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Country market stronger with greater demand and healthy supply


Balfours’ London office has seen a 37% increase, in the last two months, of prospective buyers looking to move out of London; a surge driven by a cocktail of global and local factors, according to head of sales at Balfours, Tim Main.

The initial catalyst to the increase was the stabilising of the London market and the Prime Ministers’ announcement of the referendum on our EU membership. Other underlying factors contributing to the switch, from the capital as a sellers’ market, to a buyers’ market, include global economic turmoil, increase in stamp duty in 2014 and 2016 and the fall-out from the Panama papers.

Tim Main explains: “Our London Office research has revealed that the majority of applicants move out for their children, either for schools, or a better quality of life. However, affordability and lifestyle change have jumped up the list.

“Other factors are modern mobile technology enabling greater flexibility to work from home, part or full time. People are also realising London is increasingly congested meaning it can take less time to commute from the country than from their existing London base. It is fact that some London journeys are taking longer today than they did a century ago.

”Director at the London office, Bob Bickersteth comments: “The country market is much stronger, with greater demand and a healthy supply of properties – the surge in enquiries is good news for rural counties, such as Shropshire.

”Tim adds: “In recent times we have been able to achieve sales with London buyers who are on a mission to make the next chapter in their lives happen. Next week we hope to build on the drive for rural retreats when we will be attending ‘The Move to the Country Show’ at The Chelsea Old Town Hall. Here we expect prospective buyers to be seeking the spectrum of country properties, from country estates and rectories to farmhouses and cottages.

This year’s “Move to the Country Show” will take place on Thursday 28th April 2016 between 2 and 7pm at The Chelsea Old Town Hall, London, SW3 5EE.

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Driving for legal landlords


Would you use a car without current paperwork of its safety and legality? If the answer is no, Charlotte George, MARLA asks: “Why do so many landlords and tenants enter into flawed agreements for residential properties?

”She says research recently released by one of the UK’s leading insurers found that one in ten private landlords have no formal agreement in place with their tenants. It also found that of the landlords who don’t use a letting agent, more than half use adapted tenancy agreements from either old agent contracts or other landlords, or an updated template downloaded from the internet, similar to an outdated MOT.

Charlotte says: “We were quite staggered to learn that of landlords who don’t use letting agents, 58% used adapted tenancy agreements. The lack of professionally reviewed tenancy agreements may explain why more than one in eight (13%) landlords have experienced disputes specifically arising from tenants’ rental contracts in the past two years.

“Letting legislation is changing so quickly that we all have to be on our mettle. The Tenant Deposit Protection scheme is a positive move to ensuring landlord tenant issues can be sorted efficiently, in terms of time, money and hassle factor. Despite the TDS being a legal requirement since April 2007, 9% of landlords have not informed their tenants that their deposit is in a government-backed deposit protection scheme and incredibly 4% haven’t even taken a deposit from their tenants.

”She continues: “It is basic that tenants and landlords need a contract in place to protect both of their interests. Contracts, deposits and deposit protection all help to make clear what is expected from each party when renting a property, and to minimise disputes where possible.

”When it comes to rights and protection, 38% of landlords in England have never heard of the government’s ‘How to rent: the checklist for renting in England,’ which explains the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants and it is a legal requirement that tenants are given a copy of this. “We would urge landlords to familiarise themselves with the checklist as a minimum, or better still talk to a professional – just as you would before getting behind the wheel of an unfamiliar car,” Charlotte adds.

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Highly desirable cloistered convenience


A four bedroom dormer bungalow situated in a quiet and private cul-de-sac, west of Shrewsbury has been launched to the market.

Two Aspen Grove is situated some two miles from Shrewsbury town centre and one mile away from Radbrook Green’s comprehensive amenities. Shropshire’s county town not only offers fine dining, theatre, but also shops and an excellent selection of state and private schools.

Accommodation comprises a large reception hall, a living room which is bathed in light, with glazing to three aspects, including patio doors to the rear garden. The kitchen is well designed offering excellent space; adjacent are the dining room and conservatory. Also from the kitchen there is access to the garage and utility room.

The master bedroom with en-suite and a second bedroom are to be found off the reception hall, where stairs lead to the second floor with two further bedrooms a family bathroom and study.

Balfours town sales manager, Alistair Hilton, comments: “Two Aspen Grove boasts a cloistered setting with a wraparound garden. The accommodation is well presented and very flexible, perhaps most important is its convenience to Shrewsbury and local facilities, which makes it a very desirable location.”

Two Aspen Grove, Shrewsbury is marketed with a guide price of £525,000, for more information call Alistair Hilton on 01743 353511.

Please click here for property details.


Aspen main


Aspen living


Aspen kitchen


Aspen master bed


Aspen reception hall


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Bungalow - idyllic outlook, convenient proximity


Outlooks from this three bedroom detached bungalow belie its proximity to civilisation.

Reaside is situated on the fringe of Meole Village, two miles South West of Shrewsbury town centre and less to Meole Brace Retail Park. Yet mature trees and pasture frame landscaped gardens which in turn surround this well presented bungalow.

The approach is by a double drive, where a hooded vestibule in the elbow of this broadly “L” shaped bungalow offers a welcome into the entrance hall from which all reception rooms can be accessed.

Double doors offer a formal entrance to the dining room while the kitchen offers ample workspace with fitted units and island. In addition there is a utility, two cloakrooms, and a double garage.

From the main hall an innerhall offers access to each of the three bedrooms, the master room offering en-suite facilities, while a family bathroom serves the other two rooms. There is also a significant storage cupboard within the inner hall. An additional bonus is to be found in the adjoining double garage which has space for a workshop area too.

Agent, Alistair Hilton, town sales manager for Balfours says: “Such high quality and well positioned bungalows are not easy to find, but this is certainly one such opportunity. The flow of rooms is excellent and it is very well presented with fabulous gardens. Reaside, is marketed with a guide price of £450,000, for more information call Alistair Hilton on 01743 353511.

Please click here for property details.


Reaside main


Reaside garden


Reaside living room


Reaside kitchen


Reaside bedroom

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An evening of film


Balfours joined with FBC Manby Bowdler to host a film evening recently (April 7), commencing with a drinks reception at Balfours’ office in The Square, Shrewsbury – then slipping across to The Old Market Hall in the Square where guests were treated to a private viewing of Youth, starring Michael Caine.

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Pictured at the drinks reception

Naomi Nicholas, Paul Nicholas, Carla Risdon, Louise Leadbetter and Abigail Barker.

Tim Main, Andrew Young and Jackie Young

Olivia Conway, Laura Conway, Nicky Conway and Joan Gregory

Alistair Hilton and Hazel Stephan

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Exhilaration of mountains, beaches and woodlands on doorstep


A five bedroom house dating back to the 17th century, together with three cottages set in six acres is on the market with a guide price of £850,000.

Lodge Park, which dates back to the 17th century,  is situated beyond a private drive, one mile from the village of Tre’ R Ddol, equi distance from Machynlleth and Aberystwyth, some nine miles each way. The much loved Ynyslas beach is just four miles away.

Agent, Tim Main of Balfours, says, “This is a phenomenal package for anyone seeking a lifestyle or business, adjacent to the Snowdonia National Park, renowned for walking, climbing, canoeing and mountain biking; with the beach and sea on the doorstep too . The six acres of grounds incorporating formal and walled gardens is set within Forestry Commission woodland.”

The main house has four reception rooms; layout currently comprises kitchen breakfast room, dining room, each with bay window, sitting room with three magnificent bays, study, utlity and wc. On the first floor there are five bedrooms and two bathrooms. Within the main house an annex offers kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, living room and games room.

Within the grounds are a two bedroom bungalow, a three bedroom Coach House and a pretty three bedroom cottage with balcony, currently used as an office.

Says Tim: “This is a fascinating opportunity for a family and or business to live the dream, it has tremendous potential within a most idyllic and dramatic landscape.” For more information call Tim on 01743 353511.

Please click here for property details.


Lodge Park main

Lodge Park 3bed cottage

Lodge Park kitchen

Lodge Park reception room

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