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Monday, 08 January 2018 11:11

A Crisp Finish To New Three Bedroom Homes

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The Tyrell is the latest style to be launched from the popular Orchid Meadows development at Minsterley. Balfours are marketing two three bedroom detached homes with features including a magnificent master bedroom and an integral garage linked to utility.

Balfours agent, Scott Kemsley, says: “These are beautifully presented properties opening up a fabulous opportunity, to live in the popular village of Minsterley where there is a full complement of services including primary school, plus secondary school in neighbouring Pontesbury. Shrewsbury is less than ten miles away, with easy links to the bypass and trunk roads to the Midlands and the north.”

Built by Clutton Homes, the “Tyrell” design provides reception hall, lounge, kitchen, separate dining room with French doors to the garden. There is also a wc and utility. People seeking a quality finish will find that Clutton Homes have really gone the extra mile in terms of the design and overall styling of the Tyrell,” says Scott.

Scott adds: “We are thrilled to be marketing the Clutton Homes, where their use of intelligent design techniques, quality modern fittings and craftsmanship achieve a contemporary fresh and stylish feel.”

There are currently just two, three bedroom detached homes of the Tyrell design, each with a guide price of £199,950. For more information call Scott Kemsley on 01743 353511.

Please click here for further details of Plot 39 and click here for Plot 40.

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CH lounge tyrell

CH Kitchen tyrell

orchid Bedroom

Friday, 05 January 2018 16:24

Mayfields – By Name And Nature

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Outstanding views of open countryside are maximised at this three bedroom cottage in a popular hamlet south of Shrewsbury.

Mayfield Cottage is found at Golding, just six miles from Shrewsbury and Much Wenlock, so highly accessible, yet wonderfully rural.  Semi-detached, the property has been totally renovated, agent, Scott Kemsley, of Balfours explains: “A three bedroom property in such a great location, renovated and ready for living really doesn’t come up every day. We are marketing Mayfield Cottage with a guide price of £289,000.”

The reception hall gives access to the dining room, sitting room and stairs. The dining room opens through to a fully fitted kitchen with integral appliances. Across the hallway the sitting room is a large room with working fireplace and French doors to the conservatory, the two achieve an abundance of space for family and friends. Two of the three bedrooms have fitted wardrobes, with the bathroom also off a well-proportioned landing.

On arrival the welcome is to gravel parking edged by lawn and flowerbeds. To the rear the large garden is laid to lawn and borrows the most magnificent views. Garage and log store complete the package, on the market with Balfours. For more information call Scott Kemsley on 01743 353511.

Please click here for further details.

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Mayfield Rear Elevation

Mayfield View

Mayfield Conservatory

Thursday, 04 January 2018 13:22

Little Hope – Big Dream

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Little Hope, near Welshpool, will be a big hope and reward for someone providing a wonderful backdrop to happiness.

On the market with Balfours, this 17th century cottage has undergone a large extension, the design of which flows with exceptional clarity and focus as a property with an option for two halves. Currently it provides a family home and a highly successful bed and breakfast accommodation, however the layout is so flexible as to provide for two co-habiting families with separate quarters.

Nestled in the hamlet of Hope, Leighton is just two miles from Welshpool, with all necessary services to hand. It is located on the original Offa’s Dyke and sits within an acre of garden and grounds in an elevated position on Long Mountain. The result is a magnificent uninterrupted vista across open countryside –a true wow.

The main cottage comprises of a porch, large sitting room with inglenook fireplace, woodburner and French doors. Adjacent is the library with glazing and views to two aspects and the study – a cosy hideaway. The morning room is the central point of the ground floor from which the stairs ascend to three bedrooms and a family bathroom. Beyond the morning room, the dining room is partially open plan to the kitchen achieving a fabulous social space with sleek contemporary fixtures in the kitchen. A second study, cloak and utility complete the ground floor accommodation.

Agent, Duncan Scobie, of Balfours, comments: “Evelyn and Mike Gregory have nurtured Little Hope to create a fresh and spacious home, together with a highly successful bed and breakfast business. The latter is run as Long Mountain Bed and Breakfast, which has received many awards and certificates of excellence, from Visit Wales and Trip Adviser. The guest accommodation reflects this it provides three spacious double bedrooms one with en-suite bathroom and the other two with en-suite shower rooms. A large guest dining/lounge spanning nearly six metres square and an independent guest kitchen allow the guest accommodation to be run totally separately; or for an extended family to enjoy.”

Duncan adds: “There are surprises and pleasures throughout the property, the staircase and floorboards and some internal doors are wonderful features preserved in the old part. There are also two large garages, a workshop and plant room.”

Outside features include stone wall, coach lamps punctuating the lawn and a haha wall to maximise the views. The property is reached via a tarmacadam driveway with ample parking and sweeping lawns which virtually encircle the property.

Balfours are marketing Little Hope with a guide price of £725,000 for more information call Duncan Scobie on 01743 353511.

Please click here for further details.

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Little Hope Sitting Room

Little Hope Kitchen

Little Hope View

One of South Shropshire’s top homes, marketed in 2017, with its own private runway, and state of the art cinema room has sold within its £2m guide price.

A new build state of the art farmhouse, Edge Farm, was completed in 2013, incorporating high tech electronics and efficiencies. Located at East Wall, the 44 acre property is set within South Shropshire’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Runway and helicopter access are complimented by conventional access via its own private drive. Edge Farm is equi-distance between Much Wenlock and Church Stretton and yet just 40 miles from Birmingham.

Agent, Duncan Scobie of Balfours reflects: “We are delighted to have closed the sale of Edge Farm. We had strong interest and ultimately there were two parties in serious contention. The vendors had lavished greatly on Edge Farm; the his and her dream home included a sleek and unique designer kitchen breakfast room with bi-fold walls of glass and polished stone floors and granite worktops set within an abundance of space, plus a cinema room.”

The house which comprises of 9,000 feet over four floors includes three reception rooms plus reception hall, seven bedrooms and five bathrooms.

Duncan adds: “Edge Farm wants for nothing; it is in a fabulous private location and boasts a breath-taking interior. The sale reflects that there are buyers out there who are happy to make a significant investment in the right property despite political uncertainties. The sale bodes well for 2018 and  we are delighted that both our client and the buyer have the deal sealed in time to celebrate Christmas.”

For more information call Duncan Scobie on 01743 353511.

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Edge Farm Kitchen

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Thursday, 21 December 2017 16:20

H20 – The Power Is In Planning

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There is one major take home lesson in the creation of a new micro hydro scheme, planning and preparation are key; now twelve months up and running Maesgwm Hydro Scheme is testimony to dogged determination and has exceeded performance targets.

On the Brondanw Estate, in North Wales the Maesgwm Hydro Scheme was more than five years in the planning. After this gruelling journey, construction commenced in late August 2016. The weather remained kind throughout the four months it took to run water past the turbine and into the power hungry finishing post.

The Scheme is within the boundaries of Snowdonia National Park Authority (SNPA) where, ironically, hydro on the Brondanw Estate has been harnessing energy since 1902, nearly half a century prior to the establishment of SNPA in 1951. 

Agent of the Brondanw Estate for more than four decades, Jonathan Lovegrove-Fielden, a partner at Balfours, takes up the story: “The Estates’ first 1902 hydro system is in the magical Croesor Valley, with a big reservoir in the hills and a turbine house at the bottom. When we re-built the Cwm Croesor hydro system in 1997, we quite literally put the new turbine in the corner of the old original turbine house.”

The Maesgwm Hydro Scheme passed planning in 2015, after five years scrutiny involving the planners, local communities, a variety of “ologists,” the technical team and of course the Trustees and tenant farmers on the ground  - who nurtured the whole project. Planning and expert adviser costs made up a not insignificant portion of the £800,000 to finance the project, which is forecast for payback within 10/11 years. Against which the turbine has a life expectancy of 20 to 25 years, the penstock piping a 60 to 80 year time-frame and the stone clad Turbine House - built like a shepherds hut - 200 years.

Design was driven by engineer Mike Woolcock of Kiem Water Limitedtogether with Renewables First of Stroud.  The main contractor was Alan Jones of GHJ Civil Engineering, Pwllheli and the turbine was supplied by Hydrolite of Swansea.  Jonathan explains: “The whole thing was brought together by Mike Woolcock who helped me project manage the construction and installation.”

The intake at 235m above sea level is the starting point, followed by 840 metres penstock piping, with a 128 metre drop to a Turgo 99kw capacity turbine within the turbine house. The energy created is then fed into the grid via £100,000 worth of cabling. The stone clad and well insulated shepherd’s hut not only fits in aesthetically but absorbs the significant  noise made by the turbine.

Jonathan continues: “We have reduced the amount of water we take out. This was predominantly due to protecting bryophytes – aquatic lichen. Bryophytes are most prominent in fast-flowing, soft-water streams draining upland catchments thriving in lots of spray and gushing water. Wales has an exceptional diversity of bryophytes. As a result restrictions also include limiting intake during seasonally reduced rainfall.”

Nevertheless the project remained viable with an anticipated output of 355,000kw per annum, powering some 125 Welsh homes. The energy generated is fed directly into the national grid, with the Estate receiving the Feed in Tariff and top up payment.

He adds: “The spirit of the Trustees work is as custodians of the landscape right down to the micro-level, and as such they remain true to Clough’s ethos. Small scale hydro achieves on all levels: High conversion efficiency of 70 to 90%, and far higher than other technologies; zero carbon footprint; as a well-designed project it is environmentally benign and can encourage ecology allowing, and in some cases enabling, fish and aquatic species movement. Finally sustainable income enables further investment in the estate and local community.”

Tenant farmers, Lewys Williams and son Rhys, who are second and third generation farmers on the Estate, and Richard Pearson have all been pivotal in their cooperation. “Richard farms the land on which we have installed the intake; he has been hugely helpful regarding the new installation. Already he assists with the timber contract for the Estate’s Renwable Heat Incentive (RHI) plant, heating the main house together with some half dozen houses and the Estate caffi.”

Jonathan continues: “The Williams’ have also embraced the Maesgwm project with the whole of the Penstock piping crossing the land they farm and culminating at the turbine house. “They have been enthusiastic and helpful throughout the planning process. As their farming regularly takes them past the turbine house Lewys and Rhys are now responsible for the maintenance contract for the turbine. It’s another string to their bow – their main farming enterprises are sheep and Stabiliser cattle. However this isn’t their first deviation into renewable income, with the family installing solar panels on land they own nearby – and outside the SNP.”

Jonathan concludes: “We commissioned the turbine January 2017 and by September it had exceeded expectation. We anticipated generating 355,000kw/annum – by September we achieved 320,000kw, which is amazing given the low rainfall.”  To discuss the project in more detail Jonathan Lovegrove-Fielden can be contacted at Balfours on 01743 241181.

 

Sir Clough Williams-Ellis was given control, by his father, of the Brondanw Estate in 1908, aged 25 years, at the time he wrote: "Nothing, just then, could possibly have been more ecstatically welcomed by me... The guardianship of a rambling old Carolean Plas set in a wildly romantic little estate among the Welsh mountains that had been held by my family for over four centuries was well calculated to inflame me."

It was indeed a fortuitous match, directly tapping into his professional prowess as a highly successful and well-known architect and so it was as a result of financial success that he galavanised his Estate and created the Portmerion Village. Five years prior to his death in 1972 to protect his property and ensure its conservation he created a Foundation, now known as the Clough Williams-Ellis Foundation. Today the Foundation is run by eight Trustees, four of whom are direct descendants, the balance being local people with specialist skills or knowledge, including the Vice-Chairman of the CLA Cymru David Wynne-Finch.”

The green ethos of Clough and his wife Amabel remains a corner stone of The Foundation and the Trustees interpretation of Clough’s vision, specifically to "Cherish the past, adorn the present and construct for the future."

trustees

Michael Woolcock - Engineer, David Wynne-Finch - Trustee, Christine Wallace – Wife of Julian Wallace, Iwan Huws - Trustee, Dafydd Iwan - Trustee, Menna Angharad - Trustee, Julian Wallace - Trustee

penstock piping installation

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shepherds hut construction

the power house

Wednesday, 20 December 2017 16:10

Barn Conversion With Convenience

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Granary House is located in the pretty hamlet of Edge, near Yockleton. It is a charming three bedroom barn conversion and is on the market with Balfours.

Located less than eight miles from Shrewsbury and three from Pontesbury, Granary House is in a quiet rural location, yet with good access to services, including schools and the major road networks.

This grade II listed property has been finished to a high standard, including solid oak internal doors and generous down lighters which highlight character features. From the reception hall, double doors beckon to the lounge/dining room which benefits from dual aspect windows. Here the seasonal focal points are the inglenook fireplace with wood burner and French doors to the garden.

The kitchen breakfast room offers ample storage cupboards in cream finish, complementing the wooden worktop and floor, while black electrics, including a large Range Master oven proving a contrast.  A cloakroom and under-stairs storage completes the ground floor. Upstairs the master bedroom is en-suite, there are two additional bedrooms, one with built in wardrobes, plus a family bathroom.

Agent, Duncan Scobie of Balfours comments: “The property is very well presented. It provides garden to the front and rear, including patio area. There is a rare feature of a double garage set within the curtilage of the plot.  Balfours are marketing Granary House with a guide price of £342,000, for more information call Duncan Scobie on 01743 353511.

Please click here for further details.

Granary House Main

Granary House Lounge

Granary House Kitchen

Granary House Bedroom

 

Monday, 18 December 2017 10:25

Raising Finance – Is Now More Involved

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We want to raise finance, probably £500,000 to fund several projects on the farm, including a third broiler house and a house for myself and my fiancé on the farm. Dad took a business loan half that sizeten years ago and he says the bank were very good, just a few formsand we had the money through a few weeks later. My friend says it is much more complicated these days, who is right?

Your friend is correct that increasing legislation and compliance is creating challenges for those seeking to raise funds. 

You have to prove the loan is affordable by demonstrating that there is sufficient cash in the business to make the repayments; also to carefully consider the value and suitability of the security being offered. Both these aspects now need greater consideration than before by whichever financier you approach, including ourselves as agents for the AMC.

You mentioned building a house on the farm, unfortunately since the Mortgage Credit Directive was introduced business loans can no longer be used for personal expenditure and that includes private house purchases, tax bills or other personal debts.

Anti-money Laundering (AML) requirements put pressure on timescales. Admittedly it is easier if you are looking for a loan from your existing bank but if you are considering moving to a new lender for a better deal, then full ID interrogation will be needed. Some clients, particularly trusts and charities also face questions relating to the original source of their wealth.  With you and your father, may I suggest you have an early fact finding meeting with me at this formative stage?

The process of securing a business loan from a new lender is significantly more onerous and can take from several weeks to several months depending on the complexity. Preparation is key; furthermore you must be made formally and demonstrably aware of the choices and implications of opting for fixed rate loans and the possible costs of redemption fees for early repayment. You will of course be aware that currently rates remain extremely favourable and in that regard time is of the essence.

I feel confident that together we can compile a strong case for the finance you are seeking. However I fear that today, unless you, or your father, are happy spending considerable time in the office, accessing such a loan is a minefield of form filling and information disclosure. As an AMC agent however we do the work for you and are regularly submitting applications on behalf of clients and I am pleased to say that in 2016 Balfours were rated the top AMC agency in the area, successfully securing more finance for clients than any other agent in the region.

Finally I am sure that there will be a viable route for your proposal to finance a new home for yourself and your fiancé, the first step will of course be planning permission – and that is something on which my colleagues would be happy to advise you. Rory Galliers, partner Balfours and AMC agent This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Shropshire has enjoyed a steady and remarkably certain property market during the past twelve months; indeed since the whole Brexit debate heated up nearly two years ago, perhaps the most uncertain time was just prior to the Brexit vote, writes Alistair Hilton Head of sales at Balfours.

I began writing this the first week of December, when at Balfours we were processing a number of sales agreed and exchanged during the Brexit wobble week. Then as the news came through that the British Government had agreed the first phase of the Brexit talks, we were taking instructions to launch several properties to the market and being asked to put several completions through, one for Christmas week.

This “legend,” that the late autumn and winter property market is quiet, certainly doesn’t hold credit at Balfours. We have seen a steady three to five per cent increase in house values throughout Shropshire during 2017. Shropshire has weathered the uncertainty of Brexit exceptionally well, operating in a more insular domestic market with confidence in buyers and sellers alike.

It remains too early to judge the effect the abolition of stamp duty on first time buyers will have – but one suspects that the chancellor’s gesture is a gesture which will be acted upon – and Shropshire has a good stock of homes which will fit the bill.

After deadlock, the breakthrough in the Brexit talks in the 11th hour paves the way for trade agreement talks, empowering Britain – and instilling confidence. This was a crucial stage for the economy, regarding the positive relationship Britain and Europe could achieve – and thereby freeing markets to proceed with confidence.

Going forward into 2018 we all have a better picture of what Brexit looks like and significantly, the knowledge that this is now unlikely to be a divorce where Britain is left out in the cold.

Throughout Balfours territory, Shropshire, Staffordshire and border counties, the residential town and rural markets, development and agricultural land have enjoyed a hugely positive year and running right through to the festive break. For 2018 demand will dictate what will happen to property prices. We don’t anticipate a huge influx of new stock coming to market, enabling prices of good quality, and well marketed, well priced stock, to be a commodity remaining in high demand. Alistair Hilton, is based at Balfours office The Square, Shrewsbury,  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Tuesday, 12 December 2017 16:20

Award Winning Historic Long House To Let

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If you are seeking to optimise your lifestyle surroundings, then a restoration award-winning, unique half-timbered aisled hall house, dating to the mid-15th century could be the answer. Balfours has instructions to let the three- bedroom Long House, Ty Mawr, Castle Caereinon, Ty Mawr meaning ‘Big House’ of its day.

Today the timber-framed home comprises of a magnificent full-height sitting room with a 17th century fireplace, a second south facing reception room, a study and kitchen. There is a master bedroom with en-suite, together with two further double bedrooms which have an adjacent bathroom. Part of this fine house is opened to the public, by appointment only.

Head of lettings at Balfours, Charlotte George MARLA, explains: “This is a truly unique and fabulous home with the most amazing timber frame; Ty Mawr is a rare surviving example of an important late medieval house typical of the Welsh Marches. While it dates to around 1460, it actually had been neglected to a point where in the 1970’s it was virtually derelict, partially clad in corrugated iron and housed farm stock.”

However, in 1971 it was rediscovered and ultimately fully restored in 1998 to its 17th century appearance, the restoration work winning the RICS “Building of the Year” award in 2000 for Shrewsbury builders’ Frank Galliers who undertook the work for the Powis Castle Estate and CADW – the historic building body for Wales. Today 21st century facilities include full oil central heating, garage and workshop outbuilding, parking and surrounding garden area.

Its rural situation at Castle Caerenion, provides a primary school, shop, public house and church, together with stunning scenery and walks. Full amenities area available at Welshpool just four miles away, with Newtown and Shrewsbury 13 and 23 miles respectively.

Pictured Charlotte George (Balfours) and Tom Till (Powis Castle Estate Manager).

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Charlie Giffard is quite familiar with moving house; his return to the Shropshire, Staffordshire border is his 11th move: In August he upped sticks from London with his wife, Tessa and young family – initially staying at his family home, Chillington Hall, Brewood, and just a few weeks ago moving to a farmhouse on the Estate.

Chillington Hall has been in the Giffard family more than 800 years, and so Charlie grew up with fond memories of visiting his grandparents initially from his parents’ home nearby. Then at ten years old his family spent four years in Yorkshire where Charlie’s father, John Giffard was assistant chief constable of North Yorkshire Police. At the age of fourteen and with Dad promoted to Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police, Chillington Hall became home for Charlie.

His next move was to the Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester, and then the cosmopolitan life in London beckoned. He muses: “Down in London nobody really knew where Staffordshire and Shropshire was – they are hidden gems. The family’s running joke was that living on the border, our friends only knew they had gone through Staffordshire, when they received a letter from Dad; a speeding ticket issued in his official capacity!”

With the boys, the 31st generation of Giffards, now four and two and a half years old, the couple felt the time was right to return home to the country. This included Tessa’s Catering and Events Company which attracts clients from as far afield as Cornwall and Scotland, putting flamboyance and flavour into 21sts, 50ths, weddings and even children’s birthday parties.

It is a move that suits all three generations: The young boys the freedom to roam; Charlie the opportunity to carve his career closer to home, while beginning the process of taking the reins of the Chillington Estate and for his parents, John and Crescent the chance to enjoy a gentler pace and their grandchildren.

Preservation and progress is evident since the family took residence in the 12th century, the property has developed from Norman fortified manor, to medieval manor, then Tudor additions and ultimately in 1785 Sir John Soane was commissioned to execute his vision of a new Chillington.  This time the Tudor house was removed but the relatively new south wing was incorporated into the fabric to create the Georgian house seen today.

Charlie explains each generation has contributed to Chillington: “Great Grandfather was concerned that the south wing was moving, so glass was placed to test that movement, they knew that if it cracked within a week there was a problem. It cracked on the first day and as a result he had to underpin the south wing corner, Grandfather re-wired the whole house in his time. Then after we moved in 1999, Mum and Dad have updated the whole house to a more comfortable 21st century living.”

Today the interior of Chillington Hall is all you would expect from a grand house of the period. Restoration work of original features, won the prestigious Historic Houses Association/Sotheby's Restoration Award in 2009 for the Saloon as the best refurbishment of a room or rooms in a Country House, resulting in a truly magnificent setting for any event. From weddings and other private celebrations to corporate entertainment and film set, Chillington Hall has an indefinable charm; probably because the family has never lost sight of its foremost purpose as an intimate, family home. 

Considering John retired from police service in 2006 it is evident that he, together with Crescent, has been pretty busy at Chillington in the intervening years nurturing a home, while adapting and modernizing to preserve the best of the past and create the magic of another era. Today, Charlie ponders what his future contribution might be.

Meantime, Charlie was notching up experience in central London property, initially as a residential search agent: “I was acting on behalf of clients to seek out their brief. It was a fascinating role where I saw some fantastic properties – and instigated sales that went through with breath-taking speed, 48 hours for the whole legal process to be wrapped-up, it was unbelievable to be part of.”

He then switched to the other side of the fence, selling residential property and ultimately managed a prestigious Fulham estate agency, where he relays stories of superlative and magnificent homes,” he recalls.

Now returning to home turf, he brings an equally valuable wealth of local and regional knowledge gleaned as the 30th generation to have grown-up within the bounds of his home territory and attending Shrewsbury Schools. As a result he has now joined one of the region’s leading independent estate agents, Balfours. Charlie is to build territory into East Shropshire and West Staffordshire. 

Coincidence or otherwise, head of sales at Balfours, Alistair Hilton, also developed his skills in the London residential market and also now with young family has chosen to settle with family roots in Shropshire. Alistair comments: “Shropshire is a fabulous county in which to work, particularly with a young family, here you can achieve a balanced lifestyle and for us that is enhanced with the clientele and properties we engage with at Balfours.”

Charlie reflects: “Balfours may not go back as far as the Giffards, but they are one of the county’s oldest established agents and a true success, with significant growth in the sales department since moving to offices in Shrewsbury’s Square. My base will be shared between Shrewsbury and the Estate office, so that I can provide a personal and dedicated resource within the two counties.

With his own move still fresh in his mind, Charlie adds: “For me representing the Balfours residential sales team so close to home is a great opportunity and the timing is perfect. It is hugely satisfying to guide vendors in their move and to help them achieve their aspirations.” If you would like a free property appraisal, call Charlie on 01902 544 111 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Charlie G outdoor

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