Are you thinking of moving to another part of the country? Why not pop into Joplings in Ripon or Thirsk and tell us about the new dream home you are searching for and we will pass this onto the Guild agent who will be able to help you with your search.
As a member of The Guild of Property Professionals we are part of a network of over 800 independent Estate agents in England and Northern Ireland. Have a look at these stunning properties which are situated near scenic parks, from some of our network agents.
Homes near Pretty Parks
Looking for a fresh start in 2019? We have scoured the country for homes near pretty parks. Whether you enjoy a gentle stroll in the park, a trek in the hills, or a place to play sports at the weekend, these properties have one thing in common: they are beautiful places to live and explore.
The Pavilion is an outstanding period home, built circa 1830. With large, picturesque gardens, the traditional property enjoys a prime position within the delightful Western Park. The four-bedroom home offers a wealth of period features including tall ceilings, paneled doors and antique French marble fireplaces. Presented to an exceptional standard, with expansive gardens, a car port and far-reaching, panoramic views, this residence is a hidden gem.
Western Park is the largest park in Leicester, and arguably the most beautiful, offering 178 acres of meadows, woodland plantations and formal areas to explore. This delightful park has a great cycle trail and offers a wide range of activities all year round. This includes two bowling greens, seven football pitches, five cricket wickets, six tennis courts and one baseball field.
This Grade II Listed cottage makes for an excellent family home, located in the heart of the charming village of Llandwrog, north west Wales. The house is deceptively spacious and has been extended to offer additional living space. With a captivating front exterior and a lovely enclosed garden and gated driveway that leads to a large garage and useful workshop, the property offers an abundance of charm and character including coved ceilings with exposed beams and a traditional Inglenook fireplace.
The property is located near Parc Glynllifon in Caernarfon, Gwynedd, a historic country park with an outdoor Amphitheatre, children’s play area, a popular café and gift shop, as well as several water features, including a delightful river. A winner of the ‘Green Flag’ award: A Visit Wales Accredited Attraction, this park is perfect for a Sunday stroll, a bike ride, or a picnic in the warmer months.
A unique detached home designed to blend with its surroundings, Sedgewell Coach House is a rare find set in four and a half acres. Situated to the southern slopes of the Haldon Hills with extensive uninterrupted views across a stunning wooded valley in Chudleigh, Devon. The property effortlessly merges period charm with modern living in contemporary accommodation where you can both relax and entertain in comfort and style.
Crafted to embrace both space and light, this home overlooks extensive woodland and rolling fields. Dramatic sweeping lawns and drystone walls emphasise the natural beauty of the landscape. The property is perfect for those who enjoy country walks and a home with an unbeatable view.
This breathtaking Victorian stone-built residence is located within a short walking distance of Pugney’s Country Park in the heart of Sandal village, south of Wakefield city centre. The property offers a high degree of privacy and character. The home also boasts mature gardens with Yorkshire stone paving, an excellent gymnasium with useful storage and a sauna.
Pugney’s Country Park is set in 300 acres, offering a variety of walks with good footpath links to Sandal Castle where there are spectacular views to the west along Calder Valley. Cycling is also very popular, and the park operates a rental service. The park also offers additional watersport facilities including sailing, windsurfing and canoeing. Bird watchers indulge themselves in the bird hides overlooking the Local Nature Reserve, while other visitors stop at the café for some refreshments while they enjoy the views across the park.
This beautifully presented seven-bedroom family home is positioned in the tranquil hamlet of Penylan, overlooking beautiful countryside, near the village of Bassaleg. The property is set within over three acres of picturesque grounds and features a fresh water lake.
The residence is extremely private and peaceful, with spacious gardens and parkland surrounding the property including a boat deck, barbecue, chalet, out building and fruit orchards. The timber deck relaxation area is adjacent to the lake, which features a magnificent backdrop of the Newport countryside.
The Guild is a network of over 800 of the best independent estate agents around the country. To find your dream home, visit our website.
Putting your property on the market is an exciting time. The photos are taken, the floorplans completed, and the home is perfectly presented, so it’s time to start the viewings. But how many should you expect? What if viewings are not as regular as you hoped? We asked Guild agents to share their tips and advice.
Check the price
One of the biggest deterrents for a viewing is the price. “How does your home compare to competing homes on the market?” asks Ian Southall from Chess Moves of Tewkesbury. “Query your agent if you think the price is set too high and consider talking to agents who quoted a more realistic price during the valuation.”
Martin Moore from Morris Marshall & Poole in Tywyn, Gwynedd agrees. “If a property is getting no viewing interest at all, then the first place to look for an answer is the asking price. Compare the property with others for sale around it and see if it compares favourably, if not you need to think about a reduction.”
The price needs to attract potential buyers, points out Steve Thompson from Thomas Morris in St Neots. “The housing market is now incredibly transparent, information on marketing and sale prices of similar properties is easily available on the web, so it is important that properties are marketed at a realistic price. Nothing turns a buyer off quicker than a house that is perceived to be over-priced.
Pick an estate agent well
“There’s absolutely no point in appointing an agent who isn’t embedded in the community, you need an agent who knows all about the area, is connected and recommended, but also one that knows where your target audience is,” said Simon Miller, from Holroyd Miller in Wakefield.
Mark Noble from Castles Estate Agents in Swindon agrees. “Without a shadow of a doubt, if a property is well-prepared for the market, it will get a better response and potentially a higher offer. In reality, if you market the best-presented property with an estate agent who is not motivated, then the property can easily stagnate in the marketplace.
“There is a misconception that all agents are the same and that popping a property on a portal will do the trick. The more motivated the agent you choose, ideally a traditional agent who will fight for your price, in most cases achieve higher prices as well as selling more properties.”
The approach that an agent has can have a big impact too, says Linda Mortimer of Mortimers Estate Agents in Woodbridge. “If an agent bombards a potential buyer with lots of questions and insists they speak to their mortgage adviser before even handing out any details, you can be sure you will be missing out as an aggressive approach can send some people running for the door.
“Buyers usually enter an agent’s office because something in their front window has drawn their attention. Greeting a potential buyer in a friendly way and then giving them details of what they are enquiring about is a better way to encourage them to discuss the property they have shown interest in. The agent can then proceed to offer their time to show them the property. This calm approach is far more likely to result in a viewing or even a sale.”
Spruce up the property
“Aside of de-cluttering, attending to those long overdue maintenance jobs, and ensuring everything is visually appealing for the marketing materials, the best route to more viewings is to employ the right agent,” advises Simon Miller, Holroyd Miller, Wakefield.
Vicki Field, Cooke & Co, Kent, always recommend for sellers to have a good clean and tidy throughout and to de-clutter. “Try not to de-personalise your property, as making it feel homely to viewers gives them a feeling of what it would be like when they are living there.”
If you have already moved out, it may be a good idea to add furniture. Linda Mortimer, of Mortimers Estate Agents in Woodbridge, says: “If you are selling an empty property of a higher value, it’s worth looking into getting it furnished. It makes a huge difference. Coincide the furnishing with an open house and you can be guaranteed viewers, maybe even an offer or two.”
Nicole Woolley, Goodwin Property, Stamford, said: “Be sure to tidy up, and not just inside the home, but outside too, even if you have an apartment. A lot of buyers won’t even step outside the car if the kerb appeal is not good enough. If there is paint peeling on the front door or windowsills have them repainted, fixing them is money well spent. Have a good clear out and declutter; if you have rooms full to the brim then buyers will need a good imagination to see the potential, and the same goes for the garden. Mow the lawn, trim the hedges, weed the flower beds. Try to show a lifestyle in your home; properties sell much faster if a buyer can imagine themselves living there.”
Who is your likely buyer?
“Consider targeting your market and draw attention to the benefits the property can offer a particular type of buyer,” suggests Martin Moore, Morris Marshall & Poole, based in Tywyn, Gwynedd. “For example, if you are selling a property that would suit a buy-to-let investor, think about offering an initial period of guaranteed rent. Even simple things like providing a list of schooling options with a family home or explaining the convenience of public transport in the commuter belt could help. You will, however, need to make it individual to the house rather than relying on the generic information provided by the internet portals.”
Invest in photography
“Many people now judge properties through online platforms, so the better the picture, the more chance of your potential buyer investigating further,” said Ian Southall, Chess Moves of Tewkesbury. Stand back from your home and ask yourself what could be improved upon. Is the garden tidy? The décor is another key factor.”
Martin Moore from Morris Marshall & Poole in Tywyn is also keenly aware of the importance of high-quality photos. “Most people start their search on the Internet and this is a very visual medium, especially on mobile devices. People often skip over the text, so properties with good external and internal photographs and floor plans get noticed. Invest your time wisely in this area and use professional services where appropriate, ensure also that the property is well presented with the photographs as high-resolution images show great detail. Always have a good selection of photographs available and change them frequently so that the listing does not become stale.
Vicki Field from Cooke & Co in Kent had some alternative photography tips. “Ensure your agent makes the most out of your most valued asset by taking good photographs on a sunny day and remember to keep the toilet seat down! It always helps to make your home aesthetically pleasing from the outside, so maybe brighten it up with flowers and flower pots.”
Jennifer Butler, Trading Places in Leytonstone, London, said: “Before engaging in the photography, make sure your home is ready. Declutter, clean and pay attention to the front of your property and the rear garden.
“Perhaps have the photography carried out over two days, allowing a couple of rooms to be used as temporary storage areas, whilst the rest of your property is being photographed. Afterwards, you can empty out those rooms and the photographer can return the next day to finish the job. Rushing the photography would be a big mistake.”
Steve Thompson from Thomas Morris in St Neots says that photos are a crucial first impression. “It is important not only that the photos show the property at its best, but also that the quantity of pictures right. Too few may lead to potential buyers either assuming that there is something wrong with the property or deciding not to view as they couldn’t get a reasonable impression of the property.”
“As an estate agent, I am particular about the weather for photos. A clear blue sky on a sunny day will show the natural warmth and brightness of the house,” says Jamie Fisher, Taylor Milburn, Essex.
Best mix of exposure
“It is crucial that the property is exposed to the maximum number of potential buyers to attract the maximum number of viewers. An attractive price and great photographs will mean little if they are kept a secret,” said Steve Thompson from Thomas Morris in St Neots.
“Many agents in recent years have focused all of their marketing on the internet through the myriad of property websites including major property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla and their own websites. This is incredibly important, but providing the widest possible exposure must include far more. Other areas of focus can include; advertising in newspapers, advertising in office windows, advertising across local, regional, national and even international branch networks, promotion on social media, marketing to known/registered buyers via phone and email, for sale boards and leaflet drops. A good agent will cover these areas and more.”
How many viewings should you expect?
“In the current busy market in Margate and the surrounding areas, we look to have a surge of viewings within the first week with offers coming in – if this isn’t the case then a price reduction or amendments to the details could certainly help,” said Vicki Field of Cooke & Co, based in Kent.
“Check the demand,” suggests Jennifer Butler, Trading Places of Leytonstone in London. “As a proactive estate agent, we monitor internet click through rates and constantly review market activity for all types of property. Some property types will be more in demand than others so it’s important to know the current market and manage the seller’s expectations, especially when it comes to the number of viewings they should expect to receive.”
Could a lack of viewings just be one of those things? “Sometimes it’s just a blip. Viewings can be like buses. None for ages then three at once,” says Linda Mortimer, Mortimers Estate Agents, Woodbridge.
“There will be a week or two where things go quiet. This is when your agent needs to retake pictures and move things around on the websites and window displays. A refresh is always a good idea.”
Be prepared early, advises Nicole Woolley, Goodwin Property, Stamford. “Don’t forget you will see about five or six times as many people in the first couple of weeks as the subsequent weeks – make sure everything is ready and that your agent is fully briefed.”
How many people should you expect, though? “Viewing in the first month is important and if ten people are not through the door, things need to be changed,” advises Jamie Fisher from Taylor Milburn in Essex.
When you step into a house there is naturally one room which buyers gravitate towards. The important question is, which room convinces you to buy? If you’re looking to sell your home it is useful to know which room to prioritise for open houses, images of the property or facts about your home.
Read what some of our Guild agents had to say about their experiences of which rooms convinces people to buy.
Simon Davies, Branch Manager of Norman F Brown said: “I believe the kitchen is the heart of a home. The current trend is a space where everyone can be together. Historically this was the sitting room, but recently there is a shift to living kitchens, especially if there is an open-plan design with the sitting room. The best kitchen I have seen interlinks the garden with French Doors or Modern Bi Folds to bring the outside in and make the garden more inclusive.”
Simon Bradbury, Managing Director of Thomas Morris said: “The room which I believe most convinces a buyer to purchase a home is the hallway, although it’s not technically a “room”. Normally, it’s the very first internal part of a property that a buyer will see. Therefore, the hallways establishes the tone for their experience with the rest of the property by setting a positive or negative level of expectancy. The hall should be bright and feel warm (or cool depending on the time of year) and inviting. Clutter should be put away to make the area appear more spacious. Air fresheners, diffusers, scented candles or flowers are simple, but effective methods to enhance a buyer’s first impression of a property.”
Simon Miller, Partner of Holroyd Miller said: “Open-plan kitchens create the lifestyle of family and friends coming together in a space that can accommodate eating, drinking and socialising. The kitchen is normally the most expensive and time-consuming room in a home to decorate or renovate. A kitchen already supplied with good quality appliances and high-end worktops are favourable. Buyers are usually looking for minimum effort, focusing on moving in and opening a celebratory chilled bottle of fizz.”
Steve Wayne, Director of Benjamin Stevens Estate Agents said: “The centre of any home is often thought of as the kitchen. Depending on the size of your kitchen, it can often be the social hub of any home. It is where loved ones come together and a space in which you can get creative, both in design and culinary delights. The advantage of an eat-in kitchen allows for communal meals and socialising. Good food and communication makes for a happy household.”
Jenny Owen, Head of Marketing for Sawyer & Co. said: “A room with a view is always a great selling point for buyers. A well-fitted, spacious bathroom is really popular and at the moment.”
Pav Lotay, Account Manager for the Guild of Property Professionals Head office said: “For me, the living room is the most social space in a property and the area which I spend the most time in. This is the room that stands out the most and would convince me to buy. I look for a homely property: a spacious living room where I can see myself having guests to visit and putting up a Christmas tree.”
Are you looking to sell your property? Contact one of our Guild agents today. Find your nearest office here.
It is difficult for a garden to look beautiful in Winter however it can look tidy and have a little colour.
Ideas of jobs you could be doing –
Generally tidy your garden – Get rid of the dead Christmas tree. Rake/sweep up any leaves left from Autumn. Cut back anything that you can, at this time of year. Tie back any loose branches or climbers. Make sure your bins look tidy. Kill any moss. Plant some winter colour – winter pansies, early flowering Spring bulbs etc
Now is the time to plan the changes you would like to make to your outside space in 2019 …
Before selling your home, most people try to spruce up their property by decluttering and doing a thorough clean. But many people forget the area that gives a first impression is the garden. We all like to get outside and enjoy a sunny summer afternoon, so make sure your garden looks appealing for a potential buyer. Here are some easy tips to follow to make your garden add value to your property.
1.Spruce up the space
Just like inside your home, some decluttering and garden maintenance can add value to your property. Always start with tidying and key maintenance.
“Depending on their situation, buyers could see the garden as entertaining space, a hobby, the place where their children will play, space for their pets, a source of food or a combination of any or all of these, so it is crucial that sellers place as much importance on the presentation of the garden as they would on the presentation of the house,” says Steve Thompson from Thomas Morris in Cambridgeshire. “Good gardens can add value to a home and poorly kept gardens can detract from it.”
Susie Davies from Debbie Fortune Estate Agents in Somerset recommends maintaining the lawns. “A manicured lawn always enhances the appearance of a garden and makes it look bigger,” she says.
Lee Hussell from Webbers in Devon has some practical advice. “The first place to start is to give your garden a good tidy up. Winters are never kind to our gardens and damage may have been caused to fences and trellis or maybe the larger shrubs and trees. Any dead growth can be cut back and fallen leaves and other debris can be removed and cleared away.”
2. Add some seasonal colour
Once your garden is tidy, it is time to make it into a key selling point that potential buyers will love.
“When showing your home, you want the buyers to visualise living there, so have pot plants filled with flowers to give it some colour and the lawn mowed to make it look tidy,” suggests Celeste Hannah from Hamilton Parkers in Hampshire. “First impressions count, and in the spring and summer months, you want to show your garden off to its full potential. This will definitely add perceived value and gives you a better chance to maximise the selling price.”
3. Focus on what is seen first
Struggling for time or budget? Start where your potential buyer will start and focus on this area.
“Never forget kerb appeal, and, more relevant in the online age, photo appeal. The first impression really does count, so always start with the front garden,” says Martin Moore from Morris Marshall & Poole in Wales.
4. Add a key selling point
A well-maintained garden will make sure a buyer is not put off your property, but something more can make them want to buy your property above any others they have seen.
“A nice summer house is a garden goal for many people,” says Phil Pritchard from Williams & Goodwin in North Wales. “It often feels like an extra room away from the main property and can be utilised as anything from a place to relax, an office, a man cave or a playroom for the children.”
There are ways to maximise the impact of an existing summer house, too. “If you have a summer house, it is worth making sure the wood has been treated so that it is weather proof and you can easily give it a face lift by adding a touch of colour,” suggests Andrew Lodge from Andrew Lodge Estate Agents in Surrey. “There are so many good quality garden paints available in neutral tones.”
Don’t forget the impact that a child’s opinion may have on the decision makers, advises John Newhouse from Roseberry Newhouse in North Yorkshire. “Buyers may love the idea of a summerhouse or man cave, and of course children will be drawn to tree houses or play areas.”
Simon Miller at Holroyd Miller suggests caution, though. “The truth is that some people like hot tubs or summer houses and some don’t. Additions of this kind shouldn’t be thought of in terms of re-sale, however, well looked-after and presented in the right way, they will certainly present something unique and a lifestyle image that potential buyers can see the value in.”
5. Add some shed-quarters
Sheds are not only practical, but they are coming back into fashion. They can be used from anything as a useful place to store bikes and lawnmowers to a garden retreat.
“By putting up a good-sized shed, you are adding a useful storage space for gardeners and families with outdoor furniture and even toys,” says Andrew Lodge.
Many people choose to work from home, and an insulated shed could provide the perfect home office. John Newhouse says: “Additional space in the shape of pods, studios or cabins provide potential work space options for house hunters.”
6. A little paint goes a long way
If you’re looking to spend less to add value to your property, don’t underestimate the impact of a good coat of paint on fences, sheds and other wood in the garden.
“Adding value to your home through the garden doesn’t have to break the bank. If you have decking or a perimeter fence, you could freshen it up with a coat of paint. If the garden is presentable it will be more attractive to viewers and could increase the price a potential buyer is willing to pay for your home,” suggests Jared Thomas from Emsleys Estate Agents in West Yorkshire.
7. Think about the patio
“We recommend investing in good quality patio, paving or decking,” says Andrew Lodge. “Having a professional job done will enhance the overall appearance of your outside space. Decent sized patio and decking areas add value as they are great for entertaining and alfresco dining. Adding some good lighting outside will also enable people to make the most of the garden on those long summer nights.”
8. Style your garden with furniture
You wouldn’t show a room to a potential buyer without any furniture in it, so why show a garden without a table and chairs?
“Depending on the size of the garden and who it will appeal to, ensure that the lawns are cut or the terrace is swept and ideally have the garden furniture set up so buyers can imagine themselves sitting out enjoying an al fresco evening,” said John Newhouse.
9. Secure the garden
If the people viewing the house have pets, they will want to see a garden that is fully secured to avoid an escaped dog.
“It is important that you invest in secure fencing, walls or gates,” advises Andrew Lodge. “People like to feel secure in their gardens so that they can relax. It also makes the garden more appealing to those with young children and pets.”
10. Make it private
If your home is overlooked by other homes or gardens, it’s a good idea to give the idea of privacy to the garden. If it isn’t too expensive, add hedges or trees in key spots. It will make the potential buyers be able to imagine themselves enjoying a peaceful afternoon outside in the summer.
Susie Davies advises that ornamental trees have a pleasing, aesthetic effect in a garden.
Are you looking for a new home with a beautiful garden? Contact a Guild Member today to start your property search.
I am the General Manager of Joplings, overseeing and responsible for the running of the business. Working closely with the management team, I support staff and develop the business.
I am a Chartered Surveyor and registered valuer with the RICS. Part of my time is spent providing professional advice, relating to a wide range of property related matters. I also carry out building surveys and valuations for residential and commercial property, along with providing architectural design and construction advice relating to building projects.
If you would like to send a photo of Ripon, Thirsk or the surrounding areas to be a front cover image for our property or lifestyle magazines, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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It was lovely to meet Mike Smith today and thank him for the use of his photograph of an extremely picturesque image of West Tanfield from under the bridge and facing across the River Ure. The Autumnal changes can be seen in the foreground with St Nicholas Church of England and Marmion Tower peaking through the trees. The cover of our lifestyle magazine looks great. Please pop in to pick up a copy.
If you would like to see more of Mike Smith’s work, please visit his website.