The Househunter

1st December 2017

And just like that it was the first day of the last month. So are you still up for a little fantasy house-hunting? The market dies down a little at this time of year although I have twice moved house on 10 December so there are people who are still looking either through desperation or desire.

First up let’s go to Buckinghamshire to this sweet three bedroom cottage on a quiet road in the Chiltern Hills, which is only a ten minute drive to tube at Chesham. I know! It’s on with The Modern House for £795,000 and it’s proper nice.

And, as an aside while we mention The Modern House both they and I have been featured in a new book called Make Instagram Your Business which features 100 top instagram accounts. I was very thrilled to be included. They definitely deserve a spot. Just mentioning in case anyone’s looking for a stocking filler or anything…

Anyway, back to the house. It’s had this rather clever extension which manages to be modern and let in light while also still in keeping with the original part of the house. Black cladding is definitely the way to go. Note also the painted floorboards and beams in the image above, which keep it looking modern.

It will come as no surprise that I’m a fan of white floorboards as we have them throughout The Mad House but they do make the place lighter and there’s no risk of that orange varnish which so often happens to sanded boards. On the downside, yes they can be high maintenance as they chip when chairs are dragged to and fro. But I didn’t mind that too much – you might feel differently.

And, at the other end of the scale how about this large apartment in Hampstead? It’s on with Savills for £2,500,000 and also has three bedrooms although there the similarities end. This one has a communal garden with a private terrace. While two of the bedrooms are tiny (and the master has an ensuite) there is also a study with leads to the aforementioned terrace.

The key to this flat is that it was created from an enormous house so the ceilings are high and the communal spaces are massive. It’s difficult to see how you could reconfigure it any other way – making two large bedrooms and another bathroom, for example, but it’s the large kitchen and panelled sitting room which will sell this one.

I mean, if I had the fantasy money, I could be tempted. These two rooms are definitely the best but it’s a huge flat. At more than 1,800 sq feet it’s bigger than my last house which was 1,400 and had four bedrooms over three floors. I give you that as an example of what you can fit into a space.

It’s on the raised ground floor as well which makes the terrace properly private as you won’t be sitting there sunning yourself while the neighbours stroll past. All these things have to be considered when you’re buying at flat. When we were looking for our first we turned down several with pretty gardens because access was through the bedroom.

On the basis that every house sale involves a compromise somewhere down the line we felt that that was one we weren’t prepared to make. Eventually we found one with the garden door going out of the kitchen which was much more suitable.

And on that note – because we have bought and sold four houses and I lived in many, many more growing up, it has been my experience that the right house is out there for you. Even if you lose out on the one that you had set your heart on, I’m sure when you do eventually buy that you end up with one that is better for you than the one you thought you wanted.

And let’s end the week on that cheerful note shall we. December is here let the shopping commence. If not for houses then for presents and self-gifts at least. Wishing you all a lovely weekend.

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