Harry Gladwin and Mark Lawson discuss the affect of the current mortgage climate within the prime residential property market. Read more here.
Jonathan Bramwell and Harry Gladwin speak to The Times on the affect mortgage rates are having on those with second homes. Read about how we are seeing an increase in the sale of second homes here.
The Buying Solution’s Harry Gladwin discusses how the current house price uncertainty is leading to more off-market opportunities. Read more here.
Buying a house can be daunting and stressful at the best of times, but what if your dream home came with the responsibility of owning a piece of Britain’s history? For nearly half a million home owners in the UK this is a reality if they own a listed building, in other words, a building that has been judged to be of national importance for its architectural or historic interest.
Whether it’s a chocolate box cottage, a city town house or a sprawling country estate, the joys of owning a small part of our heritage can be immensely satisfying and rewarding. Listed homes are usually lovely to look at and are – full of character and history – this is what attracts people to them in the first place. There can, however, be downsides. Here are some key points to consider before buying a listed building.
1. Love what you see
Make sure you really like what is there when you purchase as you may be stuck with it. If you are considering making changes after you purchase, make sure to consult a seasoned architect or planning advisor who is used to dealing with listed buildings and has a good relationship with the Conservation Officer within the Council.
The law requires that listed building consent be granted by the local planning authority in conjunction with English Heritage for any alterations which affect the character of the listed building. The controls don’t normally extend to replacing the bathroom suite or kitchen units but most other alterations will require consent. If in doubt, speak to the Listed Property Owners Club, your local planning authority or your dedicated buying agent.
2. Alterations are difficult but not always impossible
Remember, it is often easier to make additions to listed houses than to remove or change anything existing. Adding an extension or indoor pool which doesn’t alter the main property is likely to be easier than removing an original feature, however small, even if it’s a fireplace or internal wall. If a feature is specifically mentioned in the official listing document, you haven’t got much of a chance in changing it, so check this very carefully (these can be found online here).
Grade I and II* are the higher grades which represent only the top 7% of listed buildings. Most buildings are listed Grade II. If you apply for listed building consent to make alterations, greater weight will be given to preserving the architectural and historic significance of the more highly graded buildings. English Heritage will also be consulted on these applications. It’s worth bearing in mind that all buildings are listed with a view to preserving their character, whatever the grade.
3. Beware of historic work on the property
Check the building’s listing date and any works carried out by the current or previous owners since that date have been done correctly, with appropriate listed building consent and, if relevant, planning permission. If the property does not correspond exactly with the approved plans on the consents, you as the new owner may be the one who has to reinstate any previous works. Beware of Enforcement Action.
There is no time limit to when a local planning authority can require unauthorised alterations to be reversed. It goes without saying that you need to be very cautious if you suspect alterations have been made without consent.
When a building is listed the whole building is protected, inside and outside. In fact, statutory protection extends to the building itself, anything attached to the building and any building within the curtilage of the building. If it transpires unauthorised changes have been made to the property by a previous owner, this may have an impact on you being able to mortgage the property and insure it.
4. Think seasonal
If you’re buying in the summer, make sure the property is going to be warm enough in the winter. Old windows can often be drafty and gaining consent for double glazing is usually not possible
5. Make sure you’re covered
Be prepared for larger insurance premiums if the property is listed similar to if it is thatched. With any insurance quotes you get, make sure you read the policy and check exactly what you will be insured for as many people make the mistake of being under insured A policy obtained from an online comparison site is unlikely to be sufficient. Check that the provider will cover the full cost of a rebuild to the conservation officer’s standards should the situation arise.
The Listed Property Owners’ Club is Britain’s only advice service dedicated to helping members get the most from their homes by providing detailed guidance, information and support for just about every conceivable issue associated with ownership.
A reputable buying agent will have good knowledge of these issues and make introductions to appropriate experts prior to purchasing to avoid clients inheriting these problems.
The Buying Solution’s team has over 200 years of collective experience in purchasing listed buildings, we pride ourselves on giving our clients the best advice which is part of our winning edge in ensuring they buy the right property for their needs.
- Biscuiteers are hosting spook-tacular biscuit icing events in both Belgravia and Notting Hill this half term (SW1W or W11)
- Try your trick or treating luck on a walk from Abbotsbruy Road to Ilchester Place (W14).
- Chelsea Phsyic Garden are running a few family friendly events over half term; including pumpkin carving, broomstick making and a wild immersive theatre experience (SW3).
- Or head to Chiswick House and Gardens for a spooky fun-filled trail for all the family – new for 2022 (W4).
- Halloween at the Tower of London (EC3N) follow in the footsteps of their infamous prisoners as you wander the Tower grounds at the spookiest time of the year.
- Hard Rock Cafe (W1K) are hosting a ‘Lil’ Monstars Halloween Breakfast’ on Sunday, 30th October.
- Head over to the London Transport museum (WC2E) for a host of half term adventures, including a bat-tastic craft workshop and a trail through all of London’s historic transportation.
- Cupcake baking has had a spooky makeover at Sauce by The Langham (W1B). Children aged between 4-10 can learn key techniques and an understanding of the fundamentals of baking.
- One of the most famous streets in London for celebrating Halloween is Hamilton Terrace (NW8). Wander the length of this terrifying terrace, carry on through Carlton Hill and Clifton Hill for a prime Trick or Treating location.
- Famed for the Jonathan Ross Halloween party, take a spooky stroll up Hampstead Way for a look at some incredible Halloween-ey houses (NW11).
- St John’s Wood is the home of the American School in London; you’ll be sure to find all sorts of ghouls and ghosts around Waverley Place on the 31st October. (NW8)
- Primrose Hill’s (NW3) spooky stroll – start at Chalcot Square and head down Chalcot Road, Fitzroy road and the surrounding areas.
- Join a host of creepy characters around Lauderdale House and Waterlow Park(N6) at the most sinister time of the year.
- Don’t forget the older children: try The Stranger Things Experience (NW2) where they can be the hero of their own story alongside their favourite characters.
South & South West
- Clapham Old Town is a great trick or treating spot south of the river. Head down Orlando Road (SW4) to marvel some of London’s best dressed houses.
- Follow Positively Putney’s tick or treat trail with all the family (SW15).
- The Backyard Cinema have a host of Halloween films to watch this half term at the UK’s most magical cinema (SW18).
- Kew Gardens’ Mexican-themed festival, the Mexico Family Fiesta, runs during the month of October and includes dance workshops, a chance to dress up, and parades, all ahead of Day of the Dead on November 2nd (TW9).
- Berkeley Castle Ghoul School (Gloucestershire) a fun, interactive audio extravaganza for all the family to enjoy, set in a glorious medieval fortress.
- The Watercress Line (Hampshire), a family friendly steam train experience hosting Wizard Week from 24th-30th October.
- Rogate Pumpkin Patch (Hampshire) – a wonderful day out for visitors of all ages. This sustainable and authentic experience features themed areas such as Dracula’s Estate and Merlin’s wood. (14th-30th October)
- Painshill Park’s (Surrey) Fairy Door Trail – wooden fairy doors are hidden around the woodlands and lake for you and your family to find.
- Blenheim Palace’s (Oxfordshire) after dark trail is a spooky, fun-filled Halloween adventure. Be prepared to wind your way through the illuminated haunted woods filled with creepy neon cobwebs, ghastly ghouls, wicked witches, larger-than life spiders and beastly bats.
- Hatfield House (Hertfordshire) is a short drive from London. Although they state they are keeping it ‘humble’ this half term, they promise a few surprises along the way. The Parks and Garden’s will be open from 22nd-30th October. Their park trailer rides will be open on the hour from 11am-3pm.
Just remember, only trick or treat the houses with Halloween decorations.
The Buying Solution’s Harry Gladwin discusses ’20 British villages that have gone up in value’ with Anna White from The Telegraph. Read more here.
The Buying Solution’s Harry Gladwin featured in the Sunday Times about why there is such a desire for three/four bedroom properties. Read more here.
Giles’ apple tart is the perfect way to use up any fallen apples you have left over, or to create the perfect warming pudding for friends and family as we now enter into the Autumn months.
250g of Puff Pastry
Apples (roughly 6 depending on the size of your apples)
1 lemon juiced
2 tbsp caster sugar (reduce if you would like it to be less sweet/caramelised)
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp butter
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Spread the shortcrust pastry onto a dish, prick the bottom with a fork and store in the fridge.
Peel the apples, remove the core and cut them into thin slices.
Melt the butter in a saucepan then pour it over the apples in a bowl.
Add the sugar to the cinnamon and mix the apples by hand so that they are perfectly coated.
Arrange the apples on the pastry.
Put in the oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.
If you can, leave to cool before tasting.
The perfect opportunity to buy can be something of a myth at the best of times. When you consider the major socio-political events in the UK during the past month, it seems as though the backdrop to buying a property continues to become increasingly turbulent as opposed to showing any signs of settling down.
With the Chancellor unveiling his new Growth Plan as part of the mini-budget last week, we’ve seen the start of big changes to the UK’s economy, including the largest package of tax cuts in generations. We’re also seeing the pound fluctuate against the US dollar, therefore many of our international clients are now understandably viewing prime properties in London or key country hotspots as an appealing place to invest. We expect to see many more top-end UK homes snapped up by overseas buyers over the coming months.
As ever, when there is uncertainty in the market, particularly in the wake of a new Prime Minister and with inflation rates continuing to rise, for those looking to invest their wealth property is often seen as a safe haven. We’re seeing an increasingly polarised market emerge, with growing disparity between the top and bottom ends both in London and the Country. With this in mind, buying the right property has arguably never been more important, and it’s particularly pertinent to enter into such financial investments with your eyes wide open to all possibilities.
During conversations with clients, we are often asked ‘do I really need you?’, in reality the answer is no. We are not essential to someone’s property purchase; anyone can walk into an estate agent and buy a property. We understand that we are a luxury, but is it a luxury in which you really cannot afford to indulge?
One fact about an uncertain market will always remain true: it’s crucial to get the right advice. Access to off market opportunities are perhaps one of our greatest strengths, having access to the right address book and properties cannot be underestimated. What is often overlooked is the certainty you really are buying a good investment that will be easier to sell in any market condition. When the market is particularly buoyant, stable and most importantly moving in a steady upward trajectory, mistakes are fairly easy to rectify – for instance, any financial over payment will be absorbed by capital growth. However, when there is uncertainty, you want to own a property which is easily marketable in a depressed market. We are here to ensure you do that.
As your trusted buying adviser, we are here to protect you from buying badly. This involves proper due-diligence on the property and area, experience and expertise from a team who have worked through upturns and downturns in the market, with the knowledge of the right areas to invest and an ethos to secure the best deal for the client.
We work closely with buyers and take a great deal of care to listen and understand their immediate and long term needs. We can identify the best area and help to negotiate the best price when the perfect property has been found. We consider everything from currency fluctuation to future political policies, and have the ability to position our clients as the best buyers with a justifiable price, that could potentially save you – our client – thousands, if not millions of pounds.
I can’t imagine buying a house in London without the help of TBS. I wish there was a TBS for everything tough in life. And because this business is made of people. They are absolutely outstandingClient Testimonial
Jonathan Bramwell discusses the impact of the recent Stamp Duty changes on the Prime Property market. Read more here.