Connect with us

Current

Six essential steps to consider before buying a farm in the country

Voice Of EU

Published

on

Sarah Beeny has moved her family lock, stock, and barrel out of London onto a farm in the countryside.

She is building a new house on the 220 acres of farmland that she bought on the outskirts of the fashionable village of Bruton in Somerset.

Her journey is being shown on Channel 4’s Sarah Beeny’s New Life in the Country.

For some, it might be a pipe dream to make a similar move and gain more outdoor space – but it is likely to require a chunky budget and it’s not for the fainthearted.

Thenford Grounds Farm in Banbury, Oxfordshire, includes a five-bed house and land - and is for sale via estate agents Strutt & Parker for £1,625,000

Thenford Grounds Farm in Banbury, Oxfordshire, includes a five-bed house and land – and is for sale via estate agents Strutt & Parker for £1,625,000

If you have deep pockets and want to know more about buying your own farm in the country, there are some key issues that you need to consider beforehand.

We asked estate agents Savills about what buyers need to ask before they make a farmland purchase.

Alex Lawson, director of Savills farms and estates, said: ‘There are definitely two sides to purchasing a small farm or estate.

‘There is the fresh air, privacy, space for the family, home grown produce and the potential to generate income.

‘But these need to weighed up against the constantly moving parts that will be handed on from one owner to the next such as employees, farming operations, livestock welfare, rent collection and bill payments. It’s more like buying a business than a property.’ 

A small farm or estate may seem to offers a perfect escape from it all, with peace, views, history and a feeling of being part of a traditional community being perhaps the most appealing elements.

But realistically, the day-to-day complexities of buying a rural property can become rather overwhelming.

Escape to the country? Boulder House in Aberdeenshire is for sale for offers over £1.9million via estate agents Savills

Escape to the country? Boulder House in Aberdeenshire is for sale for offers over £1.9million via estate agents Savills

Six tips for buying a farm or country estate

1. Checking the name of the property for clues

Much can be gleaned from a property’s address. These include ‘watery’ connotations, which usually mean there is plenty of it about, so it’s worth checking the area’s flood records area.

By the same token, ‘hollow’ often implies a property is in a dip and may well be shrouded in darkness for much of the day.

2. How is the land currently managed?

It is worth finding out how the land is managed – for example, is it let to a neighbour who grazes livestock on it?

It is worth finding out for how long any agreement is in place – in case you would like to take back the land in the future.

Also, check whether or not any sporting rights are part of the sale as it is perfectly possible for them to be let separately or kept out of a sale.

And where the property adjoins another, what are the obligations for maintaining the boundaries, are they shared? 

It is worth taking a look at the existing fencing or hedgerows as their condition will potentially tell you a lot more about where the responsibilities lie than the neighbour.

3. What are the access rights?

Another question to clarify is whether there any paths or old access rights to retained land or buildings.

You may wake up on the first Sunday morning after moving in to find the local ramblers hiking across the meadow in front of your house. 

Is the driveway to the property shared and if so who has responsibility for its maintenance?

Skelton Farm, in Richmond, North Yorkshire, is for sale for £1,275,000 via estate agents SAvills for £1,275,000

Skelton Farm, in Richmond, North Yorkshire, is for sale for £1,275,000 via estate agents SAvills for £1,275,000

4. Vary viewing times to check the environment

The countryside is peaceful, most of the time. But if you like a property enough to view it more than once, why not time a visit to coincide with the school run to see how busy the roads are or visit at night to see whether there is any significant light pollution.

Remember to check with the local planning authority for any future developments that might affect your future enjoyment of the property as a new housing scheme or wind farm might be on the horizon.

5. How much will the upkeep and running costs be?

Historic property is often listed and can require additional planning permissions and other consents in order to undertake repairs.

Look closely too at the heating system if it is Victorian as it might be time to replace it – something that prove costly to update. And check you are not required to supply water to the whole village.

You will also need to consider how much it costs to run the farm, including any required employees, farming operations, and livestock welfare. 

6. And finally… keep score!

Score the individual elements during your viewing including the house, the land, location and price of a property on the way round.

By giving each component part a score out of 10 it will become clear which aspects are of most importance and those worthy of compromise. Any property that scores over the 35 out of 40 mark could be considered close to perfection.

Source link

Current

Tetchy Tánaiste stirs the Stormont pot

Voice Of EU

Published

on

Some of the most petulant reaction to the latest protocol row has come from Fine Gael, which may explain unwise comments on direct rule and a Border poll from Leo Varadkar.

Speaking at a Co-operation North event in Dublin on Tuesday night, the Tánaiste said direct rule was not a viable long-term alternative to devolution. If Stormont is not restored quickly other options must be considered, with the best forum to do so being the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference (BIIGC) of the Belfast Agreement.

Source link

Continue Reading

Current

Tiny one-room flat with BATH in the lounge and kitchen by the bed is up for rent at £1,000-a-month

Voice Of EU

Published

on

Tiny one-room flat with BATH in the lounge and kitchen just few feet away from the bed goes up for rent for £1,000-a-month in London

  • A cramped studio flat that is up for rent in south London is so small it has a bath located in the lounge
  • The property, that is in the ‘highly sought after’ Wimbledon area, has a bed only feet away from the kitchen
  • Renters will have to fork out over £1,000-a-month to live in the odd space, though bills are included

Advertisement

A tiny studio flat has been mocked because it costs over £1,000-a-month to rent and the bath is located in the lounge.

While the bed is found only feet away from the kitchen area, with a giant telly on the wall.

The south London property is on the market to rent for an eye-watering amount considering its size.

The bath is right by the back door leading out to a small private area on a patio garden.

The listing states that it has been ‘designed to maximise the space available’ and adds that the bathroom has ‘been cleverly designed to be fully hidden from view’, but this appears just to be a shower curtain.

A compact studio flat in Wimbledon is charging more than £1,000 a month for the luxury of having a bath in the lounge (pictured)

A compact studio flat in Wimbledon is charging more than £1,000 a month for the luxury of having a bath in the lounge (pictured)

The property's bed is located just feet away from the 'Kitchenette area', which boasts a microwave and kettle

The property’s bed is located just feet away from the ‘Kitchenette area’, which boasts a microwave and kettle

The flat has a 'self contained pied-a-tierre' (pictured) with a small table and two chairs

The flat has a ‘self contained pied-a-tierre’ (pictured) with a small table and two chairs

The flat in upmarket Wimbledon Village will cost lodgers £1,150 per month – or £265 per week – to live in it.

Bills are included within the rental and there is a secure parking space available.

One home hunter fumed: ‘London cost of living is so disgusting that you pay £1,150 per month to rent a bath in a bed/kitchen as advertised on Rightmove today.

‘Living in a decent home is an essential and fundamental basic human right.

‘It shouldn’t be a privileged novelty.’

The letting agent said it would be ideal for someone to rent for the Wimbledon tennis tournament which starts next month.

The All England Tennis Club, where the grass championship is hosted, is just half a mile away.

A Twitter user bashed the listing, calling the price of the studio flat 'disgusting'

A Twitter user bashed the listing, calling the price of the studio flat ‘disgusting’

The listing says the flat is 'finished to an exceptional standard' and is available for short term rent

The listing says the flat is ‘finished to an exceptional standard’ and is available for short term rent

The toilet is found opposite to the bath and appears to have more than a curtain separating it from the lounge, unlike the bath

The toilet is found opposite to the bath and appears to have more than a curtain separating it from the lounge, unlike the bath

It is being let by CHK Mountford and advertised via Rightmove, the property listing reads: ‘Set on the ground floor of a wonderful detached private residence in the heart of Wimbledon Village is this self-contained pied a tierre.

‘The property has been immaculately refurbished to a very high standard and has been cleverly designed to maximise the space available.

‘To the front of the property is a small private patio.

‘The room is fully furnished and there is a small kitchenette area complete with sink, microwave and fridge.

‘There is a separate WC and a bath which has been cleverly designed to be fully hidden from view if required plus a generous storage cupboard/wardrobe.

‘One parking space is available and is set behind the properties private gates offering complete secure parking.

‘This property would be ideal for a working professional looking for a weekday base and who is looking for something which is centrally located and finished to a high standard.

‘All bills are included within the monthly rental.

‘Available on a short or long term basis, please note that for a short term rental the cost would be on a weekly basis.

‘And would be at a higher rental amount than for a long term tenancy – please contact the office directly for verification of the weekly rental.

‘The property is available for rental during Wimbledon Tennis event and is the perfect base for those wanting to be close to the site and have secure parking in addition.’

Advertisement

Source link

Continue Reading

Current

Truss made ‘turnips in truck’ Brexit remark about Ireland, former diplomat says

Voice Of EU

Published

on

UK foreign secretary Liz Truss told a US audience three years ago that the impact of a no-deal Brexit on Ireland would only “affect a few farmers with turnips in the back of their trucks,” a former UK diplomat said.

Alexandra Hall Hall, a former Brexit counsellor at the UK embassy in the US, disclosed on Twitter on Tuesday night that Ms Truss made the remarks to a US audience three years ago.

The former career diplomat revealed in an article she wrote in a US academic journal last year that a UK government minister made the remarks but she did not identify the minister at the time.

Last night Ms Hall Hall retweeted a tweet by Ms Truss in which the foreign secretary said the UK government’s “first priority is to uphold the Belfast Agreement” – the 1998 deal that underpins the Northern Ireland peace process. Ms Truss shared a link to her House of Commons speech in which she set out plans to introduce legislation to override the Northern Ireland Brexit deal.

Retweeting the message, Ms Hall Hall said: “So pleased to see Liz Truss become a genuine expert on Irish matters. She was, after all, the minister who told a US audience three years ago that Brexit would not have any serious impact in Ireland . . . it would merely ‘affect a few farmers with turnips in the back of their trucks.’”

‘Under strain’

Ms Truss told the UK parliament that the protocol had put the Belfast Agreement “under strain” because of opposition by Unionist parties, citing this as a reason to plan to introduce new legislation in the coming weeks to scrap parts of the Northern Ireland Brexit deal.

Ms Hall Hall wrote in the Texas National Security Review journal last year that during her time as a diplomat in Washington, DC that Boris Johnson’s government damagingly played down the impact of Brexit on Northern Ireland’s peace process in statements intended for US audiences.

She resigned from her job in late 2019 because she said she was unwilling to “peddle half-truths on behalf of a government I do not trust,” she said in her resignation letter.

In her article last autumn, she described the “turnip” remarks – without naming Ms Truss at the time – as a “low point” of her time in Washington when the UK minister “openly and offensively” in front of a US audience dismissed the impact of a no-deal Brexit on Irish businesses.

Ms Truss, then the UK secretary of state for international trade, was visiting Washington at the time to meet the then US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross and the US trade representative Robert Lighthizer, both members of US president Donald Trump’s administration, and other politicians.

In the academic article, she said he had become “increasingly dismayed by the way in which our political leaders have tried to deliver Brexit, with reluctance to address honestly, even with our own citizens, the challenges and trade-offs which Brexit involves.”

She took issue in the article – entitled: “Should I stay or should I go? The dilemma of a conflicted civil service – with the UK government’s “use of misleading or disingenuous arguments about the implications of the various options” with Brexit.

Ms Hall joined the UK foreign office in 1986 and served in various roles around the world, including in Bangkok, New Delhi and Bogota before serving as British ambassador in Georgia.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates 
directly on your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!