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Live in a converted church

Alex Johnson

1442d651adf0011f05ee45c7d9da49915184e693 300x225 Live in a converted churchThis five bedroom detached house for sale in Lound Side, Chapeltown, Sheffield (on for £650,000 with Reeds Rains, pictured right) is a converted church featuring stained glass windows, stone arches and vaulted ceilings. It also has underfloor heating, a studio, spiral stone staircase leading to the clock tower, and off road parking.

The best cities for rail commuters
Train fares will account for around 8% of commuters’ salaries in 2014, according to figures from Hay Group which also indicate the worst hit (those commuting more than 50 minutes into Birmingham) will be paying up to 21% of their salary. The figures suggest that commuters in Cardiff spend the lowest proportion of their wages in the country on their commute, with short journeys representing less than 6% of annual salary

10 pitfalls in Victorian and Edwardian house restoration
According to Ian Rock of the RICS, there are more than four million Victorian and Edwardian houses in the UK, many of which need considerable repair work. Here are his 10 ‘top’ inappropriate works most often carried out on these homes:

  1. Replacing original good quality sash windows with inappropriate modern aluminium or PVC-U casements
  2. Unnecessarily injecting chemical damp-proof courses (or injecting them incompetently), and re-plastering or rendering main walls with cement-based materials rather than traditional lime (thereby  trapping damp in the walls)
  3. Encouraging damp, rot and beetle infestation by blocking ventilation to floors and roofs
  4. Removal of chimney breasts or load-bearing internal spine walls without providing adequate support to the remaining masonry above
  5. Neglecting badly eroded mortar joints to external masonry, allowing damp to penetrate and frost damage to occur.
  6. Re-pointing walls with cement mortar that prevents walls from ‘breathing’
  7. Botched repairs to flashings to stacks and roofs with short-life materials such as self-adhesive tapes
  8. Failure to provide enhanced structural support to roof structures where original lightweight slate coverings have been replaced with heavier concrete tiles
  9. Not lining old flues before lighting fires or using appliances
  10. Weakening floor joists with excessive cutting for cable and pipe runs

Property predictions: Marsh & Parsons
Continuing our look at what estate agents are forecasting for 2014, Marsh & Parsons’ crystal ball suggests that London property prices will continue to beat the rest of the UK next year, but the rate of growth will stabilise – they forecast that Prime London house prices will rise by 5-7% in 2014, with the majority of growth expected to take place in the first half of the year.

Peter Rollings, CEO of Marsh & Parsons, said: “London’s housing market saw a substantial uplift in 2013, and we expect a similarly strong start in 2014 to drive an annual rise in prices but these won’t be as spectacular as last year. With ongoing support from Government initiatives, the rate of growth will remain sustainable. Following improvements in unemployment levels, we’re likely to see modest increases in interest rates next year. But with a general election coming up in 2015, any changes are unlikely to create shockwaves through the housing market.

“Many sellers will remain cautious of putting their property on the market as they are not confident that they will be able to find somewhere to move to, therefore supply is unlikely to improve considerably next year. As a result, property will continue to sell for close to or at the asking price.”

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