Home Truths

PUBLISHED: 20:12 01 June 2015 | UPDATED: 11:51 02 June 2015

EXG JUN 15 Home Truths

EXG JUN 15 Home Truths


Stephen White is head of Savills’ Chelmsford-based residential team. He has more than 35 years of experience in selling country homes and town properties across Essex. Here he gives his advice on adding the wow factor to your home

Stephen White is head of Savills’ Chelmsford-based residential team. He has more than 35 years of experience in selling country homes and town properties across Essex. He lives in Shenfield and is passionate about Essex, his home county.

Adding the wow factor

The wow factor, what does that phrase actually mean? I am a firm believer that the wow factor is in the eye of the beholder. Something that makes one person go ‘wow’ could be very different from that of another. However, when it comes to property, there are certain areas which can really add appeal and general features which are important to most buyers. We are happy to advise clients on how to make simple changes in order to make the most of their home.

1) A long, tree-lined driveway can often give a home the wow factor. First impressions are everything and if your property has a compromised driveway or approach it may be wise to give it some TLC. I recently advised a client who had a beautiful property for sale, but its driveway was only two cars deep and only accessible directly from the main road. This was putting buyers off, so we discussed several options and the vendor was able to create a longer drive by re-routing it.

2) We are currently seeing a trend for large, open-plan living spaces with buyers looking for kitchen, dining and family rooms that flow into one. This is possible to re-create, provided you don’t own a listed house, by removing a wall or two and creating a more fluid space. We recently advised a vendor to remove several walls to create a spacious family and kitchen room with bi-folding glass doors giving access and views out onto the garden.

3) The master bedroom can often be a real selling point for a house and there are ways to add wow factor. You could remove an existing window and replace it with double French doors leading out onto a retaining Juliet balcony. This would bring the garden into the house and add a real talking point for buyers.

4) Vaulted ceilings are an impressive feature in a property. If you have a pitched roof within your house and normal ceiling heights, you could consider taking down the ceiling and exposing the vaulted areas above. Introducing exposed timber trusses can really enhance the feeling of space, giving a room a real wow factor.


• Make the most of your property and its assets. If you have redundant land that can be re-used for a better purpose, make the change and reap the benefits

• Always ensure you have building regulations for internal work that requires the removal of walls and windows etc

• Always ensure you receive a FENSA certificate for any windows or doors you replace. A solicitor wont exchange on a sale without it


• Forget that works to listed properties will inevitably need listed building consent as well as building regulations and planning permission

• Before considering a new driveway you may need planning permission and permission from the highways agency

• Ever put up net curtains! You can give your home instant wow factor by taking down net curtains or voile blinds, showing off the views and surrounding areas to a property. Always make sure your windows are gleaming too!

Picture this

Park House, Herongate,

Near Brentwood

This stunning property with sweeping driveway is on the market with Savills Chelmsford for £2,000,000

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