London buyers are looking for value-for-money option
Much like the River Thames alongside which it sits, the Goring branch of Jackson-Stops & Staff
Much like the River Thames alongside which it sits, the Goring branch of Jackson-Stops & Staff has been quietly bubbling along in the background for several years, building up its reputation as a local residential property estate agency offering sound advice. LUCY BOON dipped her toe in to find out more
AS a brand, Jackson-Stops & Staff has more than a century of experience in the prime property market with more than 40 offices nationwide — from property in London’s smartest districts to country houses and farms in rural locations.
The specialist services it offers include extensive marketing projects for new developments, financial services, international property sales and acquisitions and more.
But the agency also projects a highly “personal” persona which works at ground level with its consortium-style set-up, unlike any other agency in the Henley area.
This ethos is carried throughout the Jackson-Stops & Staff business, and can be heard loud and clear in its half-yearly Market Review (free to download from the company’s website).
Yes, it contains valuable information, but more interesting to Standard Property is the kind of language used, and the sort of information shared. It’s honest and clear. It resonates with you. You trust them.
While some estate agencies push ahead with high-profile marketing campaigns and the like, this is not how Jackson-Stops & Staff does things.
Director of the Goring branch Tim Sherston says: “We’ve more of a personal approach — more by word of mouth.” Tim opened the Goring office two years ago and since then, along with teammates Susie, Harry and Freya, he’s been working hard to build a reputation for honesty, clarity and integrity.
“We want our reputation to speak for itself,” adds Tim. “So from day one with us, you will only ever have to give two weeks’ notice if you’re not happy.”
Some agencies make a seller sign a contract that binds them to the agency for up to several months. However, with Jackson-Stops, if a property hasn’t sold within two weeks, you’re allowed to have a change of heart and take your business elsewhere.
Tim continues: “When you deal with Jackson-Stops you deal with people who own their own business — it’s quite a different model from other agencies. It’s our USP, if you like. When you have your own business, you have such a commitment and interest in your reputation. It makes us different.” The agency says it sits in the same playing field as contemporaries Knight Frank, Savills, Hamptons International and Strutt & Parker.
But, says Tim, it’s a misconception to think the agency only takes on high-end properties.
“A lot of people tell me they think we’re too ‘smart’ for them, which is always a shock to hear as it’s really not true. I recently had one lady tell me she didn’t think we’d be interested in taking on her property as she wasn’t sure it was ‘good enough’ for us! I was quick to change her mind.”
The latest Jackson-Stops Market Review has some interesting things to say.
Citing the Financial Times’s suggestion that the increasing number of families leaving London is more down to “fashion” than anything else, the report says: “We hesitate to disagree with such an august publication but the evidence from our sales suggests a much more permanent and practical reason — shared parenting and shared bread-winning. The norm, amongst couples with young children buying through us now, is for both parents to want — or need — to continue working, often in central London.
“They also want to share parenting and have plenty of time with their children. So they are looking for a low-maintenance house with a small garden near to a railway station. They want to be close to good schools — really close, as in walking distance. And they want to be handy for facilities such as shops, hospitals, leisure centres and parks.”
Tim, too, reiterates this point of view. “We see a lot of families moving here from London in search of value for money after being priced out of the London market.”
And of the current universally held consensus that the lower top-end of the property market is experiencing a continued “levelling out”, Tim adds: “These are very savvy London buyers and will only want to pay what they deem to be the right price — and most importantly what they can realistically afford.
“Crucially, we will never overprice your property. We know we have often lost business because a vendor wanted to be too bullish with the price. However, we know that six months down the line that person’s house would have still been unsold.
“We will always give the right advice. A good quality house at the right price will always find a buyer. We always offer a service with clarity, honesty and integrity.”
To find out more about Jackson-Stops & Staff, call the team on (01491) 871111.
ASHLEA, ASHAMPSTEAD (NEAR UPPER BASILDON)
A DELIGHTFUL detached house with fantastic country views set in the heart of a picturesque village, this is such a good property for a growing family that Standard Property just had to showcase it, writes Lucy Boon.
The house is in the centre of an unspoilt, pretty village which has a great local farm shop and is only a short drive from Goring or nearby Pangbourne.
There is a mainline railway station in Goring which has a fast service to London Paddington and the M12 (junction 12) is also only 15 minutes away by car.
The accommodation comprises a large sitting room, a well-proportioned kitchen that leads through to the downstairs wetroom, garage and conservatory, which is ideal for entertaining.
Upstairs there is a large master bedroom with stunning views over the village green and the countryside beyond.
There is one further double bedroom and a single bedroom, both enjoying good views, family bathroom and separate toilet.
The house could benefit from some modernisation and there is potential to extend upstairs to create a larger third bedroom subject to planning regulations.
This is a light house with views to the front and back, with a rear garden which is substantial for a house of this size. You also get a drive up to the garage, providing off-street parking and a small front garden.
Pathways down both sides of the house lead to the aforementioned back garden which gets plenty of sunshine.
Guide price: £465,000. For more information or to book a viewing, call Jackson-Stops & Staff on (01491) 871111.
YEW TREES, STREATLEY
A FINE detached Victorian village house with excellent accommodation, Yew Trees occupies an elevated position on the edge of Streatley.
It is only a short walk from the centre of the village and enjoys access to the adjoining National Trust-owned Lardon Chase.
The Goring Gap, as this area is known, is the point at which the Berkshire Downs converge with the Thames. It is a renowned beauty spot and designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Streatley, which sits on the Thames, has a church, primary school and a pub as well as The Swan Hotel and Spa and a golf course.
There is a range of shops, restaurants and services in the twin village of Goring on the opposite bank of the Thames, including a mainline station to London.
There is a vibrant local community in both villages, which hold their own arts festival and regatta.
This substantial late-Victorian house is thought to have been built in 1890 and offers excellent accommodation amounting to just over 4,000 sq ft.
With three well-proportioned reception rooms and five double bedrooms and a single together with a good-sized garden it is ideal as a family house and there is considerable scope for further updating and improving.
There is also potential for alterations and enlargement subject to planning permission. Yew Trees is set in the centre of its gardens, which amount to approximately half an acre and which would benefit from further landscaping.
Immediately to the south of the house and opposite the two principal reception rooms is a south-facing lawn and terrace which extends round to the front of the house, where there is also parking for several cars and a garage which lies at the foot of the drive.
Behind the house the garden is wooded and slopes steeply up to the rear boundary which directly adjoins the National Trust-owned Lardon Chase.
Guide price: £1,400,000. For more information or to arrange a viewing, call Jackson-Stops & Staff on (01491) 871111.
THE MANOR HOUSE, SOUTH MORETON (IN BETWEEN WALLINGFORD AND DIDCOT)
AS pictured on page I, this is a particularly special manor house that started life in the 1300s and comes with stables/paddocks, secondary accommodation, and grounds of 15 acres.
Prepare to be suitably bowled over by this impressive partly moated, and Grade II* listed manor house, dating from the 14th century with additions and alterations in the 16th and 18th centuries. It was formerly known as Sandeville Manor and was held by the de Sandeville family from 1199 until 1891.
A walk through this historic family house quickly tells you of its age and history, and while many improvements have been made in more recent times there is certainly further potential to be realised.
“We loved the house on first sight and bought quickly, moving in on April 1, 1977, when our children were about 15 and 13,” say the current owners. “Life has been wonderful here and we have many tales to tell, including a few learning-curve fires along the way! In the early Eighties a wood-fired boiler located in an outhouse burned rather too well and a brisk breeze fanned the flames towards the house.
“So much so that when I went into my office the following morning my partner expressed great surprise on seeing me, as the local radio had reported that The Manor in South Moreton had burnt down overnight. Happily the fire service did a marvellous job and averted such a disaster.
“It was after that fire that we built the new stables and stable flat in about 1984-85. One of the fireman was in a team that came out to us again, about 15 years later, to deal with a small fire in the stable flat. He told us that the first fire he attended was at The Manor, and the stable flat fire was his last fire on the day of his retirement!”
The house benefits from four well-proportioned reception rooms, each of which have open fires and enjoy lovely views over the gardens with the exception of the dining room which faces east over the moat and paddocks.
Of particular note is the fine vaulted drawing room and gallery which is thought to be the earliest part of the house. Beyond the dining room is a good-sized kitchen/breakfast room, again with views of the paddocks and offering great potential for further improvement.
Upstairs the two principal bedrooms are on the south-east wing of the house, which is thought to date from the 18th century. The remaining bedrooms, with the exception of bedroom six, face south-west over the garden.
This lies to the south and west of the house and is partly walled. Running the length of the house is a terrace with doors to the dining room and study. Beyond the garden is a moat which extends round the south and west of the house and into the paddocks. Lying behind the barn is an arena/hard tennis court which requires refurbishment.
Until recently the property has been run as a stud, so you won’t be disappointed by its equestrian facilities including stables consisting of eight loose boxes and two foaling boxes, tack and feed rooms, a tractor store, and hay barn. There are 10 fenced paddocks (six with water) and two nursery paddocks.
Above the stables is an apartment, which comprises a living room, kitchen, bathroom, two bedrooms and a balcony.
The vendors add: “As a family, we have loved living here and are very sorry to be leaving, but it now needs younger people to bring it up to date — and without changing its character and unique history with its background of medieval, Tudor and Queen Anne heritage.”
Guide price: £1,750,000. For more information or to book a viewing, call Jackson-Stops & Staff on (01491) 871111.