terms of practical day-to-day working, and the privacy of all, should be thought through.

Holiday accommodation is an enterprise that can work well for some but, as with all investments, it is important that professional advice be sought before decisions are made.

Jack Cooper is a land agent with Balfours, based in New Windsor House in Oxon, Shrewsbury, and can be contacted on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. should you wish to discuss your farm holiday accommodation plans.

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Development sales are driven by detail. We collect as much knowledge of the site as we can and present it clearly to the potential buyers.

From paddocks to country estates, through commercial and residential farms our knowledge of the market and strong marketing help drive sales and purchases.

From charming cottages and town houses to country homes and estates, we offer a wealth of knowledge and experience to help you sell your house on the right terms for yourselves.

It should be no surprise that Balfours is Shropshire's largest residential lettings agent: We know how to position a property on the market.