No we aren’t moving… However I do have a confession to make… I am addicted to house hunting. Anytime Ed is watching something I’m not that into I will reach for my phone, load up the rightmove app, pick and area and start browsing. So I thought I would share some of my favourite finds from this months browsing. By the way, they usually tend to be ridiculously expensive and in need of a lot of work, however I will try and include a few pretty ones from time to time for good balance.
01. Devonshire Road, Forest Hill, London
The first one is a grand double fronted Victorian Villa on Devonshire Road in Forest Hill, South East London. It is in need of repair and whilst it has planning permission for 3 flats, restoring it to its former glory as a house would be the ultimate dream. It has been to auction a number of times with Allsop (the London auctioneer we actually purchased our house through) with a guide of £950,000 (yep that is London for you) however it has failed to sell and last time I checked was available to purchase through Allsop at just over a million pounds!
As it is going to auction there isn’t too much information available, but I had a sneaky peak at the planning documents and it would make a fantastic 5 or 6 bedroom family home with a couple of en-suite bathrooms. I also managed to find a few more shots and as they show it has some gorgeous period features, including the original front door, stone mouldings, banister rails, cornices and ceiling roses, however it is certainly in need of some serious work, with parts of the floor completely missing.
02. Canterbury Road, Lyminge, Kent
This house is located in Lyminge, a small village about 10 miles in land from Folkestone in Kent. Again it is pretty grand and has lots of period features, however it is in a much better state of repair and although it would benefit from some updating the photos show a house that looks like it has been well-loved over the years.
It has 6 bedrooms, 3 reception rooms, a large detached garage and an acre of land, which is impressive considering it is within walking distance of a pub, primary school and shop. Looking at the photos and floor plans, the layout seems pretty congenial to modern living, with a large reception room off the kitchen, which could make a great family room. There is also a lovely bay window in the kitchen which I think would be a great spot for a big round table and a built-in bench looking out over the garden.
The house is packed full of period features including exposed beams, leaded windows, timber floors and huge inglenook fireplaces, one of which is the entrance hall which could double as a dining room – I can’t stop imaging a huge Christmas lunch with a roaring open fire. If allowed you might want to consider converting bedroom 3 into a dressing room and bathroom, to make a lovely master bedroom, it could be contentious due to the listing but wouldn’t be essential.
There is one downside to this property though – it is very close to the main road that runs through the village, the living room wall actually immediately edges the road. However if this sounds like it could be for you, it is currently for sale with Browns Country Property for overs in excess of £699,995. Again this is pricey, however it is also only 20 minutes from Ashford International, where you can pick up the high-speed train, which takes only 38 minutes to London Kings Cross, so technically it is within an hour of London!
03. Bynes Farm, Crowhurst, East Sussex
This property for me is the dream… We often talk about moving out of London and having a go at the goof life – keeping bees, quails and pigs, growing all our own veg, cultivating vines for our own wine (a real passion of Ed’s), running a few holiday lets and giving flower arranging and wine appreciation classes… I told you it was the dream, but I think I could give Felicity Kendal a good run for her money!
Anyway back to the property – it is vast – as well as a grade II listed, four bedroom, three bathroom farm house, the sale includes, 14 acres, a Sussex barn, a detached studio annex, a 34 ft brick and tile farm building, a 30 ft open fronted barn, 60 ft portal frame barn, brick and tile tool shed, brick and slate milking parlour and workshop, 57 ft Sussex barn, a brick and slate stable block (which previously had planning for 4 holiday lets) and a dilapidated swimming pool!
It would all needs lots of work and a significant amount of money spent on it to fulfil our ambitions, but I can’t help imaging all the possibilities. It is currently on the market with Batcheller Monkhouse for offers in excess of £900,000. So if you have that sort of money and need some ideas of what to do with it – here is one!
As you may have noticed as well as focusing on the top end of the market I also tend to focus my attention around the South East, particularly Kent, Surrey, Sussex and South London, but occasionally I venture down to Cornwall or Bristol or up to Herefordshire and even Scotland. Check in next month to see what I find next…