Rural View Winter 2021/22 Magazine

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AT HOME - Local perspective, broad Vision -


Welcome to the second edition of “At Home” our magazine which showcases some of our recent sales, lettings, market updates and more. 2021 has been both a remarkable and incredibly strong year for rural property, which we explore in greater depth in this issue. It’s amazing how time flies, as we have now been in Tisbury for nearly 2 years. As Rural View develops as a brand, we seek to handle best in class property across all price thresholds. Last year we found many clients have been particularly attracted to us offering their properties discreetly for sale with some superb results being achieved. The wide area that we cover has continued to go from strength to strength in terms of popularity as shortage in supply and a sustained level of demand continue. The pandemic has lured buyers and tenants into areas with access to proper countryside and a more gentle pace of life. We hope that you enjoy reading this issue and look forward to assisting you with any property needs in 2022. Best wishes,

The Rural View Team

Rural View, The Loft, The Avenue, Tisbury, Salisbury SP3 6JG +44 (0) 1747 442500

Published by TBC Publishing Limited, Telephone: 01763 810042. ©TBC Publishing 2022. All rights reserved. Reproduction is forbidden except by express permission of the Publishers. The content of this magazine is believed to be correct but its accuracy is not guaranteed and it does not form part of any offer or contract. TBC Publishing Limited cannot accept responsibility for any omissions or errors. | 3


Designing a great country house kitchen… by Nick Anderson, Guild Anderson


hen buying a new home much of the excitement and anticipation can be about the changes that we can make, to place our own mark on what may be an old building. In many cases this can involve an extension or an internal re-model, and one of the most important changes can be to update the kitchen. Picturing a traditional country house kitchen we might think of beautiful cabinetry, a kitchen island, a range style cooker, a pantry or larder cupboard, a butlers sink and hard wearing flooring. We may want pan drawers, spice racks and wine refrigeration, but choosing a kitchen isn’t solely about the aesthetics. What may not be considered, but what is fundamentally the most important decision, is the layout; the flow; how the space will actually function. Guild Anderson advise that to allow for the best result it is essential that your kitchen designer is involved, alongside the architect and other trades, from the very beginning of a project to be certain that your space works. Nick Anderson, owner and Guild Anderson’s Head of Design, explains; “It is essential that the space is looked at as a whole before any building work is done. At the early stages of a project we can determine whether the space is right for the kitchen, and how we can make the space work better. Clients with a long term view want to create a kitchen that will be perfect for them and their family for the next 25 years”. Understanding the complexity of what Guild Anderson can offer alongside the architect is part of the process of creating the

perfect layout. Assessing the space, location of the windows, doors, internal walls, the possibility to extend or to make structural changes, all contribute to how the space will be designed internally and enhance the quality of the end result. Nick suggests; “It is the role of the Guild Anderson design team to intimately understand functionality in a way that our clients may not have considered. Changing little things such as moving a door can make all the difference”. Clients may feel daunted by the many choices they need to make for their scheme, but by having our own workshop with an exceptionally skilled and experienced team, enables us to design, create and install all elements. In addition we advise on appliances, colour schemes, worktops, and hardware from handles through to taps. Nick Anderson remains personally involved in every project. “We accommodate how people really live in our designs – everyone has a mobile phone and house keys, so it is important to include a spot to leave them as much to keep work surfaces clear. It helps to think through which door you enter the kitchen with the supermarket bags, where plates will be stored and how large they are.” Nick encourages you to be open-minded when viewing a potential new home. Don’t be alarmed if the kitchen space isn’t entirely right for you, as many issues can be overcome. At Guild Anderson we offer an end-to-end truly bespoke service to enable our clients achieve the best results for their truly bespoke lifestyle. Contact 01747 820449 to discuss your needs. | 5 | 7


Country House Market

We listen, understand and deliver trusted advice



he last year has been somewhat of a rollercoaster for the rural property market and in particular for those searching for their dream house. It has undoubtedly been one of the strongest “sellers’ markets” for rural property that many of us have ever experienced during the last 30 years. The rush to find houses in good rural country has not waned at all and buyers have had to compete very hard to secure the best properties in the best locations. We have experienced incredibly strong bidding with both open market and private sales which has given vendors a choice in their route to market with some fantastic results achieved. What has been unusual about this market is that it has been strong across all price points. Supply of good houses in this area is always tight, and people tend to stay in them for a very long time. A succession of lockdowns has not encouraged people to move either and understandably if they are looking to downsize they will be anxious about where they are going to. This shortage of supply has only fuelled prices which have been outstanding for those prepared to take the plunge. Rural View Prime was established to fill a gap in the Wiltshire/Dorset/South Somerset property market and has now been operating for 2 years. We offer a truly independent personal service with first class marketing, a wide reach and are always on hand at every step of the way to offer support and guidance. We aim to build long lasting relationships and are not a volume business looking for short term gains. We know every corner of our patch intimately and if we don’t know the answer, we know someone that will. RV Prime sells high value country property, from beautiful period manor houses, rustic farmhouses, a new build country house or tasteful barn conversions. We listen carefully to what our clients want and deliver bespoke marketing solutions to meet their needs in a timely and efficient manner. The right advice could be discreet private marketing or a full public campaign using a variety of advertising media. If you would like to find out more how we can help please call or email Charlie Stone in confidence. | 9

Nr Child Okeford, Dorset Price on application


A fine Georgian fronted country house with charming cottage set in an exceptional position with panoramic views over its own fields and the Stour Valley. 10 |

Reception hall, library, drawing room, dining room, sitting room, kitchen/breakfast room, larder, boot room, laundry room, wine cellar, potential nanny flat, 6 bedrooms, dressing room, 4 bath/shower rooms. Outstanding mature formal gardens, kitchen garden & greenhouse, swimming pool, tennis court, stables, tackroom, barn, pony paddocks, field shelter & copse. About 5 acres.

• Receptions 5 • Bedrooms 6 • Bathrooms 4 | 11

Teffont Evias, Wiltshire Guide Price £1,750,000


A beautifully situated, historic mill house of great charm with excellent range of outbuildings, land and fishing.

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Hall, drawing room, library, dining room/study, kitchen boot room, laundry, conservatory, 5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, attic room, gardens, swimming pool, courtyard with barn, stables and further outbuildings, leat and mill pond, approx. 180 yards double bank fishing, 319 yards single bank fishing, pasture, copse with pond, wonderful views, In all about 9 acres.

• Receptions 4 • Bedrooms 5 • Bathrooms 2 • EPC Rating G | 13

West Stour, Dorset Guide Price £1,250,000


A Handsome Victorian family house set within charming gardens and grounds on the edge of The Blackmore Vale. 4 receptions rooms, kitchen/breakfast room, boot room, 5 principal bedrooms, 3 bath/shower rooms (2 en-suite), 2 further attic bedrooms, charming landscaped gardens. About 1.62 acres. 14 |

• Receptions 4 • Bedrooms 7 • Bathrooms 3 • EPC Rating G

Stert, Wiltshire Guide Price £1,350,000


Acharming period mill house set in a beautiful rural position with land and far-reaching views over open countryside. 3 reception rooms, kitchen/breakfast room, conservatory, utility/boot room, 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, mature gardens, garaging/outbuilding & stabling, paddocks, pasture, copse, lake, pond. In all about 49.16 acres. 16 |

• Receptions 3 • Bedrooms 5 • Bathrooms 3 • EPC Rating E | 17

Cann, Dorset Guide Price £1,200,000


A handsome family house situated at the end of a country lane with outbuildings and panoramic views. Reception hall, sitting room, kitchen/breakfast room, family room, office, utility room, WC, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms (2 en-suite), landscaped gardens and terracing, outstanding views over the valley, outbuilding & barn with further potential (STPP). 18 |

• Receptions 4 • Bedrooms 4 • Bathrooms 3 • EPC Rating E

Donhead St Mary, Wiltshire Guide Price £925,000


An attractive period home refurbished & extended to a particularly high standard situated in the sought-after donheads with a delightful streamside garden. Drawing room with vaulted ceiling, sitting room & dining room, kitchen/breakfast room, wet room, 4 bedrooms & 2 further bath/shower rooms, summer house, parkland views. 20 |

• Receptions 3 • Bedrooms 4 • Bathrooms 3 • EPC Rating E


Sporting Hub

“For buyers dreaming of a red-letter day in the field, south Wiltshire can prove something of a sporting nirvana” says Madeleine Silver. rom at least the time of William the Conqueror, the Cranborne Chase that straddles Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset and Hampshire was a royal playground for hunting; in the 12th century a hunting lodge was built for King John in Cranborne where the current Viscount Cranborne’s manor now is; and in 1690 the South & West Wilts Hunt was founded by Lord Arundell of Wardour Castle, likely to be the oldest pack of foxhounds still in existence. This is a place that has form when it comes to sporting credentials. Things might look a little different now, but there are still the rolling downlands and well-wooded country that perfectly set the stage for sporting endeavour. Drop a pin in the map in this corner of the West Country and you’ll find red letter days within easy reach, whether it’s on a peg, the riverbank or in the saddle.


Equestrian buyers on the hunt for a house with land sufficient to accommodate their own horses should expect to pay north of £1million — as well as facing tough competition, says Stone. “Properties with any amount of land are always desirable, even if it’s a really nice house with half an acre of garden,” he says. “The sweet spot for country house buyers tends to be between five and 10 acres when it comes to land. There are some buyers who say they want a minimum of 20-to-50 acres (as you go up the market, people want the land for privacy), but the amount of land is ultimately what most people might have to compromise on. If the house is right but it’s got maybe a bit less land than they wanted, they’ll probably still go for it. Location, location, location is still what it’s all about.”

For Rural View’s head of country house sales Charlie Stone, himself a keen shot, there is a sense of community that this brings, and a reminder for buyers that they’ve arrived in “proper countryside”. “I think it goes back to why a lot of people come here because it’s just a bit more rural, yet it’s still relatively accessible. It’s not three hours from London, it’s two or two and a bit,” says Stone, who adds that “a day at Fonthill, amongst great company, is exceptionally hard to beat” when it comes to local shooting. Cow Down, Combe Bank, Chilfinch, and Snailcreep drives on the 9,000-acre estate are some of the most lauded, but just arriving through the grand archway, with the lake sprawling to the left will leave an impression. Out of season Fonthill Estate run simulated days, where there are sweeping views of Great Ridge from the meeting point in a wildflower meadow, with lunch cooked over a BBQ and empanadas appearing at elevenses. Days on the chalk downland of nearby shoots at Prescombe, Gurston Down, Rushmore and Teffont Magna are in equally high demand, with anyone fortunate enough to bag a let day at the Chitcombe shoot further south near Blandford Forum amongst the lucky few.

When land is a priority, Stone urges buyers to look beyond the external appearance of a house. “With a good architect you can quite often make a less attractive house look nice, it just requires a bit of vision,” he says. For field sport enthusiasts who are house hunting, a big boot room is an “absolute must”, Stone says, and when not immediately presented with one, kitchens can often be converted. “An old kitchen can often be too small these days, but it can make a very good boot room, with some people tending to move kitchens to the sitting rooms. It’s about using rooms for how people want to live now.”

FOR the thrill of the chase, the South & West Wilts Hunt (SWWH) country stretches from the edge of the Blackmore Vale near Shaftesbury in the south to towards Bath in the north. It was Isaac ‘Ikey’ Bell, who became master of the SWWH in 1925, who was considered ‘the saviour of the modern foxhound’, playing a vital role in the recovery of hunting after the First World War by spending large sums of his own money on a hound breeding programme. Thrusters head out with the Blackmore & Sparkford Vale further west, for their hair-raising big hedge days and the Wilton Hunt to the east, which celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2019, is fortunate to be able to hunt over the Longford, Wilton and Cranborne estates. For those who’d rather get their adrenaline fix out of the saddle, the Boxing Day meeting at Wincanton racecourse is a social highlight of the West Country calendar, with the Kingwell Hurdle run in February serving as a trial for the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March. At Larkhill, just off the A303, racing has been in action since 1947 and the course’s packed calendar of point-to-points attracts hardy crowds brave enough to face the bracing winds blowing off Salisbury Plain.

AS summer dawns, balmy evening meetings at Salisbury racecourse beckon, with views reaching towards the towering Salisbury Cathedral. And with action at Bath racecourse high up on Lansdown as well, Flat racing aficionados are kept busy between April and October. But it is perhaps the prospect of the abundant chalkstream fishing that this area is synonymous with that is the most blissful vision of summer. The most substantial of the River Avon tributaries is the Nadder, which rises at Donhead St Mary and meanders through peaceful meadows, joining the Wylye just below Wilton. Compton Chamberlayne is often considered one of the best stretches of the Nadder, with its seven beats winding through idyllic Wiltshire countryside. And it’s a day on this river that can remind buyers just how brilliantly unspoilt and peaceful it is here. But if good sport is plentiful, the hunt for a house may be a little trickier as the West Country continues to ride the post-Covid ‘rural renaissance’, and demand spectacularly outstrips supply. “We have four houses coming up in the next month, all over a million, and only one of them is likely to go to the open market,” says Stone. “People who are time poor, but cash rich should consider instructing a buying agent, which also works well if you live out of the area because it means you have all bases covered.” But otherwise, he adds, the old-fashioned approach of building relationships with local agents to hear about what is coming available early is the best way to secure a home with this enviably abundant sport on its doorstep. Happy hunting! | 23

Ansty, Wiltshire Guide Price £975,000


A quintessential Georgian village house with a superb outlook. Hall, drawing room, sitting room, study, kitchen/breakfast room, utility room, 4 bedrooms, 2 bath/shower rooms, office, garage, outbuilding charming well stocked garden, outstanding rural outlook over Ansty Pond and beyond. In all about half an acre.

• Receptions 3 • Bedrooms 4 • Bathrooms 2

Longbridge Deverill, Wiltshire Guide Price £725,000


An extended period cottage with outbuildings and paddocks set in rural location with lovely views. Hall, sitting room, dining/garden room, kitchen, office/utility, 4 bedrooms, family bathroom, WC garden & orchard, single garage, outbuilding, 2 stables and tack room, 3 paddocks lovely rural outlook over surrounding countryside. In all about 5.29 acres.

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• • • •

Receptions 3 Bedrooms 4 Bathrooms 1 EPC Rating E

Ludwell, Wiltshire Guide Price £695,000


A beautifully presented detached family home with Georgian origins and well-proportioned accommodation, delightful gardens & a useful outbuilding. Hall, 2 reception rooms, kitchen/dining room, utility room & cloakroom, 4 bedrooms, 3 bath/shower rooms, outbuilding with office & garden store.

• • • •

Receptions 2 Bedrooms 4 Bathrooms 3 EPC Rating E

• • • •

Receptions 3 Bedrooms 4 Bathrooms 2 EPC Rating E

Chilmark, Wiltshire Guide Price £685,000


An extended period cottage of much character with extensive gardens, set in a popular Nadder Valley village. Hall, 2 reception rooms, kitchen, family room, 3/4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, cellar, 2/3 acre South facing garden, garage & outbuildings.

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Value of a Project T

he unparalleled rural market has been commented on and dissected ad infinitum, but one point to make is that a lack of stock leads to a lack of choice, which has meant that buyers looking for an easy house to move in to have often been pushed to take on projects that they would rather avoid; properties that are in need of tender loving care and a sensitive injection of cash. It’s therefore important to know what pitfalls to avoid and how to maximise value. Unromantic though it may seem, we should always remember that one day we will sell, and our house is as much a property for us to live in as it is a commodity that in the future will have to attract a wide market. In a sense, therefore, we are improving the house as much for ourselves as for its next owner, so spending too much money in the wrong direction is a trap that can be easily sprung. Perhaps the most pressing requirement is to think ‘Green’. We are in a rapidly changing world where buyers are looking carefully at thermal efficiency, carbon impact and running costs. Replacing ageing heating systems with similar fossil fuel boilers will shortly be prohibited, so consider the options carefully, whether it be heat pumps, solar, biomass, or any other emerging alternative. Pretty soon this will be the number one concern for all.

Avoid extremes and be conscious of what might appeal to a large audience. Of course we want to furnish our home to our own taste, but it is risky to be too radical; ultra-modern, for instance, is not everybody’s cup of tea. An occasional cry from viewers of ‘done’ houses is that they object to having to pay for someone else’s excessive taste. Think about rooms and features that tick boxes for people. The most important room in the house these days is the family kitchen; if this can be a large and light space of good quality, it could sell the house by itself. Anything that can be done to open it up and create light, therefore, would reap benefits. Having more than one bathroom is important for most people, so if a small ensuite or two can be added without taking up too much space it would be worth it. It’s amazing what one can fit into a couple of square meters. Consider effective lighting, opening up fireplaces, improving flooring and exposing beams and walls. Character can be injected into most houses with the minimum of difficulty and expense. If the property needs extending, think carefully about design and cost. A house with a good overall balance of ground and first floor accommodation will maximise value. An overextension on a small plot, however, will alter the ratio of house to outside space and will not necessarily bring the desired return. The outside space is often an afterthought when considering improvements, but having an attractive and well-structured garden and parking area will produce dividends. Look at access and how that may be bettered, make sure that there is enough parking without sacrificing too much garden and consider focal points, screening for privacy and the balance between beds and lawn. A practical space will appeal to many, just as much as impracticality will put people off. We are here and happy to offer any advice that we can, so before you embark on a project please feel free to ask!

Charlie Graham Sales Director

Mark Matthews Sales Director | 27



Hindon, Wiltshire

Marston Magna, Somerset

Guide Price £725,000

Guide Price £575,000

An elegant Grade II Listed village house of lovely proportions with a delightful garden, outbuilding and garage. 2 receptions, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms.

A handsome and beautifully proportioned attached Grade II Listed family house with good grounds, set on the edge of this South Somerset village. 3 Receptions, 5 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms.



Tisbury, Wiltshire

Tisbury, Wiltshire

Guide Price £495,000

Guide Price £525,000

A beautifully refurbished period cottage set in a lovely rural location close to Tisbury. 1 reception, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms.

An idyllic thatched period cottage in a rural hamlet setting with beautifully presented accommodation, home office and a delightful garden. 2 receptions, 3 bedrooms, 1 bathrooms.

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Thatch Appeal T

he ultimate embodiment of the rural idyll, thatched cottages can stir the imagination and ring alarm bells in equal measure. Madeleine Silver looks at what buyers need to consider. Wind your way down the lanes in this corner of the West Country where Wiltshire, Somerset and Dorset meet, and you’ll find thatched cottages nestled around every corner, so pretty they could be from the pages of a children’s fairy tale. According to OnTheMarket, a Grade II-listed thatched cottage in Devon was in the top 10 most virtually toured properties during the first lockdown in 2020 as hemmed-in city dwellers dreamt of the good life. And indeed, a pint-sized cottage peering out from under a thatch roof transports you to a world of Thomas Hardy and better bucolic times. When it comes to real life interest from potential buyers, the type of roof bears little relevance to the level of enquiries a property garners — or its price — according to Rural View’s residential sales director Mark Matthews. “It’s one of those things that’s quite personal to people. There are certainly some buyers who just don’t want to know about homes with thatched roofs — and they will specify that,” he says “but equally there are others who actively seek them out because of their ‘olde worlde’ charm. It’s all part and parcel of a property’s character and can make it more emotive to a buyer.” Any dreams of an archetypal English country cottage with roses round the door and a thatch roof have a practical advantage too; cool in the summer thanks to low heat conductivity, naturally insulating with air trapped in the bundles and hollow reeds as well as laudable environmental credentials with their reliance on natural materials. For those wary of becoming a custodian of thatch it is perhaps the unknown costs that ring the biggest alarm bells. According to thatching contractors West Country Thatchers wheat thatch in the area should last 20-35 years in the hands of a good craftsman, while other estimates in different regions for varying types of thatch can extend to double that.

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How often thatch needs to be replaced will of course depend on an array of factors; the local climate, material used, pitch of the roof, skill of the thatcher, proximity to trees, as well damage from birds and vermin. And with the cost for replacing thatch so dependent on the size and complexity of the roof, determining even a ballpark price is a dark art; it could fall anywhere between £15,000 and £30,000 (but unhelpfully, could also end up costing more). During the life span of the roof, you will also need to consider ongoing maintenance; patching, re-ridging (which might need doing every 10-15 years) and repairing damage caused by vermin, birds and adverse weather. A survey prior to buying will look at the condition of the thatch but appointing a Master Thatcher to make an assessment as well is considered a worthwhile investment. When it comes to the question of fire safety, there are various techniques and products used to fireproof thatch and while the risks are low if the causes are properly understood, when a fire does break out, the damage they wreak can be much starker than in a tiled property. It means the question of insurance can loom large for potential buyers, but with the right advice worries are easily waylaid. “Thatched properties tend to be older, built from non-standard materials and are often listed and so you’ll need to find a specialist insurer to help you,” says Phil Cooper at NFU Mutual, which insures many of the UK’s thatched properties. “We understand each property and how much it can cost to repair unique historic structures to keep them in line with heritage requirements. The main potential complications when it comes to insurance are the unique construction and, unfortunately, fire. The unique construction of thatched buildings, and their potential listing, means that repairing them back to their original standard often costs more. A fire can be particularly devastating for a thatched property, but sensible precautions can help, such as fire extinguishers in every room. “Requirements can vary from insurer to insurer so it’s worth checking what requirements your insurer has as you’ll need to comply with them otherwise your insurance could be invalid,” he adds. “Common requirements are an electrical inspection to ensure your wiring is sound, a boiler inspection if you have oil or gas heating and if you have a woodburning stove, a flue

inspection/certificate from a HETAS registered engineer. Finally, your insurer might also insist on the chimney being swept a certain number of times a year. “Just make sure you’re clear on the requirements up front as these will bring extra costs but will be worth it in the end as the restrictions are ultimately there to protect the property from what can be a devastating incident.” Securing insurance might be more complicated than for conventionally constructed properties, but Cooper insists it can be sorted over the phone fairly swiftly. “There are some that will need more individual attention but provided you know your construction type, listing status, the property hasn’t undergone any subsidence and you are prepared to comply with any restrictions (such as electrical inspections) then it should be relatively straightforward.” You will however be expected to cough up more in comparison to other properties to accommodate the associated risks and increased repair costs. “Make sure you get a quote to understand exactly how much it will cost as each policy will be as unique as the property itself,” adds Cooper. When the Industrial Revolution hailed the advent of new building materials, it would be hard to believe that there would still be over 60,000 treasured thatched rooves dotted across the UK 200 years on. In a rural property market that is wildly hot (“I’ve never known such an in balance between supply and demand,” says Matthews) even buyers dubious of thatch are willing to navigate its hurdles to bag a slice of rural bliss, and a very British one at that. As the American naturalist Maria Mitchell wrote in 1896: “An English village could never be mistaken for an American one: the outline against the sky differs; a thatched cottage makes a very wavy line on the blue above.” One well known thatched building, and a local landmark, is the diligently restored 13th Century former monastic barn on the edge of Tisbury which was originally built for the Abbess of Shaftesbury as a storage barn until the dissolution. It is reputed to be largest tithe barn in the country with floor space over one third of an acre and is now occupied by Messums Wiltshire, a gallery and contemporary art centre. Rural View regularly sell thatched cottages including the examples here. | 31



Berwick St John, Wiltshire

Donhead St Mary, Wiltshire

Guide Price £460,000

Guide Price £495,000

An absolutely idyllic country cottage that has been extended & refurbished to an exemplary standard with stylish contemporary fittings. 1 reception, 2 bedrooms, 1 bathrooms.

An attractive detached period cottage situated on the edge of the renowned Donheads with character features & a spectacular contemporary kitchen/living space. 2 receptions, 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms.



Barford St Martin, Wiltshire

Wylye, Wiltshire

Guide Price £385,000

Guide Price £400,000

A detached early 18th Century Listed cottage situated in a village setting in the beautiful Nadder Valley with plenty of period charm & offering a refurbishment opportunity. 3 reception, 3 bedrooms, 1 bathrooms.

An attractive double fronted detached Victorian cottage of tremendous charm situated in a pretty rural village and offering potential for refurbishment. 2 receptions, 2 bedrooms, 1 bathrooms.

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Lettings Market


Key to Letting well

LET | Sutton Mandeville Photograph by Nick Radford.


ver the years Rural View has been asked to offer a wide variety of property to the lettings market which has included the most attractive period homes, be they cottages or larger country houses. This sector appeals to those who are looking for the idyll, for the village way of life and for a semblance of history, but fundamentally any rental in this present climate represents a roof over heads and somewhere to call home.

the onus is on the landlord or their agent to get it right!). Of course, such a discrepancy between supply and demand leads to disappointed tenants, so it continues to be an anxious time for a lot of people. We try to help as much as we can, but sadly we cannot magic up stock.

It wasn’t so long ago that we were quoting to landlord clients an expectation of achieving a let within three weeks of bringing a property to the market. A reasonable timeframe, one might think, and one that would allow for final preparations and a relaxed frame of mind.

That is not to say that we can offer absolutely any period property to the market. The key to letting well, and to keeping good tenants happy, is to ensure that the prospect is in a fair condition to start with. That often means settling for a longer void period while enhancements are made and thermal efficiency is improved; with the urgent need to cut carbon emissions, Government is gearing up to impose more and more requirements on landlords to make much needed upgrades.

These are extraordinary times, however. Very much echoing the prevalent sales malestrom, the lettings market has remained the strongest we have known over the course of the last year, rents have shot up and the once mooted three weeks is now more like three days…if that.

There is no end in sight to this level of demand, which is fine as long as more stock becomes available, so the hope for the next twelve months is that the market levels out and tenants are able to secure what they want, whether it be a period property or an executive home, and that a degree of calm returns.

Much of the demand has come from those who have sold their properties and are now not able to secure purchases, but they have also been competing with habitual renters and city dwellers seeking rural boltholes. It has not been unusual for twenty or so tenants to be fighting for a single rental and we have barely had to mention properties to the market before the phone rings off the hook. Overall, and for a variety of reasons, the volume of re-lets has been down on previous years, while regulation and compliance is also playing a part in discouraging new landlords. (There are 170 pieces of legislation associated with letting a property, so

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Charlie Graham Lettings Director

Alex Graham Lettings Administrator

LET | Mere

LET | Higher Coombe

LET | Chilmark

LET | Brixton Deverill

LET | Hindon

LET | Hindon | 35

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