Top-end buyers seek modern homes but still in great locations 

How things have changed over the past 30 years with our choice of homes.

In the 90’s, top-end buyers only wished for the classic Georgian House with a tennis court, swimming pool, a few acres of land; a grand imposing home in the heart of a village.

This came with a huge maintenance list such as cleaners, gardeners, and permanent trade helpers that were always on hand for endless repairs. It was not unheard of to have a painter permanently on hand that started one end of the house and after finishing, it was time to go around again!

Now, these same buyers are looking at modern, contemporary homes with low energy costs, and as low maintenance as possible. Living needs to be simple now, and that’s the highest priority for all age groups whether upsizing, downsizing or making the city-to-country transition and never looking back.

Edge-of-village locations

In West Sussex, and the Hampshire and Surrey borders we as buying agents cover, there is a premium to have everything. The latest must-have is a home on the edge of a village.

These homes can be gems, as it’s often easier to obtain planning permission to change older homes to the modern way of living. Planning applications can be simpler with fewer neighbours to object, but buyers can still benefit from all the advantages of village life, the gastro pub, open spaces, excellent dog walks, village store, good schools, even good Wi-Fi. The list is endless.

Perhaps the odd negative may be thrown in, like rights of way and farmyard smells to endure, but the general consensus is it’s a small price to pay.

Creating low maintenance homes

I hasten to add, village life doesn’t come without the price tag to achieve this, but we have seen some amazing changes in recent years with architects successfully incorporating the old and new, giving clients the much-wanted character with easy to maintain homes.

If this isn’t necessarily what someone wants, then always remember that if you start again there is no VAT on new build, which at 20% of your home value is a healthy chunk towards something else. If you are building from scratch, the plot will be a lot less expensive than the finished article, which also helps as stamp duty can also eat a huge hole in your pocket.

There are lots of new exciting ways to have your dream home rather than the traditional 1990’s ‘Trophy house’ that was once something we all wished for.