Estate making - a case of history repeating itself
10 APRIL 2013
Historically, country estates have been created, enjoyed and broken up by different family generations and the 21st century is no exception. For every estate being sold in lots or where parts are being sold off there are a couple in the process of being built up. Many buyers start by finding their dream country house or setting, which if they are lucky is surrounded by a good block of land. These purchases are initially fuelled by a desire to have enough land to enjoy their recreational activity of choice such as shooting, which can be supplemented by an income from farming.
Some buyers stop there – content with their house and surrounding 400 acres, but increasingly and for a number of reasons the attractions of owing more land encourage further acquisitions particularly those adjoining existing perimeter boundaries. Ultimately it’s all about controlling your environment and view, which of course it’s perfectly possible to do if you own it. Privacy and security is increasingly important, particularly for high profile owners, who crave the occasions when they can well and truly be out of the public eye.
Another good reason for land ownership, which crops up in the press every so often when another well known figure invests in the land the market is the tax advantages associated with its ownership, particularly inheritance tax.
Where estates have to be broken up the sensible decision makers sell the expensive to keep mansion house with its parkland and keep the income generating farmland and possibly some cottages too. The emotional sellers keep the house and parkland which they fund from the sale of the land. Sadly this course of action usually just delays the inevitable, even if it takes another generation.