PROPERTY – Properties with added value by Mary Wilson

Octagon's Kingswood Warren Park, the company’s latest flagship development.

Octagon’s Kingswood Warren Park, the company’s latest flagship development.

Article from FOCUS Magazine – Summer 12 issue.

Everyone is looking for good value, whether it be when they buy a new car, a new TV or a new home. The good news is that property values are holding up and in prime areas, where the shortage of properties is biting, going up.

But purchasers still have the luxury of being able to take their time, so any house or apartment that can offer added value is likely to sell quicker than one that cannot.

If you love gardens but don’t like the hassle then The Isabella, one of thirteen splendid apartments at the magnificent Grade II listed Hatchford Manor in Cobham, could be for you.

Kingswood Warren Park by Octagon

Kingswood Warren Park by Octagon

Surrounding the Manor are ten acres of equally magnificent gardens and because these are communal, they can be enjoyed to the full without the effort of  looking after them. The second floor apartment has period features, three bedrooms (two en-suite), kitchen/breakfast room, elegant living room and dining room and is for sale through Savillls’ Cobham office for £1.2 million. There is also a communal tennis court.

Savills’ Weybridge office has a very pretty thatched house with a lovely outdoor pool and tennis court called Crane Cottage. This is in Burhill, tucked away down a private road adjacent to Burhill Golf Club. With six bedrooms, dining room, drawing room, conservatory and ground floor en-suite bedroom, which is currently being used as a gym, Crane Cottage is for sale for £2.95 million.

The same agent’s Esher office is marketing Sharpenhurst in The Mount, which has a very contemporary and light interior and a large top floor ‘bonus’ room with skylights – perfect for a games/media/chill out room. It has five bedrooms and beautiful rear gardens with a swimming pool and views over the golf course beyond. The house, which was built last year, is for sale with a guide price of £3.95 million.

And Savills’ Sunningdale office is selling The Willows in Chobham, which has a stunning conservatory by Marston & Langinger, used by the current owners as a dining room. This country house, which has four bedrooms and three reception rooms, plus annexe with sitting room, kitchen and shower room is in 15 acres and is for sale for £2.195 million.

“Although there is a shortage of supply, purchasers are still being picky and the crunch point is added value” says Kevin Chapman of John D. Wood’s Cobham office. “We have a couple of new homes on the market for £2.4 million, both of which would have sold quickly if they had had a gym. Footballers look for a gym and a cinema room, Indians love as many bonus rooms as they can get and Russians want smoking rooms. We recently sold a house to a Russian buyer with a cigar hut in the garden!”

He is selling a six bedroom family house in Oxshott, which has the benefit of a cinema room, gym and sauna, heated outdoor pool and hard tennis court. Badgers Bend is set in 1.25 acres on the edge of the village. There is under floor heating to the ground floor, a magnificent reception hall and lovely garden and patio areas. It is for sale for £3 million.

The same office is marketing a splendid six bedroom house on the St George’s Hill Estate, which has a leisure complex with indoor swimming pool and gym, floodlit tennis court, two integrated garages and a staff annexe. There is also a snooker room with a beamed ceiling, brick feature fire- place and built-in bar and a large conservatory. Eastwood is for sale for £4.65 million.

John D Wood’s Esher office is marketing Lime House in Esher Close, which is a new house of 5,434 square feet with a fabulous ‘bonus’ room taking up the whole of the top floor. With five bedrooms, four bathrooms, drawing room, large open plan kitchen/dining/family room and study, plus integral garage, the house is set behind electronic gates and has been built to a very high standard and specification. The property, which is also being marketed by Jackson Stops & Staff, has a guide price of £2.495 million.

Broomfield House in Windlesham has a fabulous L-shaped conservatory, which has state-of-the-art air con-ditioning and blinds, and doors that are completely draught proof so that it doesn’t make the kitchen chilly in the winter. The conservatory also links the main house with the pool complex, with Jacuzzi, steam room and changing rooms, plus built-in bar. This impressive family house has five bedrooms, six reception rooms, CAT 5 integrated audio systems with speakers in many of the rooms, an intercom facility and state-of-the-art Rako mood lighting. In grounds of 1.7 acres with triple garage and staff flat above, the house is for sale for £4.995 million through Barton Wyatt.

The Cottage in Thorpe is more affordable, but still has a lot to offer including a mezzanine floor above the master bedroom, Jacuzzi en- suite bathroom, a beautiful, but manageable, garden and con-servatory. It also has five fireplaces including a large inglenook fireplace and a fireplace in the master bedroom and oodles of period features. Barton Wyatt is selling The Cottage, which has four bedrooms, three reception rooms and garage, for £995,000.

Hamptons is selling a late Victorian house in Teddington, with a bundle of added value – it has a private mooring, a very pretty boathouse at the end of the garden and plenty of history. The Anchorage is a very unusual detached house by the side of the only private man made creek, Broom Water, off the river Thames. The house retains many period features with beautiful parquet floors and the prettiest of windows. If you watched Roald Dahl’s Tales of The Unexpected, which was on TV in the 1970’s/80’s, you might recognise the interior of the house as it was used many times for the opening shots of the series. The current owner’s children learnt to row and swim in the creek and they hold an annual regatta in which all residents take part with their families and friends. The six bedroom house is for sale for £3.35 million.

And for £12 million you could buy a really fabulous house in Wimbledon. Lampton House is a seven bedroom Edwardian property, just minutes from the Common. It sits in a half acre plot and has been restored to a very high standard by the current owner, who has devoted seven years to bringing the house back to its former glory. He has even created an authentic looking Gothic folly for the garden. The house has four very large reception rooms, a massive Clive Christian bespoke painted and oak finished kitchen/ breakfast/family room, five en-suite bedrooms and a look-out room, accessed from a spiral staircase inside the tall turret to one side of the house. But what really gives this house added value is the brand new lower ground level, which is flooded with natural daylight from the central ‘sunken garden room’ with a giant glass atrium roof. On this floor there are two guest bedroom suites, an indoor pool, sauna, gymnasium and extensive temperature controlled wine cellar. At the bottom of the recently landscaped gardens is a barn-style roofed outside dining terrace with log-fuelled oven and a kitchen preparation area. Robert Holmes is the agent.

On the new homes’ side, added value is also an important factor to attract buyers. David Smith, head of group marketing for Octagon Developments, comments “people are often astounded by the lengths we go to add value, which can, often as not, result in a successful sale”.

At Kingswood Warren Park, the company’s latest flagship development, along with marble halls and staircases, contemporary fireplaces, sleek contemporary kitchens and bathrooms with giant shower enclosures, Octagon has added some invisible extras – air source heat pumps and above average insulation to keep energy consumption down. And every property comes with fully planted and landscaped gardens, often involving the importing and installing of mature trees.

Fourteen individually designed detached family houses are being built within 19 acres of private parkland around the original mansion, which is being converted by Octagon into eight elegant apartments. Another plus is that each home has the benefit of beautiful communal gardens and woodland areas to wander in. Prices for the five bedroom houses range from £2.6 million to £3.75 million and the apartments from £650,000 to £1.7 million.