Locating a suitable space to build your dream home, with Tom and Phoebe Gresford

Bright, modern, new-build homes constructed with efficiency in mind on acres of land are at a premium in Oxfordshire and countrywide.

Securing a property which matches the above description at the right price can be aided significantly by working with industry experts who are well-connected regionally. It’s why Tom and Phoebe Gresford contacted Oxford Property Consulting to help them search for their dream family home.

Now, the couple are proud owners of a beautifully located bungalow on ¾ of-an-acre of land in Littleworth – just half-an-hour’s drive from Oxford city centre in glorious countryside. But their work is far from done, as our latest blog reveals.

The brief

Tom and Phoebe had been searching for a suitable property to build their dream home on since 2016.

They required space, a rural location close to Oxford and planning permissions which would enable them to demolish the current property and build an ultra-low energy, timber framed, flat roofed, home.

Tom’s ambition to build his own home stems from his professional career as an architect. He founded Gresford Architects in 2006 to create buildings which are thoughtful, practical and sustainable.

But before partnering with Oxford Property Consulting, finding the right location for his personal project proved a difficult task.

“Ben (Procter, Oxford Property Consulting Managing Director) identified several sites in Oxfordshire which took our interest,” said Tom. “They were all very different, but it granted us that freedom to explore the potential of each property.

“Land was a big requirement. Our children are fortunate to live a very ‘free-range’ lifestyle and it was important our new home would reflect that. There was a lot to consider, particularly given what we wanted to achieve.”

You can learn more about Gresford Architects by clicking here.

The project

Fast-forward several months, Tom and Phoebe now have the keys to their new home.

But it won’t be standing for long. The existing bungalow is tired, lacks natural light and is in need of renovation. But Tom and Phoebe understand the potential of their new property and its true value.

They have recently secured planning permissions required to build a new home from scratch, and work will soon begin.

“It has been an ambition of mine to build my own house and that stems from my profession as an architect,” said Tom. “Having lived in properties which are expensive to run, myself and my partner crave the efficiency of a new build home.

“Now, we’re in complete control as we are starting the build from scratch. The property has less land than our brief, but that’s the beauty of working with experts like Ben.

“He has identified a beautiful site overlooking Oxfordshire countryside which makes the space we have feel far greater. We have purchased the property for a bargain price and can’t wait to have it completed.”

READ MORE: Pitfalls to avoid when buying property

Value for money

But why enlist the help of Oxford Property Consulting? Could Tom and Phoebe not have purchased their new home by themselves?

Of course, they could have. But finding the right property and getting value for your money is essential when investing in space privately or for commercial purposes.

“Not only did we secure the property we wanted, but we paid a lower price compared to if we purchased it ourselves,” said Tom. “I was introduced to Oxford Property Consulting by a client, they were able to help solve our problem of not finding the space we wanted.”

READ MORE: Understanding property and its true value

Reaching an agreement

After almost five years of failing to secure a property through independent searches, Tom believes vendors took him more seriously when working with a property buying agency.

He said working with Oxford Property Consulting helped:

  • Make it easier to reach an agreement
  • Pay less money to secure the property in question

He added: “When you work with a company like Oxford Property Consulting, vendors take you seriously. It makes it far easier to reach an agreement as they understand you’re not there to waste time.

“Remarkably, we weren’t the highest bidder. Oxford Property Consulting secured us a price that was lower than the highest bidder. Our fees paid for themselves, we’re very pleased with the results.”

What next?

Work on Tom and Phoebe’s bungalow will begin shortly with the project expected to be completed by the conclusion of summer 2022.

Ben Procter, Oxford Property Consulting Managing Director, said: “I am so pleased Tom and Phoebe have purchased their perfect plot at an excellent price to then build their dream home.

“Like so many of our clients they bought something which didn’t fully match their original brief. By showing our clients a range of properties, they are well armed to make a decision on the trade-offs that they must face before submitting an offer.

“We can’t wait to see the final results of the renovation.”

LEARN MORE: About Oxford Property Consulting’s services here