Property Search

What's happening in Strakers World...

WONDERFUL WILTSHIRE!

Woodborough in the Pewsey Vale, near Marlborough.

You choose: Beautiful village house with outstanding views, annex and outbuildings at £895,000 OR;

Build your own stunning house in a great plot with small paddock and nearly an acre in all at £400,000.

Full details are available on the web - click on the image above or search Woodborough at strakers.co.uk  - or call our Marlborough office to arrange a viewing on 01672 518099

 

Strakers at Corsham 10K

Strakers at Corsham 10k

CORSHAM 10K FUN

Strakers sponsored this annual event and team Strakers took part in the fun!

Auction moves...

Charlie Doel, our auctioneer, is looking forward to a terrific auction on the 16th February. Not only do we have one of our best sales in terms of numbers but also in terms of the variety of lots. ‘This is a great start to the year’ Charlie says ‘and we have a great mix of land, plots and houses included. And if you are looking for an investment then we have some cracking opportunities with good returns available in Swindon.'

The sale in February is at a new venue, The National Self Build and Renovation Centre just off the M4 (J16) which we think will suit us well; good space, easy to find and  plenty of parking.

We look forward to seeing you then.

You can contact the auction team on 01249 765200 or email them on auctions@strakers.co.uk

That's Progress!

As a rule of thumb, a third of an estate agent’s time is spent ‘pitching’ (or providing free valuations) for instructions; another third is taken up selling the houses and; the final third is used to progress sales, to see transactions through to a satisfactory conclusion. At Strakers we have recognised the importance of the latter for some time and we have a department dedicated to just this: Strakers Sales Progressing Department. Their role is to manage the progress of a sale once it has been agreed and each office has a sales progressor who looks after their pipeline transactions. Strakers has invested further in the department with the appointment of Ann Freeman, an Associate Director, as head of the department which is based in Corsham. Ann  has huge experience in the industry, having run estate agency teams in Chippenham and Royal Wootton Bassett; she understands the business thoroughly. The value of such a department is not insignificant: 80% of our agreed sales go through to completion compared to an industry average of about 60%.

Customer focused progress then. Important progress too.

WHAT MAKES A GOOD SALE?

It is always very satisfying to see a house sale complete: happy vendor; happy buyer; a job well done and; on to the next one! With the high volume of activity we deal with over a year, it is easy to forget one or another sale and this then posed the question. The response from all of our offices echoed similar sentiments, emanating from the instruction itself; a large part of our business lies in ‘winning’ the instruction in the first place. Most rewarding it is then to receive repeat business where we have dealt with the client before. Equally satisfying is the sale of a house that was unsold until we were instructed!…And individual properties require specialist skills, for example where land may be involved or there is a plot in the garden. Sound advice and a thorough understanding of the market are vital.

Significantly, this job is about providing a service, helping and assisting people in a task which at first glance appears to be simple but can be laced with emotion and life-changing experiences that really do matter to the individuals involved.

Matching expectations, managing the process to a satisfactory conclusion and the trust that goes with this are hugely rewarding.

LETTING DISTINCTION

We have often prided ourselves on the close-cooperation of our nine offices and that each ‘team’ has a genuine interest in the company as a whole. Our lettings business, which must be one of the largest in the county, has had another successful year despite a shortage of available properties on the market.

Karen Elson, our Head of Lettings, says that this ‘close-cooperation’ is a key element to the success of her department: ‘each of our offices has a lettings specialist and the whole office has an interest in delivering good lettings results. Many of our competitors will have distinct lettings departments in their offices which, in our view, do not work as well.’ Karen adds that one of our great strengths is that we help investors find suitable property for letting which can then lead to further letting or management instructions.

Expectations are for continued good returns for landlords and investors in 2017.

You can contact Karen on 01380 722995 or email karen.elson@strakers.co.uk

AUCTION LOTS

Our sale earlier in the month was in Devizes and in the words of our auctioneer, Charlie Doel, it was a cracking finish to 2016 for the auction team. 17 sales out of 20 was a fine result which included three lots that were sold prior to. Notable sales included development sites in Devizes and Tidworth which both demonstrated developer-confidence in the market ahead; a charming 2 bedroom cottage with great potential; and a paddock on the edge of a village which nearly doubled its guide price.

Our first sale in 2017 is in Swindon on the 16th February and at a new venue: The National Self Build and Renovation Centre which is just off the M4, Junction 16. Not only is it easier to get to and find, Charlie thinks that the centre ‘fits auctions like a glove’!  

We will look forward to seeing you there and in the meantime if you require any assistance from the auction team do please ring on 01249 765200; or email auctions@strakers.co.uk

Wonderful Wiltshire!

The flight of locks at Caen Hill, Devizes last week. 

Show Homes for sale in Marlborough from £285,000

Our office in Marlborough has just released a selection of view homes for sale at the exclusive Priory Court development in Marlborough; complete with interior-designed curtains, soft furnishings, carpet and light fittings.

Designed for the over 55s, at the heart of Priory Court is a spacious, communal drawing room which opens onto a terrace overlooking the beautifully landscaped and fully-maintained gardens – the ideal place to meet and socialise with neighbours. Energy efficient and easy to maintain, Priory Court is conveniently located close to the town centre and Marlborough's famous High Street.

Contact our Marlborough office to arrange a viewing or for further details on 01672 518099 or email marlborough@strakers.co.uk

Auction action!

A highlight of our October sale in Bath was a rather grand Victorian village house requiring modernisation. Built in the Gothic style, it featured 10 bedrooms with a magnificent entrance hall and staircase. Our next sale is on the 8th December at the Corn Exchange in Devizes. The 23 lots include houses large (6 beds in Marlborough) and small (2 beds in Chippenham), barns little (Keevil) and large (Sutton Benger), several parcels of land for development and a 10.7 acre field on the edge of the National Trust village of Lacock. Looking forward, our auctioneer Charlie Doel reports that future Bath sales will be held at the Racecourse whilst in Swindon we are ‘moving’ to The National Self Build and Renovation Centre: ‘Both are very accessible with ample parking and I am very much looking forward to them.’ Charlie adds.

For more information do contact our auction team on 01249 765200 or email auctions@strakers.co.uk

Out and About...

On the 15th October, our Chairman, Gordon Straker and his fellow trustees of The Helen Straker Charity, hosted a ball at Bath’s splendid Assembly Rooms. More than 200 guests were invited to a fine dinner and dance, followed by an auction in aid of Dorothy House and The Forever Friends Appeal. Meanwhile Antony Bulley, our Managing Director, cycled the 100 miles from Bath to Gloucester and back to raise funds for Bath Rugby Club Foundation; and Jen Beetlestone, who works in our office in Devizes, cycled with her family around the local countryside, taking part in the Wiltshire Big Wheel Bike Ride in aid of Wiltshire Air Ambulance.  

For more information about this and the other auction lots in our sale on the 27th October, call the Auction Team on 01249 765200 or email auctions@strakers.co.uk .

Our Corsham office has announced the launch of a prestigious new homes development near Bath. 

Auction Latest...

Our September Auction saw a total of 13 sales on the night with highlights including a pair of building plots which sold for £199,000; a ‘chocolate box’, thatched cottage in need of modernisation achieved £225,000; and an investment opportunity in Trowbridge, producing £16,800 p.a., realised £226,000.

October seems no time away and lining up for our sale on the 27th, we have a number of lots which include building land, properties for modernisation and conversion and a handsome ‘Gothic’ village house. For more information, you can contact our auction team on 01249 765200 or email auctions@strakers.co.uk  

On yer bike!

Our Managing Director, Antony Bulley, will soon be trading auto and aircon for lycra and drop handlebars as he embarks on a trip to Gloucester. On the first of October he will be setting off on the ‘West Country Derby Ride’, a 100 mile cycle ride from Bath in aid of Bath Rugby Foundation. He will be riding alongside ex England and Bath legends David Trick and David Flatman to watch a match with local rivals Gloucester, at Kingsholm.

Bath Rugby Foundation is the charitable arm of Bath Rugby Club set up to empower young people in Bath and surrounding areas to succeed. They use the values of rugby to inspire young people to create a better future for themselves and their focus is on improving Health, Education, Employability and Inclusion in the South West.

Good things can come in small parcels!

‘Don’t overlook that little bit of ground that you may think is relatively worthless’ says our auctioneer Charlie Doel, ‘because you might be surprised at how much it makes!’. Recent transactions in and around our market towns include a 7 acre strip of former railway embankment which sold for £84,000; a remote half acre allotment which sold for £56,000; an overgrown, two acre, ‘secret garden’ went for £47,000; and a three-quarter acre paddock on the edge of a village achieved £23,500. In some cases, neighbourly concern clearly plays its part in buoying prices but often there is genuinely competitive interest. ‘People like owning a little piece of England’ adds Charlie ‘and these relatively unusual parcels have an appeal all of their own.’ There is no doubt that some will have speculative appeal and it will be interesting to see how they look in future years. In the main though, we suspect that ‘untended’ will become ‘tended’ and hopefully provide their owners with great pleasure!

 If you have some land, large or small, that you would like to discuss, give Charlie a ring, on 01249 765200 or email him on charlie.doel@strakers.co.uk .

Wonderful Wiltshire!

Thatched cottages are a delightful feature of the Wiltshire countryside and we have a selection of beautiful homes to offer you; from period gems to a stunning brand new house. You can click here to find  the cottages above - simply type in the village name  in the Property Search section on the home page.

New Faces

We are delighted to welcome Tori Lancaster-Gaye who has just joined us in our Marlborough office.

Saleroom snippets

Our mid-summer sale at the Corn Exchange in Devizes suggested ‘business as usual’, despite what seemed like a nervous start. Star lots included a parcel of former allotment land in Market Lavington which more than doubled its guide price; and the sale of a family house on the outskirts of Norton St Philip, which followed some tense bidding, was quite a thriller. Our auctioneer, Charlie Doel reports that the demand for land has been particularly strong and the bidding for a house with a protected tenant, which included four hopeful buyers on the telephone, was a welcome surprise. Our next sale is on Thursday the 15th September at the Steam Museum in Swindon when the lots on offer will include a number of building plots. Charlie and his team are available on 01249 765200 or auctions@strakers.co.uk .

You can now see how it all works by viewing our latest video which focuses on ‘Land and Property Auctions’.  http://www.strakers.co.uk/Services/Auctions

Letting for investment

Our July lettings results echoed those of the same period in 2015; that is one of the best months in a forever busy department. To a degree, the versatility of the lettings market (for example, it has enabled home owners to move without selling by simply renting theirs out and then renting another one!) has fuelled demand, pushing rents up at the same time. Rightmove have reported a marked increase in asking rents across the country. We have seen this locally too: three bedroom semi-detached houses in Devizes which let for £650pcm in December 2012 have recently achieved £900pcm!

 

This has encouraged new and existing ‘buy to let’ investors who see property as a very safe bet with a return that, seemingly, may only be dreamt of in a bank.  ‘We held a seminar in April this year with the aim of helping new and existing landlords to get the best out of their investments; in some instances yields of over 5% are being achieved locally.’ says Karen Elson who heads up our lettings department. For more information, you can contact Karen directly on 01380 722995 or karen.elson@strakers.co.uk

OPEN HOUSE SATURDAY 20th AUGUST 11am - 1pm

Dreaming of Village Life?

‘We have some lovely villages in Wiltshire’ says Guy Straker, Director of Strakers in Devizes, ‘and Urchfont is a real favourite: it has a beautiful church, a village green with a duckpond, a pub, a local shop and a real community. Situated just 6 miles from Devizes in the stunning Pewsey Vale, what more could you want?

‘In 2015 Redcliffe Homes started something new in the village and it has created a landmark development by the duckpond. The Allier (all the houses were named after ducks!) is the last remaining house at Manor Farmyard and complements the village street scene so well that at first glance you could be forgiven for thinking that it is a period property, continues Guy. Nothing could be further from the truth, he adds: there are contemporary touches everywhere, a rather sophisticated style which suits modern living; and Redcliffe Homes’ renowned standard of finish.’

The Allier is on the market with Strakers who are quoting a guide price of £689,000 for this four bedroom house and you can follow the link http://www.strakers.co.uk/Details/Sales/26356163/The-Allier for more details; or simply call or email us on 01380 723451/ devizes@strakers.co.uk to arrange a viewing.

Keeping calm and carrying on...

I cannot deny that I have been concerned about the impending doom that had been predicted in and around the recent Referendum. And who really knows? Understanding property is what we do best and our experience so far would indicate that the market has slowed in pace although I question whether this is entirely Brexit related; we were extremely busy, sales-wise, in the preceding months and inevitably an overheated market will make its own adjustments.

House prices are always topical and yet, in reality, they are only really relevant to most individuals when they buy or sell. And even then, it is the relativity of pricing that matters: ‘how much do I need to find’ or ‘will I be able to pocket’ are common questions that figure at such times. That said, relevant pricing has always been central to a successful sale, good market or bad, and if we are in for a period of uncertainty sound advice will be key.

Maintaining confidence in our property market will be vital if we are in for some change and I believe that as a company we are well placed to advise: we have the experience to understand how to manage such change - we have qualified staff and a number of us have over thirty years in the industry; we have the enthusiasm and drive of our younger members of staff who have ambition to be the best; and above all we like what we do!

Keep calm then and we will do the rest.

 

New faces

We are delighted to welcome on board Victoria Lawrence and Lindsay Stevens who have recently joined our teams in Malmesbury and North Swindon respectively.

Auction update

A slight delay in the usual prompt start did not put off buyers at last month’s sale at The Assembly Rooms in Bath. With an 89% success rate, auction continues to appeal as an efficient means of selling with some terrific results being achieved; notable interest being shown in development opportunities and  ‘doer-uppers’ as Charlie Doel calls them. Our forthcoming sale at the beginning of August returns to The Corn Exchange in Devizes when Charlie and his team will be presenting nineteen lots; two which will be of particular interest to fishermen; various development opportunities including a building plot in Bath; and an excellent family house ‘which has to be sold’ in Norton St Philip.  For more information you can contact the Auction Office directly on 01249 765200 or by email auctions@strakers.co.uk .

Out and about…

Our Auction team have been joining in at Bath Boules again, a spectacular event which seems to take over central Bath every year. Seen here is Charlie Doel with Auction Manager Victoria Wakefield, Karen Lacey and a young helper; in the meantime, Lindy Fitzpatrick, manager of our North Swindon branch takes her turn on the piste.  Lindy’s team have also been busy at Orchid Vale Primary School where they promoted a ‘guess the name of the teddy bear’ competition in aid of charity. And at Dauntsey’s School in West Lavington, Karen Damon, manager of our Devizes office and Jennifer Beetlestone can be seen with a fellow sponsor making preparations at the ‘Rotary Superchoirs 2016’ event last week. You might also like to make a note of ‘Taste Wiltshire’ in Urchfont which is coming up in September.

What more could you want!

Our Chippenham office is marketing a stone-built village house which is believed to date from the reign of William IV!  Lipgate Cottage is located on the edge of Kington Langley in a pleasant rural location with far reaching open views. Approached by a sweeping gravelled driveway, it has a 1.75 acre paddock and a detached self-contained annexe too. Period character has been preserved and the accommodation includes a galleried landing with three bedrooms, a superb 27’ kitchen/family room and a delightful sitting room with a stove. The one bedroom annexe, which has been built in keeping with the cottage, is an attractive building and incorporates a sitting room, kitchen and a well-appointed wet room.  Scott Windle, from our Chippenham office, comments: ‘Kington Langley is a lovely village and this is a lovely property. It would suit a family well and the annexe would be great for a live-in relative or possibly as a home office.’ Lipgate Cottage’ is on the market with a guide price of £825,000 and you can contact Scott directly on 01249 652717 or scott.windle@strakers.co.uk .  

 

Auction Assembly

Our next auction on the 23rd June has great promise with over 30 lots being offered at Bath's magnificent Assembly Rooms. In the meantime you can contact the Auction team on 01249 765200 or auctions@strakers.co.uk or visit our website strakers.co.uk.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Commercial decisions

Our Commercial Surveyor, Andrew Martin, is taking a step back from the day to day world of commercial property, to concentrate on Strakers’ growing Development Land and Auctions business. As a result, we have teamed up with commercial property specialist Huw Thomas, of Huw Thomas Commercial, who will now provide Strakers’ clients with a full range of commercial property services.                                                                                                                                                        

Based in Chippenham, Huw Thomas has over 25 years of experience of dealing with commercial property in the Wiltshire, Bath and Somerset area. Commenting on the new agreement, Huw Thomas says “Strakers match my ethos as a well-established, independent business, with an excellent reputation and a strong client base that I can hopefully provide added value to”.                                  

Antony Bulley, our Managing Director added “We are delighted to be able to keep Andrew’s experience and knowledge in the business, and that we can continue to provide a more dedicated commercial property service to our client base. We are therefore delighted to have reached a working agreement with Huw that benefits both businesses”. You can contact Huw via our network of 8 offices or directly on 01249 704345 or huw@huwthomascommercial.com; and Andrew is on 01380 723451 or andrew.martin@strakers.co.uk .

Four Bed Period Thatched Cottage + Self-Contained One Bed Cottage in Great Cheverell, Wiltshire

Is it time to look for greener surroundings; needing to move a relative in or wanting a change of lifestyle and career?

In 2105, The Evening Standard quoted 64,000 families moved out of London all in search of those properties in the ‘right’ area with the ‘right’ credentials thus becoming more and more sought after….

Straker’s is delighted to introduce The Old Bell Cottage; a large period thatched cottage with a one bed self-contained cottage located within the grounds in the picturesque village of Great Cheverell on the edge of the Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire.

The four-bed 17th century cottage boasts charm and original features including inglenook fireplaces, beamed ceilings and showings of wattle and daub which undoubtedly add extra appeal to this property.

Within the large, extremely well-maintained garden sits a self-contained one-bedroom cottage. With shared parking to the main house but its own private access it makes for the perfect home for a family member or to use as a B&B/holiday let.

Situated two hours from London with close links to the A303, M3 and M4 and near to key cities and destinations including Bath, Stonehenge and the cathedral city of Salisbury, Great Cheverell is a well-known Wiltshire village. More locally it offers a primary school which is listed in the top 1%, a thriving village shop, garage and welcoming village pub.

Details are available from Strakers on 01380 723451; devizes@strakers.co.uk or visit the web http://www.strakers.co.uk/Details/Sales/26208051/The-Old-Bell-Cottage,-11

Around and about

A TV celebrity called in on our Royal Wootton Bassett office recently, much to the delight of Ann Freeman and Dawn Fitzgerald who are pictured here with Phil Spencer; their advice gratefully received! Earlier this week, Sue George (Marlborough), Penny Broomfield (Swindon North), Cath Mudrak (Corsham) and Rachael Mason (Royal Wootton Bassett) all donned hi-viz jackets to help at Prospect Hospice’s warehouse in Wroughton where donations are carefully sorted. A group from across the company took part in Corsham’s 10k and Charlie Doel, our auctioneer, who ‘does not like running at all’ took part in a gruelling, 20 mile cross country run at Burghley House. He has so far raised about £1000 in aid of MND. The large photograph shows our Chairman, Gordon Straker, receiving a cheque for £895 from Bath Rugby Player of the Year, Semesa Rokoduguni; the sum was raised for The Helen Straker Charity by our guests this season at Bath Rugby.

Auction update

Our May auction at the recently air-conditioned Corn Exchange in Devizes heralded a few surprises along with a clear demonstration that demand for property in Wiltshire is strong. That said those lots which attracted particular interest either fulfilled dreams or had an attractive investment angle: for example, a two bedroom flat in Swindon, with the potential to realise nearly £8,000 p.a., achieved £94,500 against a guide of £60,000+; whilst a building plot in Aughton and a Chapel for conversion in Bradenstoke both exceeded expectations by some way realising £292,000 and £168,000 respectively. ‘Auction doesn’t suit every property or every seller but the results do speak for themselves – very good prices are often achieved’ comments our Auctioneer Charlie Doel ‘and judging by the attendance they are popular events too!’ Our next sale is on the 23rd June in Bath and catalogues will be available week commencing 23rd May. In the meantime do feel free to contact Charlie and his team on 01249 765200 or auctions@strakers.co.uk .

Managing your investment

Over 90 people attended our investor event in April at the The National Self-Build & Renovation Centre, Swindon. Aimed at both existing and future landlords this was a reception, with drinks and canapés, where guest speakers had been invited to give guidance on how best to work within the revised legislation and taxation regulations; complex and intimidating stuff which is manageable but not to be ignored! Karen Elson, who heads up Strakers’ lettings and management department was one of the speakers along with colleagues from firms of local accountants and solicitors who were able to share their slant on events. Karen was delighted by the feedback and clearly our clients appreciated the advice judging by the enquiries for our managed service rather than simply ‘let only’. ‘Property is a great investment’ says Karen ‘however the law is becoming increasingly complex and we all need to be wary of the pitfalls. Something our qualified lettings specialists are here for!’ she adds. You can contact Karen directly on 01380 722995 or by email: karen.elson@strakers.co.uk

Run in the sun...

Corsham was the setting for a great '10k' on Sunday; an annual event which Strakers are proud to support. The race, which meanders through the town, out into the countryside and back again, was won by an appropriately numbered entrant from Calne Running Club.  Brilliant sunshine added cheer to a beautiful but cold spring morning - Team Strakers (and friends) are looking forward to the next one!

'Corsham has all you need' says David Liston, our branch manager in Corsham, 'History, beautiful buildings, beautiful countryside, a stunning park, great facilities including our new leisure centre; and if we need more we have Bath and Chippenham just down the road!' 'The town attracts interest too from a broad range of buyers who are attracted by its lively character and independent spirit' adds Associate Director, Matt Stinson 'and to complement the history, we are currently selling a great selection of new homes - ranging from first time buyer flats to highly individual homes overlooking the Box valley.' David is a local to Corsham where he lives with his family; and both he and Matt have experience and an enthusiasm for the community based on many years in the local property industry.      more…

This statistic is, almost, a constant with our Auction Department, big sale or small. And it was one of our smaller sales that drew a large crowd to The Assembly Rooms in Bath on the last evening of March. Of the ten lots that were offered, two residential development sites sold well; one of the commercial investments exceeded expectations; and houses 'needing modernisation' were a big hit culminating in the final lot more than doubling its £135,000 guide price! 'Properties will always find their level at auction' commented Charlie Doel, our auctioneer 'and there is nothing like competition in the room to get the best price. One of our great strengths is that we work hand-in-hand with our residential sales offices; in effect providing service equivalent to a private treaty transaction within a determinate timescale.' For more information, Charlie and his team can be contacted on 01249 765200 or by following the link below.     more…

We've been busy in March offering a helping hand here and there. Early in the month, a group from our Marlborough, Chippenham and Corsham offices donned wellies and hi-viz jackets to assist at Bath City Farm; a 37 acre charitable enterprise which was set up by the local community in 1990 ( www.bathcityfarm.org.uk ).  Ladies from our offices in Royal Wootton Bassett, Corsham and Devizes joined Chippenham Stroke Club  ( www.chippenhamstrokeclub.org.uk ) for a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon of Easter activities including traditional Bonnet making. And over in Cricklade, our Swindon offices lent a hand at a very successful 'Easter Eggspress' weekend on the delightful Swindon and Cricklade Railway ( www.swindon-cricklade-railway.org/blunsdon.php ).   

   more…

Auction update

Converting an old building into a home is a dream for many of us; and 'barn conversion' is a well used line in every agent's phrase book! The conversion of a chapel is not dissimilar in that one starts with a relatively open space and works from there, although on the plus side they benefit from style and decoration that was not often reserved for our hardy farm animals! The Wesleyan Chapel at Rudge, near Frome, is a good illustration and this rather handsome, early Victorian example is being offered for sale by our Auction department on the 31st March at the Assembly Rooms in Bath. For more details of this and the other lots on offer call our auction team on 01249 765200 or email auctions@strakers.co.uk

Egg-Spress Locomotion

Our offices in Swindon have decided to help out at a fun week-end over Easter with the Swindon and Cricklade Railway’s Easter ‘Egg-Spress’. Strakers are the principal sponsor for the week-end event on this charming railway, just north of Swindon, built and run by volunteers. Step aboard then for a delightful train ride, meet the Easter Bunny and enjoy the entertainment! (...and there's a free chocolate egg for each child too). Do join the team: The 'Egg-Spress' is running over the week-end of the 25th-28th March.

His name is above the door...

‘Devizes is just like home to me’ says Guy Straker, one of our Directors who heads up the team in the historic, market town. ‘I feel both proud and very fortunate to be working in one of the finest towns in the county!’ he adds. ‘One of its great strengths is that it still has its own identity where so often towns can all seem the same these days. And we have such wonderful countryside on our doorstep too, beautiful down land, The Plain, The Pewsey Vale, along with The Kennet and Avon Canal which runs right through the heart of the town.’ Guy joined the family firm in 2002, rising through the ranks in the company before taking up the helm in Devizes in 2010. He was appointed to the Board in 2013. Guy’s competitive edge serves him well; his interest and enthusiasm for property and local history add to his desire to be the very best. He lives locally with his young family and when he is not at work, he enjoys sport in general and loves his time on the golf course.

GET MOVING! 

We are here to help and believe the key to a stress-free move is to start planning early and know what to do first.

ONE MONTH BEFORE MOVING DAY
We would suggest you start to  organise boxes and packing materials. Compare quotes from several removals companies, Remember to check their insurance provision and terms of service carefully. We can help with this. Zelf are a local company that our previous clients have been very happy with, if you mention Strakers they will be happy to offer a discount! Zelf -Vehicle Hire - Removals - Storage  

 

01380 729599 www.zelf.co.uk

Garage Sale!

 

If you look at the graphic above you can see that 2015 was an exceptionally busy year for our auction team, and you can see that we are not just dealing with local buyers! February’s auction on the 18th promises to be a good one, with 19 lots on offer including commercial and residential investment opportunities; a town centre redevelopment site; and a former mushroom farm in picturesque Neston. ‘We don’t just sell houses!’ says Strakers’ auctioneer Charlie Doel ‘Our collection this month has two garages on offer: one in Swindon and one just a stone’s throw from Bath railway station and the city centre – a rare opportunity with a price guide of £20,000+…’ The sale is being held at The Steam Museum in Swindon and if you would like any further information regarding the lots on offer, do give the auction team a ring on 01249 765200 or you can email them: auctions@strakers.co.uk .

Introducing Graham Winterbourne...

Malmesbury is a favourite Wiltshire town and it is one of our favourites too! ‘Riverside, hilltop and historic’ are three words that come to the mind of Graham Winterbourne, Strakers’ Director based in the town. And that is before you consider ‘communications, countryside and community’ he adds. ‘This really is a great place to live and work. The town has real spirit and the countryside is stunning; it is easy to understand why it is such a popular area.’ Graham lives in Sherston with his family, having moved to the area in 2001 from Surrey, where he grew up. He has been a Director since 2007 and having worked in a number of Strakers’ offices, knows the county pretty well. He is driven by a genuine passion for the property business and when he is not working you might find him enjoying golf, following football; or possibly tinkering with a prized possession in his garage… You can contact Graham directly: graham.winterbourne@strakers.co.uk    

 

Lets look out!

‘Buy to let’ properties are a popular investment  in a market which is extremely buoyant, with far more applicants than properties; driving the rental returns ever higher. Positive news for landlords then who must take care in an industry that is becoming more and more tightly regulated.  New legislation over the last couple of years, including the ‘Right to Rent’ checks under the Immigration Act, has imposed further obligations on landlords with harsh penalties for failure to comply. Keeping up with what has seemed like a barrage of new legislation has been quite a challenge for us, too.  As an ARLA agent, and with a dedicated legal helpline, we are kept fully informed of new legislation before it comes into effect. This gives us the opportunity to get to grips with any new requirements in good time; staff training is an ongoing process! Where we manage a property, a landlord will not necessarily need to know the law in detail as we will act on their behalf, ensuring compliance. However, Karen Elson, who heads up our Lettings department, has become quite concerned where ‘let only’ landlords are turning to Strakers for legal advice; these landlords can find themselves quite vulnerable, having fines imposed on them for failure to adhere to the legislation or, potentially, being denied the right to evict a tenant.  If you have any concerns whatsoever about the lettings process as a whole, do get in touch. We can offer you advice, keeping you up to date, or, if you prefer, we can simply take away all the pressure by providing you with a fully managed service. Remember, agents fees are tax deductible and, by giving you peace of mind, they could be worth their weight in gold! You can contact Karen directly: karen.elson@strakers.co.uk     

Leading the way

Mark Hulse is one of our five Directors and he heads up the Chippenham office of Strakers. He joined the firm in 2005 in Devizes, taking the helm at Marlborough for a while before being assigned the residential sales and lettings lead in Chippenham. He joined the board in 2014. ‘Chippenham is a great place to work.’ Mark says ‘ The town has so much to offer and it is easy to understand why people want to live here: fantastic communications make it easy to get to Bath, Bristol and London, for example; beautiful countryside on the town’s doorstep; super facilities; and above all a terrific choice of housing in the area both in the town and in our lovely villages.’ Mark has chosen village life for his own family. He enjoys all sport, he is a keen golfer and has plans for more world travel ahead. You can contact Mark directly: mark.hulse@strakers.co.uk

Looking at the positives

We have long maintained a goal to be the best! Providing sound advice, going the extra mile for our clients and above all realising customer satisfaction that is beyond expectations. Achieving this, in reality, may be beyond our own dreams, but we do try! In-house training together with industry examinations and attention to detail help us to raise our standards; and we like to monitor our progress too. Every house sale is followed up with a questionnaire and each of our clients is asked for feedback regarding our service. Not everybody replies, of course, however 98% of those that did respond over the last 6 months of 2015 would recommend us to family and friends. A very heart-warming response. We shall continue in our efforts to realise our goal and in the meantime we hope that you won’t mind our sharing a few extracts with you from some of the great comments we received: ‘… the service was excellent and exceeded my expectations… truly professional attention… A wonderful experience… making us feel that we were really important…  care, warmth and great attention to the finer details… A very professional firm that still retains a personal touch… amazingly helpful, friendly…’ And of our Auction team: ‘…the service your team provided last night was outstanding…Well done.’ No laurels yet but a good foundation that  you can be sure we will want to build upon!

Flat race  

New Homes have got off to a flying start at Verbena Court in Melksham where 6 out of a total of 16 apartments have been reserved before the scheme has been officially launched. The development by Guildhall Estates includes one and two bedroom apartments which are attractively priced and on handover, ready to move into; all that buyers will need is furniture and some curtains! The specification includes carpets and floorcoverings as well as a fridge/freezer to go with the oven and hob in the kitchen. And the two bedroom apartments each have an en-suite shower room. Jayne Day, who heads up our New Homes team, says that the scheme is drawing interest from a cross section of buyers who are viewing the properties as good investments as well as a great place to live; local amenities are on hand and all the apartments have the added convenience of allocated parking. Full details are available from our Corsham office (01249 712093; corsham@strakers.co.uk )who will be pleased to fill you in. New Homes sites have a lot to offer and sometimes the advantages are overlooked: for example, current incentives at Verbena Court include £1000 towards legal fees and Help to Buy! If you are interested in finding a New Home  in Wiltshire or would like to hear more about what they have to offer, you can email Jayne Day directly on jayne.day@strakers.co.uk or call 07920 598321.  

More World Cup Rugby results!

Coinciding with the end of a hugely entertaining Rugby World Cup tournament, in Wiltshire the results of an eagerly awaited prize draw were announced! We have been running a competition alongside the Rugby World Cup whereby the winners would have the chance to sell (or let) their property absolutely free. And runners-up would receive tickets to see Bath Rugby play or a signed, replica miniature rugby ball. The competition was simple: guess the winning team!

New lines on show…

New Home sales play a significant part in our business and the day to day running of between 15 and 20 sites across the county requires considerable care and great attention to detail – our New Homes Sales Manager Jayne Day has been in the New Homes industry, in the South West, for about 20 years and she joined Strakers in 2006. Having a clear understanding of the client’s requirements, Jayne has established a department that integrates into every one of our eight offices; with the emphasis on the word ‘home’ being key to our sales success. And Jayne’s portfolio currently extends from a one-off bespoke house to a site being developed by a well-known national company. Bybrook View in Corsham is a prime example for us: three bespoke houses and a group of five cottages in a stunning location with one reserved prior to the team’s launch event; a well-attended open week-end on the site. Jayne is very much a local; she lives in Devizes with her family and she loves travelling!

Bath time!

On the 29th October, our auction team had a great Autumn line up with 23 lots on offer at The Assembly Rooms in Bath. Four auction sales on, it is establishing itself as an event in its own right and we were delighted by the following comments from AC following the sale: “…the service provided last night was outstanding… I'm a regular buyer and seller at auctions all over the South West…you have a very hardworking, enthusiastic team...it was an exceptional performance, your firm continues to evolve and improve hugely over the years...” Lovely! Our last sale of 2015 is on the 10th December at the Steam Museum in Swindon and we will look forward to seeing you there. In the meantime do please feel free contact the Auction Team on 01249 765200 with any queries. Click to view our latest catalogue.