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Jack Qualifies As Valuer


Jack Cooper, Balfours land agent has successfully passed his CAAV (Central Association of Agricultural Valuers) fellowship exam.

He is thrilled with his latest achievement, at the end of a year when he passed his RICS APC (Rural Institute of Chartered Surveyors, Assessment of Professional Competence) and earned promotion to an Associate within Balfours.

Jack explains: “The CAAV is a specialist professional body qualifying and briefing rural surveyors on the full range of issues facing our client’s businesses, as well as carrying out an important role providing expert advice to policy makers and other organisations.  

“Membership of the CAAV ensures agents have a thorough and up to date understanding of the challenges and opportunities our clients may require us to assist with. From valuations to farm business management, tenancy matters to taxation. The CAAV is vital in ensuring that we are well placed to provide informed advice and the best possible service to our clients.

“We aim to achieve excellent value, whether when providing strategic farm and estate management advice, or when dealing with individual considerations such as: the sale or purchase of property, lettings, valuation and compensation, securing finance, advising on stewardship, or implementing a diversification project.”

However Jack, who is based at Balfours head office in Shrewsbury, concludes: “Our strong appreciation of value is not only financial value, but also what matters to our clients, their wider objectives, and how the right outcome might be achieved for any individual situation.”

Jack Cooper

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Green Shoots – Game On


The property market has revealed a new dawn in a new decade with greater traction, writes Alistair Hilton, Head of Sales at Balfours.  It’s as if the nations head has been cleared and the moment we stepped into 2020, communication lines are all of a buzz.

There is of course a caveat; stability has dominated Shropshire’s housing market throughout the Brexit trials and tribulations; but with considerably less stock coming to the market.  We were talking to many prospective clients, but caution had dictated a “wait and see” stance, in turn creating a softer market. While softer, has meant slower, values have stayed firm thanks to low interest rates and, limited stock.

Now we are seeing stock levels quietly rise, offering greater choice to a pent up market. There are those who are seeking to move up or down organically as their personal circumstances dictate and those who are seeking to move for strategic reasons; reasons which cannot always be put on hold. Now we are seeing certainty send up the first real green shoots – game on.

Those vendors who have been sitting in the wings off market are now seeing their patience rewarded and choice is beginning to open up for our list of potential purchasers.  In the past three years we have learnt much about holding properties “off-market.”

Even at this point, it is better to be prepared should you be considering a sale. There is a considerable amount of preparation to be done in bringing a house to market; only when it is ready to launch – are you really in the driving seat to dictate exactly when to launch. But in the meantime – it may well match one of our “pent-up purchasers,” thereby never actually coming to market yielding a good sale for minimum stress and cost.

At Balfours, Scott Kemsley in the Ludlow office and Charlie Giffard and myself working from The Square in Shrewsbury, are here to advise and guide you through the business of selling your home, should that be your objective during 2020.  Thank you to those of you who have picked up the phone to us, remember - you never know – a buyer for your home may already be on our books.

Team pic Nov 19 FAVE

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Ludlow a National Treasure


Ludlow is once again in the spotlight as an outstanding town to live in. On this occasion The Times is praising the South Shropshire market town as a great place for those seeking retirement place to settle – but with an abundance to occupy mind and body.

The Ludlow Lifestyle

Quality of Ludlow life is a phrase that Scott Kemsley, Balfours Ludlow sales manager, frequently hears from vendors and prospective purchasers. He reflects: “Ludlow is a hugely vibrant town, just as The Times says; there are many seasonal festivals from spring right through to Christmas – but lifestyle goes much deeper than that with music, fringe arts and foodie experiences available literally 365 days of the year.”

He reflects: “What we sometimes forget is that most of the festivals for which the town is renowned are spearheaded and driven by local people; be it local businesses or people with a passion and of course many of those are lucky enough to have the time because they are retired and now following their passions.

The town’s architecture and surrounding countryside with AONB – Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – status are another source positively influencing people’s lives, according to The Times. Scott adds, Ludlow really does have it all, beautiful buildings, the Castle and Churches punctuated with the most amazing medieval heritage which is truly uplifting to body and soul.”

If you want to get close to nature there are fabulous walks with the River Teme running by the town and the wonderful hills, there are 34 listed in the area, including Tinkers Hill to Caynham Fort nearby to Brown Clee and Caer Caradoc further afield. “It is not difficult to see why The Times has again identified Ludlow as a national treasure and featured The Old Bell House, Ludford. It’s a stunning Grade II* Elizabethan house overlooking the River Teme which ticks all the boxes, including a swimming pool. It really is an intriguing property, guide price of £1,575,000,” says Scott.

Old Bell House - main

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Prime Barn Conversion


Open views compliment this exceptional Grade II* listed barn conversion with wonderfully spacious rooms where character is plentiful too.

Prime Location with Exceptional Finish for Sale in Shropshire

Number Four, Pentre Morgan Barns is located at St Martins, near to Ellesmere and Oswestry; it offers the perfect base for commutes north to Chester, Wrexham and Liverpool, while Shrewsbury and the Midlands are equally accessible. The location also provides an excellent choice of state and private schools.

Accommodation comprises of an entrance hall, with staircase and diner/study area, a generous living room all fitted with oak flooring, French doors to the garden and a stunning kitchen dining room with sleek gloss cabinets and fitted appliances, finished with granite worktops including island.

Alistair Hilton head of sales at Balfours explains: “Number Four sits in a prime location with wonderful views and a large corner garden, with terrace and extensive lawn which is a great space for children, or potential canvas for the green fingered.  It was converted just ten years ago, with underfloor heating and double glazing contributing to its EPC rating ‘C.’”

On the first floor there are four large double bedrooms, two with en-suite facilities. The package is completed with a utility and cloakroom, plus carport and storage in a separate timber garage.

Balfours Estate Agents Shrewsbury are marketing 4, Pentre Morgan Barns with a guide price of £420,000.

For further details please visit our Property Sales Page.

Pentre Morgan Barns - Main

Pentre Morgan Barns - Garden

Pentre Morgan Barns - Lounge

Pentre Morgan Barns - Kitchen


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Farming Talk, Frances Steer


Thirty Million Trees


The new Government pledged in their manifesto to plant thirty million trees per year over the UK. With such large numbers being discussed it is difficult to get ones’ head around what the implementation of this would look like.

To put this into context, 56% of UK’s land area is farmland and 34% is existing “nature land” moor, heath and forestry totalling an approximate area of 53 million acres.  If you assume the nature land is already planted or sequestering carbon that leaves 30 million acres of farmland remaining capable of being planted.

That equates to one tree per acre per annum.  To look at it another way it is half of the population in the UK planting one tree a year. This certainly does not seem impossible. 

However with tree diseases as well as an ever increasing population, housing and food production continue to increase the pressure on land use in the UK.

Co-ordinated and long term thinking and ensuring any tree planting is in an appropriate location will be key.  Landowners should think carefully about how trees can be used to minimise both their carbon footprints as well as those of companies potentially looking to offset emissions. Contact Frances Steer BA (Hons) MSc MRICS FAAV to discuss further. 

sy20 edited-1 RUSSELL DAVIES


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Christmas Opening 2019


Our offices will be open throughout the festive period, apart from public holidays on the 25th, 26th December and 1st January 2020.

We wish you all a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.



Christmas Card Pic

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