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1 London Design Festival Preview: Page 12 Homes& Property Wednesday 4 September 2013 BUYING OFF-PLAN RETURNS P4 THE AUCTION JUNKIE P6 BARGAIN COMMUTES P8 SPOTLIGHT ON CRICKLEWOOD P34 Check mates Money issue: turn a studio room into a flat Page 26 DAVID BUTLER

2 2 WEDNESDAY 4 SEPTEMBER 2013 EVENING STANDARD Homes & Property Online This week: homesandproperty.co.uk news: A new London residential skyscraper built just to rent Property search in partnership with THE new-look Elephant and Castle has been chosen as the location for Britain s first build-to-rent housing scheme a 44-storey skyscraper designed by architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. The biggest rental housing complex since the iconic Dolphin Square scheme opened in Pimlico in the Thirties, the skyscraper has been made possible by a governmentbacked initiative aimed at plugging the gap between costly home ownership and unsatisfactory private sector renting. It allows institutional finance from pension and hedge funds to be used to back bespoke rental homes with longer tenancies than usual and a host of lifestyle extras. London buy of the week a great view of the Thames 450,000: nip over to Battersea s Plantation Wharf and you ll find the perfect pied-à-terre. The first-floor flat has a prime spot on the river and is newly refurbished, so you won t have to do a thing. White walls and pale wood floors showcase clean lines in the open-plan kitchen and reception room, with glass doors to a balcony where you can enjoy the Thames view. The master bedroom has fitted wardrobes, the bathroom is very boutique hotel, and there is a study. It s chain-free, too, through Winkworth. Visit homesandproperty.co.uk/buyoftheweekbattersea Out of town buy of the week it s enough to bring out the poet in you Read David Spittles s full story at homesandproperty.co.uk be ahead of the crowd: sign up for our newsletter SIGN up for our weekly newsletter and be first to get the latest London and UK property news, design trends, area guides and offers every Wednesday. 450,000: enchanting woodland a whopping 46 acres of it comes with Grade II-listed Halsdon Mill near Winkleigh in Devon. The poet and glass engraver Sir Laurence Whistler was inspired enough by his stay here to etch poetry on to the bedroom windows. In the kitchen/dining room there s an Aga and a huge walk-in larder, the cosy sitting room features a log-burner and all three bedrooms enjoy idyllic valley views. A small stream meanders through gardens surrounded by a mass of wild flower meadows. Through Strutt & Parker. Visit homesandproperty.co.uk/ outwinkleigh newsletter Sign up at homesandproperty. co.uk/newsletter HOT HOMES: shared ownership We take a property tour of London and the capital s commuter hot spots to find the best-value sharedownership flats and houses. Visit homesand property.co.uk Life changer run a village shop in the Cotswolds 465,000: a few miles from the tourist magnet Broadway lies the endearing village of Willersey, where you could set up shop at this lovely Cotswold stone home. Its double frontage currently thrives as the village store, while flagstone floors and beams aplenty can be found in the house, along with an inglenook fireplace. The kitchen/breakfast room has Shakerstyle units, while French windows in the reception room open to a large conservatory, and upstairs there are five bedrooms and two bathrooms. Through Hamptons. Visit homeandproperty.co.uk/lifewillersey. Editor: Janice Morley VISIT homesandproperty.co. uk/rules for details of our usual promotion rules. When you respond to promotions, offers or competitions, the London Evening Standard and its sister companies may contact you with relevant offers and services that may be of interest. Please give your mobile number and/or address if you would like to receive such offers by text or . Editorial: Advertisement manager: Mark Wood Advertising: Homes & Property, Northcliffe House, 2 Derry Street, Kensington, London W8 5TT. Faye Greenslade Whatever your project Don t miss The National Home Improvement Show FROM SEPTEMBER AT OLYMPIA WITH 5,000 TICKETS TO GIVE AWAY WHATEVER your home improvement project, from decoration to a major transformation, The National Home Improvement Show, sponsored by Anglian Home Improvements, is a must-visit event for finding advice, inspiration and know-how. Browse thousands of products you won t see on the high street, meet more than 300 specialist suppliers and solve home improvement dilemmas with expert advice from special guests. Features include Real Homes magazine experts at Real Homes LIVE! Theatres; the Advice Centre; the Kitchen & Bathroom Inspiration Zone; Ask the Architects; DIY Doctor; free masterclasses; Dulux Design Service, and Landscaping and Gardens. For more information visit improveyourhomeshow.co.uk 5,000 TICKETS TO GIVE AWAY For a chance to win a pair of tickets to The National Home Improvement Show, visit homesandproperty.co.uk/offers before the end of September 13. Usual rules apply.

3 EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 4 SEPTEMBER By Amira Hashish Forsooth! A 1699 gem near the Globe A PROPERTY that is believed to be the oldest house in Bankside is on the market. Dating from 1699, the two-bedroom terrace house in Hopton Street is full of character and the more traditional features are juxtaposed with modern interiors. Close to Tate Modern and Shakespeare s Globe, it is in good cultural company, too. It is listed with Hamptons for 1,495,000. Visit homesandproperty.co.uk/ hoptonst for more pictures and details. In from the cold at Smiley s place IN JOHN LE CARRÉ S Cold War espionage story, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, central character George Smiley lives at number 9 Bywater Street in Chelsea. My property moles tell me that the three-bedroom house at the address is on the market with Strutt & Parker for 3.25 million. The pretty, four-storey home, below, is a stone s throw from the shops, cafés and restaurants of King s Road. The neighbouring house was a filming location for the novel s award-winning 1979 BBC TV adaptation starring the late Sir Alec Guinness. Fans should also investigate the Barbican s latest cinema event, the John le Carré Adaptations series. It opens with The Spy Who Came in from the Cold on Saturday and closes on September 28 with the hit 2011 adaptation of Tinker Tailor Solder Spy, with Oscarnominated Gary Oldman, right, as Smiley. GETTY Got some gossip? amiranews Jessica takes the Osbournes place JESSICA SIMPSON has reduced the asking price of her Beverly Hills mansion by 449,000, having originally listed the 5,500sq ft property for 5.1 million. The Texan reality TV star and singer-turned-fashion designer, pictured, bought the splendid five- bedroom, five-bathroom house previous owners include American comedian Ellen DeGeneres for 3.38 million eight years ago. Mother-of-two Simpson has now bought Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne s California house. REX FETURES News Homes & Property SINCE it opened as Westminster Town Hall in 1883, many esteemed visitors have walked through the doors of Caxton Hall. The Women s Social and Political Union, part of the Suffragette movement, held a Women s Parliament there at the beginning of each parliamentary session from 1907, while the government staged press conferences there during the Second World War. It hit the headlines again as a popular postwar register office with high society types and celebrities. Elizabeth Taylor, Roger Moore, both below, Diana Dors, Peter CORBIS The home of suffrage... and marriage Sellers, Orson Welles, Joan Collins, George Harrison and Ringo Starr are among stars to have married at the Grade II-listed building. These days it is offices, and apartments, and Hamptons is marketing an attractive two-bedroom, split-level flat at 740 a week. Moments from St James s Park, the flat is smartly decorated and has a private terrace. Visit homesandproperty. co.uk/caxton for details. REX

4 4 WEDNESDAY 4 SEPTEMBER 2013 EVENING STANDARD Homes & Property New homes THE economy is picking up and buyers are out looking for new homes, but when there are not enough properties being built, developers have the whip hand. Offering new homes offplan is the way the builder guarantees a sale and the buyer guarantees a home. Purchasing a home before it is built may seem a risky strategy but two in five of the capital s new-build homes are now bought off-plan, because it is the only way to get the property you want, in the location you want. On the positive side, early buyers to a new development can cherry-pick the home with the best view, size, layout, garden or terrace, and they may be offered bespoke options, ranging from paint colours and flooring choices to structural alterations. You do not get a discount for buying off-plan, but by the moving-in date the property may be worth more than you are paying. In the Eighties, rising-market investors piled in to buy property and sell it on before development was completed, hoping to make a quick profit. When the crash came, many got their fingers burnt. They could not sell, they could not afford to complete and they lost their money. From 1.33 million: mews houses at Argyll Place in North Kensington. Call Strutt & Parker on From 850,000: flats at One Tower Bridge, ready in two years. Call New boom brings the off-plan THERE ARE DOWNSIDES TO BUYING OFF-PLAN For a start, you pay a high premium for a new home typically 30 per cent. Often the deal is done in glamorous, head-turning marketing suites with mocked-up interiors, where developers produce seductive computer images and fly-throughs of the finished scheme that do not tell the whole story. It is impossible to grasp the true picture of the finished home in a marketing suite which can give no idea of natural light, views, noise or the aspect of the property. THERE IS NOTHING TO BEAT VIEWING A FINISHED HOME New-build homes have become more fashionable than resale homes. They are better insulated, energy-efficient Two out of five new homes are sold before they are built. But there are pitfalls you need to avoid, says David Spittles and therefore cheaper to run. Many buyers believe they are better quality, with the latest mod cons and stylish interiors. However, John East, director of new homes at Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward, said: Some buyers shy away from offplan properties, fearing the home they are sold might not be the home they get. By law, developers must provide buyers with a property as represented in the brochure and plans. It is up to the buyer to scrutinise the brochure and contract to look for small-print loopholes. This is where a good solicitor comes in. For example, there might be references to a gym but no firm pledge to provide one. This extra could have been abandoned by the end of the build. Virtually all new developments are covered by an NHBC insurance warranty, or equivalent, giving buyers protection against shoddy workmanship or a builder going bankrupt, while an industry code covers pre- and postcontract matters, from reservation to occupation. Visit consumercodeforhomebuilders.com HOMES FOR THE FUTURE Today in London it is possible to buy a home that will be ready to move into in four months time, or up to four years time. Most buyers want to synchronise selling their existing home with moving into a new one, if only to release equity to help pay for the new property. Mortgage offers are valid for up to six months so if completion will take longer, there is no point in applying for a loan. The longer you have to wait before the home is ready, the more chance that market conditions will be different. The price you pay is fixed but mortgage rates may be higher or the property s value may have dipped as completion draws near. Buying at an early phase of a big development can be a double-edged sword. Normally developers push up prices as the scheme gets built. But the first residents have to live on a construction site for a longer period. This is why some buyers prefer smaller developments where all the homes are handed over at the same time. READY IN ONE YEAR Argyll Place is a rare new-build scheme of 20 houses in a tree-lined Edwardian conservation area, the St Quintin Estate in North Kensington. Prices from 1.33 million. Call Strutt & Parker on Bloomsbury Gardens, WC1, has 44 apartments backing on to historic St George s Gardens. Ground-floor duplexes have terraces with stairs up to the scheme s private gardens. Prices from 699,999. Call WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN BUYING PROPERTY OFF-PLAN Ready in three years: The Powerhouse will be part of The Old Vinyl Factory quarter in Hayes with 630 new homes When you agree to buy a home off-plan, you put down a reservation fee and exchange contracts a month later, paying a 10 per cent deposit which goes into the developer s bank account. Sometimes a second-stage payment of 10 per cent is required. You then wait for completion. Reservation fees typically range between 1,000 and 5,000 and are non-refundable but the amount is deducted from the deposit you have to pay. You lose the deposit if you fail to complete the purchase. This is why you must be confident that you can raise the finance to pay the balance. Developers rarely commit to a specific completion date. When your home is ready, you are given two weeks notice to take occupation. This could be earlier or much later than you expected. You could ask for a deposit-back guarantee if your home is not ready within a realistic timeframe. Normally, developers prevent buyers from selling on after exchange of contracts and before completion but they may drop this clause if pressed. Stamp duty, anything between one and 15 per cent, is payable at completion. Get any special deal or extra you have negotiated with the developer included in the contract. Ask for a statement of estimated service charges and be wary about promised amenities such as a gym. Such extras included at drawingboard stage may be abandoned later on. Consider employing a surveyor to check the site and specification. Take a look at the developer s past projects and financial standing.

5 EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 4 SEPTEMBER New homes Homes & Property buyers back Regent Canalside apartments are in the heart of buzzing Camden Town. Prices from 799,999. Call Faron Sutaria on Kingston Riverside looms over the Thames and has apartments with floorto-ceiling glass and big terraces jutting out like the prow of a ship. Prices from 285,000. Call Redrow on READY IN TWO YEARS The Mission is an imaginative redevelopment of a cathedral-size church in Hackney Wick, bringing 25 new loftstyle homes, including a fabulous triplex apartment in the listed tower. Prices range from 235,000 to 500,000. Call estate agent Fyfe McDade on for more information. One Tower Bridge is being built, as the name suggests, alongside one of the capital s most famous landmarks. Nine buildings offer 350 private flats, with a Victorian school converted into a five-star hotel. Prices from 850,000. Call Signal Building is rising at Newington Causeway, which runs between Elephant & Castle and London Bridge. Duplex penthouses are priced from 395,000 to 1,425,000. Call Daniel Cobb on Amberley Waterfront, close to the houseboat enclave of Little Venice, has 47 apartments, including glass-walled penthouses with rooftop gardens. Prices from 895,000. Call Redrow on Oval Quarter is a phoenix-like scheme rising on the site of a Seventies council estate 30-acre Myatt s Field North. A total of 808 new homes are in the pipeline, along with one of the largest new parks in London plus allotments and a showpiece community centre. Prices from 272,500. Call READY IN THREE YEARS The Old Vinyl Factory in Hayes, formerly the headquarters of record label EMI, is set to become a new quarter with 630 homes, boutique shops, work studios, bars and cafés, a cinema and museum. Call Cathedral Group on Merano Residences on Albert Embankment will bring 48 apartments, some with views of the Palace of Westminster, in a 28-storey tower. Call developer St James on The Tower at Saffron Square, Croydon, has 414 apartments plus restaurants, galleries and shops facing a new one-acre public square. Prices from 160,000. Call Berkeley Homes on From 285,000: flats at Kingston Riverside, above, are scheduled to be ready in a year. Call A three-yearwait: for a completed apartment at Merano Residences on Albert Embankment. Call

6 6 WEDNESDAY 4 SEPTEMBER 2013 EVENING STANDARD Homes & Property Investing SAM SPIES THREE POTENTIALLY REWARDING PROPERTIES SAM COLLETT isn t your stereotypical property magnate. She lives with her partner, an IT contractor, in a two-bedroom house in Baldock, Hertfordshire, drives an unremarkable car and claims to be not much of a consumer. But Ms Collett, at 37, is clearly an ambitious and focused businesswoman. Quitting a bloody good marketing job nine years ago with 15,000 in cash and a yen for a new challenge, she built a portfolio of 43 properties worth several million pounds and it now pays her a six-figure annual income. She bought her first property, a twobedroom apartment in Cambridge, at auction in 2004 for 88,000 and renovated it. I did a lot of unskilled work myself and then just called LAND AT LONDON FIELDS, E8 What: Hackney plot with potential, and a 180,000 guide price. Whose auction: Strettons. Where: Grand Connaught Rooms, Great Queen Street, WC2. When: September 9. FOR 180,000 you can t buy much in this trendy enclave of east London, but at auction this month it could buy you potential. London Fields is hot investment-wise and hip, too, which makes this former garage site of about 1,200sq ft a scorcher. It does not have planning permission for a residential property yet. But my guess is that in about a year or so this run-down site will have a rather modish new home TWO-BEDROOM FLAT IN WANDSWORTH What: this Bassingham Road flat has a 250,000 guide price. Whose auction: Barnard Marcus. Where: Grand Connaught Rooms, Great Queen Street, WC2. When: September 19 WITH Wandsworth property prices soaring an impressive 10.8 per cent last year, this two-bedroom flat is sure to set the room alight. Bassingham Road is a sought-after location with some attractive Victorian property. Admittedly, this property is no period gem. It s a rather plain, purpose-built first-floor flat. But it has ample space at 667sq ft and access to communal gardens. Modern flats have lots of pros, such as being cheaper to heat given that TWO-BEDROOM FLAT IN CAMBERWELL What: this Bavent Road, SE5, flat has a guide price of 210,000. Whose auction: Brendons Where: Doubletrees By Hilton, Hanger Lane, Ealing, W5. When: September 19. INVESTORS and owner-occupiers are sure to vie for this ground-floor Camberwell flat when it hits the auction room. In an attractive Victorian block on a popular street, it s roomy and has a conservatory and a private garden. It also has a long lease with 85 years remaining. The 687sq ft flat needs a bit of updating but given that comporatble local properties in need of similar work have sold recently for about 280,000, the investment would seem worthwhile. The flat is close to King s College Hospital, which means there is an standing on it, assuming the planning process goes well. Prices in this part of London have become eye-watering. Houses nearby regularly sell for more than 1 million. This means there s going to be stiff competition for a little slice of the Hackney action. Located on the edge of the awardwinning green open space of London Fields and its tennis courts, cricket pitch and lido, it s hard to believe you re in central London but you had better believe it. This site is moments from London Fields railway station, which is less than 10 minutes from Liverpool Street. Vibrant Broadway Market is also on the doorstep. fuel prices are rising even faster than house prices. As the flat needs doing up, it is a chance to show your creative flair and because it is being sold by order of Wandsworth council, it will have a very long lease (999 years) and low ground rent. The flat is close to two railway stations and also to Southfields Tube. Vist homesandproperty.co.uk/ auctionwandsworth active rental market, with similar properties achieving about 1,500 a month. Owner-occupiers are sure to value the excellent range of amenities and transport connections. Camberwell centre is just a few minutes walk away with an array of bus routes, and the railway station of Loughborough Junction and Denmark Hill are in easy walking distance. Visit homeandproperty.co.uk/ auctioncamberwell I just called random tradespeople from the small ads it wasn t a good way to go about finding help random tradespeople from the small ads to help with the skilled stuff. I was very lucky that they all turned out to be honest and reliable it wasn t a good way to go about finding help. The plan was to sell the flat on, but when the first buyer failed to come good, she decided to rent it out. It was let to the first viewer, who stayed six years. The second tenant is still there. After that there was no looking back. However, as Ms Collett was not The key is to make sure your investment will give you a regular income initially cash-rich, she focused on income generation. I needed to replace my salary from my old job, so each property had to make a certain amount every month, she said. Capital growth is not my main motivation. If it had been I would have invested in different areas. But if your business fundamentals are based in income generation, it doesn t matter what the property market is doing in the short term. Indeed, she estimates that around a third of her portfolio much of which is in areas of the UK where prices have stagnated or declined over recent years has not increased in value since she bought it. She looks to make a gross yield of six to eight per cent within London, and nine to 12 per cent elsewhere. I ll accept lower yields in London as there s more potential for capital growth, she said. Elsewhere she seeks long-term capital growth opportunities in undervalued areas with regeneration programmes planned. She has bought all over the country, from Poole to Liverpool to Whitby, though now focuses mainly on London and its commuter towns. As well as planned local improvements, she looks at transport connections and current and future tenant demand. But, she added: Any property has to have a good feeling initially, and to have attractions for Business plan: Sam Collett is clear about the need for income generation Auction junkie Sam Collett turned a 15,000 cash pot into a multimillion-pound property business. Faith Glasgow finds out how the kind of tenant you re targeting. Buying at auction means doing your homework in advance. Potential bidders should always read the legal pack before going to view a property. They also need to research the local market thoroughly to establish how good a deal the property represents. It s crucial to ensure the numbers stack up, Ms Collett stressed. Successful bidders must put down 10 per cent deposit on the day, and pay the buyer s premium to the auction house, which could be a set fee of up to 750, or a percentage, typically one or two per cent, of the price paid. Budget also for legal fees, stamp duty, the cost of raising finance, survey charges and insurance. What pitfalls should newcomers be aware of? The key thing is that the investment should make money. Then it s a matter of assessing the time frame, the risk, and potential demand looking ahead. It s not an exact science. Then there are the tenants. If you can t manage people, you can t manage property. Follow Sam s property WATCH OUT FOR HIDDEN COSTS In 2010, Sam Collett bought a onebedroom flat in Camberwell for 99,000. She did five days of work to upgrade it and sold it within 10 days for 145,000. Here s how it all added up: Bought: 99,000 Legal fees (buying and selling): 1,200 Finance (arrangement fee, loan interest): 3,500 Survey costs: 500 Contribution to vendors selling costs: 3,000. This can happen at auction, particularly on local council sales. It can be up to three per cent of the sale price, so check for any special conditions applying to the property. Estate agent fees (sale): 3,523. Another often-overlooked major cost. Sam Collett says charges can be much reduced by using an agency asking a flat upfront fee, such as Hatched. Service charges and ground rent: 1,078 (always budget for these on leasehold properties). Light refurbishment: 1,593 (Ms Collett and two tradespeople did the work between them). Sold: 145,000 Net profit: 31,606

7 EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 4 SEPTEMBER Affordable homes Homes & Property It s fair shares, but read the small print Shared ownership is a no-brainer for many first-time buyers. But when you come to sell, know the rules, warns David Spittles From 91,000: for a 50 per cent share of a flat at The Works, Houslow, by A2 Dominion. Call WITH the average firsttime buyer deposit in the capital at a record high of 64,000, the cheaper shared-ownership route on to the property ladder becomes irresistible. Buy a part-share from a housing association and you get to live in a newly built home that would be impossible to buy outright. Housing associations have reduced the minimum share that can be bought to 25 per cent, meaning in most cases a deposit of less than 5,000 is needed, while the combined monthly payments rent and mortgage are less than a full mortgage repayment. More than a third of part-buyers go on to staircase to 100 per cent ownership, proving shared ownership is an affordable option, according to the National Housing Federation. Yet for it to work there needs to be a buoyant resale market. People want to move on or trade up and take any profit with them. Housing associations like to see this mobility and are keen for others to benefit from low-cost home ownership, so they stipulate that sellers give them an exclusive period in which to find a suitable buyer. The resale market is thriving, with more people looking for slightly older properties, says Kush Rawal, assistant director at Thames Valley Housing. At any given time we have about 100 homes on the market and most sell within three weeks. Typically, associations want an eightweek window in which to find a buyer. A qualified surveyor is appointed to value the home. Sellers who dispute the valuation are asked to get three comparable examples, and then a discussion about value starts. Sellers have to pay the valuation fee, about 200, plus their legal costs. If you have made home improvements, this will be reflected in the valuation. Normally associations charge 1.25 per cent for finding a buyer, which can come as a bit of a shock to sellers. This year, management accountant Amy Hill, 32, sold the one-bedroom flat in Pimlico she bought from A2 Dominion in July She paid 82,500 for a 25 per cent share (full value, 330,000), but this had risen in value to 106,250 (full value, 425,000). I was happy with that, it helped me to trade up to a house, but I was taken aback by the charges levied. A2 Dominion s 1.25 per cent commission applied to the full market price, not the 25 per cent share that I owned. She had expected to pay commission of 1,031.25, but was charged 5, in addition to A2 Dominion s legal fees, bringing the amount to 6,843. She also had to pay her own legal fees of 651 plus a valuation fee of 161, bringing total costs to 7,655 and leaving her with a profit of 16,095. Some other housing associations charge less one per cent on the equity owned, which would be a huge saving, argued Ms Hill, who has gone on to buy a three-bedroom house at Motspur Park, south-west London. I m still a fan of shared ownership and would recommend it to friends, but it s a good idea to look at the small print. However, A2 Dominion said: The fees we charge are normal for sharedownership resales. Housing associations manage the entire resale process from start to finish, providing a service similar to an estate agent. Costs are presented to buyers in their lease agreements. The association has unveiled a new phase at Green Man Lane estate in Ealing, bringing more than 700 new homes designed by Conran Architects close to the new West Ealing Crossrail station. Call Another new launch is The Works, Hounslow, a range of apartments and townhouses. Prices start at 91,000 for a 50 per cent share. Call for more details. Enough to share: 700 new homes are being built by housing association A2 Dominion at Green Man Lane, Ealing, with the latest phase just launched. Call

8 8 WEDNESDAY 4 SEPTEMBER 2013 EVENING STANDARD Homes & Property Bargain commuting Get on the right track to avoid a 5,000 travel bill Stockbroker heaven: Esher was voted happiest place to live ALAMY THE ranks of the 5,000 club, the nickname given to those unfortunate commuters paying huge sums of money for their daily commute to London, are about to swell. Train companies will impose inflation-busting fare increases of up to nine per cent from the start of next year. This will make train journeys painfully expensive, and long train journeys in search of cheaper property prohibitive. So the spotlight will swing back to locations near London. The received thinking is that the closer you are to the capital, the more expensive the property, but there are places that tick all the boxes with relatively low travel costs, great quality of life and affordable property. WALTON-ON-THE-HILL, SURREY Annual season ticket: 2,224 (from Tadworth station). Journey time: 47 minutes to London Bridge. Average property price: 535,898. Why live there: Walton is consistently overshadowed by its more glitzy Surrey neighbours, which Alan Gout, a director of Michael Everett estate agents, believes is largely down to its lack of a station. The station is at Tadworth, a mere mile away. This small difference makes Tadworth more attractive to commuters but Walton is much prettier and very undervalued. It is a lot more rural, more of a typical English village with a green and a pond, he says. The village has a couple of shops, and a small supermarket is due to open next year. There are three pubs, 295,000:a two-bedroom house in Sandlands Road, Waltonon-the-Hill. Visit homesandproperty.co.uk/sandlands With rail commuting costs set to soar again, Ruth Bloomfield finds four areas near London where you can still afford the fares restaurants, and a primary school that s rated outstanding by government watchdog Ofsted. Seniors have a choice of highperforming schools in nearby Reigate, Dorking and Banstead. Walton sits at the peak of the North Downs, so walkers, cyclists and horse riding fans will be in their element. Walton Heath Golf Club has hosted the Ryder Cup. Gatwick airport is only 15 minutes away but there is no aircraft noise and just a rumble of traffic noise from the M25 in winter when the trees are bare of leaves. Property in the village dates from the 16th century but much of it was built to service the golf club. A two- to threebedroom Victorian workers cottage would cost from about 300,000, while for 1 million you could buy a four-bedroom detached family home from the same period. You can have the manor house with 10 bedrooms and 10 acres for 10 million. By prime Surrey prices, Walton looks like something of a bargain. Walton is very undervalued compared with places like Elmbridge, says Gout. It is 10 miles away and half the price. Elmbridge has some better shops and its own station but I don t think it s a problem for Walton residents to walk a mile to such good-value property. 359,950: a three-bedroom house close to Carshalton station. Visit homes andproperty.co.uk/colston 725,000: an attractive three-bedroom house in Walton-on-the-Hill. Visit homesand property.co.uk/deans 375,000: a two-bedroom house in Common Road, Claygate, Esher. Visit homesandproperty.co.uk/common 745,000: three to four-bedroom Lantern Cottage in Carneles Green, Broxbourne. Through Dreampad. Visit homesand property.co.uk/ lantern ESHER, SURREY Annual season ticket: 2,096. Journey time: 31 minutes to Waterloo. Average property price: 840,306. Why live there: leafy Esher is known as stockbroker-belt heaven and is one of the most affluent towns in the home counties. For the past three years the Halifax Quality of Life Survey named it the happiest town to live in. It has a swift commute and Jonathon Dredge, manager at Hamptons International, recommends the great schools, including the outstanding Esher CofE Aided Primary School and Esher CofE High School, plus independent options such as Claremont Fan Court School. It s affluent so there are plenty of bars, bistros, coffee shops, and a high street heavy on independent boutiques. Property tends to be from the Twenties and Thirties, with Victorian terraces in the town centre and some new-build executive mansions on private developments, particularly Blackhills, which sell for up to 12 million. Many buyers are families leaving London, with a typical four-bedroom house from 900,000, while period cottages in the centre cost from 350,000. Esher provides a strong community spirit with lots for children to do, good pubs and shopping at Kingston upon Thames only four miles away, says Dredge. BROXBOURNE, HERTFORDSHIRE Annual season ticket: 2,276. Journey time: 27 minutes to Liverpool Street. Average property price: 306,290. Why live there: the link to the City s fast, and Broxbourne is set in lovely, lush country with Broxbourne Woods, a national nature reserve, just out of town and the River Lee Country Park scene of canoe and kayak events at the 2012 Olympics on the doorstep. The town centre is pretty, with 16thcentury buildings on the high street and the New River passing through. There is a small parade of shops, a couple of pubs and one or two neighbourhood restaurants. Richard Wells, senior manager at Hetheringtons, says families tend to come from north and north-east London in search of value-for-money homes and great schools. The Broxbourne School, for seniors, is rated outstanding by Ofsted. Homes in the village range from fine early Victorian villas near the station selling for about 600,000, to threeor four- bedroom Fifties semis for about 350,000 to 500,000. At the very top end, homes in Carnaby Road are gradually being torn down and replaced with modern six-bedroom mansions exceeding 2 million. CARSHALTON, SURREY Annual season ticket: 2,072. Journey time: 28 minutes to Victoria. Average property price: 281,574. Why live there: the commute is quick, and Stacey Pain, of Hunters Estate Agents, says that although Carshalton is on the fringes of London it retains a sense of village community and rural living. The pretty village centre has several picturesque ponds, some decent cafés, delis, local shops, traditional pubs and waterside parks. There is a refurbished leisure centre and excellent grammar schools: Wallington Country Grammar School (boys), Wallington High School for Girls, Wilson s (boys), and Sutton Grammar (boys). The area also attracts young families, professionals and couples enjoying nearby towns of Sutton and Croydon. Despite its pretty centre, property in Carshalton is a bit soulless, with sprawling new-ish executive mansions at around 1.3 million and five-bedroom detached homes Edwardian onwards from about 700,000. A four-bedroom semi will set you back 400,000 to 450,000 and there are two-up, two-downs from 200,000. Source: National Rail, Zoopla.

9 EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 4 SEPTEMBER Buying to let Homes & Property THIS is a good time to be a landlord in London. A perfect storm of low mortgage rates, strong rental demand and steadily rising property prices is encouraging responsible landlords to invest long term in buy-to-let, providing decent homes for renters who cannot get on the ownership ladder, while making a sound pension investment which is more than the banks can promise. In London private renting accounts for 30 per cent of all homes and is growing. Buy-to-let collapsed five years ago as the credit crunch took hold but has staged a remarkably rapid comeback. Last quarter, lending to landlords was at its highest level since 2008, with 40,000 mortgages worth 5.1 billion advanced, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. Annual buy-to-let returns made up of capital growth and rent are 10.2 per cent, according to specialist estate agent Ludlow Thompson. The average London rent is 1,609 per month and rental yields are typically 5.1 per cent. Mortgage rates are at record lows and likely to stay that way for at least three years following the Bank of England s forward guidance announcement, and this is allowing landlords to invest with confidence, says the firm s Stephen Ludlow. Deciding where to invest depends on your budget, your preference for income or capital growth, your appetite for risk and your exit strategy. Higher-yielding homes include cheaper ex-council flats, where rents are a higher proportion of the property s value. A two-bedroom flat in a high-rise block in Kennington is on sale for 165,000. Call Flats above shops can also provide higher rental returns. This can make a huge difference over the lifetime of a property, easily equating to an additional 50,000 in income for a 15-year period, the normal buy-to-let time frame, adds Ludlow. Yields are higher because such flats tend to be lower priced and lenders are reluctant to advance mortgages, meaning buyers have to be cash-rich. This shuts out owner-occupiers and keeps a ceiling on values. Yet such flats are popular with renters such as students and nurses. Family houses are also in demand. How to make good money A perfect storm of conditions means now is an ideal time to be a landlord, says David Spittles A five-bedroom Victorian house at Flaxman Road, Camberwell, SE5, costs 462,500 and would rent for 625 per week, a yield of 6.2 per cent. Call HEAD SOUTH ON THE NORTHERN LINE South-east London is good value for landlords at the moment, with cheaper properties and faster-growing rents than other areas. In general, homes with quick transport links to the West End, the City and Canary Wharf make good buy-to-lets. Areas outside travel Zone 1 on the Northern line are a good option because the line splits at Kennington and connects to the main employment centres. Analysis by rental property group Move With Us shows that the Olympic boroughs of Newham and Tower Hamlets are among the top rental yield locations (see table). Experts say the dynamics of the rental market point to buy-to-let being sustainable over the medium to long term. This year, the number of privately rented homes in Britain reached almost five million up from 2.5 million in However, individual landlords face competition from new corporate landlords such as pension companies and hedge funds who are moving into the government-backed build-torent sector. From 196,995: Enfield Central flats give rental returns of 7.5 per cent Postal district NEW-BUILD RENTAL Developers report that investors are buying up apartments because of the hassle-free, low-maintenance nature of new-build. Though there is normally a price premium, running costs are lower and rents are higher. Some developers also offer cut-price furniture packs and sometimes rental guarantees for periods of up to two years. Fully equipped, ready-to-move-into flats giving investors rental returns of 7.5 per cent are on offer at Bellway s Enfield Central scheme next to the train station. Prices from 196,995. Call Barratt is paying five per cent net at two schemes Renaissance, in Lewisham, and Waterside Park, Royal Docks. Rental guarantees are a worthwhile incentive for off-plan home buyers as a monthly income is paid from completion and the hassle of finding and dealing with tenants is removed. Normally guarantees last for two years. Renaissance is a major 788-home scheme in Lewisham town centre, an up-and-coming travel Zone 2 address HOW POSTCODES COMPARE Gross rental yield(%) Average rental price (pcm) Average property asking price Top 10 yielding postal districts in Greater London 1 N9 (Edmonton) 7.8 1, ,475 2 E13 (Upton) 7.5 1, ,998 3 SE2 (Abbey Wood) ,000 4 E6 (Beckton) 7.2 1, ,000 5 E15 (Stratford) 7.2 1, ,000 6 E10 (Leyton) , ,998 7 E12 (Manor Park) , ,500 8 N17 (Tottenham) , ,975 9 SE18 (Plumstead) , , N18 (Edmonton) , ,998 Bottom 10 yielding postal districts in Greater London 1 SW1 (Westminster) ,792 1,750,000 2 SW10 (Chelsea) ,817 1,110,000 3 SW3 (Chelsea) ,889 1,725,000 4 W11 (Notting Hill) , ,000 5 W1 (Marylebone) ,878 1,500,000 6 W8 (Kensington) ,250 1,422,368 7 SW7 (Sth Kensington) ,207 1,372,500 8 SW5 (Earl s Court) , ,000 9 NW8 (St John s Wood) , , SW8 (South Lambeth) , ,000 Source: Move With Us in conjunction with Home.co.uk From 230,000: Renaissance in Lewisham looks tempting with eight-minute train links to London Bridge. Prices from 230,000. Waterside Park apartments cost from 259,000. Call CUTTING COSTS Landlords costs, including agents fees and service charges, typically account for 30 per cent of gross rental income. However, investment property is tax efficient. Mortgage interest costs plus other expenditure relating to the repair and management of the property, are tax deductible, and losses can be carried over from one accounting period to the next to minimise capital gains tax. Estate agents normally charge between eight and 12 per cent for finding a tenant and up to 18 per cent for a full management service. Check the renewal commission in the event of tenants staying on. Agents often want to charge the same fee again but will usually reduce the fee if requested. Lenders normally limit buy-to-let mortgages to per cent of the property s value, so landlords need to put in at least 25 per cent. END OF LEASE RELOCATION SALE. UNREPEATABLE BARGAINS At Least 50% Off Everything Geoffrey Drayton, retailer of quality modern furniture and lighting from Europe s leading designers and manufacturers is to close its fine quality home furnishing showroom in London, located at 85 Hampstead Road, to consolidate its business into the Epping shop. There has never been a better time to save on the best names in sofas, chairs, dining furniture, living room cabinets, storage solutions, wardrobes, lighting, accessories, stools, rugs, occasional furniture and much more. Closing Down Sale starts this Thursday 5 th September at 10am. Opening Times Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday 10am-7pm 10am-6pm 10am-6pm 11am-5pm Geoffrey Drayton 85 Hampstead Road London NW1 2PL geoffreydrayton.com Near Warren Street Tube

10 10 WEDNESDAY 4 SEPTEMBER 2013 EVENING STANDARD Homes & Property Homes abroad If you know how to make your home pay, you can sit back and enjoy some of the best locations in Europe, says Cathy Hawker Fresh horizons: the Castelfalfi development, bringing an 800-year-old Tuscan village back to life, has 190 homes for sale THE price of a home in a prime overseas area Ibiza, St Tropez, Courchevel in the Alps can rival those of the finest London addresses. The trick is finding a holiday home that helps pay for itself, has low running costs, is easy to lock up and leave, and doesn t cost a fortune to reach. LIVE IN A CHÂTEAU While property prices in lavender-filled villages of Provence remain high, next door in the Languedoc they are a lot more affordable: an average of 157,500 against 255,000. Reach the region via five high-speed rail stations, five airports and a good road network. Twenty minutes from Beziers and an hour from Montpelier, Château St Pierre de Serjac is a 230-acre 19th-century wine estate with château, winery and extensive range of outbuildings. Over the next two years, developer Karl O Hanlon plans to create 36 flats and houses there, from 168,850 for a Live like royalty without breaking the bank studio and 306,500 for a two-bedroom flat of 880sq ft with terrace. Furniture packages start from 10,200. Even better, these should generate good rental returns, says O Hanlon, based on his previous Languedoc project, Château Les Carrasses. He renovated that château, selling 28 flats and townhouses to owners who could stay as often as they liked in their own property, but otherwise had to make them available to rent. He operates the château as a hotel and wine estate, earning up to 4.7 per cent rental yields for owners in the first full year with no tax on rental returns for seven years. Domaine & Demeure (domaine demeure.com). THE ALPS FOR SKIERS It s hard to ski on the cheap in a prime resort. Even those lucky enough to afford a home in the Alps can be caught out by the cost of living there. So hurrah for Austria: not only the birthplace of Alpine skiing but also the home of true value compared with the eye-watering prices in much of France and Switzerland. Website skiingthealps.com puts a beer in the ski resort of Kaprun one hour from Salzburg at 3 against 5.12 Blue-sky thinking: a pioneering scheme at Château Les Carrasses, above and above right, earns owners a rental income when they are not using their apartments in Verbier, Switzerland while a sevenday lift pass is 281 in Verbier against 209 in Kaprun. In both summer and winter, Kaprun is a popular tourist town. For skiers it has 85 miles of pistes, while for summer visitors there are golf courses, national parks and thermal spas. The 1,000ft Kitzsteinhorn glacier makes Kaprun one of only a handful of places in Europe where in summer you can ski in the morning, play golf in the afternoon and take a boat out on the lake at Zell am See for a lazy sundowner. This is where the Austrian ski team trains and it is also a familyfriendly resort. Fully furnished studios and one- to three-bedroom apartments in Panorama Residences start from 97,980 excluding VAT (not payable if you agree to rent your apartment out) through Mark Warner Property. Mark Warner Property: (markwarnerproperty.com). From 97,980: for Alpine luxury at a keen price, head to Kaprun an hour from Salzburg, Austria and the Panorama Residences apartments DISCOVER A REAL TUSCAN TREAT Prices in Tuscany have tumbled since 2007, down 25 per cent on average, but living the Chianti-shire dream still doesn t come cheap. Strict planning rules keeping supply low means a farmhouse in a rural utopia will start from a cool 1 million. Why not buy a home in an 800-yearold Tuscan village instead? The Castelfalfi development project overlooking Volterra is a 1,100-hectare agricultural estate within an hour of Pisa airport, Florence and Siena. It is being brought back to life by TUI to create a superior leisure resort with 190 homes for sale. Prices start from 196,500 for a 538sq ft one-bedroom flat in the original borgo, with larger apartments and stand-alone farmhouses also for sale. Facilities include two golf courses with clubhouse, pools, a hotel that opened in March, restaurants and shops. Castelfalfi will manage rentals, giving owners 85 per cent of rental revenue. Knight Frank: Castelfalfi:

11 12 WEDNESDAY 4 SEPTEMBER 2013 EVENING STANDARD Homes & Property Design At Tent, east London: find this table, above, by Dublin design studio Woodenleg, and vases by Kristine Five Melavaer, right, from Norway By Barbara Chandler London Design Festival SEPTEMBER Design news THE London Design Festival, which opens at the end of next week, is the best way to gain the very latest interiors ideas. It attracts 350,000 design devotees to London from more than 60 countries and offers 300 shows, demos, workshops, talks and in-store events. Running from September 14-25, you can plan your visit via the festival website at londondesignfestival.com. And we ve wheedled some great ticket offers for Homes & Property readers. DON T MISS FREE: THE V&A With more than 80 events the V&A is the place to start. Find a free booklet and map with a list of the festival fun at its information desk, where you can marvel at a chandelier with 280 glass pendant lamps blown into spheres. God is in the details, said Thirties Bauhaus architect Mies van der Rohe. It s a quote design buffs love, and the title of a pan-museum escapade with designers magnifying favourite treasures using giant Swarovski lenses: Tom Dixon is blowing up an exquisite model of the Albert Memorial. The V&A s hard-hitting programme of talks, debates and workshops is for the brainy and the hands-on. There s At Focus, Design Centre Chelsea Harbour: use the public day (September 25) to visit 80 swish showrooms offering wallpapers, fabrics and furniture a theme for each September date from graphics, to nature. Meet maverick designer Julia Lohmann in her department of seaweed and find sustainable textile demos (dyeing and printing, etc) then breeze through a magical wall of paper windmills. FREE: DESIGNJUNCTION In a large, grungy West End venue (The Sorting Office, New Oxford Street, WC1) is Designjunction. Free entry for Visa card-holders, or preregister at thedesignjunction.co.uk. Find more than 150 big brands and Festival Hall: Fifth Element explores technology in design with Florian Dussopt s light installation, Blow

12 EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 4 SEPTEMBER Design Homes & Property God is in the details, at the V&A: looking through giant Swarovski lenses, share the marvels of good design with clockwise from left, designers Faye Toogood, Paul Cocksedge, Osman Yousefzada, Tom Dixon, Stephen Webster and Amanda Levete FREE: FOCUS Focus public day (September 25) at 80 showrooms at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour is free to visit. Find details at dcch.co.uk; there s even free transport. FREE: DESIGN DISTRICTS Explore in turn Shoreditch Triangle, Fitzrovia Now, Clerkenwell Design Quarter, Chelsea Design Quarter and Brompton Design District all walkable. Most events are free, and some in the evening offer free drinks more at londondesignfestival.com growing food; a delicate walkthrough paper sculpture, and a digital home spa super-shower. Public day is September 21, entrance 15. But take a friend and get two-forone by showing this page and quoting code pub100 or book online. Tent London and Super Brands, Old Truman Brewery, Hanbury Street, off Brick Lane, E1 (tentlondon. co.uk). September 19-22, two-for-one offer for 10 (plus booking fee) online before September 13. Use promo code ESTL241, not valid on door. smaller labels, plus a mall of small design outfits and websites that don t usually have shops (Thorsten van Elten, clippings.com and Outline Editions). There are cafés/bars on all three floors and cook-while-youwatch stalls from South Bank s Real Food Festival (realfoodfestival.co. uk). Five flash factories show saddle-making to 3D printing. Get to understand the crafts, ask questions and take away free examples. FREE: THE SOUTH BANK Visit the South Bank (southbank centre.co.uk) for more free design world s largest lava lamp, anyone? Star act is Designersblock (very designersblock.com), London s best show for maverick, alternative and advanced design, plus suitably sober seminars. Fun workshops let kids make radios and more. Fifth Element in the Festival Hall looks at Science Technology and Process in Design. TRACK DOWN THE OFFERS Look out for festival offers all around the West End but first download a detailed promotional card from thedesignjunction.co.uk You can buy five Arne Jacobsen stacking chairs and get one free, and/ or buy an Egg chair and get a free footstool, at Republic of Fritz Hansen, 13 Margaret Street, W1 (fritzhansen. com), where there s a great arched maze installation by the Bartlett School of Architecture using scrap veneers and leather from Denmark. Clerkenwell Design District: Kethi Copeland s Amsterdam printed chairs, 290 for two, at Imprint-Craft Central TICKET DEALS 100% Design (Earls Court, SW5, September 18-21; 100percentdesign. co.uk) is the UK s biggest design trade show, looking at interiors, kitchens and bathrooms, emerging brands and more. See the farm kitchen for Public day at Decorex trade show, Kensington Gardens, is the afternoon of September 24. Tickets are 30 but readers quoting code DECX9 get 20 per cent off at decorex.com and Barbara Facebook.com/ LondonDesignFestival

13 14 WEDNESDAY 4 SEPTEMBER 2013 EVENING STANDARD Homes & Property Architecture OPEN HOUSE WEEKEND: SEPTEMBER Open houses As well as the great London landmarks, this year s festival of architecture features fabulous family homes packed with ideas you can steal, says Philippa Stockley Hidden gem: the Diamond House at Battersea Square is an innovative re-working of a five-storey Victorian house See the light: try a guided tour of Nine Elms or Neo Bankside, above, and find out more about London s regeneration projects NOW in its 21st year, Open House has become a fixture proof of our love of architecture and our growing love of London. The annual weekend of property-gawping s popularity continues to grow: this year there are more than 800 entries to choose from over the weekend of September 21-22, so there is something for everyone, from cemeteries to livery halls to hi-tech modernism, plus huge new developments such as East Village, Stratford s Olympic village. REGENERATION BOOM In past years, top attractions such as the Gherkin have proved almost impossible to get into, with long queues snaking around the streets outside. So this year, four hot properties are being balloted for entry, with ballots open until September 13. The Shard and the London Eye are two of them. The other two, perhaps unexpectedly but proving our fascination with old as well as new buildings are 10 Downing Street, and 700-year-old Gray s Inn. As well as choosing from buildings or bigger development sites, there are more than 60 tours and evening events on offer. This year s strongest theme is regeneration, as London transforms itself in front of our eyes at a pace and scale not seen since the Fifties. East Village, once home to all those athletes, is top of the tour list, with the bonus that if you like it you can actually go and live there. It is a new area of London part of the social legacy of the 2012 Games. With its new E20 postcode, this is an ambitious form of social engineering, with a state-of-the-art medical centre, green areas, an academy school, cafés, shops and restaurants, and lots of new housing, much of it to rent rather than buy and all only 20 minutes from the West End. In south London, for the first and last time as part of Open House, you can get into Battersea Power Station s turbine hall (200 at a time) before the 38-acre site is turned into 3,500 new homes. Or try a walk round Nine Elms, the largest regeneration site in the city, with four big architecture practices carving it up between them. The walk is pre-book only. LARGE AND SMALL Leading London s ongoing regeneration in the north is King s Cross. It s not just the glass-canopied station concourse, but the huge swathe of land behind, with new pedestrian King s Boulevard taking you to fashion school Central St Martins new home in attractive Granary Square, with its fountains and new restaurants. As well as the dramatic, big public square at the front of King s Cross, you ll be able to see the station s Cubitt-designed 1852 Victorian façade unobstructed for the first time in 150 years. Among private See the light: this Georgian property in Lonsdale Road, Barnes, has been sensitively remodelled to give a bright, minimalist interior. It features in Open House homes on show, there are some great standouts, though several are re-models, as it gets harder to find plots to Golden oldie: a new square fully reveals the arched façade of King s Cross station for the first time in 150 years

14 EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 4 SEPTEMBER Architecture Homes & Property Opportunity: the last chance to see the turbine hall at Battersea Power Station before new homes are built build on from scratch. New this year is Laura Dewe Matthews s cute Gingerbread House, on the difficult site of an old box factory in Hackney. This clever little house has already won awards. Or try Coffey Architect s Courtyard House in N1, a brilliant revamp/extension that transformed a dark Victorian house to something with light and pizzazz and an internal glassy courtyard; or the Diamond House in Battersea, an interesting re-work of a five-storey Victorian house with a difficult diamond-shaped footprint. Billed as London s newest landmark building is the Crystal-Siemens Sustainability Centre at Victoria Docks, E16. This remarkable, lowslung, geometric, glass-canopied building designed by Wilkinson Eyre is dedicated to improving our knowledge of sustainability with exhibitions and talks, and is the largest sustainable building in the world. Open House runs September For full details of all the events, visit openhouselondon.org.uk Added pizzazz: Courtyard House in N1 has been transformed from its former life as a gloomy Victorian home TIM SOAR sale up to half price Plus an extra 100 off selected beds Ends Tuesday up to 20% offselected ed furniture ranges Hip Hop Double The solid ash and ash veneer of this cool, minimalist bed frame will look good for years to come. Sprung slats give added comfort and support. Was Sale Price with extra 100 off only Matching bedroom furniture is also available. Excludes soft furnishings. Bed frame only. Regal Backcare Double This 2 drawer Posturepedic divan set provides weight distribution where The Comfort Station takes all the guesswork out of buying a bed. All our mattresses are rated from one to fi ve for fi rmness and once you have tried the beds in our unique Comfort Station ȚM you ll know just the fi rmness rating you re looking for. 1 Soft/Medium 2 Medium 3 Medium/Firm 4 Firm 5 Extra Firm you need it, with a firm support non-turn mattress for easy care. Was Price Sale Price with extra 100 off only Headboard extra. Excludes soft furnishings. 4 Firm and up to 3 years interest free credit* % APR 0REPRESENTATIVE OVER 270 STORES Store locator ONLINE See our full range at CALL TO BUY Mon-Fri 9am to 5pm Offers available on selected models, see in store for details. *Interest free credit is available on purchases over years interest free credit is available on orders over 1299, deposit of 10% is required. Credit provided by Ikano Bank (publ) and is available subject to status to UK residents aged 18 and over. Registered address: Waterfront House, Waterfront Plaza, Station Street, Nottingham NG2 3DQ. Our Was price is the price that has been charged in at least 10% of our stores between 12/06/13 09/07/13 details available on our website or in store on request. Extra 100 and up to 20% off offers end 10/09/13 and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers. All offers subject to availability. Delivery charged separately. All products may not be on display in all stores. Pictures for illustration purpose only. Due to the limitations of printing tolerances, actual colours may vary from those shown. Over 270 stores nationwide open 7 days a week.

15 20 WEDNESDAY 4 SEPTEMBER 2013 EVENING STANDARD Homes & Property Reader promotion A touch of glass to create a garden for all seasons Conquer space problems MAXIMISE your living room space with bespoke furniture. At Conquest Fine Fitted Furniture detail matters, from colour and style through to function, fitting and finish with sustainably sourced materials in the company s workshop. Readers receive a Conquest gift card worth 500 when ordering a free brochure. Visit conquestuk.com or call and quote ES-04 before September 18. Hand-carved armchair THIS chic Rochelle armchair is available in pale putty colour as well as dove grey at Alison at Home, for just 295. Exquisitely handcarved from solid, sustainably sourced mango wood and upholstered in an elegant cotton, the Rochelle chair is top quality as well as sturdy. Dimensions: d70cm by w72cm by h87cm. A matching Filou footstool is also available at 165 to complete the look. To order, visit alisonathome.com or call AN EDEN glass room or veranda allows you to enjoy your garden all year round. Each of these individually designed and precision-engineered spaces can be manufactured in one of more than 50 frame colours and with a range of heating or lighting options fitted as extras. All installations are carried out by skilled craftspeople and come with a 10-year guarantee. And, as a special offer, Homes & Property readers receive a discount of up to 25 per cent. Call , or visit edenverandas.co.uk and use the code AAH04/09 before October 5. Bargain news Alison Cork Hunky-dory and on your table in time for autumn HUNKYDORY HOME, a UK online boutique, has handcrafted this contemporary autumn oak table lamp. It is just one item from a colourful range offered to readers with 20 per cent off, reducing this lampshade from 85 to only 68. Measurements: h55cm by w30cm. To claim your offer visit hunkydoryhome.co.uk and quote code LAMPES20 at checkout before September 30. Cooking up a kitchen storm QUALITY kitchens needn t cost a fortune. KDCUK s J-Groove handle-less kitchen range comes with 20 per cent off, in four high-gloss colours, four wood veneers and a five-year fitting guarantee when you use its full fitting service. To book a home design consultation, call or To view the ranges, visit kdcuk.co.uk or the Fieldings Road showroom, Cheshunt, before September 28. Allow three weeks for delivery. KDCUK is a Trustmark retailer and Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialist Association member. The companies listed here are wholly independent of the Evening Standard. Care is taken to establish that they are bona fide but we recommend that you carry out your own checks prior to purchases and use a credit card where possible. To offer feedback on any of these companies, with Bargain News in the subject line. For more bargains, visit alisonathome.com or homesandproperty.co.uk/offers cassina.com/london Toot by Piero Lissoni and Cassina. Design first. SUMMER SALE 8 June - 31 July 2013 Flagship Showroom Brompton Road SW3 T Clerkenwell Showroom 150 St John Street EC1V T

16 26 WEDNESDAY 4 SEPTEMBER 2013 EVENING STANDARD Homes & Property Our home homesandproperty Bright idea: Pereen d Avoine and her partner Mat Witts rose to the challenge of creating more light and space in their Bethnal Green flat Division: simple hinged doors separate the sleeping and living areas, turning a studio into a flexible one-bedroom property Photographs:: David Butler CHECK IT OUT: IT S One clever-thinking London couple added 60sq ft of floor space to their studio home, turning it into a smart one-bedroom apartment, discovers Ruth Bloomfield Added extra: the living space was large enough to split off an area for a dedicated bedroom Retro style: the chequerboard floor is complemented by the powderblue Fifties-style fridge in the kitchen area THOSE living in cities know that the biggest luxury is space. But in London, with the price of an average home inching towards 400,000, space is at a particular premium for the typical young buyer. However, with some clever thinking, more space can be created even in the tiniest of starter homes though it helps if you are an architect. When presented with the space challenge in their first property together, Pereen d Avoine and her partner Mat Witts came up with the goods. They turned a dark studio flat into an airy, bright one-bedroom home. The couple, both 33, carried out the work on a microbudget and, according to before and after estimates, they have more than doubled their investment by upgrading their flat. The project began in 2011 when they found a studio flat in a converted bakery building in Bethnal Green for 285,000. They loved its central location, plus the fact that the period building had almost 12ft-high ceilings. The flat consisted of one large L-shaped room containing kitchen and living areas, plus a bathroom and small dressing room and, reached via a ladder, a small sleeping gallery above. The property was dark because the entire space, about 750sq ft, was lit only from one side, albeit by a run of three windows in the front wall. With no

17 EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 4 SEPTEMBER co.uk with Our home Homes & Property EASY windows at all on the rear wall, this was the bleak, shadowy side of the flat. Pereen, who runs her own architectural practice, Russian for Fish (russianforfish. com), and Mat, saw potential. Their first task was to apply to Tower Hamlets council for planning consent to add a window to the back, which was granted so long as it was in keeping with the rest of the building. Then they drew up plans to reconfigure the rest of the property. The main problem was the gloom. I would wake up in the morning and turn the lights straight on, said Pereen. And the sleeping gallery had just that precarious ladder. We wanted more privacy from the main room, and somewhere for guests to stay. In February this year, armed with a budget of 40,000, work began. The entire flat was stripped out including gallery, kitchen and bathroom. Then the builders set about installing the extra window and repositioning a new kitchen beneath it. The kitchen was made to measure, using birch ply stained white, and the cupboards were built almost up to the ceiling to maximise storage. The rickety gallery floor was rebuilt and extended with a desk-height balustrade around it, and a slim set of stairs. Beneath that, where the original large bathroom had been, went a smaller bathroom and a White heat: the kitchen was made to measure in birch ply stained white guest lavatory. A dressing area gives masses of room for clothes. Finally and crucially the couple closed off a section of the main room to create their bedroom. This transformed their home from a studio to a one-bedroom flat, with room for guests in the new mezzanine. Pereen and Mat wanted sliding doors, but as they were 5,000, they stuck with regular hinged ones for 700. The total new look cost 33,000, with a further 3,000 going on legal and professional fees and incidentals such as hiring storage space for furniture. ONE of the most cost-effective tricks involved the floor treatment. The existing floor was solid timber, with an unpleasant dark stain. The couple painted it with regular white floor paint, then marked it out with a chequerboard of hand-painted black squares. It is just the sort of thing you could do yourself, said Mat. A local estate agent s opinion was sought before starting work. Though an extra 60sq ft of floor space was added by enlarging the gallery, the agent felt the refurb alone could add about 80,000 to the value of the property. I think this is because we created an extra bedroom, said Mat. Though it was set out as a studio it was big enough to divide up, yet remain spacious-feeling. And the mezzanine now has proper stairs, for guests. On the up: installing a staircase in place of the original ladder makes the mezzanine for guests a much more practical space GETTING THE LOOK THE couple used designer pieces with relatively modest price tags: White trestle table in the kitchen from made.com Canteen chairs with neon metal legs, from VeryGood and Proper (verygoodandproper.co.uk). Main light above the table in glazed terracotta, with bright pink cord, from Hand and Eye Studio (handandeyestudio.co.uk). Oversize, exposed filament bulbs in kitchen and bedroom by Robin Muto at houzz.com Extra display space from freestanding Normann Copenhagen shelves (normann-copenhagen.com). Former bakery: the block s exterior HOW TO PAINT A FLOOR THE paint maker Farrow & Ball suggests that you plan your pattern by drawing it to scale on paper first, then decide how many colours of paint to use. Thoroughly clean the area you wish to paint and apply a coat of wood floor primer and undercoat, available at Farrow & Ball. Draw your pattern on to the floor with a pencil and use masking tape to mask your pattern. Paint two coats of your first colour. Allow to dry before removing the tape or applying the next colour. Use two coats each time. You can find more tips on painting floors at farrow-ball.com

18 28 WEDNESDAY 4 SEPTEMBER 2013 EVENING STANDARD Homes & Property Interiors LET S work on the premise that, though our home needs to be personal and tailored to our needs, we also want it to make us some money or at least, not lose money. This is possible. A client of mine, prior to recent renovations costing 170,000, had his 1,205sq ft flat valued at 1.2 million. Weeks after completing the project he decided he missed not having a dog and needed to live closer to a park. He sold the flat in days for 1.6 million. The purchasers, from abroad, paid a premium as they could move in immediately. Personally, I would have kept the flat and forgotten about the dog. 13,000-plus: think of the bathroom as a wonderful bespoke suit made with long-lasting wool, rather than cashmere Keep winter at bay... with beautiful new timber windows WINTER SPECIAL 15% off all orders placed by end September Quote AYRESA0409 THE SHOWROOM: 406 Merton Road, London SW18 5AD Tel: WORK OUT A BUDGET The simplest way to calculate the cost of a complete refurbishment is by basing it on square meterage. The plans offered by most estate agents indicates how much inside space there is, for example, 112 square metres in the case of our dog lover s decently sized two-bedroom flat. Multiply the size by an allowance of roughly 1,100 a square metre. The calculated figure should cover decoration, joinery (new wardrobes, storage and replacement doors etc), rewiring and fixed lighting, proper wooden flooring (not laminate), a certain amount of relocation of walls and a bit of structural work, plus professional fees; what I call the usual stuff. I have based this square meterage cost on the average spend on my last five projects all flats between 110 and 170sq m. On top of that calculation you will need to add on the cost for each new bathroom, a kitchen and perhaps new heating. WASHING, COOKING AND KEEPING WARM In the bathroom I used decent German kit and, instead of covering the space in expensive marble, used high-quality porcelain tiles and a sliver of slate. In fashion terms, I had a bespoke suit made in long-lasting wool rather than cashmere. If integrated into a project, a decent bathroom similar to this one should cost upwards of 13,000. Kitchen costs vary. It all depends if you are willing to be seduced by bigbrand marketing or are tenacious enough to endure the Ikea process. I prefer to commission a joiner to build a kitchen from scratch. You get more for your money, decent quality even under the shiny surfaces and get to employ someone in this country to make it. For a simple handmade kitchen, with a smart Corian work surface, expect to pay upwards of 20,000 sans your choice of white goods. Finally, you might have to take into BEFORE Fine finishing: a stylish makeover, as with this flat, should include fitting real wood floors, not laminate How much should a makeover really cost? You can t achieve a transformation on the cheap, warns interiors architect Dan Hopwood. So make sure you spend your money well account the cost of an entirely new heating system. Most multi-bathroom homes will require a gas-fired boiler with a mega flow. You may want flatfronted radiators too, or even underfloor heating. In central London, if using a larger established plumbing company, you should expect to pay upwards of 15,000 for a completely new system. I know there goes the new car but a limp shower spray is no fun. If you have only one bathroom you will save a lot of money by using a combination boiler. HERE COME THE ADD-ONS If you plan to work on a project that doesn t require an entire strip-out but a certain amount of renovation, you will need to look at the various trades and products required to realise the project. Price the AFTER Follow 1,100 a sq m: a well-budgeted renovation will cover the cost of decoration, new floors, wiring, fixed lighting and moving a few walls all done to great effect by Dan at this twobedroom flat bathrooms, kitchen and heating as previously. In addition, take on board that a decent wooden floor laid will be more than 100 a metre. For a pukka joiner to build a stunning wardrobe will be more than 5,000. I recently had a 90sq m apartment decorated, including woodwork and wallpapering done by well-trained decorators, for 10,000. On the same project re-wiring cost 8,000 and all the fixed lights and switches came to 5,000. THE VALUE OF EXPERTISE It is probably worth saying here that the best way to achieve a fully considered result with perfect finishes and a superb layout within a planned timeframe and budget, is to take on a professional to handle the job. By that I mean an architect or interior designer. Someone able to up draw plans and understand your needs, can cost fairly and execute the job well. Sensible people know that the 24-hour makeover with a budget of 1,000 is just for TV and that a 30-minute walk around with a builder just will not cut it. I plan to cover the design process and working with professionals in a future article. FALSE ECONOMIES The reality of how much work costs may come as a surprise, especially the hidden unknowns, such as plumbing or re-wiring. Many take the option of phasing works, perhaps doing the bedrooms and bathroom(s) in the first phase and the living room and kitchen in the second phase. I ve done that and, frankly, it s hell having to move out twice and it costs more money. Others take the decision to buy their desired flat and, even if in a poor state, live in it before starting renovation works a couple years later. I ve done that too: it can be a very long two years. However, it makes sense to to buy the best property you can afford, even if it needs work, and wait until you can afford to turn it into your ideal home. And always remember that all the time, energy and money spent on a project will pay you a dividend in the long run.

19 EVENING STANDARD WEDNESDAY 4 SEPTEMBER Outdoors Homes & Property Dependable: a narcissi, such as Thalia, left, and cyclamineus, right, will multiply more reliably than most showy daffodils Buying the bulbs that keep on blooming Choose well and your floral display will multiply and be free every year FLOWERING bulbs, to plant over the next two months, are a brilliant and thrifty way of adding swathes of colour to your borders and containers next spring and summer. The trick is to buy the bulbs that keep on giving, year in, year out, rather than one-hit wonders that will look terrific the first year, then disappear without trace. Choose bulbs that naturalise, so that they spread with ease, making even more of an impact the following season: they re inexpensive so you can afford to buy in bulk and then plant en masse. Big, showy daffodils, for example, don t guarantee a repeat performance, but the smaller species narcissi, once planted, will reliably settle and multiply. Those to seek out include our dainty native daffodil Narcissus pseudonarcissus, the beautiful cyclamineus, which has golden yellow, tubular flowers and the pretty cottage-garden pheasant s eye narcissus, poeticus recurvus, with its yellow centre Pattie Barron rimmed in deep red. February Gold, a rich yellow daffodil, has the asset of being one of the first to flower, and will increase year on year. You might have to wait a week or so longer than usual for the large-flowering Dutch crocuses to bloom, but they re worth the wait and will happily naturalise in grass or soil; bulb merchant Jacques Amand sells 100 of these beauties in a mixed bag of violet, gold, white and streaky lilac for just 24. Invest in these, plant in the grass by lifting a flap of turf, settle in several corms, replace, and you will have a veritable tapestry of colour on your lawn next March. Muscari the blue grape hyacinth will make stunning pools of blue through the garden in spring for the price of a shop-bought bouquet, and will do so again, provided you choose the deep blue species, armenaicum. And a handful of cheap-as-chips Anemone coronaria will give you the most gorgeous sooty-centred poppy flowers in paintbox colours that will spread over the years, provided you plant them in a sunny spot. Sarah Raven offers 20 corms of Anemone Cristina, a glamorous purple-crimson, for just Ornamental onion Allium sphaerocephalon has little impact solo, but as it s so inexpensive, you can buy a bagful or three and make luscious ribbons of lime green then blackcurrant colour ripple through the borders in late summer. Tulipa sylvestris is the pretty, scented wild tulip with green-flushed pale yellow flowers that will spread under trees and in grass; bronze-red Tulipa hageri is just as obliging. Another way to get more bulb for your buck is to buy multi-headed varieties, such as pure white daffodil Thalia, perfect for pots, with three or more flowers Comeback kid: delightful Crocus vernus Remembrance will flower year on year to a stem, lemon-flowered Hawera, with up to six flowers per stem, and the golden dwarf multi-headed daffodil Tête-à-Tête. Tulipa praestans Fusilier is the classic scarlet tulip for containers and front-of-border, and produces up to six flowers on each fir-green, eightinch stem for little outlay, big impact. Plant your bulbs wisely. Mass a dozen hybrid tulips in one outsize pot and you will have more splash for your cash than a few dotted about in several pots. They are unlikely to give as dazzling a show in their second year, so after flowering, lift them and replant in the borders, to stretch their lifespan and guarantee further colour. If you re going to spend on big, showy bulbs, invest in sure-fire flowers; lilies are among the most sensational of all summer-flowering bulbs and are surprisingly easy to grow. For the best and biggest blooms, plant this autumn, either in black plastic pots to sink into bare spots in the border, or plant in deep containers. Just three bulbs of fragrant, flamboyant varieties such as Golden Splendour or rose-throated Lilium regale, costing less than 10, will amaze you next summer with their dynamic flower power, and they will carry on blooming year after year: that s real investment dressing for the garden. Gardening problems? our RHS expert at: PICTURES BY GAP PHOTOS buy it Buy it: RHS alliums offer THESE popular perennial bulbs are highly prized for their spectacular flowerheads that add colour and structure to late spring and early summer borders. The RHS is offering the following collection of 50 bulbs for 14.99: Allium cristophii, with showy flowerheads up to 20cm in diameter, 60cm tall (five bulbs); A hollandicum Purple Sensation, which has masses of deep violet rounded flowerheads up to 8cm, 1m tall (10 bulbs); A stipitatum Violet Beauty, with dome-shaped clusters of violet flowers on slender stems, grows to 1m (five bulbs); A sphaerocephalon, with small, oval heads that turn from green to purple, grows to 1m (25 bulbs); A hollandicum, with densely packed heads of purplish-pink flowers, grows to 1m (five bulbs). Buy two packs of 100 bulbs for and get 50 free. Homes & Property readers can save a further 15 per cent by entering code at the checkout at rhsplants.co.uk. Offer closes midnight October 1. See it: Wisley ENJOY late-summer colour at RHS Wisley s floral extravaganza from tomorrow until Sunday, with more than 50 exhibitors, including award-winning specialist nurseries. There will be displays from Surrey flower arranging societies, the Surrey Sculpture Trail has over 60 pieces all over the gardens and on Saturday and Sunday you can see blooms from the National Dahlia Collection, Pleasant Acre Plants and the Wisley trials field. There will be outdoor cooking on the Seven Acres Lawn and afternoon pastries. Open 9am-6pm daily and until 5pm Sunday; free with garden admission, RHS members free, adult 10.75, children Visit rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley

20 34 WEDNESDAY 4 SEPTEMBER 2013 EVENING STANDARD Homes & Property Property searching Spotlight Cricklewood Famous faces help tell story of a suburb with real sense of community Peace memorial: one of sculptor Fred Kormis s figures in 97-acre Gladstone Park Novelist Zadie Smith was inspired by growing up in this part of north-west London, which ex-mayor Ken Livingstone calls home. Anthea Masey went to find out more Bright spot: the Broadway is enlivened by its Asian fruit and vegetable shops Green appeal: pretty gardens, some of them communal, serve the enclave of cottages known as Cricklewood Railway Terraces, which were built in the 1880s WHO is Cricklewood s favourite celebrity? Could it be novelist Zadie Smith, who opened her first novel White Teeth with the lines: Early in the morning, late in the century, Cricklewood Broadway and who has recently returned to her home territory with her latest novel, NW? Or is it former London mayor Ken Livingstone, a long-time local resident who famously keeps newts in his garden pond? Seven miles north-west of central London, this suburb sits on Watling Street, one of the straightest roads out of the capital; the old Roman road is now better known as the A5. Cricklewood Broadway is the heart of the neighbourhood and the current Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has noticed that the place could do with a facelift. The Mayor s Outer London Fund and the boroughs of Barnet and Brent have pledged 2.26 million towards towncentre improvements. Tonight, Zadie Smith returns to her home turf with a charity event at the handsome, four-star Crown Moran Hotel, the Broadway s landmark redbrick and terracotta former pub, while on Saturday, the second annual Silk Street festival celebrates the area s cultural diversity. The Broadway couldn t be a more typical London street with its cheap cafés, old bingo hall, pound stores and Asian corner shops with their bright displays of fruit and veg all giving no clue to the fine roads of Victorian and Edwardian houses that lie behind. The Mapesbury Estate conservation area is a grid of roads running off Exeter Road and Lydford Road, with mainly redbrick Edwardian detached and semidetached houses. The Cricklewood Railway Terraces is the other conservation area. East of Cricklewood Broadway and north of Kara Way, this little enclave of cottages some with communal gardens, some with little front gardens set out opposite an access path were built in the 1880s when the Midland Railway moved its depot from Kentish Town to Cricklewood. WHAT THERE IS TO BUY Cricklewood also offers terraces of Victorian houses off Anson road, with semi-detached and terrace Edwardian houses between the Broadway and Fordwych Road, Twenties and Thirties houses east of the railway, and mansion flats near Shoot Up Hill. Stewart Boyd, of the local branch of estate agents Winkworth, says property prices are now well above the level achieved at the last peak in the autumn of Using as an example his own threebedroom garden flat, he revealed that he bought it in 2007 near the top of the market for 285,000, and that last year an offer of 308,000 fell through. He put it back on the market again this year and recently sold it for 350,000. Buyers on the Mapesbury Estate now expect to pay at least 1.2 million for a substantial house. The large twenties semi-detached houses in Asmara and Somali roads sell for between 1.2 million and 1.5 million. Smaller Thirties semi-detached houses in and around Pennine Drive sell for between 380,000 and 470,000, while in the roads off Anson Road, a three- or four-bedroom Victorian terrace is 550,000 to 700,000, a two-bedroom railway cottage can be bought for about 400,000, and a twobedroom garden flat is between 350,000 and 400,000. The area attracts: Cricklewood has a real sense of community. People often arrive here first when they can t afford Queen s Park or West Hampstead. Staying power: there are long-standing Irish and Jewish residents who have brought up their families in Cricklewood. SHOPS AND RESTAURANTS The shopping along Cricklewood Broadway serves day-to-day needs but won t set shopaholics hearts racing. There is a big B&Q on Cricklewood Lane and where Cricklewood Broadway turns back into Edgware Road there is a small retail park with branches of Matalan and Wickes. Close by there is a good lighting shop, Arrow Lighting, and Raft sells solid wood furniture. Elementree on the Broadway is a popular wine bar and restaurant. On the Mapesbury Estate, people tend to make for the shops on Walm Lane next to Willesden Green station where there is a gastropub, The Queensbury, with an associated deli and café. OPEN SPACES Gladstone Park covers 97 acres between Cricklewood and Dollis Hill, with a walled garden, a café, tennis courts and children s playgrounds. The Mapesbury Dell on Hoveden Road is a community secret garden with a children s playground, owned by the

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