Now that wasn’t Expected!


The first week of Estate Agents being allowed to conduct house viewings has been a real eye opener, with the level of buyer activity much higher than anticipated which hopefully bodes well for a quick bounce back in the house market.

No doubt there will be some readers who will think, well you would say that wouldn’t you, in the hope of pepping up the market, but I can counter any such thought with some hard facts and examples, so here are a few case notes from the first week back.

New House Eversley – Under offer in three days

This fine new home by Aspire was placed on the open market on Monday 18th May at a guide £1,125,000.

By Thursday 20th May a sale was agreed to a proceedable purchaser.

Country House Eversley – Emerging Buyer Interest around £2.0m. guide

We took this property to the market a few weeks before lockdown, so viewings went on hold during the lockdown period.

Yesterday we had multiple viewings at the house and two offers have already been submitted. This home is typical of the kind of property that will be sought after in the emerging market of house buyers leaving London and other major towns and cities for rural living.

Right now the short to medium term outlook is positive and the biggest demand is for rural / semi-rural properties in all price ranges, but especially in the £1.5m. to £6.0m. sector.

So if you live in a country house and are looking to sell, this summer could be the best time to go to market. If you would like a free and confidential market appraisal contact your nearest McCarthy Holden branch.

Fleet – On £750,000 guide

With marketing help by way of a vendor inspired video tour during lockdown, this stunning detached house has gone under offer.

Blue Triangle, Fleet – Exchanged on guide £1.5m.

In just over one acre in one of the most desirable roads in Fleet, this imposing property was built by the renowned local builder Pool & Son in the 1930’s.

Fitzroy-Road-sold-fleet McCarthy Holden estate agents

As we said in last week’s market update, the prospect of house sales in the short to medium term is relatively easy to judge, because we are working with house buyers and sellers alike every day, so their motivations and the drivers of the market conditions are there for us to interpret.

House Viewing Protocols Working Well

The new way of conducting house viewings is going well, with strict social distancing protocols and excellent co-operation from vendors and purchasers alike.

Some of the social distancing protocols include the following.

• Only one viewer can be present at a time, no children will be allowed in a property (this is because avoiding the touching of surfaces is difficult with young children).
• The owner/tenant will leave property for the viewing.
• We will supply the viewer with disposable gloves and mask, subject to our supply allowing for this.
• The viewers will be allowed to walk around and asked not to touch anything.
• In order to maintain social distancing, the agent will not be able to enter every room with the viewer.
• When the viewing is completed, the agent will lock up the property and leave, then dispose of gloves and use hand sanitiser.

The House Market / Buyer Attitudes

We are impressed with the resilience of house buyers, who continue to remain upbeat about their moving plans. Furthermore, 95% of the sales arranged we had in place at the start of lockdown, continue to remain in place and in the past week many of those have moved forward to exchange and simultaneous completions..

Emerging Markets

In the last week there has been increasing signs of the biggest emerging market being driven by people wanting to leave London and other large cities or towns, to find a new home in a rural or village setting, yet remain within reasonable distance of London etc. That is a positive for the home owners we act for on the Hampshire / Surrey / Berkshire borders, especially those who live in property worth between £1.5m. and £6.0m. in our area of operation.

If you are selling a rural property, contact your nearest McCarthy Holden branch for a free and confidential property appraisal.


The Weeks Ahead

Simply making hay whilst the sun shines!


John Holden – Chairman

Preview Property For Sale Finchampstead


We are pleased to bring you a preview of this property in Wellingtonia Avenue, which is due to go to the open market soon at a guide price around £1,500,000.

Wellingtonia Avenue is a sought after area on the cusp of Crowthorne / Finchampstead in Berkshire.

Take A Video Tour of the Grounds and Setting

This character five bedroom house is set in beautiful grounds of around 1.5 acres and full details will be available soon. For now please take a look at the video tour of the grounds and outside of the property, and we will soon be able to access the property again to obtain interior photographs and video content.

This character home is in a prime location less than a mile from Wellington College.

You can always arrange to view early by telephoning 01252 842100.

Moving On During Covid-19

Moving On Photo Icon

The prospect of house sales in the short to medium terms is relatively easy to judge, because we are working with house buyers and sellers alike every day, so their motivations and the drivers of the market conditions are there for us to interpret. Much harder is the outlook beyond six months or a year.

We can therefore say with confidence that the initial period post lockdown is likely to show positive levels of house sales activity, which given the impact on society of Covid-19 is an outcome I would not have predicted about two months ago.

Will There Be A V Shaped Recovery?

People appear to have a determination to defeat the virus by following through with their ambitions and dreams, as if demonstrating their defiance of it in their actions. I have also seen other wider economy indicators, simply based on discussions I have had with business leaders based in Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire. From local builders who are seeing new commissions for house extensions, to web designers who can’t cope with the level of new work coming their way there are more and more business people saying their order books are filling up once more.

The irrepressible human spirit to fight back is not something to underestimate, so there might be a better initial recovery that first anticipated. Perhaps not a capital V shaped recovery, but at least a snappy lower case one. That doesn’t mean we are not in for a long haul in the broader economic sense, but I am nevertheless convinced that people will strive to make the best of their lives especially as Covid-19 has reminded us just how fragile and even fleeting life can be.

McCarthy Holden estate agents sold board

House Viewings Recommence

The Governments announcements today has given the green lights to allow house viewings to recommence, but these will occur with strict social distancing protocols.

House buyers will soon be able to view their houses of choice and some of the social distancing protocols will include, and once a viewer has confirmed that they have no symptoms or have had no contact with anyone with symptoms for the past 14 days the following protocols will apply.

• Only one viewer can be present at a time, no children will be allowed in a property (this is because avoiding the touching of surfaces is difficult with young children).
• The owner/tenant will leave property for the viewing.
• We will supply the viewer with disposable gloves and mask subject to our supply allowing for this.
• The viewers will be allowed to walk around and ask not to touch anything.
• In order to maintain social distancing, the agent will not be able to enter every room with the viewer.
• When the viewing is completed, the agent will lock up property and leave and dispose of gloves and use hand sanitiser.

The House Market / Buyer Attitudes

You might be surprised to hear of the level of buyers who have agreed a property purchase on houses they viewed pre-lockdown, especially on new homes. From around £400,000 to £3.5m. house sales have been agreed so I remain impressed with the resilience of house buyers, who continue to remain upbeat about their moving plans.

Furthermore, 95% of the sales arranged we had in place at the start of lockdown, continue to remain in place with vendors and purchasers keeping focused on the opportunity to exchange and complete sometime soon.

Emerging Markets

The biggest emerging market is likely to be from people wanting to leave London and other large cities or towns, to find a new home in a rural or village setting, yet remain within reasonable distance of London etc. That is a positive for the home owners we act for on the Hampshire / Surrey / Berkshire borders, especially those who live in property worth between £1.5m. and 6m. in our area of operation


Re-Opening High Street Branches

We will gradually open our high street property showrooms, but this will be done cautiously and with strict social distancing protocols. Currently we are able to get houses to the market and conduct viewings without the need for our branches to be open, so we are planning the physical openings around the 1st June.

The biggest lesson during lockdown, was just how effectively we can operate with technology such as Zoom and Skype, so any gradual return to the high street branches will not interfere with our productivity uptake.

The Weeks Ahead

In the week ahead we will be giving special focus to our new homes selection of properties for sale, and also cater for the emerging market of house buyers leaving London for rural living.

So if you are thinking of selling a home in the rural or semi-rural areas of Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire, then contact us by email for a free no obligation property appraisal.

John Holden – Chairman

House Market Update During Lockdown

cove week 5 icon

Relentless and here for a while

The bleak headlines about the impact of Covid-19 continue and of course our hearts are saddened by the relentless loss of life for frontline NHS staff and Covid-19 affected patients alike.

Any thoughts about how and when an early release from lockdown might occur, must of course be balanced with the high probability of new after waves of coronavirus cases occurring post lockdown, with perhaps the inevitable mini lockdowns being put in place from time to time. There are valuable lessons to be considered from past pandemics especially about the exit stages.

We can be certain that our exit from the current lockdown, will not mean a return to normal in many aspects of day to day life. It is likely we will continue with social distancing and simple matters like viewing property, will be conducted in a similar manner to that which occurred just before the lockdown started.

The House Market

As I mentioned in our last update, writing a few lines about the property market right now doesn’t seem that important in the current circumstances, but house sellers, landlords, buyers and tenants continue to seek insight, because the prospect of needing to move house is still a journey they will embark on post lockdown.

Buyer Attitudes

I remain impressed with the resilience of house buyers, who continue to remain upbeat about their moving plans. This positive attitude is supported by the fact the 95% of the sales arranged we had in place at the start of lockdown, continue to remain in place with vendors and purchasers keeping focused on the opportunity to exchange and complete some time soon.

Other mini indicators of buyer intent are told to me by staff, such as Matthew Fenn from our Fleet branch who has 27 buyers who want to view specific properties as soon as lockdown is over.

Contracts Are Exchanging

Some house sales are progressing to the exchange and completion stages during lockdown, mostly by exchanging and completing on the same day.

Two examples of this in the last week include a £400,000 guided house in Fleet (top image below) and stunning country house conversion in Winchfield at a guided sum of £1.250m. (video below). These special cases where exchange and completion can happen are frequently new house purchases where there are no chains.


Exchanged and completed last week

Play Video

Exchanged and completed last week

Working From Home

Creating new sales is virtually impossible due to viewing restrictions, but our negotiation staff are keeping closely in touch with buyers on our books, by phone, email, newsletter and even video presentations. This means that post lockdown we are already creating a list of buyers who want to view specific properties as soon a we are release from lockdown.

More Vendor Inspired Video House Marketing This Week

Many clients continue to ask if we could produce video content of their property if they sent us video clips and still photographs, this enabling them to go on the open market now.

Some of the latest collaborative results are below.

Preview – due to the market soon at Est. Guide £1,675,000

New to the market – Guide £850,000

This works by vendors sending us the video clips and then with some editing help from a promotional video tour is created.

We look forward to many of these collaborative home grown marketing initiatives in the weeks ahead.

The Week Ahead

In the week ahead we will be giving special focus to our new homes selection of properties for sale, because as we emerge from lockdown we believe the attraction of owning a new home will be higher than usual.

Right now we have 13 new homes development sites available for sale, showcasing a most diverse range of interesting properties for 2020, in amazing locations from rural Eversley in Hampshire, to Virginia Water in Surrey.

The developers we are representing in 2020 are as diverse in size and their personal history as you can imagine, but they all share the same passion for creating beautiful homes and leaving a legacy to their brand and reputation.

Click some of the links below to preview some of the new homes available.

We will provide another market update in a week or so, and you are of course welcome to subscribe free to our newsletter (just click the link near the bottom of our home page).

In the week ahead we will no doubt continue to think, reflect and pray about key workers and NHS people and the risks they face each day at these times. 

John Holden – Chairman and Managing Director

House Market Comment and Covid-19


After a week of extraordinary events, full of contrasts and extremes, this news item provides insight into the impact of Covid-19, at a time when house sellers, landlords, buyers and tenants alike are naturally concerned. Chairman and Managing Director John Holden, provides a shop floor snapshot of recent events and details about forward planning for the months ahead.

Today's Insight – Tomorrows Plans

These times are undoubtedly a time of extraordinary contrasts and extremes, where decisions made one day are buffeted by the events of a new day.

A time where yesterday’s commitments are questioned and where planning for the future is sometimes about considering a worse case scenario.

But the extraordinary thing about the last few days and weeks, is that whilst as a business leader I have to prepare for my worse case business planning, I wake up every morning to a still busy day ahead on all fronts creating property transactions on lettings and property sales.

This last week’s trading typifies the juxtaposition between planning for the worse, but still experience the best in terms of trading for now. In just the last few days we have seen properties exchange contracts, we have arranged new homes sales on properties from around £360,000 in Bagshot through to multiple deals in the £2m. to £5m. country house sector, conducted viewing in the £4m. to £5m. sector, watched many existing sales in progress to exchange of contracts, and we have seen many new lettings being agreed in preparation for a move in next week, and finally we had a diary full of property viewings for this Saturday. Extraordinary activity in the circumstances.

House sales and lettings McCarthy Holden Estate Agents
Activity across all property sectors remained high last week

Timing A Move

We think that some house buyers and sellers will simply elect to have a delayed completion when the moment of exchanging contracts arrives in the coming weeks, this way both parties secure and achieve their moving objectives but only delay the actual move in day.

Home Working

Things will undoubtedly slow down a little and very soon our staff will be working from home, where we can continue with new house sales, transaction chasing and management and valuations with the benefit of technology using Zoom for example. Phone call and emails will be diverted to our personnel working from home very soon.

Minimising Risk When Showing A House

We are aware that vendors and landlords are worried about even the smallest risk of virus transmission, so when we meet buyers or tenants to show them around a client’s property we will be giving them / asking them to wear latex gloves so that things like door knobs, stairs and kitchen equipment are not touched with bare hands.

Whilst we are, as always, delighted to see people, we ask them not to be offended that we won’t be shaking hands and will be keeping a safe distance. In some cases we may not be able to offer drinks or refreshments as we would normally, but instead we will offer you hand sanitiser and facilities to wash your hands during your time together.

Our public announcement about our operational approach to work was distributed to the public recently and is available at this link

Please do subscribe to our newsletter which will be distributed up to twice a week by email (subscription is free and you will find informative content about property, finance and general lifestyle features). There is a pop up sign up on our home page.

It seems that despite Covid-19, the will and sheer determination of people to lead as normal a life as possible is a winning formula for overcoming life’s extraordinary events.

We are available to help our customers and the local community, so do please contact you local branch by phone or email at any time. Business is operating as usual in every respect and we remain committed to the well-being of our staff and customers at this difficult time.

John Holden

Chairman and Managing Director – McCarthy Holden

Character New Homes For Sale, In Hampshire

plot-one-castlebrook North Warnborough Property For Sale
Plots One to Four Castlebrook

7th March Open Day Viewing

Make a diary note to visit the Castlebrook creation by T A Fisher, who have made the centrepiece of their new development the converted Edwardian Jolly Miller village pub into four beautiful and very different new homes with all the passion and care that they are renowned for.

This is a beautiful building carefully bought back to life, and this news item is showcasing plot one, which is for sale freehold at a guide of £450,000.

We have used some photographs with digitally staged furniture, carpets etc., just to help you visualise how wonderful this beautiful property could be as a home.

Plot One Kitchen / Diner

The fine living room space then leads to a fantastic kitchen / diner dual aspect room, with a fully fitted kitchen space which includes a Bosch double oven, a Bosch induction hob, a Zanussi integrated dishwasher, and a Zanussi Integrated Fridge/freezer.

The Living room overlooks the part walled garden, which also features the T A Fisher garden shed as a nice benefit.

Plot One Cloakroom

On the first floor there is a lovely master bedroom, with a superb en-suite shower room. Bedroom two and the family bathroom are also on the first floor.

Plot One En-Suite To Master Bedroom


The location of Castlebrook is perfect for those who want to be on the doorstep of outdoor opportunities from a great selection of places to shop to a wide range of places to eat, drink and relax through to walks and cycling around the Basingstoke Canal and nearby King Johns Castle.

king john's castle Odiham Hampshire McCarthy Holden estate agents
Nearby King John's Castle - Aerial View By

For more details about the open day viewing event on 7th March, telephone 01256 704851

You can go to this link if you would like a download pdf brochure 

Valentine’s Day Decor: set the Scene at Home with these Heartfelt Touches

valentines day home decor

Planning a romantic night in this Valentine's Day? Gabrielle Fagan reveals her top picks for February 14.

valentines day home decor

Love can, of course, be shown with just a look, a touch or a few words… but woe betide if you don’t pull out all the stops on Valentine’s Day!

Face it, even the most unromantic soul will appreciate a small gesture that marks the event and shows you care – and if you’re courting, wooing or planning to propose, setting the scene is key.

So show your home some love with flirty, fun or down-right romantic touches that could reveal your feelings, celebrate what you share, or simply make rooms more ‘love-ly! Here’s our top picks…

Pick an ever-lasting bouquet

A bouquet of roses is a classic Valentine’s gift but those blooms soon wilt. Instead, spoil a wall with a rose-print wallpaper – digital techniques are now so good, they look freshly picked – which will transform a bedroom into a feminine, sensual boudoir.

Flirt with fun details

Keep it subtle and follow a soft pink theme – rather than full-on red – and use just a few pretty accessories to show you care. They’ll be perfect for that Insta-moment too!

valentines day home decor

Serve up sweet somethings

Avoid PDAs (Public Displays of Affection) by creating the perfect setting for that romantic meal at home. Follow a hearts and roses theme, with a red table runner, heart scatter, and napkin tied with ribbon adorned with a single rose.

Make a loving statement

Inject colour and passion into a room, with saucy accessories that could signal your intentions.

valentines day home decor

Romance the room

The colour red is traditionally associated with feelings of love, passion and desire, and a dramatic red roses backdrop will leave a partner in no doubt about your feelings.

A garland or a balloon (follow the ‘less is more’ rule here for best effect) could be just enough to set a heart fluttering.

Shine a loving light

If all those hearts and flowers make you cringe, make a witty, playful statement with funky, quirky accessories instead. Neon’s bang on trend, and a Neon Heart Light or ‘Hello Gorgeous’ Neon Palm Print (£36.95, unframed) from Audenza, could be just the thing to float your rebellious decor boat.

valentines day home decor

Look out for love

Turn away from the predictable and keep it subtle with monochrome. A window blind design that celebrates hearts could ensure a romantic outlook throughout the year.

Spell out your desire

If long declarations of love aren’t your style, keep it short and sweet with a few accessories that tell all.

Toast your love

Special occasions require a toast. Do it in style, with beautiful glasses that could become treasured mementos.

valentines day home decor

Let it glow

Candlelight’s not the only ingredient for an intimate setting. A string of heart-shaped lights, hung in a hallway or arranged on a mantel, could be a surprising but effective touch.

Tempt with a treat

Little gestures mean so much. Breakfast in bed will be extra special if it’s served on a tray with Valentine-themed tableware.

valentines day home decor

New Homes For Sale Preview Hook Hampshire


On the 8th February T A Fisher will be releasing for preview sale plot one at their new development in Hook, Hampshire, their small quality development of only 5 new build homes.

Number one at Acorn Grove(temporary site name) will be selling at a guide of £525,000 and we are delighted to provide this news item early.


Plot One Preview Day 8th February

This property is a superb new semi-detached house, providing almost 1,100 sq. ft. of space, with the added benefit it’s own driveway and garage independent from that of the main development.

Plot One First Floor
Plot One Ground Floor

The quality of the TA Fisher build quality can be seen at their site in North Warnborough, so for insight into the T A Fisher approach to building superb homes take a look at the video below showcasing the show house at Castlebrook.

The specification will differ at the new house in Hook, but this will give you some valuable insight into the build quality of a T A Fisher new home.

To Be Released For Sale Later In 2020

Plot 2 at this site is another set-detached house and plots 3 to 5 are distinctive terraced houses which will also be released for sale later in 2020.

The CGI images are shown below.

Plots 3 to 5
Plot 2

To view plot one at our preview event, please telephone 01252 842100 or 01256 704851 to arrange a viewing.

7 New Homes For Sale Hartley Wintney


Shapley Grange is an exclusive development of seven 3 and 4 bedroom homes, built to a high specification by Sunningdale House Deevelopments, on a small site in a prime location less than a mile from the village of Hartley Wintney.

Hartley Wintney high street is full of individual shops, a renowned cricket green, a golf club and a lovely village pond. The thriving town of Reading is about 14 miles away, Wokingham about 11 miles and Basingstoke 10 miles. .

Great Hartley Wintney Location

For the commuter, the closest railway station are Winchfield (1 mile) and Hook (2 miles), providing travel in approximately 50 minutes to London Waterloo.

Motorway access is via the M3 at nearby Hook (j5), and the M4 at Reading (j11). Central London is about 41 miles and Heathrow Airport 32 miles.

For those seeking a quality new home in a sought after location with excellent road and rail access, Shapley Grange is a must to view.


Plots two and four, are substantial detached four bedroom houses providing just over 2,100 square feet of living space. Prices start from £980,000.

On the ground floor there is a reception hall, cloakroom, a living room, separate dining room, a study, a splendid kitchen dining family room, and a utility room.

There is also a double garage.

On the first floor there is a landing, a splendid master bedroom with en-suite dressing room and an en-suite bathroom and shower, bedroom two features an en-suite. There are four bedrooms in total plus a family bathroom and two en-suites

Plots one and three, are detached four bedroom houses providing almost 1,900 square feet of living space. Prices start from £880,000.

On the ground floor there is a fine reception hall, a cloakroom, living room, study, a vast kitchen dining family room, and a utility room.

On the first floor there is a landing, a generous master bedroom with an en-suite, and there are four bedrooms in total plus a family bathroom.

Plots five, six and seven, are character terrace houses providing just around 1,000 square feet of living space. Prices start from £470,000.

On the ground floor there is a reception hall, a cloakroom, living dining room, and a splendid kitchen breakfast room.

On the first floor there is a landing, a master bedroom with en-suite dressing room. There are three bedrooms in total plus a family bathroom and an en-suite.

To arrange a site visit and view these wonderful new homes, contact our Hartley Wintney branch on 01252 842100.

Next re-open days for McCarthy Holden after Christmas are Friday 27th and Saturday 28th (both 10-2)


Virginia Water New Homes Sales Uptake


Hannover House is an exclusive development of exquisite one and two bedroom apartments, in the heart of Virginia Water which is a most sought after area in Surrey.

Created by Sunningdale House Developments, this impressive development benefits from secure gated under-croft parking, lifts to each core and full height windows which maximise the light inside the luxurious apartments.

Hannover House is conveniently located a short walk away from Virginia Water train station providing quick and easy access into London.

Near TASIS and trains to Waterloo

Hannover House is conveniently located a short walk away from Virginia Water train station providing quick and easy access into London, and TASIS (The American International School in England) is nearby.

Show home now reserved

The show apartment has just been reserved, so if you want to see how you could furnish and add interior design flair to your chosen apartment, then view the show apartment in January 2020.


Selected apartments feature terraces or juliet balconies and each home has been designed with meticulous attention to detail.

The show apartment is featured in this brochure, and potential buyers are welcome to arrange a viewing with the selling agents. Floor plans and a guide to sizes of individual apartments are shown on pages 13 to 28 of the pdf brochure.


Virginia Water has excellent shops for day to day needs, restaurants and mainline railway station with a fast service of trains to Waterloo in approximately 43 minutes.

Neighbouring towns such as Ascot, Windsor Weybridge and Chobham are within easy reach , and central London is about 30 miles. Junction 13 of the M25 is just 3.5 miles away giving access to London, Heathrow and the motorway network.

Country clubs in the area include world-renowned Wentworth Club, Foxhills, Queenwood, Sunningdale and the Royal Berkshire. Walks can be enjoyed around Virginia Water Lake which leads up to the Polo fields at Smiths Lawn and is adjacent to Savill Gardens and Windsor Great Park beyond for riding.

The area is well catered for by a choice of private prep schools, as well as two international schools, ACS in Egham and TASIS in Thorpe which is less than 3 miles away. Heathrow Airport is about 13 miles.

7 Remaining For Sale - Arrange a Viewing

With the sale uptake in December 2019, we highly recommend early viewing in 2020, so please contact our Hartley Wintney branch or telephone 01252 842100 to arrange to view Hannover House.

Next re-open days for McCarthy Holden after Christmas are Friday 27th and Saturday 28th (both 10-2)

Apartment Three Details – Guide £400,000

Apartment Eight Details – Guide £425,000

Apartment Five Details – Guide £550,000

Apartment Seven Details – Guide £550,000

Apartment Four Details – Guide £575,000

Apartment Six Details – Guide £595,000

Apartment Ten Details – Guide £595,000

Apartment Fourteen Details – Guide £795,000

Property Lifestyle and Boxing Day Event

Boxing Day property event McCarthy Holden estate agents

Find out about the next big property event on Boxing Day, an take a look at our Pre-Christmas edition of the magazine In The Country & Town, which sets out to showcase some of the most exquisite homes, as well as deliver engaging editorial content and of course comment on the house market.

In addition to some amazing properties, our editorial features includes Cocktails at Downton, Go Anywhere with Land Rover and the new film release The Aeronauts.

Just click on the image below to open a new tab and view the magazine page by page and indulge in some wonderful online reading.

Click the above image to view the full magazine

There are some fabulous properties being showcased in this magazine, in areas such as The Ridges Finchampstead and the Wentworth Estate in Virginia Water

Also of note is a £1.315m. guided Georgian Farmhouse and a £660,000 guided elegant town house in Winchfield, Hampshire.

Our new homes feature runs from page 32 to page 48, and is full of amazing new homes from diverse and individual developers, with prices from around £450,000 to £1.850m.

It’s been nearly five years since The Theory Of Everything co-stars Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones appeared on screen together – and now they’re teaming up once again for biographical adventure, The Aeronauts.

The epic – directed by Tom Harper and co-written by Harper and Jack Thorne – tells the tale of two high-flying balloonists, pioneering meteorologist James Glaisher and daredevil pilot Amelia Wren, united in a record-breaking voyage in Victorian England. And nothing says ‘reunion’ quite like filming 70% of your scenes in a confined basket, reveals the British duo.

The Official Downton Abbey Cocktail Book celebrates this sumptuous costume drama and golden age of mixed drinks.

As fans of Downton will know, the Crawleys’ love of cocktails is well storied. But it wasn’t until season two and three – when Robert asks his mother, Violet: “Can I tempt you to one of these new cocktails?” – that the family adopts the 1920s American customs of an aperitif before dinner, and hosting cocktail parties at home. Now, the Downton Abbey Cocktail Book means viewers can recreate these tipples at their own soirees.

Embracing the adventurous spirit that has defined the Discovery family for the past 30 years, the new Discovery Sport is a striking evolution of the original that does not compromise capability……. new electrified engines include a 48-volt mild hybrid from launch to help reduce emissions and fuel consumption.

If you are planning a house sale or let and would like your property showcased in the New Year edition of In The Country & Town, contact your nearest McCarthy Holden branch and ask for details.

The Next Big Property Event - Boxing Day

Boxing Day property event McCarthy Holden estate agents

Boxing Day – The Perfect Time To Put a House Up For Sale!

According to Rightmove there is a massive spike in online buyer search traffic, between Boxing Day and early January, suggesting an uplift in house buyer searches online on Boxing Day. This is why McCarthy Holden are offering a special incentive to join the next big event in property, the Boxing Day Go Event.

During November and December all a would-be house seller has to do is instruct McCarthy Holden to offer their property for sale from Boxing Day.

You can indulge in all of the traditional Boxing Day activities, happy in the knowledge that house buyers are tapping on mobile devices searching for the right property and, who knows, your house could be top of their list for viewing in the New Year.

Many of our clients have already asked to go live on the Boxing Day Go property launch, so if you are contemplating a house move in 2020 then go to our home page and click on valuation, for a free property appraisal and discover the benefits of being part of the no sale no fee and no obligation Boxing Day Go property event.

New Homes Preview Event Hampshire

new homes from Mccarthy Holden estate agents Hampshire

The T A Fisher new homes in North Warnborough will be previewed for the second time on Saturday 23rd November, so if you are in the market for a new home around £500,000 to £550,000 then take a look at the quality build available at their Castlebrook site.

The above video tour will tell you about the area and showcase plot 6, a mid-terrace house providing around 1,200 sq ft of superb space. We think you’ll be impressed.

Plot 6 Castlebrook McCarthy Holden estate agents Hampshire

The first plot was sold / reserved following our preview event on 5th October, and we haven’t even showcased these fine homes on Rightmove or any other property portal yet. So if you are in the market to buy, then take advantage of these early preview days.

Plot 6 Castlebrook McCarthy Holden estate agents Hampshire

We enjoyed helping T A Fisher at the 5th October preview event, with visitors / house buyers giving their immediate reviews to camera.

There are only 11 homes being built at Castlebrook, and prices are estimated to be in the sector from £475,000 to £750,000. To arrange to see the show house at the preview event on 23rd November, please telephone 01256 704851.

Full Time Career Opportunities In Estate Agency

career icon photo at mccarthy holden

Start a new career as a property negotiator / property consultant in 2020, by joining McCarthy Holden at either their Fleet or Hartley Wintney branches in Hampshire.

Positions are available at both of these branches, for either individuals already working in estate agency as an experienced negotiator, or for individuals who are currently in a career sector such as the service industry.

If you are an estate agency negotiation with around two years experience we would welcome the opportunity to meet you and explore the career opportunities at McCarthy Holden. We find negotiators who join us with this kind of experience stay with us, many now for 10 to 20 years so we hope this indicates that the real skill of negotiating is something that is highly valued, as opposed to relying on algorithms and online property portals.

For those of you not currently working in estate agency, the refreshing news is that some of our most successful property consultants moved from careers such in the hospitality, retail and wider services business sectors. A couple of examples are shown below.

Victoria at McCarthy Holden estate agents
Victoria - Fleet branch

Victoria joined McCarthy Holden in 2010, when she left a career in the hospitality industry. She has forged a very successful career at McCarthy Holden and is highly respected by customers and colleagues alike.

Matthew at McCarthy Holden estate agents
Matthew - Fleet branch

Matthew left British Rail in 2015, to pursue a negotiating and client management career at McCarthy Holden. His career in estate agency is now firmly established and just like Victoria he is much respected by customers and colleagues.

We are looking for people with a healthy work ethic, who in return for high property sales performance will bring high salary rewards, and yes there are long working days, with frequent out of hours needs of customers to be dealth with.

At McCarthy Holden we won’t crush your spirit with targets for selling financial services, but instead allow you to care for obtaining the best possible price for our vendors by applying negotiating skills and following though with managing the sale process from start to finish.

Every day will be varied and different, but one thing that will not change is our desire to deliver our services with traditional values of trust, honesty and respect for our customers and colleagues. These values are very important, so only candidates that who can truly deliver on these essential traits should apply.

Excellent communications skills are essential.

Because we are looking for both experiences and career change candidates, the salary / rewards scales are varied so please apply in the knowledge that we aim to match or exceed the market levels in the area of salary rewards.

email with your cv to apply

5 Things to Consider if You’re Thinking of Relocating for Work

relocating for work

From hidden costs to settling into a new community, there's lots to think about, says Vicky Shaw.

Would you up sticks and move away from your area if you were offered better career prospects or a bigger salary? The dilemma of whether to relocate for work or stay put can be tricky to answer – particularly for those who already have strong ties with their local community.

Among employees who have never relocated, 59% of men and 65% of women say the desire to stay near family is the primary reason they’ve stayed put, according to a new survey by jobs website

On the one hand, there may be the chance of new opportunities opening up, the chance of a pay-boost and better living standards. But on the other, families also need to weigh up how other members of the household may settle into a new life – and how this may also have an impact on the household budget.

Here are some factors you may want to consider when weighing up whether it’s worth relocating for work or not…

relocating for work

1. Can you afford the moving costs?

The cost of moving home can quickly add up to thousands of pounds.

According to research from Lloyds Bank, home movers across the UK may typically need to budget around £12,000 just to cover moving costs.

If you plan to buy a new home, there are expenses to consider such as stamp duty, or in Scotland the land and buildings transaction tax, or in Wales the land transaction tax. There are also estate agent and legal fees to consider, as well as the cost of a removal firm. And if you’re renting, you may need to consider pulling together a bigger deposit.

2. Can you afford the house prices or rents in the area you are thinking of moving to?

You may be getting a pay rise if you relocate, but consider whether this will be swallowed up by a higher mortgage or rental bill every month. If you’re moving to a bigger town or city, the housing costs may be higher if there is stronger demand for properties in these areas.

It may be possible to find cheaper accommodation by finding somewhere to live slightly further afield, but in popular commuting towns property prices may also be high, and the cost of your journey into work could also be higher.

3. What about schools and childcare costs?

Childcare costs can vary hugely depending on where you live. And if you’re currently close to grandparents who are currently helping out with unpaid childcare, the expenses could increase quite dramatically by moving far away. If you or your partner will be getting a bigger salary by moving, the extra childcare costs may be balanced out.

Also bear in mind that house prices in locations near popular and highly-rated schools can often be significantly higher than those in their surrounding areas. For example, recent research from audit firm PwC found that houses within the catchments of the top 10% of England’s primary schools can cost around £27,000 more than those in the wider postcode districts.

relocating for work

4. Will your employer provide you with a relocation package?

Whether it’s your existing employer who is asking you to relocate, or you’re considering going to a new company, you may be able to negotiate a relocation package, particularly if the firm thinks it may help sway your decision in favour of moving.

Ask the company’s HR department whether they can help with expenses such as moving costs, transport and any temporary accommodation you may need.

5. Is working remotely an option?

New technology means it’s easier for many people to work from home at least some of the time now, although this will very much depend on what your job involves.

It may also be possible to stay living where you are but have a longer commute to work. Three-fifths (60%) of men and 59% of women say they are willing to travel for 30-60 minutes to work, if it meant they could avoid relocating, Indeed’s survey also found. But when it came to longer journey times, men were around a third more likely than women to say they would commute for 60-120 minutes in order to avoid relocating.

Want to Measure Up in the Style Stakes? 10 Ways to Embrace this Season’s Geometric Trend

geometric styling

Gabrielle Fagan reveals simple ways to do the decor maths and ensure your rooms have all the right angles.

geometric styling

Shape up if you want stylish rooms this Autumn. Geometrics are figuring on designs for everything from wallpaper to carpets right now, and set to be the most fashionable way of bringing pattern into rooms this season.

You can be playful and introduce bold and stimulating colourful shapes – take your pick from triangles to eight-sided octagons – or keep it elegant, with just a few touches sporting the barest hint of the pattern.

“Geometric pattern came to prominence in the 1920s and became synonymous with the Art Deco movement,” explains Tom White, design director, Parker Knoll. “In a decade renowned for its opulent and sophisticated style, geometrics challenged traditional design, with sleek and elegant motifs which came to symbolise wealth and status.”

Now they’re back, thanks to our renewed passion for pattern and more decoration in our homes. “Geometrics boast a breadth of choice in shape, colour and scale, so can be adapted to suit a vast range of tastes and styles,” promises White.

Here’s 10 ways to do your decor sums and ensure your home measures up in the style stakes…

geometric styling

1. Check out all the angles

“For me, geometric shapes will always have a universal and timeless appeal,” enthuses Martha Coates, surface and pattern designer for Habitat.

“I don’t think they’ve ever really gone out of fashion, as many pattern stories tend to do,” she points out. “I love that the geometric designs created and popularised over 100 years ago by the iconic Bauhaus movement still feel relevant in our modern interiors. They sit seamlessly alongside the contemporary and colourful designs in our ranges.”

Coates pays tribute to the versatility of geometric pattern. “Minimalist, contemporary and familiar in their structure, they’ll complement existing lines and shapes within the architecture of practically any room,” she says. “Their structured balance will allow you the freedom to be braver with colour and texture.”

geometric styling

2. Divide and rule on the wall

Get creative and paint your own geometric shapes on a wall. Simply stick strips of masking tape to the surface to create triangle, trapezoid and rhombus shapes (look them up if that’s already confused you!).

The more tape you crisscross, the more shapes you’ll create. If you paint the entire wall with the tape in place, you’ll have stripes between the shapes when you remove the tape.

If that feels too brain-bending, Wallsauce has a brilliant selection of made-to-measure geometric-style wall murals, ranging from in-your-face colourful to the more subtle, starting from £32 per square metre.

geometric styling

3. Make a party point

Join the geometrics party by investing in an Art Deco-style drinks trolley or drinks cabinet. Both items have enjoyed a revival in homeware, as they add a sense of occasion to entertaining. A sound style move.

geometric styling

4. Statement equals style

You don’t have to overdose on this look – just estimate how much you need to add to make an impact and burnish your style credentials. Give one punchy piece some space and a plain backdrop and it will undoubtedly become a star talking point.

geometric styling

5. Measure up with metallics

Pair a classic geometric design with metallics (gold and copper are hot choices) to play the glamour card. This combo won’t just add a winning touch of opulence, but a repeating angular pattern is easy on the eye and helps create a visual sense of order. The effect is particularly good for spaces where we want to rest and relax, like a bedroom or chill-out lounge.

One word of advice: Make sure the size of the pattern you choose works with the size of the room. Generally, large-scale patterns are more suited to big expanses of wall, so you have the room to stand back and appreciate their impact. Smaller repeating patterns suit smaller walls.

The only exception is if you opt for a statement wall of pattern, where you could be bolder and size up. For inspiration, take a look the super range of geometric papers, including Prism Geometric Wallpaper, £15.99 a roll, at Cult Furniture.

geometric styling

6. Break the rules

Sometimes, you can throw caution to the wind, ignore the ‘less is more rule’ and indulge in a pattern-fest. Just make sure you balance more decorative geometric repeating patterns with other simpler designs. This will prevent the whole effect from being overpowering, and punchy injections of colour (we’re big fans of pink and green right now) are all that’s needed to make a scheme sing.

Another way of approaching this look is sticking to a colour palette of no more than two shades, which will allow the detail to shine.

geometric styling

7. Step up to the style

Style alert: Back away from the bland! A striking geometric carpet runner can transform a staircase into an eye-catching feature. Playing up the angles with an above-the-skirting stripe in a complementary shade is a master stroke in this hallway.

geometric styling

8. Pattern to the power of two

“Boasting timeless allure and contemporary flair, geometric designs work well in period and modern homes alike,” says Parker Knoll’s Tom White. “For those looking to emulate the exciting and influential 1920s – the inspiration for the look – pair geometric patterns with luxurious gold accents, rich tones and spherical accessories.”

geometric styling

9. Make it monochrome

“Typically considered an intimidating option, a bold geometric floor can add an element of design to a space and is a surprisingly versatile option,” says Anna Del-Molino, buyer, Carpetright.

“Before selecting your style, take into consideration the size of your space, alongside the colours and scales that will work within it. A larger print, in muted shades, is often better suited to smaller rooms, as intricate patterns can feel too busy in compact areas.

“Larger spaces allow for more experimentation and for a truly daring look, consider a style with multiple colours. Geometric patterns don’t need to be solely linear shapes,” she adds. “Look for florals and patterns which repeat without being too overbearing.”

geometric styling

10. Arty calculation

Make those shapes work on the wall with colourful geometric artwork that will show you know a right-angle from a rhombus.

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