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24th October 2017

The value of village life

Alastair Hancock, Director, Jackson-Stops, South-East  provides his insight on the price premium for an English village home:

Village life has always been an attractive prospect. From local pubs and quaint tea rooms, to traditional churches and independent shops, villages ooze community spirit. It is no wonder then that quintessentially English homes now come at a premium and in the South-East we are lucky to be surrounded by some of the most beautiful villages the UK has to offer.

Our latest research shows that when it comes to typical village homes, including farmhouses, old rectories and barn conversions, the parochial property pecking order is still very much in play.

The apex of the village, the centre of all local life, is the manor house. They command the highest average sale price at £1,427,292, which is over five times greater than the average UK house price of £243,520. Manor houses benefit from both glamour and prestige, spacious living accommodation and manicured grounds, which is why they continue to boast a healthy premium on the property stage – and will do for many years to come. Despite their chunky price tags manor houses do offer the best value for money per square foot of space.

Cottages on the other hand, with their quintessentially diminutive proportions, are the least expensive with an average sale price of £607,465. However, this is still almost three times more expensive than the average UK home.

In terms of price per square foot, barn conversions were the most expensive, coming in at £325, pipping the humble chocolate box to the post by £5 per square foot. Farm houses rank in third position when comparing property types on both a square footage and overall sale price basis. This type of property is nearly six times more expensive than an average UK home, with an average sale price of £1,257,918.

Regardless of location and proportions, interest from those looking to become part of English village life is often sparked by a name alone. Properties called The Old Rectory are particularly popular and draw interest from potential buyers before they have even had a glimpse of what the home looks like.

There are currently many buyers in the market craving to move to a classic English village, and the prospect of living in a characterful property in such an area is extremely appealing. They provide buyers with the opportunity to purchase a unique piece of history, in which they can spend many years and make memories they will remember for many more.

 

12th September 2017

Jackson Stops & Staff unveils new look

Nick Leeming, Chairman of Jackson-Stops, gives his insight on why now is the right time for a rebrand.

After a detailed consultation period, which included a UK-wide client survey, we have decided to rebrand as Jackson-Stops, dropping ‘& Staff’ from our name. This is not a decision we have taken lightly. We have been operating under Jackson-Stops & Staff for more than a century so it was incredibly important to us that our clients, who admire our traditional values, were able to voice their opinions on the potential rebrand.

Established in 1910 by Herbert Jackson-Stops in Towcester, ‘& Staff’ was added to our name to engender true family spirit. However, our survey found that most of our clients are not aware of this historic link.

With additional feedback from the customer survey showing that many of our clients already refer to us as ‘Jackson-Stops’, it only secured as further evidence that now is the right time for a change.

As part of the rebrand, we have also taken the opportunity to refresh the look and feel of our logo and the wider brand. This will be rolled out across all of our branches, on social media and in our marketing materials, which includes brochures, sales boards and displays.

Although our name is more succinct we will continue to operate as we have always done with our high quality values and service at the forefront of everything we do.

Each of our 45 branches will adjust to the new brand name, with all phases expected to be completed by mid-2018.

3rd August 2017

Treasured Islands…

Looking to add function and style to your kitchen? Then have a look at some of our favourite kitchen island styles….

As contemporary home design and particularly kitchen design  has shifted towards being more open-plan, family friendly & multi use,  the challenge is always on to find the best way to increase storage, space and functionality.. and here is where the kitchen island comes into its own.

Islands not only come in all colours, shapes and sizes but now in all sorts of different materials from stone, marble and metal to the more contemporary high impact mirror finish.

As well as defining your kitchen style, islands offer extra preparation space, storage and are often useful dividers between living and cooking areas particularly in large extension spaces.

Frittenden, Kent Brasted, Kent

 

Islands are a fantastic way to personalise your kitchen so if you are channelling  your inner chef, why not incorporate a butcher’s block,  and for those of you who  love to practice your pastry making why not integrate your island with a marble worktop?

Heathfield, East Sussex Upper Hardres, Canterbury, Kent

 

Our top tips to consider when designing your island..

  • Decide on its purpose – have something specific in mind, think of including the hob or the sink as it makes it more social.
  • Limit the time walking around it – position things together eg: chopping board and waste bin with the prep sink.
  • Match your materials – use materials best suited for the job, wood for chopping area and slate or granite for the storage/socialising area
  • Power points – you will always need more than you think! Make sure that they are included in the original design as it is tricky ( & more expensive) to add them later.
  • Storage – vary the storage options from cupboards to drawers, big and small – it will free up other areas in the kitchen
  • Fixed or Freestanding? If it is freestanding, it will be more cost-effective as well as offering flexibility.

 

Lingfield, Surrey Sevenoaks, Kent

 

27th June 2017

Historic Houses – making the most of your listed property

As historic properties become increasingly popular, we spoke to  Dawn Carritt, Director of Country Houses at Jackson-Stops & Staff, who gives her advice and tips to aspiring buyers.

Westerham, Kent 

There are many responsibilities that come with owning a listed building but without exception they are outweighed by the benefits – and it is these benefits which make them increasingly popular with today’s buyers. An historic house is part of our built heritage and makes not just our towns and cities so special but also our countryside. It really is the 3D equivalent of owning an old master.

In the last two years we have seen the demographic of buyers for these types of property expand to include younger families and couples, who are searching for the perfect historic home in the country, away from the bustle of city living. A significant 46% of the chocolate box cottages sold by Jackson-Stops & Staff in the last year were either Grade I, Grade II* or Grade II listed. It is these homes, particularly those with outbuildings or annexes, which are of primary interest to younger buyers, who either work from home, derive additional income from letting out their property or need extra space for visiting friends and family – however, knowing whether conversion or renovation is feasible is vital.

Collier Street, Kent Limpsfield, Oxted, Surrey

 

If you buy a listed building that is already in good condition the responsibility and cost of maintenance should not be too onerous. The primary responsibility of the owner is to maintain and preserve the house for future generations. The important thing to understand is the construction of the building and treat it with the respect you would normally give to anything that has been around for 100 years; altering it without consent could not only be breaking the law, but it could also diminish its value.

In general like for like repair is allowed without obtaining listed building consent but it is becoming increasingly important to be able to prove that the repair was exactly that and not an alteration. However, if there is even a shred of doubt it is essential the local conservation officer is consulted and listed building consent obtained. Not only may unauthorised work frustrate a sale in the future it is a criminal offence and simply not worth it!

Before purchasing a listed property that is in need of renovation, time spent on reconnaissance and assessing the works which will need to be undertaken will rarely be wasted. It is also important to find an insurer that understands period buildings and a mortgage provider that thinks outside the box. If listed building consent is already in place and covers a group of buildings, such as the conversion of a number of redundant farm buildings and barns it is vital to ascertain whether there are any conditions attached to the consent which are only relevant to one property but which might impact on all future owners. This is particularly relevant when it comes to the point at which a building may be occupied. It is not uncommon for the listed building consent to require specific works to be undertaken before any building can be used, yet the work may only be required on one property within the group. A typical example involves asbestos.

Chillenden, Canterbury, Kent 

Meeting with a conservation officer to discuss any alterations you hope to make will be very useful in terms of providing a greater understanding of what can be done. The next step is to employ a quantity surveyor or architect who fully understands the structure and can provide a clear indication of and how much the work is likely to cost. Finally, employ a builder who is familiar with old buildings and traditional materials as this should not only save time but it should also give the conservation officer and buildings inspector confidence and leave you to get on with the work.

Although there are a number of responsibilities that come with owning a listed building, for most buyers they are a labour of love.

Penshurst, Tonbridge, Kent

Renovating a listed home can be incredibly rewarding and will not only help with the preservation of a fascinating piece of British history but in a small way help increase the country’s housing stock and avoid unnecessary building on greenfield sites.

17th May 2017

Had it with hygge? Then learn about Lagom..

So 2016 was all about the cosiness and warmth of hygge (hue-ga) but 2017 promises to be all about Lagom (lar-gom).

Rather than than creating a ‘feeling’ largom is more about learning the discipline of ‘just enough’, not too little and not too much, it is about getting it ‘just right’. The concept is believed to date back to the Vikings and fits in with the Swedish values of moderation, equality and fairness.

Simplicity is the key to lagom and many companies (including IKEA) have developed ranges that are inexpensive and are designed to make your life simpler and easier.

Still not sure? Well  here are our top 5 tips to help kick start your life of lagom at home..

1) Use natural fuel

Whether contemporary or traditional, fireplaces have now become an important element of interior design -wood burning stoves are energy efficient, environmentally carbon neutral and look fantastic in any room.

Frant, East Sussex Newnham Barn, Wickhambreaux, Kent 

 

2) Get green fingered

Lagom is all about blurring the lines between inside and outside, so throw your bi-fold doors open, plant your garden up and use greenery and flowers to bring the outside in.

Westerham, Kent Penshurst, Kent 

 

3) Streamlined, clear spaces where ‘less is more’

We all dread the annual declutter, but  feel so much better for doing it – only the keep the things you really love and regularly use. Your house will look lighter and brighter for it.

Stone Hill, Sellindge, Kent Homelands, Cranbrook, Kent 

 

4) Be energy efficient & save water 

Did you know that the average bath uses approx 80 litres of water, while a short shower uses around a third of that – combine this with solar panels, draught proofing your home and using energy efficient appliances you will not only make a difference to the environment, but to your household bills as well.

Aylesford, Kent Borough Green, Sevenoaks, Kent

 

5) Grow your own 

Start growing your own food from home, not everyone is lucky enought to have a kitchen garden like these houses, but  herbs in containers, or greenhouse favourites such as tomatoes, cucumbers and chillis are a delicious, easy to grow and will cut your food miles down as well.

Chiddingstone, Kent  Penshurst, Kent 

 

11th April 2017

Cracking kitchens .. some of our favourite kitchen styles for hosting an Egg-cellent Easter weekend

Easter is almost here and with all the friends & family, come the laid back lunches & endless entertaining throwing the spotlight firmly onto the the kitchen, so we thought we would have a look at a few of our favourites.

 

3 in 1

This stunning kitchen, dining and family room has been expertly extended to include an orangery complete with large lantern, electric openers and double aspect windows overlooking the garden.

Sellindge, Kent 

 

Sleek lines 

This kitchen has been designed, planned and finished to a very high specification.  With bi-fold doors & a velux skylight it  brilliantly maximises the light, space and views that the property has to offer

Aylesford, Kent

 

Light & Bright 

This beautiful kitchen has been designed to mix traditional and contemporary styles complimenting many of the original beams on display.  Stunning custom made solid oak joinery including traditional latch doors, floor boards and oak staircases with galleries make for an impressive overall finish.

Water Lane, Hunton, Kent 

 

Complimentary Colours 

Bright pops of colour are becoming increasingly popular in modern kitchen design, our top tip is to stick to one, solid colour to successfully make a statement.

Hurstwood Park, Tunbridge Wells, Kent 

 

Country Casual

Pale walls and cabinets combined with open shelving give this farmhouse  kitchen a chic feel. The understated wooden flooring and exposed brickwork are the key to a  contemporary country style.

Lingfield, Surrey 

 

 

14th March 2017

Hold your horses…..

With the Cheltenham Festival all this week we thought we would take this opportunity to study the form of some of our top equestrian properties.

Whatever type of property you are looking to buy as a home for you and your horses from a paddock to full livery stables we are here to help and advise. Our specialist country houses and estates team  look after clients who range from professional trainers with established racing yards to successful eventers,  or those looking for hunt stable and country houses with smaller equestrian facilities ideal for aspiring young jockeys.

Here are some of the runners and riders..

 

Overdale Meadow was originally built in 1955 and is situated within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty  near the historic village of Brasted. It offers great family accommodation with mature gardens, views, stabling and paddock for budding jockeys.

Brasted Chart, Kent

 

Swallows Rest is a superb four bedroom home surrounded by stunning countryside in the  rural setting of Painters Forstal.  The equestrian facilities are a real bonus with a post and rail fence dividing the paddocks from the gardens and additional rear access via a 5 bar gate which is useful for horse boxes and trailers.

Painters Forstal, Kent

 

Orchard House is a substantial country house with a rural outlook benefiting from leisure complex, extensive outbuildings and land within the  * Cranbrook School catchment area * This is a handsome country house dating from 1929.

A further detached timber outbuilding currently houses a gymnasium and there is also a substantial timber built tractor store providing masses of storage space plus two stable blocks and a hay barn.

 

Biddenden, Kent

 

This spacious Victorian farmhouse, offered together with a stable block, which has  the benefit of planning permission for residential conversion, in an accessible rural location, and only around 8 miles to Tunbridge Wells railway station, enjoying distant views over the surrounding countryside.

The L-Shaped Edwardian stable block has the benefit of detailed planning consent for the provision of a separate access to Sheriffs Lane, residential conversion and extension to provide a 3 bedroom single storey property.

Crowborough, East Sussex

 

A charming characterful Victorian lodge house set amidst 4.11 acres with stunning far reaching views in the highly sought after village of Tandridge, yet only slightly over 2 miles from Oxted station.

Tandridge, Kent

 

28th February 2017

Spring forward!

At last the evenings  are getting longer, the mornings getting lighter and we are starting to feel like Spring is well and truly on its way! With the departure of hurricane Doris the weather is still a bit gloomy in places, but with the snowdrops and crocus bulbs starting to flower and March just around the corner it’s time to start getting out and about again!  Where better to start than your local National Trust properties. In the South East we are lucky to have lots of lovely NT properties surrounding us locally so why not have a look at some of our favourite homes near the National Trust’s finest!

Close to the historical 14th century manor house of  Ightham Mote with  its stunning gardens is Glenkindie House an elegant and contemporary Edwardian family home on the edge of this very popular village.

Glenkindie House, Ightham, Kent

Acquired by the National Trust 18 years before the death of Churchill, is his family home Chartwell in Westerham. The property was the very treasured private residence & sanctuary for the Churchill family, one that they left reluctantly in 1965. Our property  has a high spec finish and is approx 4,000 sq ft with extensive gardens and a cinema room!

Crockham Hill, Kent

 

On the outskirts of  the popular town of Tunbridge Wells lies Scotney Castle part country house, part castle dating from 1137, it has a long and varied history and was left to the National Trust in 1970 by the Hussey Family. Just around the corner you will find the village of Lamberhurst and the Grade II listed beautifully refurbished Manor Den. This 4 bedroom family home has also recently been granted planning permission for a rear single storey breakfast room extension!

Manor Den, Lamberhurst, Kent

Travel a little further east and you will find one of the most popular of the Trust’s properties, Sissinghurst Castle. The castle is steeped in history and has in its time been a prison and a working farm assisted by the Women’s Land Army before Vita Sackville-West fell in love with it and created its famous gardens. Less than 5 minutes down the road you will find  Church House  set in the heart of the pretty and popular village of Sissinghurst, which is within the much sought after Cranbrook School Catchment Area. This very special Grade II listed property is set amid its own beautiful gardens which incorporate a period barn, swimming pool and an acre of grounds.

Church House, Sissinghurst, Kent

Or for something completely different how about a walk along the historic, world famous White Cliffs of Dover, the walls of  defence and iconic symbol of ‘home’ for so many during the war. With stunning walks along the coast line and from the lighthouse, whatever the time of year you are guaranteed breath taking views. The opportunity to have this view all to yourself doesn’t come up very often, but we have a beautiful house situated along on the cliffs with stunning view over the English Channel and next to land managed by the National Trust.

The Leas, Deal, Kent

31st January 2017

‘Bathroom Bliss’

Relaxation and wellness are looking to be the popular trends that will feature in 2017 bathroom interior designs at the top end of the market.   Bathrooms will slowly become more spa like and ‘zen’, with focus on key features such as a roll top bath, statement wall or floor. If you prefer the ‘organic’ more natural look, the use of wood or stone ( or a combination) mean that no two pieces are ever the same and your bathroom’s finish will be truly original

Most industries are always trying to find ways to make themselves more eco-friendly, and the bathroom industry is no different, so keep a  look out for dual-flush loos, baths that hold less water and digital showers that regulate ‘flow’ among other things..

 

‘Cool & Calm’

Colours will remain neutral and muted to create a feeling of calm, although when combined with flexible lighting and multi-shaded textures they will  transform a busy family bathroom into a relaxing oasis.

loosebathroom

Loose, Maidstone

 

linfield bathroom

Lingfield, Surrey 

 

bathroom2

Canterbury, Kent 

 

‘Pick & Mix’ 

Don’t be afraid to mix your styles and work with what you have,  ‘old and new’ when cleverly combined are bang on trend!

bathroom4

Lamberhurst, Kent

 

‘Subtle Storage’ 

If possible keep your bathroom storage neat and discreet. Keeping the ‘lines’ clean and clear will give a much more relaxing space that is clutter free!

bathroom3

Tunbridge Wells, Kent 

 

‘Perfect Pantones’

Try combining the off white shades to create warmth and softness with ‘pops’ of blue & green, this season’s on trend colours.  If you are thinking of  having colour  on a wall, then only use in single blocks, so it is eye-catching, not overwhelming.

whitehouse bathroom

Dunk’s Green, Kent 

 

 

 

 

 

13th December 2016

Christmas Kitchens

Nowadays kitchens are used for so much more than just cooking – they are the main hub of the home, the place where we cook, entertain and relax!

As  so much of the excitement and preparation of Christmas seems to be centered around the kitchen, we thought we would have a look at some of our favourites!

 The Country Kitchen 

These charming, rustic kitchens portray the delight of farmhouse living and  traditionally combined in-built units with with freestanding dressers, plate racks and butlers sinks. They worked in tandem with the dining room, but we find they are often adapted to suit modern lifestyle of the kitchen/diner. A typical country kitchen would be at the heart of the home.

Plaxtol Kitchen

Plaxtol, Kent 

The Contemporary Kitchen 

Possibly becoming the most popular of kitchen layouts and designs especially with family homeowners. These offer a great combination of style and function – perfect for a Christmas lunch, although not always easy to hide the cooking chaos .. if there is any !

Brooke-House-34

Crowhurst, Surrey 

 

The Character Kitchen 

These kitchens are often the product of vision and clever archtictectural design, giving the unique combination of character and functionality found in a conversion. Character kitchens are often bespoke and have a main centrepiece AGA or modern range cooker. They usually have a greater floorspace  that enbales the flexibility of having an integrated living area.

 

Characterkitchen

Brightling, East Sussex

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