It started with a researcher from Location Location Location (3Ls henceforth) contacting me for suggestions for properties in West Sussex they could show a couple due to appear on the show.
Nowadays I wouldn't get involved, but back then I was still a bit star-struck when TV folk contacted me.
Anyhow, not knowing anything about the couple, I picked a few properties and wrote this post .
That was 18 months ago. A couple of weeks ago, one half of that couple saw the post and sent me an email. Robin told me that appearing on 3Ls (series 17, episode 3) hadn't worked out and they were still looking for their "architectural gem" to restore. He wrote:
"If you didn't see the programme, then you won't have seen what they showed us... Hardly anything that fitted our brief, which ok, was a little strict, but we thought, why not?"
While the properties they were shown were a fail, Robin and Colin did discover the very pretty village of Steyning via 3Ls and decided that was the area they wanted.
So, here's what I'd show them today.
First up is the house pictured at the top of this post. It's way above budget (at £485k) and is currently under offer, and is in Haywards Heath, not Steyning. However, architecturally it's interesting - built in the 1930s and thought to be a Harold Turner house. Which makes a good starting point for architecture buffs like Robin and Colin in thinking about what the area might offer.
Closer to the brief is this cottage is in Upper Beeding, next to Steyning. It's Grade II listed, detached and with a pretty and decent-sized garden. Rather unprepossessing from the front:
Hamilton Graham, with a guide price of £350k. Details and more pictures here. Hamilton Graham also have this rather nice, three-bed semi in lovely Bramber. Pricier at £395k, but in a semi-rural area and with lovely Victorian architectural features:
It needs work inside (pic below) but the views are good and there's a decent sized garden. Details and more pictures here.
Staying with the cottage-y theme, the Grade-II listed three-bed detached cottage, below, in Storrington, is walk-in ready and has been very nicely renovated. It's also above budget, at £425k, and a good source of renovation ideas if nothing else. Details and pictures here.
The Steyning area is pricy and "architectural gems" wouldn't stay on the market long - both of which would make it difficult for 3Ls researchers.
It's a good lesson, however, for anyone wanting to buy a property in a difficult area - you really need to stay on top of your search and make friends with the local independent estate agents; call them every fortnight to see what's new or about to come on the market.
I'd also suggest finding out where the local council sells their property (Strutt and Parker in the case of West Sussex council) and set up email alerts on auction and property search sites. Basically regular, hard slog until you get lucky.