Nelson's Captain Hardy's home up for sale

Portesham House

A home that once belonged to Thomas Hardy, Lord Nelson's famous captain, has gone up for sale.

The Grade II-listed property is expected to fetch £1.2 million. So what does a famous resident do to a property's value?
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The property

Portesham House is in a village of the same name in Dorset. Hardy's family once owned the estate, and the captain lived there until two years after Nelson's death, when he got married. The property stayed in the family until the 1930s when the estate was broken up.

The property now includes seven bedrooms, four reception rooms, two bathrooms and 1.2 acres of land. It also has a walled garden, ornamental canal, and a coach house and stables.

Savills, which is marketing the property, told the Telegraph that it was also a "slice of British History" as well as "one of the most historically important houses in Dorset."

Celebrity connections

So what difference does it make to the price if a property has a celebrity connection?

As we reported in January, the going rate for a celebrity home starts at around £2 million. Amy Winehouse's Camden flat sold for this last December, and the same was being asked for Cotchford Farm in East Sussex, which was the childhood home of AA Milne's Christopher Robin.

However, these were clearly very valuable properties to begin with. If the property is a mess then the celebrity connection will not help much. Take Madonna's childhood home in Detroit, which recently sold for £57,000.

The real difference a famous connection will make is that it will dramatically lift interest in the property. When the property is expensive, more wealthy buyers will visit out of curiosity, and there's a better chance of one of them offering the asking price - or one or more of them pushing the price up.

It's why a celebrity connection will be mentioned in the property details - if the celebrity in question agrees - such as this £13.75 million property in Weybridge in Surrey, which mentions that it was owned by John Lennon in the first sentence of the description.

Likewise a historic connection will be high up on the details. When Wimbledon's oldest house went on sale, the fact it was the oldest in Wimbledon made the first line, and the fact that it had once been used by Henry VII made it to the second paragraph - ahead of the number of bedrooms.

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