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Idyllic Cottage Farm, with plot potential

11/01/2022

Cottage Farm, found in an idyllic rural location, half a mile from the sought after and vibrant south Shropshire village of Clun has been launched to the market.

The three-bedroom farmhouse, with studio annex is set within one acre of picture-perfect countryside, enjoying outstanding views. It provides potential for a building plot, subject to planning. Balfours Ludlow sales manager, Scott Kemsley, comments: “This is a stunning property, the accommodation has charming character and the whole has much potential, including the studio annexe as an immediate homeworking space.”

Currently there are two reception rooms, each with original beams and the main lounge with impressive stone inglenook fireplace with woodburning stove; plus, the south facing garden room which opens to terrace and main lawn.

Also reflecting the age and history of the property, it has a true farmhouse kitchen with oak beams and feature stone wall; glazing to two aspects offers an abundance of natural light.  A lobby gives access to the utility and wc. From the central hallway, stairs ascend to provide three double bedrooms, one with en-suite and two with their own well positioned shower-rooms.

Cottage Farm is marketed with a guide price of £695,000, call Balfours on 01584 707100.

Cottage Farm Main

Cottage Farm Conservatory

Cottage Farm Bedroom

Cottage Farm Garden

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CAAV exams passed hot on the heels of new job

22/12/2021

One of Balfours newest recruits to the Hereford office, has finished the year on a high, passing exams to become a Fellow of the CAAV - Central Association of Agricultural Valuers.

Andrew Price, who joined Balfours as an Associate Land Agent last summer, says he is over the moon to gain the highly respected qualification. Since joining the company Andrew has been involved in a number of complex valuations, which he says stood him in good stead for the exams’ comprehensive valuation work.

Balfours associate partner Bryn Hill, says: “We are delighted for Andrew, it is much deserved as he has given 100 percent, not only starting a new job, but ensuring he is totally up to speed and exam ready.

Andrew, who graduated from Harper Adams University in 2015, then worked on several key Herefordshire estates before joining Balfours. Now with exams behind him, he is looking forward to an exam free zone. However from his North Herefordshire home base he and his partner are enjoying the challenge of training their cocker spaniel puppy: The idea of a test or trial for her is some way in the future.

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Guide-lines greenlight to reassurance

21/12/2021

By Property Sales Office Manager, Abigail Barker MNAEA

At Balfours we are providing the greenlight and reassurance to vendors and buyers involved in appraisals and viewings. We have put in place comprehensive protocol to ensure that we all keep safe during yet another flare up of this horrid pandemic.

Measures are from the obvious, that households must sign up to be free from displaying symptoms of Covid-19, or isolation. Viewings will be limited to a maximum of six people from two households. Where possible we are grateful to clients who are willing and able to oversee viewings themselves.

Alternatively Balfours staff are happy to conduct viewings, should the vendors prefer to opt out. Our staff are regularly undertaking lateral flow tests to protect both our clients and ourselves.

We are advising: That facemasks should be worn by all involved. When possible longer conversations should be conducted outside; that all items likely to be touched are cleaned prior to viewings with antibacterial cleaner. Better still, where practical, doors are open, and lights switched on. Plus hand sanitiser and antibacterial cleaner at the ready.

The good news is there will be some fresh property choice coming to market in 2022. Despite the uncertainty of Covid there are ‘New Year resolution sellers’ who are seeking to take advantage of the traditional Boxing Day bounce in buyer demand.

Balfours full Covid Safe guidelines are available. Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year.

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All change - right to rent update

21/12/2021

It’s all change again for prospective tenants from overseas. The way in which Biometric Residence Card (BRC), Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) and Frontier Worker Permit (FWP) holders evidence their right to rent is changing. From April 2022, BRC, BRP and FWP holders will evidence their right to rent using the Home Office online service only, presentation of a physical document will no longer be acceptable.Consequently, from April 2022, landlords will no longer be able to accept or check a physical BRC, BRP or FWP as valid proof of right to rent, even if it shows a later expiry date. However, landlords do not need to retrospectively verify the status of BRC, BRP or FWP holders who entered into a tenancy agreement pre April 2022. 
 

Right to rent checks  Landlords must check that all prospective tenants have a lawful immigration in the UK before entering into a tenancy agreement in England, to avoid being liable for a civil penalty. There are two types of right to rent checks: an online check and a manual check. The type of check landlords are required to conduct will depend on the status of the prospective tenant. An online right to rent check is required for all BRC, BRP and FWP holders, as well as individuals who only hold digital proof of their immigration status in the UK. To carry out an online right to rent check, landlords will need the applicant’s date of birth and their share code, which they will have obtained online. For further information for landlords on how to use the online services, guidance is available on GOV.UK 

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Ask the expert by Charlotte White, Balfours Associate Land Agent

17/12/2021

We are considering borrowing expand the farm business. Do I need to get the farm professionally valued first?

You probably have a rough idea of the farm’s value, sufficient to open discussions with the bank but they won’t consider significant finance without a current valuation of business assets. Such a valuation can be the basis on which to make major strategic planning decisions and provide a format and structure from which the foundations of a business plan can be accurately drafted.

Formal valuations for the bank, are usually prepared by an RICS Registered Valuer working to RICS rules and regulations - known generally as the ‘Red Book.’  As a RICS valuer we are methodical and structured in our approach to ensure your valuation is a fully informed, current and accurate reflection of your assets. Red book valuations are also needed for probate and taxation, or whenever you look to pass on an asset.

The question doesn’t indicate the size of the farm, but as an example, the average 300 acre equipped arable farm will demand some 8-10 hours of professional time spent inspecting the property, undertaking desktop research and gaining market evidence; add to this desk top research and administration.  Such expense could help to avoid significant later problems should the valuation be challenged.

Our report which is likely to run to some 30 pages, is justified and supported with sound evidence, all of which must be recorded and itself represents a weighty file.

Never underestimate the value of a valuation. Future generations are likely to thank you for taking time to take stock of your business, rather than just “running” it. Charlotte White BSc (Hons) MRICS FAAV, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Avoid the liabilities of an empty property

16/12/2021

Empty properties are a liability at any time, but during the winter months there are additional risks to manage. The easiest way to retain the physical well-being of a property is for it to be inhabited. I know you’re thinking, she would say that, because letting property is what I do for a living, writes Balfours head of lettings, Jackie Monro, FARLA FNAEA .

However, as landlord you can dictate the terms of your let and if you wish it to be short-term that can be catered for. Trust me I have seen the deterioration and even devastation that can be caused when a property is not lived in, particularly in the winter.

If you currently have an empty property, make sure that the house is either kept around 12 degrees centigrade, or that the water pipes are drained down, though in my experience the former is a much better option. There are two ways to ensure an ambient temperature: keep the heating on all day and night, with the thermostat set at 12 degrees; alternatively set the heating to come on twice a day, early in the morning and late in the evening, at around 14 degrees.

The heating will negate damp, condensation and risk of frozen pipes. It is also worth opening cupboards, especially under sinks and basins, to allow warmer air to circulate through the whole house. Don’t forget external taps and hoses which need disconnecting and or insulating. Make sure you and anyone else responsible knows where the stop tap is.

Of course, there is security to consider too. A neighbour might be your best eyes and ears, with the help of external security lights. Finally, do remember that insurance companies often have clauses for vacant properties during the winter. All in all it might just be easier to invite us to find you the right tenant, bringing with it the peace of mind that your property is in good hands.

Issued by and more information from Joy Fox Pr 07841 763 530

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