Walton on Thames




There are plenty of people who have no plans in the foreseeable future to sell their homes, but who also want to add value to their property in advance of the day when they do decide to sell up. So for those who are considering a project or two to enhance their investment, here are some ideas that will almost certainly add value.


1.    Installing a cellar


So many of us just don’t seem to have enough space at home these days, sometimes because of an increase in the size of the family and sometimes because of an accumulation of possessions. Making space isn’t always easy, but if it’s possible to add a cellar then space may become a non-issue in no time. If you already have a cellar for storage, it might be worth converting it onto another bedroom.


2.    Converting the garage


In recent times, we’ve noticed more and more home owners using their garages for storage, in particularly for storing anything and everything except a car! Many older homes in Walton-on-Thames have garages that simply aren’t wide enough for the larger modern cars, so while the vehicle is outside the garage itself is often full of old furniture, domestic appliances and gardening equipment. Spaces like this can easily be converted into home offices or bedrooms.


3.    Building a conservatory


While a number of people want more bedrooms, we have found plenty of home owners who just want to have more living space. A conservatory is perfect for them, because it can be light, spacious and attractive. It can act as a form of sanctuary away from the main hustle and bustle of the house, and of course it can offer attractive views of the back garden.


4.    Renovating a bathroom


Older-style bathrooms can sometimes give a home a somewhat faded look, even if the bathroom itself functions perfectly well. It can be expensive to renovate this room, but if you keep the layout the same you won’t have to pay out for redirecting pipework and suchlike. Replacing an old shower with a more environmentally sound model can also help to keep future running costs down.


5.    Remodelling the garden


While the garden renovation may not add direct value to the home, although in many cases it will, of course, the new look can add to the feel-good factor that the property has. Replacing a tired, somewhat threadbare lawn is a good idea, as is planting new flower beds and perhaps jet-washing pathways and patios. You could end up with what looks like a completely new garden by the time you’re finished!


James Neave the Estate Agents are based in Walton-on-Thames, and we always have a great selection of houses for sale in Surrey. We’re always happy to talk all things property, so give us a call soon on 01932 221 331.


Leith Hill Tower


Four countryside walks in Surrey for the perfect escape


Here at James Neave, we love the fact that our region is home to so many contrasts. The county of Surrey is just a short train ride away from the centre of London, yet we’re never far from some truly beautiful countryside. If you’re lucky enough to live or work in the local area, you can head off on a voyage of rural discovery in no time at all. Here are four of the finest walks to enjoy at any time of the year.


1.    River Wey Walk


The River Wey offers a number of interesting and picturesque walks, so you can always find one that matches your needs. It also offers a relatively flat terrain making it easy for young and old alike. The section from Weybridge to New Haw covers around five miles, and follows the route taken by grain barges in years gone by.


2.    Leith Hill


Leith Hill is known as the highest point in Surrey, and walks in this area always reward you with splendid views of the surrounding fields, landmarks and villages. It’s located some 7km from Dorking, and at the very top lies Leith Hill Tower, which you can gain entrance to for a small fee.


3.    The Woking Heritage Trail


If you prefer to be in a more urban environment, the Woking Heritage Trail might just be perfect for you. It starts at the town’s railway station and meanders along until you get back there, taking in a number of sights relating to the great author HG Wells along the way. One of the highlights is the Martian Tripod, which is to be found in Crown Square.


4.    Take in the Thames


The fabulous River Thames is just a few yards from our offices, and it brings golden opportunities to enjoy picturesque walks at any time. The highly impressive Walton Bridge is the perfect starting point, and from here you can head east towards Hampton Court or west towards Shepperton. And when you feel the need for refreshment, you’ll find some excellent pubs and restaurants along the way.


James Neave the Estate Agents specialise in providing superb flats and houses for sale in Walton-on-Thames and the surrounding area. Call 01932 221 331 to find out more.




Helpful tips for buying a property via an auction


While most people buy their property via the more traditional method of using an estate agent, there are of course alternatives. One of the more intriguing options is to buy a home at auction, but of course this method isn’t for everyone. However, if you like the idea of doing so, here are a few tips to make the process simpler and more effective.


Pay the property a visit


It’s possible to find out a great many details about your desired property in the post, over the phone and online, but nothing beats seeing a place up close and personal. While floor plans, photographs and written descriptions can be useful, you need to see houses or flats in the flesh to know exactly what you’re buying.


Make sure you know the legalities


Buying a property represents the largest purchase most people will ever make, so it needs to be done properly. If you buy through an estate agent like most purchasers, you’ll need to have legal advice from the start, and buying at auction should be no exception. Without a law expert on your side, all sorts of problems could occur.


Set yourself a maximum spend limit


A property auction can offer something of an exhilarating environment, and for some it’s easy to end up getting caught up in all the excitement. To avoid spending too much, it’s a good idea to set a maximum limit for yourself and, just as important, to avoid going over it.


Make sure you have the initial funds


In many property auctions, you’ll be expected to pay a deposit (often 10%) at the end of the auction process. Therefore, you’ll need to have this money available even if you are yet to arrange a mortgage. This is another good reason for setting a spending limit and sticking to it.


James Neave the Estate Agent are based in Walton-on-Thames. We offer access to a wonderful selection of flats and houses for sale and for rent.



When celebrities cross the line – planning applications of the rich and famous


Hugely popular singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran may find it easy to succeed in the pop charts, but he’s been finding it more difficult to top the popularity charts with his neighbours. Sheeran is the subject of the latest in a long line of celebrity planning application stories, having been accused of building what could be used as a swimming pool, having originally specified it as a pool for wildlife. The local council in Suffolk is yet to issue a final decision in the matter, but it’s caused plenty of disquiet within the local community.


Celebrity chef Alain Roux fell foul of his neighbours in 2016 when a house he owned in Bray was fitted with replacement windows made from uPVC. The property was mainly used for accommodation for staff members who worked in his nearby restaurant, and the windows that replaced a previous set of traditional wooden sash windows really didn’t go down well.


Actress Anna Friel faced similar levels of wrath from her neighbours and her local council in 2017. Her Georgian home is in a conservation area close to Windsor Castle, and a major renovation project involving the addition of a single storey extension brought with it a host of problems.


When neighbours don’t become good friends


There has been a very public row in recent years between former Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and one-time Take That heart-throb Robbie Williams, and it was all due to a planning application. These two superstars live next door to each other in London’s Holland Park, and the arguments began when Williams wanted to have a basement swimming pool installed in his home. After five years of wrangling, Williams won.


It’s interesting to note that one planning row occurred in relation to a property that’s perhaps even more famous than the superstars who spent time inside it. The property used for both Big Brother and Celebrity Big Brother was the subject of applications in 2018 that allowed it to continue being used for future series. In the end, permission was duly granted by Hertsmere Borough Council, although the programme makers have since said no further series would be made.


Here at James Neave, we know about all things property in Walton-on-Thames, and we’re always happy to discuss planning needs with our customers. If you’d like to speak to us, why not pop in for a chat or call 01932 221 331 today?


James Neave the Estate Agents are based in Surrey and we offer a great selection of houses for sale in Walton-on-Thames and the surrounding area.




Brexit uncertainty continuing to influence house prices


The ongoing uncertainty over brexit is continuing to have an effect on the housing market in the UK, according to figures released recently. Halifax have issued a report that has again highlighted slow growth, in fact the slowest growth in average house prices for more than six years.


It should be noted that many experts had predicted an overall drop in house prices, but in fact there has been a small increase of 1.1%. Whether this is set to continue remains to be seen, of course, even if the whole Brexit situation is about to be reaching something approaching an endgame.


While we may indeed be set to leave the EU in a few days, there’s no reason to assume that the economy will immediately stabilise. Uncertainty among both buyers and sellers in the housing sector could carry on for months or perhaps even years, although there are some experts who think the market will improve as soon as we know one way or the other how the future will look.


Good news for first-time buyers throughout the UK


In September 2019, the average home in the UK cost £232,574, a slight drop on the price in August but still an improvement on September 2018. While such slow growth won’t be good for those looking to sell, buyers – and especially first-time buyers – will be encouraged by it.


Perhaps the main reason for the uncertainty is the fact that no-one really knows how the economy will fare after Brexit. This is a situation that we as a nation have never been in before, so even the politicians are struggling to make sense of what may or may not happen.


Here in the south-east of England, house prices are higher than almost everywhere else in the UK, and the market remains relatively vibrant when compared to some locations. James Neave the Estate Agents continue to offer an excellent range of flats and houses for sale in Surrey, all of which enjoy excellent commuter links to Central London.


James Neave the Estate Agents specialise in property in Walton-on-Thames. Call 01932 221 331 to find out more.



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