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When buying a property, very few of us actually think about taking the time to talk to the potential new neighbours. Talking to the neighbours should be a vital part of the buying process. When you buy, the seller will fill out a Seller’s Property Information Form (SPIF) which your solicitor will handle for you, but knocking on the door can head off and warn you of any possible disputes down the line.
The agent selling the property will be a great source of local information when it comes to schools, local amenities and transport, but it’s very unlikely they will know anything about the neighbours, who could be a hive of information info for you, not to mention help you make your buying decision.
1. When you view the property, ask the sellers a general question such as ‘What the neighbours are like’. From this you should get some insight – maybe they have kids, maybe they are elderly, maybe they rent the property – this will help with intros when you do knock at the door.
2. Don’t be afraid to knock at the door, but make sure you try and knock at a time that might suit the neighbours. For instance if they have kids, early morning might not fit in with the school run or if they are elderly, a late night visit might not the best idea. That’s why it is important to ask the owners some questions and get some information on them before knocking.
3. Try not to overstay your welcome and don’t expect to be asked inside for a coffee, but be polite and explain you have been viewing the property and you’re keen to say hello ahead of making any offer.
4. The outside of your neighbour’s house should tell you some of the story. Is it well kept, the garden in a tidy state, does it look well maintained. Clearly you shouldn’t be overly critical as we all lead busy lives, but the exterior could give you valuable clues.
Whilst getting to know your neighbours a little before you move in is only a small part of the buying process it is only takes a little effort into what will likely be your biggest ever investment and in my eyes is well worth doing. Either way you’ll learn something positive or negative that will mean you’re more informed when it comes to possibly making an offer.
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A selection of our top 10 dining rooms that we’d love to be enjoying our Christmas dinner in next week. Listed in no particular order as we’d like to hear what your no.1 is, so please vote in the poll below for your favourite.
1. A cosy dining area complete with open fire.
4 bed in Billingshurst, £895,000 – Chewton Rose
2. A dining room fit for a Christmas banquet.
4 bed in Surrey, £2M – Hamptons
3. Could you go for a pink theme this Christmas?
5 bed in Leicester, £409,995 – David Wilson Homes
4. What a great dining table and a great open plan living space.
4 bed in London, £10.5M – Cluttons
5. A beautiful country style dining area.
4 bed in Essex, £2.65M – Savills
6. A pretty circular table is great for keeping everyone involved in conversation.
3 bed in London, £999,999 – James Pendleton
7. Mixing old style character with a modern touch.
3 bed in London, £3.35M – Banbury Ball
8. Homely and cosy feel to this bright family dining room.
5 bed in Pudsey, £550,000 – Waite & Co
9. Love the rich colours of this room, perfect for the occasion.
6 bed in Witham, £2.85M – Chewton Rose
10. The bench seating ties in beautifully with the exposed beams.
3 bed in London, £2.5M – Domus Nova
Buying a horse is not just for Christmas, but a big commitment in terms of both time and expense – and it may involve moving home.
Keeping horses on site may sound like an extravagance, but it means owners can save on renting fields and stables.
And perhaps most importantly, it saves time. Travelling to a rented stable may take at least half an hour one way, which is clearly not ideal if you need to visit your horse a couple of times a day.
If a horse is housed in stables just yards away from your own property, it is going to take just 10 minutes to do a feed instead of potentially more than an hour.
And of course, there’s the luxury of being able to see your horse over the fence from your kitchen window.
Old Vicarage farm is a Grade II Listed property built in the 1850s that has undergone a complete modernisation.
The six bedroom home is seven miles from Cardigan in Wales and is currently on the market for £659,000 via Rural Scene.
It comes complete with several outbuildings – including a stable yard with three loose boxes, a stone barn and garage – and 24 acres of land. The paddocks are conveniently sized and most have water troughts
Properties with fields are not restricted to those with a million pounds budget and can be obtained for a few hundred thousand pounds.
The detached property has five double bedrooms, with paddocks and a stable block.