Monday, 18 October 2021

Show homes are firm favourites for buyers with busy executive lives

FOR many homeowners the Ideal Home Show, which returns once again to the iconic Earls Court London this March, is

FOR many homeowners the Ideal Home Show, which returns once again to the iconic Earls Court London this March, is the highlight of their year.

This property lover’s mecca attracted a record-breaking 260,000 visitors over the 17 days in 2012 with even more expected this March 15 to April 1, all clamouring to purchase the products and discover the top tips to ensure that their home not only keeps up with, but exceeds the Joneses.

“But what if you don’t want to spend five hours (the average time spent at the Ideal Home Show in 2012) traipsing around such a show in pursuit of perfection?” says Jonathan Cranley, sales and marketing manager of award-winning house builder, Millgate. “Why not just buy the ideal show home instead?”

Jonathan and his expert team at Millgate have spent more than 25 years perfecting the creation of show homes, working with established interior designers such as Alexander James Interiors to create not only properties dressed to impress but also those that function as warm, family homes.

And their approach is clearly working with 80 per cent of Millgate’s show homes selling to buyers lock, stock and barrel.

As Jonathan explains: “Show homes are considered by some house builders as necessary evils — they are an afterthought and often minimal attention is allocated to them. Here at Millgate, as with many things, we view show homes differently. They are our secret sales tool, an essential part of presenting the perfect family home to a buyer. A great deal of time, energy and funds are allocated to each and every show home and no new development is released to market without one.”

Indeed Stacey Sibley, creative designer for Alexander James Interiors, comments: “In 2012, 85 per cent of the homes we dressed were sold in full — clients fall in love with our schemes and want the whole look, especially overseas buyers seeking turnkey properties.

“When we first look at a scheme we very much keep in mind who the developer believes their purchasers are and the area the development is located in. From the moment the purchaser walks through the door we want them to imagine themselves living in the house, feeling comfortable and at home.”

A point in case was the show home at the new Four Winds development in Bourne End, Buckinghamshire — St John’s House. This five-bedroom classic country home with stunning panoramic views across the Thames Valley came on to the market in mid-2012 with a fully-dressed show home in place designed by Alexander James Interiors.

With high-specification appliances, warm oak flooring, comfortable soft furnishings and stylish wall coverings, St John’s House didn’t stay on the market for long. Local business lady, Kate Bostock, formerly on the board at M&S and now at online fashion retailer Asos, snapped up the property, commenting that the “overall décor was virtually as I would have chosen”.

Kate purchased the house swiftly after viewing it and following this success, Millgate has now dressed and opened a new show home on the site at Hambledon House, available at £2.8 million.

Not only did St John’s House at Bourne End sell very quickly in a difficult prime country market, the property was also the first to achieve a buyer with the show home presence attributed heavily to this. A similar pattern has emerged in another Millgate development in the heart of Surrey. Burford House in Kingswood was a luxurious six-bedroom detached country mansion set within private landscaped gardens, one of two Millgate homes on this prime site. The show home, again fully dressed by Alexander James Interiors, opened in mid- 2012 and after receiving a great deal of attention from both local and international buyers, sold to a Russian family relocating from London.

Stacey Mitchell, sales manager of Burford House, comments: “Although both properties in this superb Kingswood development are built to the very same exacting standards by Millgate, I am convinced that having the show home in place at Burford House made all the difference to our buyer. This location in the heart of Surrey is quintessentially English, a real draw for overseas clients and the interior design reflected all that was great about British vision, design and craftsmanship.”

Indeed, so successful was the sale of Burford House, sister property St Audries, priced at £2.95 million has now been fully dressed as a Millgate show home and is available to view seven days a week by appointment.

For more information about the importance of show homes to house builders today, contact Jonathan and the team at Millgate on 0118 934 3344 or visit

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