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Selling country houses

publication date: Sep 12, 2011
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Bradley HallIt is widely acknowledged that the cost of running Britain’s houses is rising well above inflation, principally due to escalating fuel bills plus all the ‘extras’ such as insurance, council tax, maintenance, etc. And the bigger the house, the bigger the proportional increase. This is having an effect on the sales market in the present economy with potential purchasers pausing, more than ever, to consider running costs when making their important choice decisions. 

The head often rules the heart these days. Large country houses placed on themarket can deter some buyers who aspire to own a grand home but do not wish to be the custodian of a ‘bottomless pit’. In recognition of this trend, the owners of Bradley Hall in Derbyshire have ensured that their large property, extending to almost 20,000 square feet, pays its way.

Bradley HallMichelle and Mike Wrigley have made a £3 million house capable of producing an enviable income that brings this important Hall within reach of many more purchasers. Bradley Hall essentially consists of three wings. The principal wing contains the main house, a splendid period home offering five reception rooms, six bedrooms, five bathrooms and all the extra domestic space a large family might ever need. But, like all grand homes it takes some running and this is where the other sections of the property play their parts.

The east wing houses the billiards room and garaging on the ground floor, whilst the upper two levels form two independent residential units, Garden View Apartment and Bradley Hall Mews. These two bedroom units are let on shorthold tenancies; they are most sought after and generate an annual income of over £13,000.

The north wing needed refurbishment when Mr and Mrs Wrigley acquired Bradley Hall so they created 2 captivating holiday let apartments, now known as Yew Tree Nook and Lady Pond Retreat. These beautiful holiday lets have attracted strong demand, lovely in themselves and just three miles from Ashbourne, the gateway to the Peak District National Park. Even more eye catching is the holiday let revenue, now in
excess of £50,000 per annum and rising year on year.

Bradley HallBradley Hall has a self-contained office suite; again, this could save the new owner rented space elsewhere. The property also includes a beautiful lake and fishing lodge, all kitted out for fishing parties with kitchen and informal dining areas. Whilst this is used privately at present, the demands for its use are non-stop and could bring further income.

Bradley Hall certainly pays its way and other opportunities could be grasped. “We have had numerous requests for people wanting to hold weddings here,” says Michelle, “but the current arrangements give us great privacy so we have said no to functions.” It must be tempting, with Bradley Hall having a marquee site amidst its beautiful gardens, but Mr and Mrs Wrigley seem to have the perfect balance, opulent living at a fraction of the costs.

Food for thought for other country house owners and a rare opportunity for cost conscious but ambitious buyers. Bradley Hall is for sale with 9.3 acres of grounds through Fisher German, with a guide price of
£2,900,000. www.fishergerman.co.uk