Property search from a distance
The first two or three property search expeditions can be exciting – well fun at least – exploring a new area, staying a couple of nights in a nice boutique B & B or small hotel. But sadly you don’t find what you’re after; and yes, you’ll have to make the odd compromise, but three trips turn into five trips and it all gets to be a bit time consuming and, let’s face it, a bit heavy on your “hard-earned”, let alone the time spent hurtling up the motorway and getting lost down the odd country lane. What started out as fun turns into a chore and, more importantly becomes frustrating (and let’s face it, there’s plenty of other frustrations in life; searching for cheap plane flights on Goggle for one). Then there’s the abortive journeys viewing houses that are clearly unsuitable – and someone could have told you this on the ‘phone. Viewing houses that you discover went “under offer” to a buyer living locally who saw it two days ago. Well sometimes that’s the way it goes, but need it be like this? It needn’t. You could hire a property finder, a locally based property expert, right at the outset (once you’ve figured out where you want to be). Yes, it’s an additional expense, but you could find it’s worth, that old cliché – its weight in gold.
Supposing, right at the outset, you sit down with your chosen Property Finder to discover your property criteria – by the way, many of them are really nice people, and most ex-estate agents (but don’t hold that against them); they really do know their “patch” and have a good handle on property prices. But most importantly they make it their business to have a good report with local estate agents, who will sometimes tip them off with a property “not-yet-on-the-market”, and believe me, these can often be the gems, one’s you may not get to see otherwise; but that’s another story altogether, and something I’ll write about another week.
The Cotswolds cover a vast swath of rolling countryside, villages and market towns. Cheltenham and its environ is bigger than you think; and Gloucestershire has an area of 3,150 km² – that’s 1,220 sq miles to you and me. It’s a big and diverse county.
So, hiring a property finder? Money well spent?
Trust me, I was an estate agent