Property features

A classy address

By Charlie Jacoby, November 19, 2009

Estate agent Savills has published research showing that access to a good school has an important effect on local house prices. Homes in the vicinity of the top-performing 25 per cent of secondary schools now cost 16 per cent more than their county average, up from 13 per cent in 2007. Homes in areas with a combination of good state and independent schools can be worth two or three times their county average. During the recent downturn, property prices around the top 25 per cent of schools fell by just under 16 per cent, suggesting that good schools can help recession-proof a home.

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On course for luxury living at historic Hertfordshire golf-club

By Charlie Jacoby, November 12, 2009

Restoration expert PJ Livesey has built 10 spectacular apartments and two mews houses, in a private, gated setting at Hatfield & London Golf Club in Essendon, Hertfordshire. Called Essendon Park, the scheme is priced from £695,000 to £1.5 million.

Essendon Park is 28 minutes from Kings Cross, via Brookmans Park station. Each home has a bespoke interior. Kitchens feature Miele appliances and granite surfaces; bathrooms are finished with hand-made materials.

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Agent's 20th anniversary

By Charlie Jacoby, November 12, 2009

Estate agent David Harris & Co is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The firm, in Finchley, north London, opened on August 1, 1989.

David Harris, principal of the firm, recalls that because of the terrible economic conditions in the late ’80s, the timing could not have been worse.

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Auction 'club' début

By Charlie Jacoby, October 8, 2009

The inaugural sale of newly-launched auctioneer Network Auctions, held at Hatfield House, Hertfordshire in September, saw sales of £2.5 million from the 28 lots offered.The packed auction room — attended by more than 250 people — saw lively and competitive bidding for the properties.

“The auction results completely surpassed our expectations,” says Toby Limbrick, director of Network Auctions. “Our vendor clients were extremely happy and our estate agent members who had entered property in the sale on their clients’ behalf were also delighted with the result.”

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Bushey strikes the right note

By Charlie Jacoby, October 8, 2009

Bushey proved the ideal town-country combination for downsizing couple Michael and Karen Neidus. They had decided to move from their three-bedroom townhouse in Edgware, Middlesex into a new two-bedroom apartment, in Stanmore or Bushey.

“We chose The Collection in Bushey as our ultimate dream home,” says Mr Neidus. “It is a small development of only 13 apartments in a beautiful area on Little Bushey Lane. I’m in the music business, so central London must be accessible to me by road or rail. And now we have the added advantage of being just that little bit further out.”

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Film location for Italian homes

By Charlie Jacoby, September 3, 2009

Property development on the Mediterranean is under way again, after a short pause for recession. Next spring, Villa Isabella is to open on the island of Ischia, Italy, close to Capri and Procida.

The property is being turned into ocean-front apartments, set above the hotel and spa L’Albergo della Regina Isabella.

All seven apartments will have views of the Med and owners will have access to the facilities of the hotel.

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Retiring to rural life - in London

By Charlie Jacoby, September 3, 2009

Tony Locke, 63, was concerned about his move from the rural idyll of Epping Forest to London, but it turned out to be full of a pleasant surprises. Mr Locke, a project manager for a construction company, says: “Work commitments made it impossible for me to stay in Epping Forest, but when I decided to move from my secluded house to London, I was prepared for a big change!

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Garden homes yield early fruit

By Charlie Jacoby, August 6, 2009

Fancy a spacious two-bedroom garden apartment in Mill Hill? Ridgemont, a development by Countryside Properties and Annington Homes, is now offering garden apartments and a pair of these, on the ground floor, has just been released. They are due for occupation in March 2010 and have been brought to the market early, as so many apartments have already been sold at Ridgemont since the start of the year.

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Valuable assets to business

By Charlie Jacoby, July 30, 2009

Some of the best-known braves from the last property boom have joined big chief Jonathan Vandermolen in his new venture, Your Development Partner, a specialist asset recovery and management business.

Mr Vandermolen himself set up and ran upmarket estate agent Blenheim Bishop.

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A guesthouse with history

By Charlie Jacoby, July 30, 2009

Anthony Silver met his future wife, Marianne, in 1981, when they were both working in London. He was director of sales in a trading company and she worked for a multi-national pharmaceutical company. They sold their house in Muswell Hill, north London in 1993, through estate agent Winkworth, to pursue a common dream — of running a gîte business in France.

They chose a house in the Tarn, called le Manoir de la Maysou. They felt that the area offered the perfect blend of warmth, countryside, delicious food produce and a local international airport, Toulouse.

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