Eight lovely houses that your children will want you to buy

View of a girl (8-10) swinging on a ball hung from a tree.Creative image #:  57449934License type:  Royalty-freePhotographer:

It can be difficult to persuade your kids that it's a good idea to move house. Children are keen on continuity and like the familiar; you may even be taking them away from their friends.

But there are ways of getting them on side - especially if you can offer them an incentive such as a playhouse, a pool or even an indoor slide.

We look at eight houses on the market right now that will have them begging to move in right away.

Seven stunning houses where stars used to live

Strathpeffer, Scottish Highlands

The playhouse

Follow the yellow brick road to the wonderful playhouse, set in its own little garden in the grounds of this three-bedroom bungalow near Inverness. And when the kids grow too big, there's a games room in the attic space with room for a snooker table, lawn bowling, table tennis and darts, accessed by a drop-down ladder. The rest of the house holds three bedrooms and three bathrooms, two receptions, a conservatory and good-sized kitchen, and the place has lovely views. It's on the market through Your Move for £425,000.

Alyth, Perthshire

The indoor slide

From the outside, this is a traditional stone-built period house, and inside it still has plenty of original features. Decidedly new, though, is the slide that snakes down from one bedroom to the breakfast room adjoining the kitchen - as agents McEwan Fraser Legal point out, your child will never be late for meals again. Altogether, the house has nine bedrooms, seven receptions and five bathrooms, currently split up with part forming a granny annexe. Outside, there's nearly an acre of land and several outbuildings for creating dens. The agents are looking for offers over £695,000.

Eight houses with fabulous sheds

Chesley Hill, Bristol

The kids' garden near Bristol

This adorable little garden is just for the kids - there's another, huge, lawn off to the side with a decked area and a hot tub. The area houses a playhouse with slide, a swing and a trampoline that's been sunk into the ground for safety. The seven-bedroomed stone house itself is lovely, and boasts a cinema/games room for older kids. It costs £1,100,000 through agents Pritchards.

Chorley, Lancashire

The larger of the two games rooms

This gigantic house has not one but two games rooms. There's an enormous one on the ground floor that currently houses both a pool table and a full-sized snooker table, with another, cosier playroom above housing a projection cinema system. There are several more reception rooms and half a dozen bedrooms; outside, there's a very unusual garden with lots of pools and fountains - even a waterfall. The house costs £825,000 through agents Arnold and Phillips.

Goole, East Yorkshire

The play area and pool

Plenty of public parks are less well-equipped than the garden of this charming village farmhouse. There's a huge play area with an elaborate set of forts, bridges and slides, as well as a swimming pool. Inside, the adults get a gym and a bar, as well as four bedrooms, huge lounge and a gorgeous stone-flagged and beamed kitchen. It's had a couple of big price cuts since it first went on the market; agents William H Brown are now looking for £425,000.

The UK's best places to live

The Moorings, Liverpool

The superhero mural

One of the five bedrooms in this detached modern home contains a one-off mural of superheroes in New York - perfect for any child. And outside, there's another attraction in the form of a play tower with slide and swings, although this may not be included in the sale. There are also two big reception rooms and a kitchen/diner; outside, there's a good-sized garden with views over fields and a canal. The house costs £330,000 through agents Urban Residential.

Charlwood, West Sussex

The garden of the Charlwood house

You'd have to be very rich or completely insane to rent this house just for the kids - it's £9,500 a month. But there really is so much that they'd love. Quite apart from the play set on the lawn by the swimming pool, there's a children's fort on the island in the middle of one of the large ponds, accessible via a wooden bridge. The manor house itself is enormous and stunning, with six bedrooms and half a dozen receptions; there are historic features galore. It's available through Mapp & Weston.

Mapperley Park, Nottingham

The lagoon-style pool

The outside of this house is perfectly grown up, but step through the door and it's like Tracey Island in there. Next to the living room is an extraordinary lagoon-style swimming pool with rock-effect walls, jungly greenery and a central island accessed by a glass bridge. |Adults in the family will appreciate the large kitchen and five bedrooms, four of which are en suite. The house costs £1,250,000 through agent William H Brown.

10 things that add value to homes in an area
See Gallery
10 things that add value to homes in an area

A view out over the park isn’t just a nice bonus, it’s a valuable asset. A study by Marsh & Parsons has found that a park view can add up to 10% to a property's asking price.

It carried out its research in London, where it found that a view over Warwick Square in Pimlico added £75,000 to the asking price of a one-bedroom apartment.

Understandably, this is largely a London phenomenon, where the vast majority of train-based commuting takes place in the UK.

The Nationwide Building Society found that being 500m from a station would add 10.5% to the value of a property in London. In Manchester it fetched a 4.6% premium and in Glasgow 6%.

The researchers found that the closer the property was, the higher the premium would be - until the proximity of the station started having an impact on the area itself.

Having a Tesco, Sainsburys, Waitrose, Marks and Spencer or the Co-operative within striking difference, will add value to your property. In fact, a survey by Lloyds claimed that it would add 7% - or just over £15,000.

However, apparently what we all really want is a Waitrose, because the same study found that having a branch nearby added almost £39,000 - or 12% to the value of the property.

The way the survey was carried out, however, doesn't make it clear whether this is a reflection of the attraction of the supermarket itself, or whether the supermarkets tend to target affluent areas with expensive houses.

People will pay 12% more to live in a market town than they will for the same property in the surrounding countryside. The findings come from Lloyds Bank, which claimed the towns offered a balance between country life and community spirit that proved irresistible to buyers.

It added that in some market towns the mark-up was even larger, with Beaconsfield in the South East attracting a 156% premium over the surrounding area.

A study by the London School of Economics found that living in a conservation area adds 23% to the value of your home. Given that this was an academic study, the researchers went even further and adjusted the results based on the kinds of properties in the area, and other aspects of the location (which none of the other studies took into consideration), and it still found an uplift of 9%.
Being near a good school will add 28% to the value of your home - according to Savills - with parents calculating that it’s cheaper to move into the catchment area of a good school and pay anything up to £100,000 more for their property than fork out for years of extortionate private education.

A study a few years ago by Zoopla discovered that living on a road with ‘Hill’ or ‘Lane’ in its name meant your property was likely to be 50% more valuable than the national average.

Those with ‘Mews’, ‘Park’ and 'Green’ in their names were also more valuable.

It’s unlikely that there’s any element of cause and effect here: instead they are by-products of the same thing. Expensive houses have always been built in the more exclusive parts of town, including the hills and the quiet ‘lanes’ around those hills.

A survey by Primelocation claimed that being near a top golf course would add 56% to the value of your property. It added that prices were also rising faster near golf courses than elsewhere in the country.

Of course, there’s a chance that the results were impacted by the fact that many of the courses are in leafy and exclusive areas, where people pay a premium to live regardless of the course.

You’d have thought the threat of flooding would make people take to the hills, but it appears we’re still happy to pay a premium to be beside the sea.

The Knight Frank Waterfront Index found that overlooking an estuary adds an average of 85% to the price of a property, a harbour adds 83%, while the coastline in general adds 56% to the value of the property. If you have a mooring, that’s even better, as it adds 104% to the value of your home.

Despite all the bad press surrounding flood plains and rivers breaking their banks, being near a river is actually more valuable than being by the sea.

The Knight Frank Waterside Index claims it adds 57% to the value of your property - making it the most valuable asset to have in the neighbourhood.


Read Full Story