CHARLIE WELLS

Jazmin Atkins
If it's about privacy, setting or marriage value, expect to pay more than agricultural value 
03 JUNE 2013

All too often today, a magnificent house of say 8,000 or 9,000 sq ft, be it on the edge of a village or in isolation, comes up for sale with just a few acres of garden. The acreage it stood within centuries ago having slowly been sold off to pay death duties or to settle an outstanding bill. To most potential buyers of such a house owning the land surrounding it is just as important and in some cases more important than the house.

While every scenario is different there are some general rules of thumb, which can be applied to ascertain the cost of buying in extra land. Think of it like a dart board, the bull’s eye being the house and its immediate gardens and grounds, the first ring out from the core carries the highest premium with an additional acre costing as much as £80,000. For the next 10-15 acres the values fall to a still not inconsiderable £20,000 to £40,000 per acre.

If the land in question happens to be landscaped parkland it would not be inconceivable to have to pay  a similar sum but for up to 100 acres. At this point it’s all about being able to control your view which adds considerable value to the house; if you control what you look out onto by rights you should control what can be seen from a boundary wall or road too.

Then there’s straightforward marriage value. The land is worth more to you than another buyer because it adjoins your existing acreage. Any wily seller will quite happily ‘hold out’ for a premium which could start at 150% of the actual agricultural land value and in some cases becomes considerably more.

For many, 1000 acres is the magic number for a farm or estate.

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