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How To Choose An Estate Agent

10/10/2017

In the first of three articles, Alistair Hilton head of sales at Balfours, examines online versus the high street agents.

If you have made the decision to sell your home, the next move is to choose an estate agent.

A traditional full-service estate agency will have an office that you can visit, ours is at The Square, in Shrewsbury. A traditional agent will normally take care of every stage of the selling process in return for a fee when the sale goes through. We work on a no-sale, no-fee basis, so if the property doesn’t sell you shouldn’t be out of pocket.

Online agencies generally don’t have offices that you can visit and normally charge an up-front fee to put your property on the market. Once launched you may need to deal with a lot of the selling process yourself. And finally there can be further charges if a sale takes place.

When this is one of the most important transactions you are likely to make, why would you put it in the hands of someone you have never met? Someone who you can only hold accountable via email and if you are lucky, telephone conversation.

It is therefore no surprise that the overwhelming majority of sellers use traditional estate agencies like Balfours.

Once you have made that decision, assuming it is the “no sale, no fee route” of a high street agent, make a shortlist: Whose for sale boards, adverts or other promotions have caught your eye? Check out their shop windows too, which ones are appealing?

Significantly all estate agents must belong to an Ombudsman scheme for dealing with unresolved complaints ie the NAEA Propertymark or RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors). Next week we will narrow down the choices and consider what to watch for in a valuation. Alistair Hilton, head of sales Balfours, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Unique Tower In Parkland

09/10/2017

Have you ever fancied your very own castle tower, The Tower, Apley Park is offering just that, near Bridgnorth.

Impressive from the outside and stunning from the inside, this four bedroom home is found in the stunning traditional landscape with 17 acres of communal parkland. The property which is designed out over four floors - remember it is a tower - has been launched to the market by Balfours with a guide price of £350,000.

On the ground floor a wonderful light dining hall, with panoramic glazed frontage and vaulted ceiling provides an impressive backdrop for entertaining. Also on the ground floor is the kitchen breakfast room with granite worktops and a range of “built-in” appliances.

On the first floor the living room boasts a gothic style window with great views and woodburner. The family bathroom and a bedroom/study are also to be found on the first floor. Ascending to the second floor a further bedroom is currently configured as two bedrooms, plus an en-suite bathroom.

TheTower‘s crowning glory is the fourth floor master bedroom with en-suite. This is where you could wake to a vaulted ceiling and four stone mullion crucifix windows, giving a 360 degree views over the Apley Estate.

Agent, Scott Kemsley says: “This is a very unique and well-presented property, situated within a courtyard, with fantastic parkland walks. The facilities of Bridgnorth and Telford are both within an easy commute, as are the major road networks.”

For more information call Scott Kemsley on 01743 353511.

Please click here for further details.

The Tower Main

The Tower Kitchen

The Tower Dining Room

The Tower Bedroom

 

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Farming Talk - Golden Carpet Leaves Branch Liabilities

06/10/2017

Farming Talk by Jack Cooper

As the leaves begin to change colour the public’s imagination is captured by the trees that inhabit the countryside. Whilst some may enjoy heading out for a stroll over a crisp carpet of leaves, landowners ought to be taking a walk to ensure those same trees will not pose an increased liability over the coming months. 

The National Tree Safety Group (NTSG) produce a document entitled Common Sense Risk Management of Trees which serves as a guide for managing the risk posed by trees on your property. Below I have summarised three points from the document which may apply to your circumstances. As with all risk management, it is important to only rely on specific advice for your circumstances, there cannot be a ‘one size fits all’ approach to such matters.

Zoning: The NTSG points to zoning as a useful management aid for land owners. This sees areas categorised according to the amount of access. Examples of higher risk areas would be those adjacent to roads, or areas which receive high numbers of visitors. It is worth noting that the Occupiers Liability Acts (1957 and 1984) place a duty of care on landowners to some extent for both ‘legal’ and ‘non-legal’ visitors (e.g. trespassers). If you are aware of informal footpaths and other non-permissive access to your land this should be taken into account. 

Inspections: The NTSG lists three ‘types’ of inspections which may be necessary (formal, informal, and detailed). Whatever regime you put it in place it is crucial that this is informed by your own specific circumstances and that it is recorded so that you can prove what action has been taken to manage the risk posed by trees on your property.   

Informal observations: Finally, anyone working on your property should be aware of the need to ‘keep a weather eye’ on trees. What the NTSG describes as ‘informal inspections’ can be made by anyone with good local knowledge. This could cover a range of people from farm employees to landowners and forestry consultants. It is worth reminding all those involved of this common responsibility. It may seem like common sense but an awareness of these issues could flag up problems before they develop into anything serious.  

Though it can seem that the administrative burden imposed by health and safety knows no limits this is an active area of enforcement following incidents and, once implemented, an inspection regime quickly becomes part of the day to day risk management common to all rural businesses.

Jack Cooper is an Assistant Land Agent, with Balfours, for more information email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Cottage By Name House By Nature

04/10/2017

An attractive residence in the popular village of Clive, nine miles North of Shrewsbury has been launched to the market by Balfours.

Set within atmospheric sandstone walled gardens, Dolphin Cottage offers a four bedroom home with links across the centuries. The main and original cottage was built by a quarry master using local Grinshill stone. At a later point a Georgian rendered frontage was added making this a very grown up house.

Today accommodation comprises of an entrance hall three reception rooms, the kitchen directly linked to the dining room. There is an inner hallway with access to cloakroom, utility and staircase descending to the cellar and ascending to four bedrooms, plus a bathroom and shower room.

Duncan Scobie, of Balfours comments: “The property is in one of North Shropshire’s most popular villages, with excellent links to the north and to the midlands. The village provides primary school, medical centre and a renowned Inn.”

A double carport and large garden shed are part of the Dolphin Cottage package, marketed by Balfours with a guide price of £495,000. For more information call Duncan Scobbie on 01743 353511.

Please click here for further details.

Dolphin Cottage Main

Dolphin Cottage Garden

Dolphin Cottage front elevation

Dolphin Cottage Lounge

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Unique Architectural Charm In Popular Village

02/10/2017

Charming gothic style windows with equilateral mullion design generates a very unique four bedroom home.

The grade II listed Old School House may have lost its playground, but instead boasts its very own swimming pool. This little piece of architectural social history is located in the sought after village of Acton Burnell, equi-distance to Shrewsbury and Church Stretton. 

There are many wow factors and unique offerings within the characterful conversion, not least the former school room which today provides a spacious split level sitting room and dining room. Agent Scott Kemsley of Balfours says: “For anyone seeking a home with history in its very fabric, this is a wonderful opportunity; it does require some modernisation, giving the new occupant the opportunity to add their personal taste.”

The accommodation comprises of entrance hall, four reception rooms, kitchen, conservatory, three double bedrooms, with one en-suite a single bedroom and family bathroom. There is a double garage and logstore.

The swimming pool is cloistered within mature gardens, plus vegetable patch and greenhouse. The property is located centrally within the village and enjoys its own approach and parking.  Local amenities are to be found within the village with private and state school available within a seven mile radius.

The Old School House is marketed by Balfours with a guide price of £515,000. For more information call Scott Kemsley on 01743 35351.

Please click here for further details.

Old School House Main

Old School House Pool

Old School House Lounge

Old School House Dining Room

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Autumn Residential Lets Are A Win Win

29/09/2017

Autumn is the time when property owners should ensure that their homes have incumbents for the winter months.

Whatever the circumstances for a house, apartment or cottage currently being vacant, now is the time to find a tenant, at least for the winter months, says Head of Lettings at Balfours, Charlotte George, MARLA.

According to Charlotte, letting is a win win situation: “Having someone living in a property will ensure that it is kept at an ambient temperature and aired throughout the winter, minimising any risk of burst pipes and build-up of condensation.”

“It also becomes more obvious, during reduced daylight hours that a property is empty, which can increase the risk of break in. The heating can be left ticking over and lights can come on automatically, but nothing is comparable to a property being lived in.”

She adds: “Of course rather than the heating being a cost, taking on a tenant also adds an income stream, which can always be invested into improvements, before the property goes onto its next destination; be that holiday home next summer, launching to sell on the open market, or for the owner to move back in.

“At Balfours we use state of the art software to enable us to hold an extensive database of tenants who are currently searching for the right property, so finding the appropriate tenant is likely to be much easier and more satisfying than sorting out a burst pipe and the resulting damage,” she adds.

IMG 7918 - Copy

 

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