a. Calculating property values is as much art as science. Think of property valuations as a sophisticated "flea market." Eventually, all properties are worth whatever a buyer is willing to pay for them. However, you can get a reasonable value calculation by following the steps noted. You will have an advantage over average people and can help justify your opinion of value to real estate agents and appraisers.
b. Make a checklist of the basic attributes of the property you want to evaluate. Primary items should include style of the house, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, square footage of land (lot, acreage or deeded amount of land) and the precise location of the property.
c. Find out what properties are selling for in the immediate area of your property. Use www.realtor.com or a similar Internet source. Neighbourhoods and property values can change dramatically in a very small area. Compare at least three properties that are very similar to yours.
d. Locate recent sales (within the last 4 to 6 months) if you can, as you'll have a better idea of your property value. In the wonderful world of real estate, asking prices may or may not be solid indicators of fair market value (FMV). Finding actual sales prices may present a more difficult challenge than locating asking prices. You may need to contact a certified real estate appraiser or a real estate broker to get this information. It is important to only use recent sales prices, as FMVs can change rapidly in a down or up market.
e. Make a simple grid or table once you've found three or four similar properties for sale or that have been sold. Across the top, write the addresses and asking/sales prices of these properties and your home. Unless you've found exact duplicates of your property, which is actually possible in some housing developments, you'll have to add or subtract some values for things like extra bedrooms, baths, land area, age, square footage and other amenities (sheds, garages, in-ground pools, decks and fireplaces).
f. Make financial adjustments to the other properties to calculate a more accurate FMV for your home. For example, if you have two fireplaces and the other properties have one, add an amount to each of their FVMs. Or, should two of them have one more bathroom than your home, subtract a value from their asking/sales price. This may sound a bit strange, as you might think you should make adjustments to your FMV, but, as certified appraisers know, this is the proper way to determine your value. Add extras you have to their FMV and subtract extras that they have from their asking/sales price.
g. Analyse the average selling price of the homes after making your adjustments to the comparable properties. You should now have calculated a reasonable FMV for your property. By adjusting their features to make them "equal" to your home, and using a neighbourhood cross section of similar homes at current prices, you should have a good idea of the FMV of your property. A certified appraiser will use this same methodology, although in greater detail, to arrive at the FMV of your property.
'BBC News' reports that house prices across the UK have jumped by an average of 4% in the year to September, according to Britain's largest lender, the Halifax. The rate indicates a pick-up from August, when the Halifax said prices were rising at an annual pace of 2.6%. The Halifax said the average price of a house or flat in the UK had now risen to a new high of £225,109.
A shortage of properties for sale and growth in full-time employment was supporting prices, it said. "However, increasing pressure on spending power and continuing affordability concerns may well dampen buyer demand," said Russell Galley, the managing director of Halifax Community Bank. Rival lender Nationwide has said prices in the year to September rose by 2%.
London house prices fall for first time in eight years. The Halifax figures are not broken down by region, but other research has indicated that while house price growth is slowing in the south of England, it is rising in parts of the Midlands and the North. Between August and September, prices rose by 0.8%, the Halifax said, compared to a monthly rise of 1.5% in the previous month. The 4% annual rise in house prices is calculated by comparing the three months to September with the same three months last year.
Good morning to you all! Writing in the FT, Emma Crichton-Miller argues that the lack of affordable housing in some cities is spawning creative and innovative schemes.
"In 1900, London County Council opened arguably the world’s first council estate. On ground previously occupied by one of London’s most notorious slums, the Old Nichol rookery, between Shoreditch High Street and Bethnal Green Road, Boundary Estate arose. These handsome brick-built five-storey blocks of two- to three-bedroom flats had, among other amenities, a row of workshops for the skilled craftsmen — blacksmiths, tailors, furniture makers, cigar-makers — who, alongside policemen, nurses and clerks, made up the buildings’ inhabitants. Today, one of the now Grade II-listed units of Cleve Workshops is home to a new enterprise.Tucked into a tiny space alongside fashion designers, a leather craftsman and a barber, the business Land Converter is one of a number of private efforts — by architects, artists, property developers and entrepreneurs — to confront and tackle London’s contemporary housing crisis, through often small-scale initiatives. Land Converter builds prefabricated, energy-efficient modular London houses, designed by prizewinning architects, on unused rooftops or as replacements for derelict garage spaces or dilapidated garden sheds.
The smallest designs are for 52 sq metre one- or two-bedroom homes intended for two people, which sell, company director Philip Bueno de Mesquita tells me, for “a price equivalent to an average two-up-two-down London terrace in the same area”.Land Converter’s prices are still above what most young people can afford. Today, the lack of affordable housing in London is a critical issue both in terms of starter homes for young key workers such as schoolteachers or in retaining creative talent once individuals need more space to start a family. There are a few rays of hope. London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s Affordable Homes Programme, funded by £3.15bn from the government, promises that work will have started on 90,000 new affordable homes by 2021 (ie the rent will be no more than 80 per cent of the average local market rent; for homes to buy, the definition is much less clear).While in Britain the issue is most acute in London, where property has become such a highly valued international commodity, similar emergencies confront authorities and planners in New York, Beijing, Sydney and San Francisco. Peter Murray, chairman of New London Architecture and recently appointed as the Mayor’s Design Advocate, says: “These cities are growing exponentially. They provide a lifestyle people are looking for.”Arklow Road by Pocket LivingNaked House is one imaginative response to this housing crisis. The initiative was set up by four young professionals, dissatisfied with the choice of affordable housing on offer, and convinced, says co-founder Neil Double, that “creative people can make savings and come up with solutions”.
They have teamed up with architecture studio OMMX, based in Enfield, north London, to offer homes stripped back to the barest essentials — with no internal walls, floors or finishes. Naked House secures land from local authorities at an affordable price, supported by finance from the Greater London Authority but also private social investors, arranges planning and sets up a community of owners. Naked House then sticks around to help them finish their houses, over as long a period of time as it takes. Naked House, a not-for-profit business, earns a fee for managing the project. While households with an income under the Mayor’s threshold of £90,000 are eligible to be considered for a home on a development, Naked House hopes to give first place to people on local median household incomes — ie around £32,000-£35,000 — or first-time buyers already living or working in the area. The properties will be sold leasehold (the freeholder being the council, to whom a small fixed land rent will be payable annually) for between £150,000 and £350,000 — well below the £482,000 average house price in London, according to Land Registry data — and buyers will need to sign a covenanting lease to pass on the discount, which is up to 40 percentage points, to future buyers.As Double says: “We don’t want people buying them, doing them up and flipping them.” The first project is a development of 22 homes, mostly mews-style houses, on three sites in Enfield. Double says: “Over 800 people have signed up via our website. There is room for new operators to innovate.”Pocket is another specialist affordable housing developer. One of its projects can be seen beside a railway bridge near Lambeth Palace: small-scale apartment buildings on Sail Street and Juxon Street. Pocket’s chief executive, Marc Vlessing, a Dutch-born London-based entrepreneur who was once finance director of NatWest’s investment banking business, has spent 12 years scrutinising the issue of affordable housing. Rather than leaving owners to complete their homes, Vlessing provides identical modular one-bedroom apartments, built off-site, assembled and then clad to reflect the local environment. They are sold outright at a discount of at least 20 per cent less than the surrounding market rate to first-time buyers and other qualifying homeseekers.
According to the company’s website, its customers are mostly single, on an average annual income of £42,000 and around 50 per cent are key workers.While Vlessing’s business has grown from an initial 30 units a year in 2005 to more than 200 in 2016, these are small dents in a monstrous problem. The larger vision of, say, architect Peter Barber, whose bold notion of a Hundred Mile City, of low-rise, high-density living, encircling London, replacing what he refers to as the broken dream of 1930s suburbia, would require a wholesale commitment from government and the public. But Peter Murray says: "I am optimistic both that politicians have woken up to the enormity of the problem they are facing and that there is innovative thinking on all this."
So where is the most sensible place to live in London? Wherever you can afford? The outer boroughs, like Barking and Croydon, generally offer more affordable accommodation. But people are obviously attracted to the city lights of central London! Westminster, in particular, is home to London's West End, one of the most important entertainment hubs in the world! Accommodation here can be amongst the most expensive in the world. Somerset House, for example, offers office accommodation in what was once a royal palace!
1547 Edward Seymour, Lord Protector and Duke of Somerset, starts building a palace for himself on the banks of the Thames
1552 Seymour is executed at the Tower of London; ownership of his palace, nearly complete, passes to the Crown
1553 Aged 20, Princess Elizabeth moves to Somerset House; she lives there until 1558, when she’s crowned Queen Elizabeth I
1603 Anne of Denmark, wife of James I of England (James VI of Scotland), moves to Somerset House, which is renamed Denmark House in her honour
1604 The Treaty of London, ending the 19-year Anglo-Spanish War, is negotiated and signed at Denmark House
1609 Anne of Denmark invites Inigo Jones and other architects to redesign and rebuild parts of the palace; work continues until her death in 1619
1625 Charles I is crowned king; his wife, Henrietta Maria of France, commissions Jones and others to undertake more construction and renovation work, including a lavish new Roman Catholic chapel completed in in 1636
1642 The English Civil War begins; soon afterwards, General Thomas Fairfax takes over the palace as the headquarters for the Parliamentary Army
1649 The Civil War ends and Charles I is executed; Parliament tries and fails to sell Denmark House, but successfully sells its contents for the then-huge sum of £118,000
1652 Inigo Jones dies at Denmark House
1660 After Charles II, her son, is crowned king at the start of the Restoration, Henrietta Maria returns to Denmark House; more new construction follows
1665 The Plague sweeps London; Henrietta Maria moves back to France, where she dies in 1669 ...
Overlooking the River Thames at Waterloo Bridge, Somerset House offers easy access to the Cities of London and Westminster.
Good morning to you all! Writing in the Bricks and Mortar supplement of today's London 'Times', Anne Ashworth asks why we are looking and not buying?
"The British passion for property, a strong well of emotion, tends to find an outlet even when the market is gripped by apathy. Lethargy is spreading from London and the commuter belt to other locations, and there is a growing sense of foreboding about a jump in the cost of borrowing, according to RICS, the estate agents’ body. Yet Rightmove, the property website, is reporting record numbers of searches. Information about house prices, including regional discrepancies, is still power, even when fewer deals are being done. There is also the chance to gaze at images of Jacobean mansions — the new historic architectural crush. The hope of finding a bargain may be driving some of this traffic, but such quests may be fruitless, since there… "
Estate agents are rightly worried about a slowdown in the volume of transactions in the UK housing market! Transaction costs are high, so if we can stay put, we generally do, if only to save money! Some homes are expensive to build and difficult to maintain, with thick walls, and perhaps too closed and defensive a design for modern open-plan living! As a place to live, a castle is perhaps a little impractical in the twenty-first century! Maintenance costs can be very high, and they are often surprisingly inaccessible. Nevertheless, they can be a lot of fun, and as they are built for defence, they offer the possibility of security to their owners!
The best castle in England is probably Windsor Castle in Berkshire! Windsor Castle has been the home of 39 monarchs, and the appearance of the State Apartments today reflects the changing tastes of the Castle’s royal occupants, particularly Charles II (r.1660-85) and George IV (r.1820-30). Charles II set out to rival the achievements of his cousin, Louis XIV, at Versailles in France. He modernised the Castle’s interiors, which became the grandest State Apartments in England, with painted ceilings by Antonio Verrio and carvings by Grinling Gibbons. With his architect Sir Jeffry Wyatville, George IV gave the State Apartments a new grand entrance and staircase, and he added the colossal Waterloo Chamber, celebrating the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1815, introduced in the short film below by Desmond Shawe-Taylor, Surveyor of The Queen's Pictures. The State Apartments are furnished with some of the finest works of art from the Royal Collection, including paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens and Canaletto. Many of the works of art are still in the historic settings for which they were first collected or commissioned by the Kings and Queens who have lived at Windsor.
On 20 November 1992 a fire destroyed or damaged more than 100 rooms at the Castle. Four thousand gallons of water a minute were used against the blaze at the fire’s height, the equivalent of the entire weight of Niagara Falls descending on the Castle for two seconds. The restoration of the Castle, particularly St George’s Hall and the Grand Reception Room, is a testament to the extraordinary skills of some of the finest craftsmen in Europe. Today Windsor's State Apartments are frequently used by members of the Royal Family for events in support of organisations of which they are patrons.
Other important castles in Kent include Sissinghurst Castle. It has one of the greatest gardens of the world! The Tower of London is one of the oldest buildings in continuous use in the City of London, with a white keep made of Caen stone, and impressive fortifications on the north bank of the River Thames at Tower Bridge! Wales has more castles per square mile than any other country in the world, a testament to its turbulent past. One of the best castles to see is Powis Castle. If the gardens at Powis Castle seem a delightful surprise today in deepest Wales, imagine how much more shocking they would have seemed 300 years ago. In its early days the castle was approached from the east, not the west as it is today. The garden would have remained hidden until you arrived at the castle’s entrance up on the highest terrace. Suddenly you would look down and see the whole of the terraced garden laid out before you.
The garden you see today has its origins in the 1680s, when William Herbert, 1st Marquess of Powis (c.1626–96), employed architect William Winde to develop a series of terraces and formal grass slopes against the south-facing ridge below the Castle. Winde had made a similar garden at Cliveden, Buckinghamshire, in the 1660s and was at this time working on Powis’ interiors. In 1688 the 1st Marquess, a Catholic, fled to France with the exiled King James II and died there. His new garden in Wales lay unfinished until his son the 2nd Marquess (c.1665–1745), also named William Herbert, returned to Britain in 1703. William began to work on the garden once more, this time with the help of Adrian Duval, a French gardener who was then working in Holland. On the flat land at the foot of the terraces a water garden or Pleasure Ground in the Dutch style was created. The water garden covered as much land as the castle and terraces combined and must have been a spectacular sight. You could have gazed across a Dutch water garden, up the Italian Renaissance-style terraces and above that to the ancient Castle backed by its medieval deer park. Ancient stood above modern in spectacular formal progression.
In 1771 the garden made a new leap into contemporary fashion. This was a time when formal gardens throughout Britain were dug up in favour of more naturalistic landscape parks, of water, trees and green spaces, that came right to the door of the mansion. The great proponent of the landscape movement was Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown (1716–83), his work principally confined to England. In Wales, his place was partly filled by William Emes (1730–1803) who was employed by Henry Arthur Herbert, 1st Earl of Powis (2nd creation), to make improvements to the estate. He planted a ridge – the Wilderness – to the south of the Castle, which enclosed the terraces and the Dutch water garden, planting many of the fine oaks that survive to this day.
Yet another layer of contemporary fashion now lay before the Castle. But whether gardens thrive or not depends on the interest of their owners at any particular moment, and by 1784 the 2nd Earl had let the terraces go to rack and ruin, in favour of life in London. Deal Castle was built for King Henry VIII on the Kent coast! it is one of the finest Tudor artillery castles in England, and among the earliest and most elaborate of a chain of coastal forts, which also includes Calshot, Camber, Walmer and Pendennis Castles. Today you can explore the whole of the castle, from the storerooms to the first-floor captain’s residence. A new permanent exhibition is now on display at the castle, revealing how Henry VIII’s fears for the safety and security of his realm shaped the country’s defences and his own married life. With new displays, audio and children’s activities supported by contemporary artefacts, the whole family can now explore the rich and varied history of the castle alongside the stories of the people who lived and worked there for over four hundred years. If you enjoy cycling, a pleasant cycle path links Deal and Walmer Castles along the beachfront. Don't Miss the following:
• Witness Europe in the 16th Century with the new map table exhibit
• Examine never before seen objects from Deal's collection
• Explore the dark passages beneath the bastions, where children can don a pair of wellies, grab a wooden musket and find the voices of the past
• Discover the castle's fascinating layers of history at the new historic graffiti lounge, where children can design their own motifs whilst parents relax
Situated in majestic hilltop locations above the Tywi Valley, Dryslwyn Castle not only occupies a place of great affection in the minds and traditions of the Welsh people but also majestic hilltop locations above the Tywi valley. The site is forever associated with the princes of Deheubarth, the kingdom in south-west Wales now known by the Irish name of Dyfed! If you fancy living in a castle, how about Dryslwyn, situated on a hill in the middle of the Tywi Valley in rural Carmarthenshire?
A lack of available excavation data means uncertainty remains as to the shape, form and history of any earlier fortifications, which may underlie the medieval castle. Despite this, present evidence suggests very strongly that the history of Dryslwyn Castle is entwined with the rule of the Lord Rhys (d. 1197). Over time the castle changed hands between the princes of Deheubarth and gradually evolved into formidable fortresses. It eventually fell to the English Crown from 1287, serving as centres of royal administration and authority. By the end of the Middle Ages the castle had become ivy-clad ruins.
In the wake of Rhys ap Maredudd’s revolt of 1287, there was a swift, well coordinated, and effective English reaction. With Edward I out of the country, it was left to his lieutenant in England, Earl Edmund of Cornwall, to take the lead. A great army was to be assembled at Carmarthen, and on 16 July writs were dispatched to the lords of the March to raise their forces. On 9 August, Earl Edmund set out from Carmarthen for Rhys’s castle at Dryslwyn, at the head of an army of some 4,000 men. Some of these had been raised in England, others had been assembled locally under Robert de Tibetot. On 15 August, the earl’s forces were joined by an army of 6,700 ranks and officers, gathered under Reginald Grey (d.1308) who had set out from Chester and Roger l’Estrange who had marched from Montgomery.
With the combined force of more than 11,000 assembled on the flat valley floor in front of Dryslwyn, on or just after the 15 August, the siege of Dryswlyn Castle began. Many of the men coming from Chester were drawn from the building works on King Edward’s north Wales castles. These craftsmen and others constructed a trebuchet, a siege machine capable of hurling huge stones at the castle walls. This machine, constructed with timber, hides, rope, and lead, cost £14. A total of 20 quarrymen and 24 carters were employed to shape and move the large stone balls which were hurled by the trebuchet at the castle. In addition, the besiegers were attempting to undermine the castle walls. Tradition records that they brought down a large section near the projecting chapel block.
The mining was marred by the collapse of a wall, crushing to death a group of nobles who were inspecting the work, including the earl of Stafford, Sir William de Monte Caniso, and Sir John de Bonvillars. The castle was captured by 5 September, and although Rhys ap Maredudd escaped, his wife and son were captured. The siege undoubtedly caused extensive damage to the castle, and repairs were carried out shortly afterwards. The archaeological excavation of the site has produced important evidence from the time of this siege. Two substantial stone balls, over 16 inches, and almost certainly thrown by the trebuchet, were recovered. Also recovered were many smaller stones which were thrown at the castle, as well as links of chain mail, arrowheads, slingshots and a spearhead. Over one hundred arrowheads were recovered, many with long sharp points deliberately made to penetrate armour and chain mail.
A lack of available excavation data means uncertainty remains as to the shape, form and history of any earlier fortifications, which may underlie the medieval castle. Despite this, present evidence suggests very strongly that the history of Dryslwyn Castle is entwined with the rule of the Lord Rhys (d. 1197). Over time the castle changed hands between the princes of Deheubarth and gradually evolved into formidable fortresses. It eventually fell to the English Crown from 1287, serving as centres of royal administration and authority. By the end of the Middle Ages the castle had become ivy-clad ruins. In the wake of Rhys ap Maredudd’s revolt of 1287, there was a swift, well coordinated, and effective English reaction. With Edward I out of the country, it was left to his lieutenant in England, Earl Edmund of Cornwall, to take the lead. A great army was to be assembled at Carmarthen, and on 16 July writs were dispatched to the lords of the March to raise their forces. On 9 August, Earl Edmund set out from Carmarthen for Rhys’s castle at Dryslwyn, at the head of an army of some 4,000 men. Some of these had been raised in England, others had been assembled locally under Robert de Tibetot. On 15 August, the earl’s forces were joined by an army of 6,700 ranks and officers, gathered under Reginald Grey (d.1308) who had set out from Chester and Roger l’Estrange who had marched from Montgomery.
A few miles upstream of Dryslwyn Castle, another castle became more famous for its gardens during the latter half of the second millennium. There is mention of ‘nine green gardens’ on this site in a poem dating from medieval times, but it is not until the days of William ap Thomas or Sir William Thomas, knighted by Henry VIII, that the history of Aberglasney is better documented. He became the first High Sheriff of Carmarthenshire in 1541-2 and added the Aberglasney chapel to Llangathen Church. Although we know little about the way the house here looked during his day it was grand enough to catch the eye of a powerful bishop fifty years later.
1541 - Sir William ap Thomas becomes High Sheriff of Carmarthenshire.
1594 - Anthony Rudd consecrated Bishop of St David’s.
Lewis Glyn Cothi, Cywydd i Rhydderch ap Rhys wrote the following about Aberglasney in the fifteenth century:
"He has a proud hall
A fortress made bright with whitewash
And encompassing it all around
Nine green gardens
Orchard trees and crooked vines
Young oaks reaching up to the sky."
(Translation, Dafydd Johnston)
It was during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I that the estate was bought by an ambitious Bishop. Anthony Rudd was consecrated Bishop of St David’s in 1594 and is credited, along with his son Sir Rice Rudd, with having rebuilt Aberglasney and creating the now famous Cloister Garden. In 1670 the house was assessed for ‘Hearth Tax’ and with 30 hearths it was one of the biggest in the county. But Sir Rice had overspent on the renovations, so with debts mounting, his grandson, also Sir Rice Rudd, was forced to mortgage the estate.
C1595-1600 Bishop Rudd purchases Aberglasney.
1614 – Bishop Rudd dies. Sir Rice Rudd (1st Baronet) continues building work.
1664 – Sir Rice Rudd dies in severe debt.
c1682 – Sir Rice Rudd (2nd Baronet) mortgages Aberglasney.
Aberglasney becomes the home of the Dyer family after the successful Carmarthenshire lawyer Robert Dyer purchases the estate. He is responsible for substantially remodelling the house in the fashionable Queen Anne style of the day. He left most of the gardens untouched save for removing the forecourt wall which was originally connected to the gatehouse but that now stands alone as a garden feature. The remarkable Yew Tunnel also began its life, as a hedge. Robert’s second son was John Dyer a notable landscape poet whose poems ‘Grongar Hill’ and ‘The Country Walk’ describe the beautiful scenery of the Tywi valley. In time, the Dyers too ran into debt and put the estate up for sale in 1798.
1710 – Estate is purchased by Robert Dyer.
1798 – Aberglasney is advertised for sale complete with 584 acres.
"See, below, the pleasant dome,
The poet’s pride, the poet’s home….
See her woods, where Echo talks,
Her gardens trim, her terrace walks,
Her wildernesses, fragrant brakes,
Her gloomy bowers and shining lakes,
Keep, ye gods, this humble seat,
For ever pleasant, private, neat."
Aberglasney is home to the Phillips and Walters Philipps families during days of Regency and Victorian splendour and Dickensian characters. This is the century when the external appearance of the mansion took on its present form: the portico and bay windows were added and the roof-line altered. Thomas Phillips bought Aberglasney on his retirement from the Honourable East India Company, where he had risen to the role of Head Surgeon. When he died childless Aberglasney was left to his sister’s son John Walters, who tacked on the surname Philipps, although spelt differently. It was John Walters Phillips granddaughter Marianne Emily Jane Pryse, who became the heiress.
1803 – Estate is sold to Thomas Phillips.
1824 – Death of Thomas Phillips, Aberglasney passes to John Walters (Philipps).
1867 – Death of John Walters Philipps, Aberglasney passes to Marianne Emily Jane Pryse.
1872 – House advertised to let.
Marianne married a young soldier, Charles Mayhew and Aberglasney was let out during most of their married life. However on his retirement in 1902 they returned to Carmarthenshire. Colonel Mayhew is best remembered for his fierce teetotalism and the Mayhews held Temperance rallies and gave Llangathen its Temperance Hall. When Colonel Mayhew died his widow left for London, where she lived for the next 30 years. When Mrs Mayhew died the property devolved through her father’s second marriage into the Pryse-Rice family and to Eric Evans. But Eric Evans died aged just 30 and his son’s trustees decided that the property was not economically viable, or maybe even unlucky. The estate was split up, and David Charles a Carmarthen lawyer bought the house and farm. Another sale took place in 1977 fragmenting the estate further. Moments of glory but decades of decline – this was a century that saw the fragmentation of old estates and the demise of many a country house.
1902 – Colonel and Mrs Mayhew take up residence at Aberglasney.
1908 – Mrs Mayhew leaves Aberglasney following the death of her husband a year before.
1939 – Death of Mrs Mayhew, Aberglasney passes to Eric Evans.
1939 – 1945 – Aberglasney is requisitioned by the Army.
1950 - 1954 – Following the death of Eric Evans and estate split, the house is purchased by David Charles.
1977 – Aberglasney is sold again.
Uninhabited, neglected and vandalised, Aberglasney was on the brink of collapse when it was rescued from oblivion in 1995. The house and gardens were bought by the Aberglasney Restoration Trust, the money donated by an American benefactor – Frank Cabot. Thanks then to the generosity of individual donors, trust funds, charitable donations and grant money from many statutory bodies a tremendous amount of work was done in a very short time. Aberglasney finally opened to the public on the 4th of July 1999, restoration work has however been on-going since this date, with the completion of the ground floor of the mansion in Spring 2013.
1995 – Aberglasney Restoration Trust purchases the house and gardens.
1999 – Aberglasney Gardens opens to the public.
2013 – Restoration of the ground floor of the mansion is completed.
Last Edit: Oct 12, 2017 21:36:44 GMT -5 by Deleted
One thing you could do with your home would be to create the space to start a family! Is there room for more bedrooms, a study or games room, for example! Do you have to move home to accommodate more children or even grandparents? Can you cope with the social upheavals of looking after an extended family in the twenty-first century?
House prices around the world are in general rising. Why is this happening, and is it a good time to invest in property? Well, it is possibly not such a good time to invest in property, and commercial property, including hotels and restaurants, are finding the value of their property assets falling! Why this should be so, I do not really know! Perhaps competition in the hospitality sector is more of a challenge, although hospitality is, in principle, a good idea. The best way to socialise probably depends upon one's own particular circumstances. If you like good food, why not try out a top restaurant? If you want to see some live theatre, how about Saint George and the Dragon at the National Theatre. This is a folk tale for an uneasy nation: a village, a dragon, a damsel in distress. Theresa May? Into the story walks George: wandering knight, freedom fighter, enemy of tyrants the world over. One epic battle later and a nation is born. As the village grows into a town, and the town into a city, the myth of Saint George which once brought a people together, threatens to divide them.
Champagne Charlie thinks that house prices around the world vary a lot! Why is this so, Uncle Henry, and does it not offer us the opportunity of arbitrage? Perhaps transaction costs, roughly 10% of the value of a home, are simply too high!
Good morning to you all! As the UK economy lurches towards 2050, what are the prospects for the housing market over the coming centuries? Are microhomes better than statement pieces? Writing in the FT, the architect Edwin Heathcote reports the following:
"The rise of the micro-home has been well charted. Our capital cities are short on space and housing stock. But is a micro-home the right buy? As far as lifestyles go, it requires a minimalism that, although fashionable in its own way, might make the baubles suggested below a more appealing investment. Edwin Heathcote, the FT’s architecture critic, picks his favourite micro-homes and Clara Baldock from the How to Spend It team tries to outdo him by suggesting an alternative high-end designer item. Related article: Prefabs sprout to offer affordable housing Muji Hut £21,000
Muji, the Japanese retailer, is known for marketing a minimal lifestyle, so why not an entire minimal home? At £21,000, Muji’s off-the-shelf hut is an unusual thing: a mass-market micro-home. With its charred, blackened-wood walls, corrugated metal mono-pitch roof and integral terrace, it is clearly a Japanese design, but one restrained and familiar enough to be able to fit in anywhere, from mountains to lakesides, backyards or deserts. With one large sliding door/French window and another much smaller window on the rear wall, it is light, easy to ventilate and surprisingly open feeling. At 9 sq m it is much smaller than it feels — truly a minimal home, but an elegant and simple one. At the moment it is only on sale in Japan. Or... Droplets chandelier £22,200 (large)
This delicate, 180cm-long hand-blown glass chandelier is the work of Czech designers Jan Plechá? and Henry Wielgus. In collaboration with Lasvit, a manufacturer of bespoke glass work, it was originally created as an installation for Chanel during Prague design week, and later adapted into an exquisite light sculpture. Koda House £150,000
Estonian designer Kodasema’s micro-home isn’t all that small. With effectively double-height space and one wall entirely glazed, it feels almost like a modernist villa. At 25 sq m, this prefabricated home costs £150,000. It is not cheap, but it is well made. It occupies the space somewhere between low-cost housing and micro-escape and it was conceived as a solution for tight, leftover urban sites. Solar panels on the roof and vacuum-insulated concrete walls shield it against an Estonian winter, a Mediterranean summer or a train line running right behind it. A very neat design that is probably more of a glamorous shed or guest room than a housing solution. Or... Cabinet Klimt €165,000 (£147,500)
Drawing on Art Deco and tribal influences, as well as the work of Gustav Klimt, Ingrid Donat’s cast-bronze cabinet is hand engraved with intricate patterns. Donat has transformed a hard and weighty material into a delicate and original piece of sculptural furniture. Vipp Shelter £500,000
Manufactured near Copenhagen by Vipp, the Danish retailer famous for its pedal bins, this is a macro micro-home. At 55 sq m, it boasts the floor area of some contemporary non-micro houses but it is conceived in the spirit of a go-anywhere cabin. Its black steel casing makes it look slick and robust. It shares the aesthetic of Vipp’s homewares, but this is no dustbin. With two entirely glazed walls, the house, elevated above the ground on piloti, is a classy Scandi villa. Its shape is a little clunky, it oddly really does look more like a piece of homeware than a work of architecture, but this is still class. Or... Aqua One sculpture €600,000 (£536,000)
Vlastimil Beránek’s Aqua One sculpture, a dark, translucent curved form, is one of only four. It is crafted from Bohemian emerald-green crystal and measures 66cm in diameter. Beránek, born in the Czech Republic, is known for creating the world’s biggest sculpture made from a single piece of glass. The Shed £250-£400 rent per calendar month
Very different in aspiration from the other micro-homes featured here, the Shed is intended as a capsule to make the habitation of empty or derelict buildings more palatable. It is a clever idea developed by Lowe Guardians, the property management outfit, and aimed, initially at least, at custodians and caretakers. It should also appeal to young bohemians who want to live in an abandoned structure in which the existing accommodation, plumbing and conditions would just be too sleazy and decrepit. A very basic construction of cheap oriented strand board (OSB) with polycarbonate over the openings creates a cosy, utilitarian but surprisingly comfortable interior. It is designed to be easy to dismantle and move to another site when the host building is either demolished or gentrified. Sustainable and intelligent. Or... Prismatic in Lilac vase £3,900
Hanne Enemark’s one-of-a-kind pieces explore the versatility of glass by contrasting its smooth and fluid qualities with its sharp and splintered forms, creating striking vases. The London-based Danish artist, who studied glass and ceramics at the Royal College of Art, uses UV bonding to attach the cut, polished crystals to the hand-blown glass. Kasita $139,000
The tech version of the tiny home comes, naturally, with its systems and services controlled by a smartphone app. Launched by Jeff Wilson, an Austin-based former environmental studies professor and IBM systems engineer, this handsome micro-home looks like the minimal modern version of the Airstream Trailer — less mobile but just as slick. Light, bright and modern inside with an entirely glazed end bay, it is cleverly conceived and well made. Storage is integrated into and below furniture and floors, and a level change makes the interior feel more spacious. At $139,000 it is not cheap at all. The first units have apparently been set up in odd, leftover locations such as rooftops, yards and urban gaps, as well as in the desert as a kind of weekend pad (this is Texas after all). Another version is made to be stacked on denser, more urban sites, the units slotting in to create a larger building. Or... Antique fireplace £110,000 ($144,800)
Will Fisher, the founder of Jamb, the business specialising in historic collectibles, has one of the biggest collections of antique fireplaces in the UK, including this impressive George II, Palladian-style mantelpiece. This handsome piece is from white, statuary marble and is based on an Inigo Jones/William Kent design. Related article: Little black book: Will Fisher, antiques dealer Diogene £17,000
The only starchitect entry is Renzo Piano’s Diogene. Conceived on a very different scale to his huge structures, such as the Shard skyscraper in London, this house-shaped micro-home is clearly inspired by the work of French architect/engineer Jean Prouve. Its name comes from the Greek philosopher Diogenes, who lived in a barrel, and its design was triggered by Le Corbusier’s famous (but rather rustic) Cabanon on the French riviera. With a distinctive, large roof light on one side, solar panels on the other and a timber-lined interior, it is a curious mix of sci-fi and forest hut. Measuring only 2.4 metres square, it is truly a tiny home, but surprisingly practical and comfortable. One model stands outside Piano’s archives in Genoa, weathering a little, but still looking seductive. Or... Flux console £17,055
The Flux console is inspired by the swirling motion of a sparkler firework. The sinuous, interweaving loop that forms the base consists of more than half a kilometre of individual strands of braided brass wire. Award-winning British designer Jake Phipps from the Makepeace school specialises in highly engineered pieces to order. Minimod Concept project, so no price available
Designed by MAPA, the Brazilian architects, the Minimod house is both the closest thing here to a container and, ironically, perhaps the most elegant of all the micro-homes. With an open glass end wall and flip-up shutters revealing huge windows, this one’s a real treat. Its interior is lined in figured ply and it features a green, planted roof for extra insulation. Designed to fit easily on the back of a truck, the most minimal and pure of all these houses looks like something any of us might be glad to live in — at least for the weekend. Or... Design your own Why not commission an artist or craftsman to create a bespoke piece for your home? In this way, you will support a creative industry and acquire a unique work that reflects your personal taste."
So should you invest in a trendy small house or go big on a high-end decorative object? Invest in a house, Slightly Optimistic, but small is not necessarily beautiful. Size matters! How many people are there in your family, and what is the most sensible way to accommodate them all? Is a microflat really the best solution to their housing needs. Far more sensible, it seems to me, would be a more appropriate space in the first place. How about en suite bedrooms and bathrooms for everyone, so people do not necessarily have to share living space? How about better kitchens and living rooms, with a separate space for a home office? How about a dedicated room for entertainment, perhaps a ballroom, a dining room or a library?
Send everyone to the library for the evening reception party with the Chinese Ambassador to the Court of St James's, Slightly Optimistic. Include Lady and Lord Byron on the guest list, and hope that little c turns up with something to eat and drink! Better still, how about the Rotunda Bar at Ten Trinity Square?
Uncle Henry resides in Tasmania, so the chances of seeing him at the palace on the Strand now known as Somerset House are remote, Alistair. The Palace of Westminster is better known, and Buckingham Palace, too, is close by. My own preference is the White Tower, a defensive stronghold guarding the old port of London at the eastern edge of the City! Jason, too, to the east of London, a little to the south in rural Kent. He resides in the village of Hildenborough, and has a string of castles stretching from Knole House at Sevenoaks, to the medieval manor house of Penshurst Place on the edge of the village of Penshurst.