• Property

    The glamorous hotels that have been converted into flats and offer grand ballrooms and basement pools

    Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin and Leonard Cohen all, famously, lived in New York s bohemian Chelsea Hotel. It s now undergoing refurbishment and set to re-open to guests next year.But these days you can check into hotels, even those with an illustrious past, full-time as an owner because many are being turned into houses.In Hertfordshire, Harpenden s last hotel is set to become 37 homes, while a scheme of new apartments called 51 Degrees Latitude is being carved from a former hotel overlooking Tenby s South Beach. Art Deco masterpiece: The Grand Ocean Hotel at Saltdean, near BrightonIn Sheffield, the ...

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  • Property

    Would you get a swimming pond in your garden? As the Beckhams plan to build one we look at how much they cost and what they do to the value of your home

    It will come as no surprise that the Beckhams are planning a swimming pool for their new 6million home in the Cotswolds. But what might be unexpected is that it is unlikely to have a drop of chlorine - and may well include newts and dragonflies as well. Natural swimming pools have become all the rage among those who can afford the six-figure price tag, and Victoria and David are set to join this exclusive anti-chlorine club.But can these freshwater ponds really provide a clean swimming experience without breaking the bank, or are they just the latest must-have home accessory ...

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  • Property

    Yours for the price of a London studio flat! The sprawling Scottish six-bedroom country house that's gone on the market for 200k

    If you've ever thought that owning a sprawling country house is out of your price range, it's time to look again.A stunning six-bedroom country property called Chesterhill House has gone on the market for a mere 200,000.The asking price of the listed house in Scotland's Fife, which comes with three acres of land, is the same as a one-bedroom studio flat for sale in North London. Chesterhill House has gone on the market for a mere 200,000 - the same price as a studio flat in some parts of London The sprawling Scottish property boasts architectural features including castellated parapets ...

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  • Property

    Could you buy a family holiday home and attract tax benefits? This trick could bring dreams of owning a second home within reach

    During this holiday season many of us will wish we could call our rented cottages by the sea home. But Mark Fielden, tax partner at chartered accountants and business advisers Kingston Smith LLP, suggests there may be a way to make a nostalgic dream a tax efficient reality. Here he explains how. Furnished Holiday LetsFor many years it has been possible to own a residential property primarily used for short term lettings, and benefit from an attractive tax regime under the rules applying to Furnished Holiday Lets (FHL). Within reach? A Furnished Holiday Let is not subject to the same ...

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  • Property

    A large family home in North London for less than a million? Sarah Beeny finds a four-bed Edwardian house in Winchmore Hill as her bargain of the month

    An Edwardian house costing 900,000 in Enfield's Winchmore Hill in North London has been chosen by TV property star Sarah Beeny as her bargain home of the month. For some, the 900,000 price tag isn't synonymous with the word 'bargain'. However, Sarah defends her decision by describing the property as a 'rarity', claiming it is unusual to find such a four-bedroom character property in London for less than 1million.The spacious family home comes with a generously-sized living room, a garden, two bathrooms and four bedrooms. And there are plenty of original features, including picture rails and sash windows. A four-bedroom ...

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  • Property

    Can you guess the prices of these bungalows? Take our quiz to see if you can - and spot the one that costs 15 TIMES the average home

    The humble bungalow seems to be experiencing a dramatic turnaround in fortunes if some of their prices are anything to go by.Those in the most sought-after locations have values exceeding 1million, with one of the bungalows in our quiz below costing 3million.With builders reluctant to build new stock - as it's a less economic use of land -, the one-storey homes that remain are in high demand and have high prices to match.Buying agent Henry Pryor said: 'Bungalows are a practical and desirable next step for many silver sellers, but finding them is hard.' Take our house price quiz to ...

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  • Property

    What do estate agents really mean when they use wacky buzzwords? We reveal all, from 'flipping' to 'gazanging'

    Flipping heck! It's hard to keep up with English colloquialisms. Ten years ago, during the parliamentary expenses scandal, the word 'flipping' became used to describe the practice of MPs re-designating their main homes as second homes in order to maximise allowable expenses.Now 'flipping' is back - but with a new meaning. A flipper is now a canny investor who buys a property, then promptly re-sells it at a profit.The term - like a lot of words in vogue with estate agents in this country - originated in America. Another good example is 'tyre-kicker', which is agent-speak for someone who looks ...

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  • Property

    Would you stay in a relationship just to get on the property ladder? Almost 2M first-time buyers have, as they struggle to save a deposit or earn enough alone

    Would you stay with a partner just to get onto the property ladder? As far-fetched as it may sound, new research suggests it is an increasing trend among desperate buyers.A study by mortgage brokers L&C reveals almost two million people are doing exactly that - and the figure is expected to pass that threshold within the next five years.The study by L&C claims a total of 1.8 million people have stayed in a relationship just to be able to afford a home. Is this worth sticking with someone you no longer love? Homebuyers are increasing staying in a relationship they ...

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  • Property

    How sweet you sound! Vicarage where hymn Amazing Grace was written goes on sale for 1.4million

    A Grade II listed former vicarage where one of the world's most recognizable songs was written is for sale for 1.4million.The hymn Amazing Grace was written by the Reverend John Newton, who lived at the pretty Buckinghamshire property from 1764 to 1780.The former slave trader and born-again Christian wrote the iconic hymn - which has been embraced by the African American community - after acknowledging how despicable his earlier profession had been. The Old Vicarage in Buckinghamshire's Olney is for sale via estate agents Jackson-Stops Amazing Grace was written by the Reverend John Newton, who lived at the property in ...

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  • Property

    Luxury homeowners knock hundreds of thousands off asking prices as their properties sit unsold for months

    Wealthy owners of luxury homes are having to slash around a quarter of a million pounds off their asking prices to get a deal agreed, research has revealed.Properties in the 2million-plus bracket are being sold at 296,000 less than their asking price on average, a drop of 10 per cent, according to data from EstateAgent4Me.Across England and Wales, luxury homes that were originally priced at between 1.75million and 2million are being sold at a typical discount of 225,000, while those between 1.5million and 1.75million have an average discount of 142,000. Pictured: Map shows the average discounts available around the country ...

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  • Property

    Matisse was a master of pattern and colour - take inspiration from his work with bold shades and vibrant prints

    Matisse was a collector of treasures. He filled his home and studio with beautiful things, which inspired and appeared in many of his paintings.The artist would shift and re-arrange his objects, until I found myself brought up short by something about the ensemble that delighted me . Blooming still life: Safrano Roses at the Window, 1925 by Henri MatisseIn the new exhibition, Matisse in the Studio which opens at London s Royal Academy of Arts today an enormous photograph shows Matisse at his home, Villa Le Reve in Vence, on the French Riviera.He sits at his desk on top of ...

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  • Property

    In leasehold limbo land! Look before you leap into leasehold as the Government won't sort out notorious abuses overnight

    Welcome to limbo land - the undesirable place now occupied by countless home owners caught in the eye of the leasehold scandal.It's where, thanks to random hikes in ground rent, thousands of properties are now potentially unsaleable.Though the Government has promised to put an end to this abuse on future new-build homes, and to cut ground rents on new flats to as low as zero, this won't happen overnight. The Government said that it wants to ban leases on new houses restricting ground rents to as low as zeroAs well as escalating ground rent, there is the fear of unexpected ...

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  • Property

    Could you beat the commute by buying a town and a country house? How to live in the city and the sticks, without a Royal or celebrity budget

    The Beckhams recently acquired one in the Cotswolds, while the Duke and Duchess have carried out major renovation works to theirs in Norfolk.But you don't have to be super-rich, or royalty, to weigh up the prospects of a home in the country - accompanying another one in the city.Many commuters will have pondered the idea at some point. A country and city home, would enable you to swap pollution and the bright-lights of work during the week for nature and the relaxing sound of bird song during the weekends. Pictured: Amner Hall, the country home of the Duke and Duchess ...

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  • Property

    New twist in the great British leasehold rip-off: The homeowners charged thousands of pounds more than their neighbours to buy freeholds

    Homeowners who bought new-build houses on a Barrett development have spoken out after discovering they paid thousands of pounds more for their freeholds compared to their neighbours who bought them just months later.They paid the extra amount because they bought the freeholds at the same time as they bought the homes - which were marketed for sale as leasehold properties.Had they waited just a few months later until after they had moved into their new properties, they could have secured a discount of up to 40 per cent on the purchase of the freehold - which means they own the ...

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  • Property

    Want to get the most from selling your home? You can market a property for just 99 - but the best online estate agencies will set you back more and still save money

    Deciding whether to take the plunge and sell your home? Well, this might provide the encouragement you need.It's now possible for your property to be marketed by an estate agent for just 99.99Home is the latest online estate agency to launch in Britain - and it believes it is the cheapest. That 99 fee gets your home listed on the agency's own website and, critically, on the Zoopla, PrimeLocation and Rightmove portals, where 95 per cent of buyers first look for a home. Home truth: Experts estimate that by 2020, 50 per cent of homes will be sold through online ...

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quotes

Everyone went outside to smoke cloves and bitch about having to stay after for the State.

Jon Stewart on events following Charles — January 19, 1999