Maidenhead Landlords Urged to Do Their Homework

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Many luxury, new-build apartment blocks are now marketed specifically to investors. But for landlords in Maidenhead, I would suggest that an alternative strategy is fast emerging.

In years to come it is possible that Maidenhead could have a surplus of modern, two-bedroom apartments, keeping potential yields down. My advice to investors would be to focus on the stock that no-one is building – the humble 3-4 bedroom semi-detached house, of which there is already a genuine shortage.

This summer we have seen corporate demand returning to the Home Counties and some 47% of all new tenants between April and June came from outside of the UK. Expats from North America accounted for more than half of these corporate tenants, many of whom were families in search of gardens, square footage and good schools. Bearing this target market in mind is never a bad idea in our popular corner of the commuter-belt.

I don’t claim to have a crystal ball, but I do have the tools, contacts and years of experience to know what tenants in Berkshire are looking for, what prices they are willing to pay and where they most want to live.

Don’t be one of the 25% of buy-to-let investors who risk their portfolio for the sake of a little research. If you don’t have the time to do the homework, ask us for a second opinion on any property in the area and we’ll be happy to talk to you. Call us on 01753 622686.

This blog can also be read on our website


Another Property On Millionaires Row

There are two hills in Windsor, Castle Hill, perhaps better known as Windsor Castle and St. Leonards Hill, often referred to as millionaire’s row.

However, each location has its downsides – Windsor Castle teems with visitors year round and St. Leonards Hill situated next door to Legoland has to cope with peak traffic particularly in school holidays along Winkfield road.

Not many people know that it is possible to live within Windsor Castle grounds in one of the ‘grace and favour’ homes. To do so you would have had to have connections with the castle or to have served your country. For the rest of us then consider St.Leonards Hill, a good location, a bit pricey, but would it be a good investment?

What is the potential for capital gain, what would you expect of a rental ROI?

Over the years I have seen many older houses on large plots sold off, demolished and two or more built on the plot. A developers dream. The above property is just one example. 40 years a go Freddie Star (notorious comedian) lived in the house called ‘My Way’ which just so happened to be the home of Billy Smart Jr. (circus fame). 1 2months ago it was demolished and two rather splendid houses built in its place, a definite improvement on what was an untidy plot.

We now have ‘My Way House’ pictured above for sale at £2.5 million by Aston Mead.

What are the prospects for capital gain in this area, I would say excellent. Last year a row of new build regency style town houses in Kings Road facing the Long Walk sold well at £2.0 m.

Historically property prices based on an average price of £1.5m have increased by 17% over the last 5 years.

St.Leonards Hill has a considerable diversity in the style and number of bedrooms with 4/5 bedroom properties attracting rents of £2500 pcm to £4000 pcm and some of the 6/7 bedroom properties attracting rents up to £8000 pcm to £10000 pcm.

Who would you expect to pay rents at this £2.5m property level? Well CEO’s earning not less than £250,000 pa and probably paid by the company into the bargain.

Call us if you are thinking of investing and you would like a 2nd. opinion on any property, we’ll be happy to talk to you 01753 622686. This blog can be read on our website

Hospital Becomes Luxury Apartments

‘The Residence’ is a development of Luxury apartments facing Clarence Crescent, the regency terrace of fine homes in central Windsor and on the corner of Trinity Place.

The development is on the site of the former Princess Christian Nursing Home dating back to 1904 and following extensive re-development offers a collection of apartments, penthouses and a town house; now known as ‘The Residence’, Clarence Road, Windsor. SL4 3AP.

The town house is being offered at £1.7 million and is a 4 storey residence within the Clarence Wing enjoying its own private entrance and front garden. The house has direct access to parking within the secure gated courtyard. Further information and details are available from Savills.

Trinity Place, which runs along one side of ‘The Residence’, is home to a diverse collection of elegant townhouses from the regency period and many with basements now converted into flats. They command a range of prices and are much sought after.

The average asking price in Trinity Place £845,000, compared to the average for the SL4 area at £518,000. Values have increased by 6.1% over the last 12 months. The average rentable value of property in Trinity Place is £1900 pcm which gives a gross yield of 2.7% which is way below the national average for 3 bed properties at 4.7%. This is possibly distorted by the cost of the basement flats.

Nevertheless if you are a dedicated ‘townie’ who wishes to enjoy all the amenities of Windsor town centre restaurants, entertainment and shopping all within walking distance of two rail stations to London, that’s what you’re paying for.

Call us if you are thinking of investing and you would like a 2nd. opinion on any property in the area, we’ll be happy to talk to you on 01753 622686. This blog can also be read on our website

A Tale of Two Towns

It’s the same river, Old Father Thames, but upstream property on the banks of the river at Maidenhead can be half the price of those in Windsor with views of Windsor Castle.

45 years ago I used to visit Bushnell’s boat houses for chandlery items and sailing kit. Now it has been developed into a block of flats with parking underneath and is now known as Chandlers Quay.

Downstream by the Windsor – Eton Bridge the Eton Boathouses at rafts have been developed into upmarket apartments with views over across the busy riverside to Windsor Castle.

Maidenhead Town has grown centred around the rail station and the river is a mile away. The 2- bed flats at Chandlers Quay, Ray Mead Road have in the past 5 years increased in value by £180,000 but jumped last year by as much as £71,000, an increase of 17%, with a potential rentable value of £2600 pcm, indicating a gross yield of 4.16%. Braxton are currently offering a 2- bed flat with a guide price of £750,000.

The Eton Boathouses have been developed sympathetically to achieve the same look and character, and no doubt because of the location they attract a higher price. For a 2-bed expect to pay £1.0 million and for a 3 bed £2.2 million with price increases over the last 5 years of £400,000 and last year £260,000 an increase of 16% with a potential rentable value of £7000 pcm, that is a gross yield of 4.2%. Hamptons are currently offering a 3- bed apartment for £2,250,000.

Call us if you are thinking of investing and you would like a 2nd. opinion on any property in the area, we’ll be happy to talk to you on 01753 622686. This blog can also be read on our website

West Windsor or Windsor Town for Under £400,000

The choice is yours, which is right for you? What are the benefits of the two locations? Which will be the best investment?

There is a 3 bed end terrace house in Wolf Lane, West Windsor offers on £360,000 (Frosts) well below the value range, rentable from £1200 – £1400 pcm. Since 2010 its value increased by £100,000, last year increase was 15%.

It is close to several local schools, shops and a Tesco supermarket, absolutely suitable for young families and typical of the area.

On the other hand it is possible to be within the ‘Golden Triangle’ of Windsor Town in a 2 bed terraced house in Edinburgh Gardens offered at £385,000 (Hardings) rentable value range from £1250 – £1500 pcm. Since 2010 its value increased by £100,000 and last year by 15%.

The private development of Edinburgh Gardens is set back from the Kings Road opposite the Long Walk with ample parking; however it has half the number of property sales compared to Wolf Lane. It is a short walk to the town centre, castle, riverside and rail stations.

Which one of these two has the potential for most growth in the years to come? My money would be on Edinburgh Gardens because of its location.

Call us if you are thinking of investing and you would like a 2nd. opinion on any property, we’ll be happy to talk to you 01753 622686. This blog can be read on our website

Moving On Up

We all know adding another bedroom will improve the value of your house, but there is no room to extend sideways. Conservatories on the rear are nice but surveyors don’t really take them into account when valuing a property (bricks and mortar you know).

Can you go up? Can you make better use of the loft space? Some of the old solutions were pretty naff. Don’t be limited by what you have seen in the past. Time has moved on and the ‘Loft Access Company’  who is a local Maidenhead company can make a more imaginative job than most these days which will improve the value of your house.

It might be possible to re-mortgage your house, do a loft conversion and recover the cost (in value) in 2/3 years because of the rise in Maidenhead especially with Crossrail coming in 2018. Last year property prices increased by 9.7%.

The 1930’s houses in the Alwyn Road area, near St. Marks Hospital are typical properties with potential for this type of improvement being close enough to the rail station.

On the market with Roger Platt at £485,000 in Alwyn Road is a 3 bedroom house and would rent out close to £1750 pcm, but if you were to spend £40,000 adding a 4th. bedroom the potential rentable value would be nearer £2000 pcm. – just an idea.

Call us if you are thinking of investing and you would like a 2nd. opinion on any property, we’ll be happy to talk to you 01753 622686. This blog can be read on our website

Make the Rightmove and Live in Windsor’s Golden Triangle

Which ever way you look at it houses for sale in Windsor are pricey, but then for 900 years Royalty has considered it a good place to live

Windsor has many attractions notably the Castle and the Great Park, the riverside gardens and  excellent shopping. Windsor also has two rail stations, one to Paddington and the other to Waterloo.

For the culture vultures there is the Theatre Royal, the Firestation Arts Centre and a music festival in late summer.

There are three prime locations for property in Windsor, the first known locally as the ‘Golden Triangle’ – bound by Osbourne Road, Frances Road and Kings Road whose houses back onto or overlook the Long Walk. The second area is St. Leonards Hill close by Legoland and thirdly across the river to Eton.

The most recent development in Kings Road has been the Regency Style Townhouses facing the Long walk offered at £2.5 million, but generally expect to pay around £800,000 to £1,300,000 in the Golden Triangle with rentable values at £2700 pcm to £3600 pcm. Last year sale prices indicated a rise in value of 17.0%.

Move out of town to St. Leonards Hill you can expect to pay around £1.5 million with rental values of around £4500 pcm. There are two main developments that spur off the ‘Hill’, Dower Park (with well spaced out houses around a green) and the later built Illingworth you would be looking at average £830,000 sale prices and rentals of £2750 pcm. The indications are that sale prices increased by 12.3% last year.

Now cross the river to Eton a number of houses in the High Street have been entirely rebuilt behind the old facades and are highly individualistic, they will mostly be £1.0 million plus, but down the side streets there are some lovely character cottages, say in Tangiers Lane that come to the market at about £400,000 and rent at around £1000 pcm. At the Tangier Court development of flats (some overlooking the river) 1 bed flats start at around £200,000 and rent from £650 pcm upwards. Indicated price increases last year were 16.4%.

But if you really want to get into central Windsor there is the 1960’s built development Ward Royal which has gardens and parking, it also has an overhead walkway direct into King Edward Court shopping precinct. This development won an Architectural Award and is well maintained, but not appreciated by some of the older residents for not being in keeping with the rest of Windsor. The two principal areas are known as Mountbatten Square and Christian Square, 1 bed flats come to the market at around £250,000 and rent for £870 pcm and 2 bed flats are around £296,000 and rent for £1150 pcm. Sales prices last year increased by 16.5%.

I must say though, the development is a bit like Marmite you either love it or hate it.

Is there a downside to Windsor? – Of course there is, it can be teeming with tourists and of course the inevitable car parking problems. But, this is something we could guide you with, and we would be happy to have a chat 01753 622686.

This blog can also be read on our website