On a sleepy Sunday afternoon, being mobbed by The Wanted fans

This is a legacy post from the findaproperty.com blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

It’s always fun to be invited in to talk the talk about property and last Sunday was no exception when James Max invited FindaProperty in discuss the housing market and take questions from his regular phone-in slot.

What we hadn’t been prepared for was the squabbling mass of teengage girls mobbing LBC‘s front door on Leicester Square, chanting for the bodies of The Wanted, who were in for the station’s chart count down show later that day. One young woman said she’d been there since 11am hoping for a glimpse of her very new idols – it was nearly 6pm when FindaProperty struggled through the crowd to get in.

Nevertheless, we got there and had an hour talking with James, taking questions about London’s property market and in particular how the Olympics is, and has been, affecting house prices around the main sites.

Listen to the show.

March 16, 2011 at 11:12 AM 1 comment

Where is Britain’s best village?

This is a legacy post from the findaproperty.com blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

Do you value a good school over a village shop; or would you rather have a reliable bus service instead of a stonking summer fair? And where does the quality of the village bunting come into the equation? Like most things in life, not everyone likes the same things in a village (although a straw poll of FindaProperty HQ found overwhelming support for a quality pub).

Kudos then to estate agents Savills who have taken the brave decision to nominate what they think are the nation’s best villages. They whittled it down to a shortlist of 12 by looking at schools, transport and good basic amenities (like village shops and pubs). They also rated the setting and overall health of the village and took note of social and economic infrastructure.

The overall winner of the best village crown was named Chew Magna in Somerset, not far from Bath and Bristol, which even features a Michelin-starred pub nestled between its stone cottages and flagstone streets.

Richard Brooks, who runs the Savills residential office in Bristol, said he wasn’t surprised Chew Magna was named best village. “Everything about the village works, it has a proper core to it and you really get the feeling the villagers love living there. It has everything anyone could possibly need for everyday living.”

Savills also picked the top three villages when it came to schools, value for money and transport connections, as well the top three villages deemed the best to escape to.

It’s all well and good for those already living in one of England and Wales’ best villages, but what about the rest of us? How easy is it to get a slice of the nation’s best village life?

Savills director Lucian Cooks says it’s possible, but you need a lot of patience and a fair whack of cash as homes don’t come onto the market very often and when they do, they tend to be pricey.

“The popularity of these villages is clearly reflected by the fact that properties in the villages change hands infrequently and for an identifiable premium,” Cook says. “Although the premium varies dramatically, detached house prices were more than 50% higher than the county average.”

Is your village on the list? Should it be? Tell us what you think.

Best Connected

Chew Magna, Somerset

East Hendred, Oxfordshire

Brenchley, Kent

Best for Schools

Crondall, Surrey

Chipperfield, Hertfordshire

Chiddingfold, Surrey

Best for Value

Navenby, Lincolnshire

Farndon, Cheshire

Walsham le Willows, Suffolk

Best for the Great Escape

Mylor Bridge, Cornwall

Hovingham, N Yorkshire

Grosmond, Monmouthshire

March 15, 2011 at 11:57 AM Leave a comment

Where is Britain’s best village?

This is a legacy post from the findaproperty.com blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

Do you value a good school over a village shop; or would you rather have a reliable bus service instead of a stonking summer fair? And where does the quality of the village bunting come into the equation? Like most things in life, not everyone likes the same things in a village (although a straw poll of FindaProperty HQ found overwhelming support for a quality pub).

Kudos then to estate agents Savills who have taken the brave decision to nominate what they think are the nation’s best villages. They whittled it down to a shortlist of 12 by looking at schools, transport and good basic amenities (like village shops and pubs). They also rated the setting and overall health of the village and took note of social and economic infrastructure.

The overall winner of the best village crown was named Chew Magna in Somerset, not far from Bath and Bristol, which even features a Michelin-starred pub nestled between its stone cottages and flagstone streets.

Richard Brooks, who runs the Savills residential office in Bristol, said he wasn’t surprised Chew Magna was named best village. “Everything about the village works, it has a proper core to it and you really get the feeling the villagers love living there. It has everything anyone could possibly need for everyday living.”

Savills also picked the top three villages when it came to schools, value for money and transport connections, as well the top three villages deemed the best to escape to.

It’s all well and good for those already living in one of England and Wales’ best villages, but what about the rest of us? How easy is it to get a slice of the nation’s best village life?

Savills director Lucian Cooks says it’s possible, but you need a lot of patience and a fair whack of cash as homes don’t come onto the market very often and when they do, they tend to be pricey.

“The popularity of these villages is clearly reflected by the fact that properties in the villages change hands infrequently and for an identifiable premium,” Cook says. “Although the premium varies dramatically, detached house prices were more than 50% higher than the county average.”

Is your village on the list? Should it be? Tell us what you think.

Best Connected

Chew Magna, Somerset

East Hendred, Oxfordshire

Brenchley, Kent

Best for Schools

Crondall, Surrey

Chipperfield, Hertfordshire

Chiddingfold, Surrey

Best for Value

Navenby, Lincolnshire

Farndon, Cheshire

Walsham le Willows, Suffolk

Best for the Great Escape

Mylor Bridge, Cornwall

Hovingham, N Yorkshire

Grosmond, Monmouthshire

March 15, 2011 at 11:57 AM Leave a comment

Footballer Jermaine Defoe, lists £3.75m property for sale, but reduces price by £200,000

England & Tottenham Hotspur player, Jermaine Defoe, has listed his £3.75m property for sale.

According to our sold price section on Zoopla, it appears the England forward paid £1,250,000 for the property on 22nd July 2005. So, if he sold for his asking price he’d be making a whopping 200% gain in just under 6 years!!

We’re a little bit curious at Zoopla and couldn’t leave it there. It also seems that he has been trying to sell the property since July last year. A quick virtual curtain twitch in the Zoopla Property Archive and we’ve found a previous for sale listing for his property on the The Ridgeway, Cuffley, Potters Bar when it was listed for a sale price of £3,950,000.

Here are the current property for sale details on Zoopla.co.uk and the historic property for sale details in the Zoopla Property Archive.

Oh…and a few picture to help you have a good snoop around…

March 11, 2011 at 2:58 PM 1 comment

New builds are a homeowner’s blank canvas

This is a legacy post from the findaproperty.com blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

Built-in mod cons, excellent energy efficiency and improved security – it’s not hard to see why more of us are opting for the charms of a new build home.

Ask a new-build buyer and they’ll tell you their home came with all new fixtures and fittings so there’s less chance of being lumbered with faulty boilers or damp patches. Also, new-home builders tend to take account of changing living patterns and build houses in keeping with modern lifestyles: they know what a lot of us are discovering – that Victorian room layouts may no longer be appropriate. New home owners will also likely get peace of mind from the warranty on their homes and an easier buying experience, as there’s no chain when they lay their hard earned cash down on a new build.

The New Homes Marketing Board has come up with a list of top reasons to buy new:

1. A fresh start: new build homes are a blank canvas

2. The price is right: new builds tend to be priced competitively for a swift sale

3. Greener and cheaper: new builds are built to the latest environmental standards

4. Less chain, less hassle: no stressful waiting around for owners to move out

5. More for your money: new builds come with high spec standard features

6. Peace of mind: Many house builders provide a ten year warranty

7. Spoilt for choice: There are countless designs and styles to chose from

8. A wise investment: new builds make good economic sense

March 10, 2011 at 4:18 PM 1 comment

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