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Timber framed character in heart of village


One of Minsterley’s most picture perfect timber framed houses has been launched to the market by Scott Kemsley of Balfours.

The four bedroom grade II listed home comes with garden and a large barn providing garaging and significant internal space.

Says Scott: “Brook House is a gem of a property which dates back to the 17th century and has been thoughtfully and extensively restored optimising wonderful period features, whilst ensuring lifestyle comforts. It is also situated in the heart of the village within walking distance to the primary school, village store, public house and petrol station.”

The ground floor comprises three reception rooms - a bespoke kitchen diner, utility and cloak room and bathroom. On the first floor the master bedroom benefits from en-suite facilities, while fitted wardrobes feature in one of the three other bedrooms.

“Among Brook House’s period features are an inglenook fireplace, oak floorboards and exposed studwork and beams. A very precious bit of heritage is to be found in the dining room, which has a naïve painting showing,” Scott adds.

Outside, in addition to the barn, there is a large garden and parking for up to five cars. Pontesbury is just 1.5 miles, while Shrewsbury and Telford are 10 and 24 miles respectively. Brook House is marketed by Balfours with a guide price of £350,000. For more information call Scott Kemsley on 01743 353511.

Please click here for property details.


Brook House main


Brook House garden terrace


Brook House Kitchen

Brook House Sitting Room


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Property frenzy to beat stamp duty


Shropshire’s estate agents experienced a frenzy of activity this week, triggered by the Chancellor raising taxes on second homes which is implemented today (April 1).

Head of sales at Balfours, Tim Main, said “In recent weeks we have seen record breaking turn arounds, as buyers who already have interests in other properties have focused to invest before last night’s (31.03.16) midnight deadline.  

“Our final coup was for one of the county’s most prestigious homes, the grade II listed, 18th century, Eyton Hall, to exchange and complete in a week. The main package of the seven bedroomed Hall, which has been sympathetically and extensively restored enhancing its exceptionally fine architecture, was marketed with a guide of £1.6 million.

“I’m sure we wouldn’t be alone, in experiencing a peak yesterday, it was happening across the whole of the country. From now, anyone purchasing a second home will be faced with an additional 3% stamp duty land tax (SDLT).

“This meant the last few weeks have been very active for estate agents and solicitors; whilst the average time for a property conveyance in recent years has extended to 12 weeks – buyers and solicitors have really pulled out the stops to meet the deadline.”

From now on anyone buying a second home with a purchase price of £300,000, the extra 3% Stamp Duty will equate to £9,000 (3% of the entire price). This is in addition to the £5,000 regular Stamp Duty bill on a home of this value, making the total Stamp Duty payable an eye-watering £14,000.He continues: “We have had a significant number of sales go through in record breaking time this month, which is hugely refreshing.” 

He added that the sale of Eyton Hall exchanged and completed in a week, which included the Easter bank holiday weekend!

Tim reflects: “Wouldn’t it be nice to maintain this momentum of conveyancing; we certainly wouldn’t want the market overheating, but it would be good for a sale agreed to exchange and complete within a month.”

Eyton Hall

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Opportunity to leap frog into green energy


There are still a surprising number of derelict rural cottages and old farm buildings lurking behind the ivy and down green lanes, which farmers for very good reason may not wish to sell off their holding. Renovation can seem daunting both in cost and organisation.

However, your surveyor has an armoury of skills to help you plan and realise a rebuild, whether it be for letting potential or the family’s own holiday enjoyment. It is rarely worth abandoning these properties where new planning consent in the ‘open countryside’ is so hard won these days.

Each year Balfours project manages a number of developments primarily in Shropshire and Herefordshire and Wales. The aim varies from four star holiday let status, to enabling the owners to enjoy their special rural retreats.

We have also achieved turnaround on properties, so isolated that they have never benefitted from mains services. Green sustainable energy is now leapfrogging properties out of the 19th century into the 21st century, bypassing prohibitive hook-ups to mains facilities.

One such project, a former keeper’s house in south Shropshire, is now back in family use with rain water is collected from roofs, pumped to an existing reservoir and fed back to the house by gravity for general use and through a cartridge filter for drinking.

Heating comes from two separate wood burners and a wood-powered rayburn stove, providing energy for radiators and from solar panels for hot water. Electricity is powered by solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and a vertical wind turbine.  It is stored in batteries; there is also a back-up generator.

An initial feasibility study can ensure project costs are budgeted and that the right service choices are made. Even telecoms, phone and internet are integral and essential to a refurbishment project and may well come through a satellite link-up.

Contractors can be recommended and overseen within the realm of the stringent construction and design management, safety regulations and with due diligence for our furry bat friends. Renovation can seem daunting both in cost and organisation; all in a day’s work for a Balfours surveyor in Shropshire, Herefordshire or mid-Wales.

Julia Phillips is a rural surveyor based at Balfours Herefordshire office.

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East Shropshire Offices – secluded yet accessible


Offices in an idyllic village location, yet close to major link roads and towns have been launched to the market to let.

Situated in The Old Estate Yard, in the centre of the picturesque village of Badger, in East Shropshire, the offices offer 450 square feet of space each in a calm and private location within the triangle between Telford, Bridgnorth and Wolverhampton. The two offices each have wc, kitchenette and ample power points, and parking

Agent, Susie King of Balfours comments: “These would suit anyone who wishes to have secluded surroundings in which to welcome clients; yet is no more than ten miles from each of three major conurbations. The offices have been recently developed and therefore are fresh, ready to go at £396 per calendar month

“The other bonus is that Badger is a most picturesque village, the church overlooks the pool where the resident ducks may try to share your sandwiches at lunchtime,” adds Susie.   For more information and to view the offices please call Susie on 01743 241181.

Badger offices

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Earning and learning accountancy


Adapting into employment gradually and applying learning straightaway are two bonuses which have proved a highly successful alternative to university for accounting apprentice Nathan Baker.

Nathan undertook school work experience placements, one as a trainee chef and the other in Balfours accounts department. He recalls: “This made me realise what I did, and didn’t want to do.” His positive impression of Balfours was mutual and as a result in 2012 the company offered him an apprenticeship linked to Herefordshire and Ludlow College.

Four years on and Nathan is in his second and final year as an ATT (Association of Accounting Technicians) Level 4 Higher Apprentice. Already having achieved Levels two and three through the day release system. He reflects: “As I have progressed through the levels, responsibilities have increased here at work. This includes a variety of tasks throughout the year with regular reporting sent to clients; their positive feedback gives me a sense of achievement and job satisfaction.

“There is a lot more to an accountancy apprenticeship than just being good at maths - communications, dealing with external accountants, agencies and clients are integral to the work. This year in my ATT Higher Apprenticeship, I am studying Business Skills.

”Head of accounts at Balfours, Ian Williams says: “Nathan is quite a find; he has been invaluable assisting with a growing workload as our business expands and his College training has combined well, proving to be positive for both parties.

Ian adds: “There is also the not so small matter that Nathan has been earning throughout his training and therefore giving him financial independence to follow his passion for bowling and Wolverhampton Football Club – he still has a few choices to wise up on!”



Nathan and Ian

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Two bedroom bungalow


A newly fitted kitchen is part of the package at Eirianfa, a two bedroom bungalow, at Edgebolton, near Shawbury.

To be found in a quiet, yet accessible location, with garden and garage. The bungalow currently comprises of an open plan kitchen and sitting room, two bedrooms and a bathroom, each accessed off the entrance hall; plus utility off the kitchen.

Agent, Clemmie Radcliffe of Balfours Property Professionals, says: “The bungalow has great potential and indeed had planning permission for an extension which has lapsed. The space is well presented and the sitting room has a log burner offering very comfortable accommodation.”

Eirianfa is marketed with a guide price of £175,000, for more information call Clemmie Radcliffe on 01743 353511.

eirianfa main


Eirianfa living room


eirianfa bedroom


eirianfa kitchen

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