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Christmas Office Opening Hours


Balfours would like to wish you all a very happy Christmas.

Our office opening hours over the festive period are listed below:

Monday 24th December - Open until 3pm

Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26th December - Closed

Thursday 27th and Friday 28th December - Open normal hours

Monday 31st December - Open until 3pm

Tuesday 1st January - Closed

Wednesday 2nd January to Friday 4th January - Open normal hours


Thank you.

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New Year – The Future Is Now


The holiday period presents a time for reflection, the year past and the future. What might have been a subconscious thought becomes a serious consideration, or a eureka moment – for some that will be a house move, writes This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., of Balfours.

For us as agents, invariably the New Year sparks off a flurry of enquiries from home owners who are contemplating trading up, or down, to relocate locally or further afield.  The first meaningful intention is to invite agents to value the house – as that will be a driving factor to properly evaluate your options.

As good practice, two or three agents should be polled to give their thoughts on the house and when the prices come back, it is tempting to see the dangling lights of what one agent predicts against another. Why not go for the higher price, what is there to lose? Actually an excessively high price can put off buyers who may, once through the door have gone that extra £10k, because they recognise it is exactly what they want. A perceived “good buy” can also generate counter offers, taking you to precisely where you wanted to be.

Due to Brexit the property market is seeing very variable valuations. It is prudent that you select: The agent who you think will provide the right advice and who is prepared to tell it how it is – rather than what the vendor wants to hear, simply to gain an instruction; the agent who will be at the end of the phone at that critical moment, however out of hours that might be and the agent who will stand your corner, when the time comes.

Always look at the bigger picture. Does the offer help you to make that next move as New Year ambitions aspire to –and have you got your new home lined up? This year we would advocate back-to-back selling and buying – just to be the right side of any unknown Brexit vagaries. 

Does your agent know the market well enough for you to trust when guidance and counselling are required? No two sales are the same, but we, at Balfours, would like to think that if you are contemplating a sale – these considerations will stand you in good stead for the year ahead, wishing you a happy and fruitful 2019.

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Ask the Expert by Charlie Giffard


Q: I’ve got a set of lovely old farm buildings, which are no longer fit for purpose. What are my options in terms of development?

First of all you have to consider what purpose the farm buildings lend themselves to, structure, proximity and location. The options include residential – long term or holiday; commercial – offices, workshops, storage. You have to ask how any of these uses and activities could affect the rest of your farm business and indeed your lifestyle, either positively or negatively.

Once you are comfortable that you can live and work with such a development, perhaps close by to the farmhouse, or to farm activities there is the matter of planning. How far do you want to take the farm buildings yourself? Do you want to retain ownership of the development and generate an additional income? Do you have the financial resources, time and expertise to take on such a project in addition to your farming activities? Or are you risk-averse, so perhaps it is better to take a clean break and re-invest in the farm or an alternative enterprise?

If you are to choose the latter option of selling, there are a number of ways to secure a buyer, either via the open market or a joint venture. What timescale would be acceptable to you? Whichever way the sale is conveyed protection can be put in place, to ensure the safety of your neighbouring farm assets and the current enjoyment. 

Further, don’t under estimate the potential disruption while development work is taking place, such as the need for storage and site facilities and the site set-up costs. If you chose not to develop the buildings, what will become of them?

It is likely that there will never be an easier time to gain planning on redundant farm buildings. April 2018 saw the parameters for such projects extended to five residential units, or less with greater floor space.

The soundest advice is to seek professional guidance and ensure that all stake holders and, or family members, are comfortable with the chosen route. Finally, it is worth remembering that there are a finite number of “old farm buildings” they don’t build them anymore – and diminishing supply always holds some residual value.

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Capacity Audience At Professional Briefing


A capacity audience attended Balfours’ annual professional briefing at the Mytton and Mermaid. The Balfours Xtra event gave lawyers, accountants, bankers and other professionals involved in rural land and property matters an update on current legislation and the market place.

The whistle stop tour addressed a number of key areas in property and land management: Namely development opportunities; alternative enterprises; farming options, farm business tenancies and contract farming. Alistair Hilton and Charlie Giffard addressed the residential property market, while Charlotte George highlighted the fast changing lettings legislation.

Business manager, Craig Varley, commented: “We have very positive feedback and attendance for the Xtra, not least because whether you are serving your client by assessing the figures, or providing legal protection, our briefing goes someway to bridging the gap between the rural practice and interlinking specialist disciplines.”


shrews speakers

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Residential And Commercial Package For Sale In Shrewsbury


Step-back and look up, then step inside. That’s all it takes to be enchanted by one of Shrewsbury’s grade II* listed, half-timbered hidden gems, according to agents Balfours.

Town centre heritage – freehold home with commercial uplift

This eclectic residential and commercial package is located in Mardol, part of the town’s thriving centre; 26 and 26a Mardol currently comprises of two ground floor shops, incorporating shared kitchen and cloakroom facilities.

The first floor radiates a wow factor with its open plan half-timber living room, games room and dining room, plus separate kitchen and pantry – in all extending some 1000 square feet. There is also a porch, balcony and roof terrace to the rear.

The well placed central stairs split to provide access to two generous double bedrooms, plus a third double bedroom and family bathroom. Then there is a separate duplex annex, currently used as a rewarding holiday let. In contrast this ultra-modern annex has an open plan lounge kitchen plus two bedrooms and shower room.

Head of sales at Balfours, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. comments: “Such properties are in limited supply – it is one of those gems which make up Shrewsbury’s heritage, yet it sits anonymously, offering the incumbents superb access to Shrewsbury’s commerce and lifestyle. For anyone seeking a free-hold property in the centre of Shrewsbury this is a more than worthy candidate.”

Balfours are marketing 26/26a Mardol with a guide price of £625,000. For more information call Balfours on 01743 353511.

For further details please visit our Property Sales Page.

26 Mardol Main 



26 Mardol Kitchen

26 Mardol Annexe

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Professionals Briefing at The Balfours Xtra Seminar


How to successfully negotiate a compulsory purchase “notice to treat” was among the topics presented to some 40 Herefordshire professionals.

Compulsory purchase among rural matters briefing to professionals

The Balfours Xtra event, held in Hereford recently (Nov 27,) was aimed at linking professionals, including solicitors, bankers and accountants with aspects of rural estate management. The audience heard that as the Hereford bypass preferred route debate continues surveys, involving walking over land may be acceptable, while any invasive exploration work may give rise to compensation.

Balfours associate partner, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., based at the Whitfield office told the audience: “Where invasive work is to be undertaken access agreements should be in place. There could well be compounds required too and only too frequently the space required is more than anticipated. It is wise to employ an agent from the outset to ensure fair compensation, which will include agent fees incurred,” he adds.

Once landowners are served a notice to treat they must be on their metal to respond within 21 days. He explains: “As some will know, a notice to treat cannot be served on a solicitor or agent. It has to be on the landowner who has just 21 days to act on that notice; during lambing or potato harvest that time can soon disappear.

“Again it is advisable to seek professional guidance in responding to the notice to treat,  in order to ensure correct information is submitted – incorrect and lack of information can lead to possible penalties. Mitigating losses through compensation can be claimed by owners and most tenants, but not graziers,” he adds

Bryn explained that whilst compensation for land or property taken is set at open market value, there are additional elements that make up a claim for compensation following compulsory purchase. Such claims may include depreciation in value to retained property and for disturbance caused during the construction works.”  

Speakers also revealed the strength of the Herefordshire and borders property market, for unique properties and those with land, throughout 2018 and the lucrative opportunities of alternative enterprises, for property in the right location.

Guest, Graham Worton, Balfours speakers, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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