Sam Butler of Butler Sherborn, the Cotswolds property specialist, says that people are already reappraising what’s important in life once Covid-19 passes.
Home is where the heart is and the quality of life will inform future property choices and lifestyle decisions.
Without in any way diminishing the seriousness of Coronavirus, and the impact it is having on the health and wellbeing of so many people, it will pass.
However the devastating impact of the virus will have a lasting impact, and significantly alter our lives, including where and how we choose to live ‘After Coronavirus’.
The process of reappraisal has already started, with people reassessing what’s important to them: our homes, health, food, family, friends and community, schools, work, connectivity, the environment and travel will all be viewed differently.
Homes – People will reappraise where they want to live, and the idea of treating your house as a home rather than an investment will lead to them taking a longer term view; we will see a return to the ‘forever home’ where you put down roots for you and your children. Those considering a second home will also place greater importance of a UK based property rather than one abroad where access to it cannot be assured, restricted by the whims of airlines and foreign governments.
Health – The close proximity to good GP surgeries and hospitals will be closely considered, while practitioners of alternative therapies and remedies will also play a growing role.
Food – There will be an increased emphasis on good, British grown food – people are already questioning the validity of flying in mangetout from Kenya, for example – and having a variety and choice of local convenience stores, supermarkets, farm shops and farmers markets near to home seen as important. ‘Growing your own’ will become increasingly popular, so having a garden or smallholding will be on the list of ‘must haves’ when moving.
Family – Over recent decades families have moved apart, work often taking them to other parts of the country or even abroad. I think this will change, with families recognising the importance of staying close and supporting one another through the different stages of life.
Friends and community – Establishing and nurturing a strong network of good friends, and feeling part of one’s local community will be seen as increasingly key elements of our safety, security and sense of belonging.
Schools – Good schools, be they local authority or private, along with further education colleges are essential for young families, and close access by car and public or school transport to cut down on travelling time and cost will be deemed critical.
Work – This period of shutdown will have shown many of us that working from home is not only doable, but desirable, and many companies will gear-up to support and encourage this in the future. Obviously, not everyone can do their job from home, but those who can, will benefit from increased contact with their family, reduced stress from commuting, and money saved from reduced travelling.
Connectivity – The Government has already pledged in the recent Budget to help fund improved broadband, especially in rural areas, which will certainly assist those who spend more time working from home.
The environment – The Greta Thunberg effect will continue to gain traction, and homeowners will be looking more seriously at things like green energy, especially solar power, ground source heat and wind power generation. As well as costs coming down, such investments make more economic sense if you are planning on staying in your home for a number of years. Food miles and the number of overseas holidays we take will also be questioned increasingly, while properties will need charging points for the growing popularity of electric/hybrid cars.
When you consider all of the above, it is perhaps not unsurprising that we are already seeing a growing interest from people wanting to move the country, with rural counties to the west of the Home Counties such as Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire seeing a lot of uptake. The view we have picked-up from those looking to leave London is that ‘if we’re going to move to the country, we might as well move well away, while being able to return to the smoke easily by road or rail is still considered necessary for work or social life.
I can see that post-Coronavirus, there will be a general recalibration: a greater emphasis on the quality of life, a move away from the rampant growth-fuelled materialism that has characterised the last couple of decades, and a renewed interest in family and country living,”
Below are just a few examples of properties available for different budgets:
6, The Mansion, Northwick Park, Blockley
A superb Grade I Listed apartment standing in exquisite gardens and grounds with views over the deer park.
Northwick Park is a unique and very special Jacobean building located at the end of a long driveway, which sweeps through lawns and trees to a large turning circle and imposing double front door. 6 The Mansion is an impressive three bedroom apartment of 2,275sqft, on the top floor of the main building.
There are 35 acres of grounds to enjoy, an outdoor heated swimming pool with changing rooms and two WC’s, an immaculate croquet lawn surrounded by lime tree avenues, four all weather tennis courts, wooden garden furniture and benches for all to use, parking for residents and guests along with 24 hour security. Apartments in the main building are perfect main and ‘lock-up and leave’ homes, which will appeal to buyers from London looking for a Cotswold retreat and for overseas buyers who require a base in the UK.
Guide price: £850,000
14 and 16 Coxwell Street, Cirencester, Gloucestershire
14 and 16 Coxwell Street are two delightful Cotswold stone properties located in the heart of the historic Roman town of Cirencester. Coxwell Street is believed to have been named after the Coxwell family, 17th Century clothiers who lived there. This quiet residential road is made up of a selection of wonderful handsome period homes and is located within a short walk to the pretty marketplace.
No. 14: The ground floor, which offers a generous and spacious dining hall, is approached via the front door and comprises of wooden floors, open grate fire, window seats with wooden shutters, and a useful storage cupboard. The kitchen/breakfast room is well fitted with a range of base and wall units, wooden worktops, and, integrated double oven, fridge freezer and dishwasher.
The back door leads to the courtyard. Stairs rise to the first floor into the fabulous sitting room which offers an abundance of period charm with a beautiful open fire, four window seats, and ceiling beams. Along one wall, is a wonderful built in library. Also, on the first floor is the third bedroom/ study, which has a pretty window overlooking the courtyard, and a modern shower room. Stairs continue to the second floor where the landing leads to the master bedroom which offers a dual 16 14 14 aspect, period beams, a fitted wardrobe and a walk-in dressing room. The guest bedroom and modern family bathroom is also located on the second floor.
No 16: Is approached under the archway to the side of 14 Coxwell Street and through the courtyard gardens. The entrance opens into a small hallway that leads into the cosy sitting room, with a feature fireplace and built in bookshelves. The dining hall leads into the fitted kitchen which has a pretty outlook over the courtyard. On the first floor, there is a generous master bedroom and a second double bedroom, both offering fitted wardrobes, and a contemporary shower room with rain shower.
Both properties offer a beautiful modest courtyard, with flower beds. Space for a small garden table or bench. The courtyard also allows access to two other properties, 16 and 18 Coxwell Street which are not included in the sale.
Guide price: £815,000
Barn House, Whittington
A unique family house with potential set in exquisite gardens and lawns
Thought to originate in part to the 1700’s and extended over the years, Barn House is now a detached Cotswold stone property with just under 3,500 sq ft of accommodation arranged principally over a single floor, including garaging and plenty of parking. Standing in the grounds of the original kitchen garden of Sandywell Park, the property is in the loveliest setting and approached down a private driveway from the main entrance. Having served as a much-loved family home for over 30 years, it now offers buyers an opportunity to remodel the versatile interiors, create an annex and possibly extend over time if required, subject to planning permission.
The gardens and grounds are exceptional just over 2 acres, these walled gardens, have been landscaped and planted from scratch by the current owners. There is scope to create a small pony paddock too. Barn House should suit those with an appetite to make this spacious property their own and create a wonderful family home complimented by enchanting gardens, all within easy reach of Cheltenham and the excellent selection of schools.
Guide price: £850,000
Thames Mead, Buckland Marsh
A superbly presented three bedroom detached house with spacious, recently extended, accommodation arranged over two floors. Set back from the road, with ample parking behind wooden gates, the house is well proportioned and offers light and airy rooms.
Buckland Marsh is a hamlet of a few dwellings situated near the village of Buckland. Buckland itself is in a Conservation Area and benefits from a village hall, a renowned public house with restaurant and an outstanding
(Ofsted) primary school. The Trout at Tadpole Bridge on the River Thames is 0.5 mile away.
Guide price: £750,000
Riverside House, Lechlade
An enchanting Grade II listed house with scope to update located in a picturesque riverside location
Dating from 1570 with later extensions this Grade II Listed detached house filled with character with wonderful period features including flagstone flooring, original fireplaces, exposed beams and sash windows with shutters within the Georgian extension. The accommodation is arranged over three floors with particularly good ceiling height in the reception rooms.
Outside there is a private walled garden and vine clad terrace, ideal for summer entertaining. An outbuilding currently used for storage has potential for conversion if required and the studio flat above the triple garage could be converted into an annexe. On the market for the first time in 20 years, Riverside now offers buyers an opportunity to update this wonderful Cotswold house and remodel the outbuildings, subject to the necessary consents.
Little Faringdon is 1 mile from the market town of Lechlade, with a range of restaurants, hotels, pubs, a small supermarket, dentists’ and doctors’ surgeries as well as sporting and leisure facilities. A wider choice of shops, and other amenities are available in Cirencester, Cheltenham and Oxford. Nearby Witney also has many independent and specialist shops, supermarkets and leisure facilities.
Guide price: £1,100,000
Elkstone Manor, Elkstone, Cheltenham
An impressive and inviting 19th Century Manor House, with six ensuite bedrooms, four reception rooms, a separate self-contained flat, an indoor swimming pool complex and a hard tennis court – all in grounds of around 7.5 acres comprising lawns, woodland, ponds and courtyard with mature, formal gardens including shrubberies and wild areas.
Lying on the edge of the hamlet of Elkstone, and overlooking the village church, Elkstone Manor offers substantial accommodation over three floors with plentiful ground floor space for entertaining (both inside and out) and the distinctive feature of all its bedrooms having ensuite bathrooms. Every room retains original features, is well-proportioned, high-ceilinged and spacious as well as benefiting from an abundance of natural light from its large windows.
Guide price: £3,000,000
The Limes Farmhouse, Cirencester
A handsome detached Victorian farmhouse offering five bedrooms, four reception rooms, driveway, walled front and rear gardens and a wildflower meadow paddock. All in about 2.67 acres.
Situated on the outskirts of the desirable and much sought after village of Rendcomb, The Limes Farmhouse is an attractive Victorian property offering well-balanced accommodation primarily arranged over two floors. The property has been lovingly extended, modernised and updated by the present owner to create a good, practical family home suited to modern day living.
Guide price: £1,385,000
The Old Rectory, Meysey Hampton
The Old Rectory, a very handsome house, sits behind a high stone wall in the heart of the village.
This early 17th Century imposing property has seven bedrooms, five reception rooms, wonderful gardens and grounds with a swimming pool and a tennis court. It faces south west on the far side with the lawn leading down to a ha-ha and then overlooking the open grass meadow field, edged with attractive mature woodland.
All in about 7.64 acres.
Guide price: £2,250,000
Quenington House, Quenington, Gloucestershire
With plenty of space to grow into, and take you through the different stages of life, this beautiful Grade II Listed village house includes a separate cottage and outbuildings, and sits in 3.28 acres of landscaped gardens and paddocks. Dating from the 1800s, accommodation is over three floors and boasts elegant proportions, charm, character and period features such as classic Georgian sash windows, original wooden shutters and double doors with tracery glass panels.
Downstairs is a reception hall, elegant drawing room, sitting room and dining room, a kitchen/breakfast room with Aga and a mezzanine study with an impressive vaulted ceiling over both. There is also a garden room with underfloor heating, utility boot room, cloakroom and cellars.
The first floor includes the master bedroom suite with ensuite bathroom, guest bedroom suite with bathroom and a double bedroom and cloakroom, and on the top floor, two further double bedrooms with cloakroom and two attic rooms.
The self-contained one bedroom cottage can be used for guests, a relative or staff while outbuildings that include two stables and a cart shed provide valuable storage space, with plenty of parking behind secure gates.
Unusual for a house located in the heart of a village, the outside includes up to 3.28 acres of mature gardens, grounds and paddocks offering plenty of privacy while still being part of the community. Quenington is a lovely Cotswold village with family amenities that comprise a primary school at nearby Hatherop, The Keepers, a popular pub, village hall, church and Pilates centre, and surrounded by wonderful countryside offering glorious walks.
Fairford is three miles away, Cirencester eight miles and trains to London Paddington can be taken from Swindon station in around an hour.
Guide price: £2.65million
Butler Sherborn – Cirencester – 01285 883740
About Butler Sherborn:
Butler Sherborn, is a property specialist with three regional offices across the Cotswolds, as well as an associated London Office in St James’s. Our areas of expertise include Residential Sales and Lettings, Land Sales & Acquisitions, New Homes & Development, Farm & Estate Management, Professional Valuations, Renewable Energy and Equestrian.
While we cannot actually visit property in person, we are absolutely working very much “business as usual”. Calls, email, enquiries and ongoing management and workstreams are all being handled in real time by our staff and we are making extra efforts to help, guide and accommodate on any level.