Harry Gladwin, Head of the Cotswolds Region for The Buying Solution, reveals how he’d spend his lottery winnings
You’ve won the lottery! Your wealth advisor has recommended how much you should put away to pay for necessary and important elements such as saving for your children’s education, pension, investment and charitable donations. They have allocated £3.5m of the pot to invest in property.
Where would you buy?
I grew up in Chipping Campden in the North Cotswolds and today, I live with my wife and two children just north of Chipping Norton. With my lottery money, I’d probably look towards the north-eastern end of the Cotswolds, that part which tips out of Gloucestershire/Oxfordshire and into Warwickshire, and, specifically, around the villages of Whichford and Ascott. It’s far off the beaten track of tourists and the rolling countryside is relatively unspoilt—much of it won’t have changed over the past 50 years and yet it’s still accessible.
I’m at the stage in life where I still need to get to London on a fairly regular basis. As my children grow up, they’ll want to be near towns with facilities. From the eastern Cotswolds, it’s both easy to head into Oxford on the A44 or get on a train to London—there are stations in Moreton-in-Marsh, Banbury and Oxford Parkway. Driving to London is easy too, with journey times of about 1h 30 mins. This area is also extremely handy for Soho Farmhouse which is a great place to meet friends, play a game of tennis or go to the gym.
And what would you buy?
I see so many beautiful homes in my job, however, I’d try and find a site to build my own house. Style-wise, I’m open to whatever the site would lend itself too: I’ve seen good examples of both contemporary houses and traditional new builds and, lately, planners seem to prefer designs that are in keeping with the surroundings with an element of innovation. The position would be important and I’d want to build something that maximised the opportunities to enjoy views over the Cotswolds.
The challenge will be finding a site — they are few and far between, especially within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. If a site with a few acres came to the market, I estimate it would cost at least £1.5m to buy and I’d need the same again to build a house. As a family house, I imagine it would be about 4,000 to 5,000 sq ft with enough entertaining space to have friends over but without being too large. I’d like a tennis court as I’m a keen player and some grazing for ponies and sheep.
And what about the change?
If I had anything left over, I’d buy a bothy in Scotland. Much of my family is scattered from Edinburgh to Aberdeen. It would be great to have somewhere where we all convene. I particularly like the Cairngorms and as my wife is Canadian, owning somewhere in the Highlands is about as close as we can get to British Columbia while remaining on British shores.