Tips for buying a home in the current property market


Despite a rise in interest rates and cost of living, demand is still going strong in our part of the world. In fact, it is still a sellers’ market according to recent data by property analyst, PropCast, which found the counties of Rutland, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire all in very hot markets still. Although understandably buyer demand may have dampened slightly over recent weeks, there are still plenty of purchasers keen to find their dream country house in and around Rutland, Stamford, Oundle and Northamptonshire. 

Here are a few of our top tips to ensure you stay ahead of the game when it comes to not only finding a country house, but also securing it…

Keep in touch with estate agents

With a list of eager registered buyers ready to pounce, estate agents will make them aware of what is coming up for sale before properties have hit the open market. This means that something may sell without you even knowing it was for sale in the first place. To maximise your chances of finding out about these homes, register with estate agents in the area you are looking, meet them so they are familiar with your face, and keep in touch regularly. By building a rapport, you will be kept at the top of their minds. We have recently opened a beautifully refurbished office in the heart of the market town of Oundle in the historic building of The Old Town Hall at Market Place, so do pop by and say hello to your local Fine & Country team.

View properties as soon as possible

The really good houses go within days of launching. If there’s something you like the look of, book a viewing at the earliest opportunity. There will be some buyers who will literally do everything in their power to be the very first through the door, which means you could lose out if you wait too long.

Cash is king 

Some vendors are now prioritising proceedable buyers over who is offering the highest price. Cash buyers, or those with a relatively small mortgage, not only offer a vendor a quicker sale, but they also reduce the risk of a sale falling through due to affordability issues. This is because they are not relying on a huge mortgage, which vendors are finding very desirable at the moment. If you have already sold a property and have the funds ready to go in your bank, make the estate agent aware as this should act in your favour.

Moulton Seas End

Have your finances in place

If you are relying on a mortgage, have your finances in place. Also ask an accountant to write a letter confirming proof of funds. If you would like our recommendation for an independent financial advisor, please let us know as we work closely with a small family firm who offer a wide range of products available on the market and able to find you the best and most suitable mortgage deal.

Be flexible on completion date

Vendors are also prioritising buyers who can be flexible on a completion date. This is because they may need time to find something else themselves. 

Secure an excellent lawyer and surveyor

Make sure you are paying for good advice, as this will save you time and money. Also having these appointed as your search begins can put you in good stead in the eyes of a vendor. Cheap is often more expensive in the long run, so choose a solicitor because they have a good reputation and/or are recommended. We are able to send you recommendations of ‘tried and tested’ solicitors who will provide you with a service you desire.

Don’t panic

With multiple buyers looking at a property, you can easily overstretch yourself to beat the competition. However, you should only pay a premium if it’s the right house for you. Don’t panic buy, otherwise you could overspend on the wrong place and regret it. Research the value of the house you want to buy and calculate your maximum budget – then keep to it.

Longthorpe Green

Find Out More

For more information about any of our country houses for sale, or to register with us, contact our Rutland, Stamford & South Lincolnshire office on 01780 750 200 or the Oundle and North Northamptonshire office on 01832 808 008.

The Best of Old & New

We are selling more and more homes which beautifully blend old character features with a modern contemporary style, creating something very special inside. Some clients will lean more to the vintage side of things and others to the new, but whatever the balance, these homes are brimming with personality and character, yet made for 21st century living.

Here are a few examples we have for sale:

Mill House, Fleet

The modern interior to this wonderful home is a lovely surprise, as it’s not what you might expect when first approaching the Grade II listed Georgian facade. It really is an exemplary blend of the old and the new, which has recently been extended as well as undergoing a complete refurbishment. The result is a stunning four bedroom, three bathroom home with further accommodation or a home office above the detached double garage. With its character on the outside, the inside boasts clean and bright interiors, from an exquisite bespoke designer kitchen to open plan living accommodation. There’s even a dog shower! Read more

Old Welland Cottage, Spalding

This is an immaculate, double-fronted Georgian property with big Victorian bays, for a large part of the C20th operating as The Welland Inn. It has been renovated to such a degree that it now presents like a brand new home. In a conservation area close to the centre of the market town of Spalding overlooking the pretty banks of the River Welland, the spacious home set on three levels, offers open plan living downstairs with adjoining annex at the back, four bedrooms – the master with en suite – and a bathroom upstairs and a basement level with wine store and another room that could be used as an office, a music or a cinema room. Read more

Casterton Road, Stamford

This sixties house has been transformed into a contemporary, family home perfect for modern living with its open plan layout, bright interiors and fabulous connection with the garden. As a four bedroom, four bathroom property, the attractive modern façade combines a mix of the original yellow brick, pale grey render, cedar cladding and gable end full of huge windows that stretch up to the eaves for the influx of natural light and a stylish contemporary look. Contemporary features include a vast living space opens out before you with the garden visible beyond, whilst bi-folding and sliding doors glide back to create an almost seamless connection to the timber decking, offering the perfect space for al fresco dining and entertaining. Read more

The Old Vicarage, Gosberton

This imposing former Victorian vicarage stands in the heart of the South Lincolnshire village of Gosberton. Built in 1848, it has been extended over the years and combines an abundance of original features such as high ceilings, quarry tiled flooring, panelled doors, deep skirtings, mouldings, dado rails, ceiling roses and original fireplace, with a modern look and feel to include a garden room extension. In total there are five bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, drawing room, dining room, sitting room, snug and a separate coach house. Read more

The Old School, Farcet

This is a recently refurbished conversion of an Edwardian school which provides a substantial amount of versatile living space ideal for a modern lifestyle with four bedrooms and two bathrooms. The original feeling of space has been retained however with large, light-filled rooms and vaulted ceilings, whilst outside are wrought iron gates, the original arched entrance with the original doors and the striking facade. Read more

Ducks Nest, Oundle

Ducks Nest is one of the oldest properties in the historic market town of Oundle, and is a Grade II listed quaint stone cottage that blends its stunning facade and exposed beams inside with a modern feel. In total there are three bedrooms, two bathrooms, three good-sized reception rooms and a farmhouse style kitchen. Read more

Find Out More? 

For more information about these homes, or to be kept up to date on those we will be selling in the future, contact Jan or Ildi on 01780 750 200 or 01832 808 008.

In The Press… The Times

We are delighted to spot Snake Hall as the lead photograph in The Times today to illustrate a piece about the property market amidst stamp duty changes and mortgage rate rises. Having such a presence on the page is of huge importance, offering it nationwide exposure to help attract buyer interest. Read the full article here.

For more information about Snake Hall, click here.

In The Press… The Times

One of homes was featured in The Times today, in a round up of the best properties for sale around £750,000, offering the vendor widespread exposure of their home. The newspaper described it as:

“A formal knot garden filled with ornate and characterful evergreen topiary, seasonal plantings and a delightful summerhouse surrounds this semi-detached period cottage. The grade II listed English classic has three bedrooms, two of which have en suites, while the family bathroom is downstairs on the ground floor. The exposed brickwork, period fireplaces, slanted ceilings and plentiful bookcases add to its charm. The conservatory at the rear of the house is the perfect place to soak up the last of the evening’s rays, and when the night draws in, the cosiness of the sitting area comes calling. There is a double garage and log store to the side of the house, and Peterborough’s town centre is a 25-minute drive away.”

Read the full article here.

Stamp duty tax has been cut in the Mini Budget

On 23rd September, Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng announced at the Mini Budget that he is reducing (and in some cases eliminating) Stamp Duty immediately for residential property buyers. 

The levy is a tax paid over a certain price when somebody buys a house, flat or a piece of land in England, where the monies owed are based on various price thresholds, as well as where you are buying.

For non-first-time buyers, the threshold at which the tax begins has been increased from £125,000 to £250,000. The remaining thresholds have remained the same, to include those buying an additional property or a second home where there is still an extra 3% to pay on top of the relevant standard rates.

Standard SDLT Rates 

Property ValueSDLT Rate
Up to £250,0000%
The next £675,000 (the portion from £250,001 to £925,000)5%
The next £575,000 (the portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million)10%
The remaining amount (the portion above £1.5 million)12%

Whilst for first time buyers, the SDLT threshold now begins at £425,000 – previously £300,000 – in a bid to give them an extra boost onto the property ladder. The value of the property on which they can claim stamp duty relief has increased from £500,000 to £625,000.

Are you wondering how much stamp duty will now cost on our homes?

We have had a look at some of our houses for sale and worked out the new SDLT for you. Perhaps you could put the saving towards something else such as new furniture, school fees or renovation works?

Drove House, Surfleet

Total SDLT: £103,250

Drove House is  beautiful period property offering everything you might need for a quintessential English country lifestyle. The main house provides 5 generous reception rooms and a vast, newly extended kitchen dining room with 5 double bedrooms, 2 en suite, and a family bathroom whilst a recently built adjoining annex has 2 bedrooms, a large kitchen, a living room and a bathroom. With over 13 acres of land, there are paddocks, stables, an enclosed outdoor heated swimming pool, a hard tennis court, garden buildings, chicken runs, a vegetable garden as well as numerous trees and a lake supporting wildlife. Read more

Snake Hall, Moulton Eaugate

Total SDLT: £51,250

Snake Hall is a beautiful Grade II listed, Georgian former farmhouse with 5 bedrooms and 5 reception rooms surrounded by open fields. Standing on over 4.5 acres, it also provides a brick stable block with haybarn, paddocks, garages, storeroom and workshop. Built circa 1795, this red brick house is typically Georgian with its symmetric façade. Inside, the house is airy and spacious with large windows, and rooms are very generous in size with high ceilings and lovely views over the garden, and the far reaching landscape from upstairs. Read more

Bridge House, Sutton St James

Total SDLT: £32,500

Bridge House is an extraordinarily sleek, spacious, minimalist home built in 2019 which is a reminiscent of a vast, converted old barn. It has an industrial edge with its Crittal-style glazing and huge spaces contained within a combination of exposed brick and plastered walls, that include four en suite bedrooms, a spectacular open plan kitchen living room, a dining room, a games room, a cinema, a study, an adjoining double garage and a separate workshop outside. Read more

Ducks Nest, Oundle

Total SDLT: £22,500

Ducks Nest is one of the oldest properties in the historic market town of Oundle; a date inscribed on the gable end states 1637 but other parts are far older. Part of it – the current dining room – was once owned by the Knights Templar and much later, in the 16th century, Sir Thomas Tresham, a prom- inent Catholic landowner whose eldest son, Francis, was embroiled in the gunpowder plot, owned the property for a time up until 1564. Some years later, Oliver Cromwell is reputed to have stayed there, perhaps whilst it was The Anchor Inn, which it was for hundreds of years. This Grade II listed quaint stone cottage provides three bedrooms, one en suite, a family bathroom, three good-sized reception rooms and a farmhouse style kitchen. Read more

Church Street, Eastern On The Hill

Total SDLT: £25,000

This three-bedroom period stone cottage is an English classic within a very desirable village, but it the peaceful and private mature garden, intricately designed, that makes this property stand out amongst others – a paradise for those who enjoy watching the hours pass by surrounded by nature. Read more

Bank House, Sutton Bridge

Total SDLT: £13,750

Bank House is a four bedroomed 1930s house, that has been completely refurbished and modernised. The interiors are light and airy with rooms including a hallway, living room, dining room, kitchen/breakfast room, utility room, attic room and a master bedroom that has a dressing room and an en-suiteRead more

Find Out More? 

For more information about these homes, or to be kept up to date on those we will be selling in the future, contact Jan or Ildi on 01780 750 200 or 01832 808 008.

Homes with fireplaces or wood burners

The weather has certainly got chillier, so to help warm the body and the soul as Autumn begins, here are some of our homes for sale with wonderful fireplaces or wood burners…

Mill House, Fleet

When you see the charming facade of this home, you will be forgiven for being some what surprised given the contemporary interior… but Mill House beautifully blends old with new, and not only does its origins date back to 1755, it’s also Grade II listed. Clearview log-burners have been installed in both the front room fireplaces. The one in the drawing room, with its Georgian arched niches either side, was fitted in 2020 and has only been used 3 times! Boasting some equestrian facilities such as a hay barn, stables, tack room, you have the perfect location to relax by the fire and warm yourself up after tending to your horses on those dark cold nights. Read more

Drove House, Surfleet

At this small country estate, the very elegant drawing room walls painted in a soft, muted mauve, are of exceptionally fine proportions and enjoys a classical period fireplace. Whilst two more reception rooms with fireplaces are used as a games room and dining room. There’s no need for a fireplace in the kitchen, however, as the underfloor heating and Aga should keep you warm and toasty in the chillier months to come. Read more

Grange Court, Carlby

This stunning barn conversion created by the current owners has two Clear-view log burners – one in the dining/family room and the other in the East Wing which has been created as flexible accommodation. The fifth bedroom is situated here and as such, offers the opportunity for guests or family members to be more independent from the main living accommodation. The current owners have used it as an extra bedroom, guest accommodation, an additional home work- ing space and have also let it out as an AirBnB. Read more

Zetland House, Grantham

This home is ideal for cat enthusiasts, because not only is it an extremely spacious 7-bed house with a two-storey adjoining annex, totalling almost 5,000 square feet of accommodation, there is also a cattery in the 10-acre grounds which consists of 27 very neatly presented pens which can take up to 63 cats as well as paddocks. But once you have fed your furry creatures and put them to bed on a cold winters evening, you can pop your feet up by the fire either in the main house or the annex. Read more

The Coach House, Colsterworth

This is an immaculately presented, converted coach house dating back to 1725, which provides the perfect, contemporary accommodation for multi-generational living with a two bedroom annex. The main living room is huge with a stove fuelled by gas in the stone inglenook fireplace, whilst in the annex there is a log burner in the cosy living room. The owners have also upgraded the EPC rating from F to D, which is hugely impressive given the building is 300 years’ old. Read more

The Old Vicarage, Gosberton

The Old Vicarage is a very handsome, period house of fine proportions with high ceilings and an abundance of original features to include original fireplaces in every room! Read more

Old Welland Cottage, Spalding

This is an immaculate, double-fronted Georgian property which for a large part of the C20th operated as The Welland Inn. It has been renovated by the current owners who completely transformed it over the last decade or so by stripping it back to its bare bones and starting almost from scratch. The owners said: “We fitted reclaimed fireplaces on newly-cut stone hearths – a log- burner sits in one. The arched Georgian style niches flanking the fireplace are in fact new, and the unusual coving is a special bespoke,
old Georgian design.” Read more

Find Out More? 

For more information about these homes, or to be kept up to date on those we will be selling in the future, contact Jan or Ildi on 01780 750 200 or 01832 808 008.

Homes with kitchens worthy of Great British Bake Off

With Great British Bake Off on our screens again, we thought we’d find some amazing kitchens we’d love to bake in. Join us as we take a look around a select few… although we have plenty more just like these on our website!

Mill House, Fleet

Mill House as an equisite home, having been substantially refurbished by its owners who have beautifully blended old with new. The huge kitchen breakfast room is no exception, which stretches across the width of the rear section. It has been fitted with a luxury Tom Howley of Cambridge bespoke kitchen with solid Silestone Quartz worktops. Three top of the range Miele ovens incorporating one steam oven and two full size ovens offer plenty of space to cook bread, cakes, cookies and more. As a an added bonus, these can all be controlled via your mobile phone… There is also an integrated Miele dishwasher for washing up your bowls and spatulas, and a Miele microwave in a cabinet for melting the butter quickly. There is also a Fisher & Paykel fridge drawer in the kitchen with a further fridge freezer in the utility. If you fancy a glass of wine whilst you bake, why not choose a bottle from the mQuvee wine cave which has space for 45 bottles and dual temperature for both white and red wine! And that’s not all… there’s plenty more to shout about about this kitchen – it really is the stuff of dreams. Read more

Drove House, Surfleet

Drove House is a small country estate, where the kitchen is a very impressive aspect and ideal for baking scones or muffins after a game of tennis or a swim in your grounds. The owners have extended and refitted the kitchen as they love to cook and entertain. Now it is a vast, almost square room with tiled floor and plenty of space to cook and dine under the large roof lantern in the extension which benefits underfloor heating. A fine, white Aga stands proudly in the chimney breast. Although now disconnected it can only look on at the busy electric Smeg range-style cooker. However, it could be reconnected should someone so wish. The owners say: “The kitchen was a 1960s relic – it was quite literally like stepping back in time! We do have visitors and entertain a lot, often 12 to 14 people so we have two dishwashers – I’m not sure how we manged before with just one! We have a big American-style fridge in the kitchen and another in the pantry.” Read more

Woodcroft Road, Marholm

This incredible home is an extended bungalow – a renovation project undertaken by the current owners. The big kitchen/dining/family room is the centre piece, with pops of blue in the kitchen’s tiles and lower cabinets making for a lovely touch in synch with the house’s calming colour palette. There’s plenty of counter and cupboard space to store your flour, cookie cutters and mixers too, alongside an island with a sink, as well as a wealth of room for tables and social sofas to enjoy your home made goodies with family and friends. Read more

Bridge House, Fishergate

Bridge House is a hugely impressive barn extending to just over 4,300 sq ft. This extraordinarily sleek, spacious, minimalist home is located in an idyllic spot beside a waterway, and boasts a kitchen fitted with everything you need for some baking fun. The fitted kitchen incorporates all Neff appliances. A bank of floor to ceiling units flanked by shelving, has two eye-level ovens with hide-and-slide doors, alongside a microwave and warming drawer, and a tall, larder fridge with freezer below is disguised behind doors. An induction hob with a pop-up extractor sits in the quartz island and the inset sink has a Franke Omni 4-in- 1 tap with filtered cold and hot water, including boiling water. An adjoining wraparound breakfast bar simulates polished concrete and provides a good run of space at which to prepare your ingredients as well as sampling your tasty creations. Read more

The Old Vicarage, Gosberton

This former Victorian vicarage stands in the heart of the South Lincolnshire village of Gosberton. Given its heritage, it boasts original features including quarry tiled flooring, panelled doors, deep skirtings, mouldings, dado rails, ceiling roses and original fireplaces. The bespoke kitchen doesn’t disappoint, having been updated by the owners. They have installed new oak worktops, tiling and painted all the units, and added a Graphite 110 cm Everhot range with a focal surround which is a wonderful centre point and gives a lovely warmth to the kitchen. The kitchen has a very practical layout with plenty of storag, which makes it ideal for baking. There is also a walk-in pantry and two additional storage rooms close to the kitchen providing further space for your baking ingredients, equipment and accessories. Read more

Grange Court, Carlby

Grange Court is a stunning, stone-built, Grade II listed barn conversion on the edge of the Lincolnshire village of Carlby. Baking enthusiasts will love the exposed beams above them whilst preparing their latest sourdough, and that there are in fact two kitchens – one in the main home and the other in the East Wing. Should you be baking for the masses, that extra kitchen may just come in handy! The main kitchen is bespoke handmade with all Neff appliances, a boiling water tap and a Miele dishwasher, whilst the other has granite worktops and Franke taps. Read more

Find Out More? 

For more information about these homes, or to be kept up to date on those we will be selling in the future with plenty of land, contact Jan or Ildi on 01780 750 200 or 01832 808 008.

Homes with land for equestrian lovers

From 1st-4th September, it is the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials. Fine & Country are sponsoring the Country Living Café and we also have a stand in the Original Marquee.

Whether you’re in the market for an equestrian property or just fancy a day watching the horses in a stunning setting, it’s a fabulous event to be at. Fine & Country Equestrian Living division specialises in the marketing and sale of equestrian property of every type; from a simple country home with stables and paddock to full riding schools and training yards, so hopefully you there! We shall be at Stand 21.

To get you in the mood, we have put together some of our homes for sale which boast plenty of equestrian land…

Drove House – Surfleet, Lincolnshire

Imagine having 13 acres to play with? Well you can at Drove House… a small country estate offering lifestyle, equestrian and leisure facilities. There are paddocks, stables, an enclosed outdoor heated swimming pool, a hard tennis court, garden buildings, chicken runs, a vegetable garden as well as numerous trees and a lake supporting wildlife. Sounds idyllic, right? Read more

Zetland House – Little Bytham, Grantham, Lincolnshire

In an idyllic setting, a haven for nature, the grounds amount to 10 acres divided into post and rail paddocks, which currently contain an abundance of cat pens for the owners’ cattery – although perhaps these could be made into a home for horses? Read more 

Snake Hall – Moulton Eaugate, Lincolnshire

Snake Hall is a stunning Grade II listed 5-bedroom farmhouse that is deliberately kept relatively low maintenance for a busy young family or for equestrian lovers. Four brick-built stables all approximately 13 x 13 ft. and an almost 20 ft. long hay barn behind a yard wall, form an L-shape. This would be a superb equestrian property as the stable block and concrete yard, with its self-filling water tank, are in a very sheltered position close to the house and with easy access to the 3.5 acres of paddocks.

A smaller turn-out paddock enclosedby post and rail adjoins the yard, which then leads to the rest of the grazing encompassed by mature trees and hedgerow providing shelter from winds. A water supply and a field shelter are in the paddocks, and there is an option to have a private diesel supply in the yard of the property. It should be noted that the stable block roof is clad in 20 x 4 Kw solar panels which not only give savings on the electricity bills but also provide an average income of around £1,500 per year. Read more

Mill House – Fleet, Lincolnshire

You don’t just get a beautiful Grade II listed home here. Mill House offers a superb country lifestyle with excellent equestrian facilities to include a stable block with four loose boxes, tack room, hay store and post and rail paddocks – all in approx 2.5 acres. Read more

Grange Court – Carlby, Lincolnshire

This is an immaculately presented, Grade II listed stone barn conversion on the edge of the Lincolnshire village of Carlby. Grange Court is located in an idyllic setting discreetly hidden from view and arranged around a central courtyard which opens out onto gently sloping, South-facing landscaped gardens and a paddock with open countryside views beyond. With the plot extending to approx 1.8 acres, there is plenty of space to create equestrian facilities here. Read more

Leamlands Farm – Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire

You can build your dream equestrian residence on this plot of land… In a tranquil, rural spot in South Lincolnshire, some former agricultural storage barns stand on circa 3.25 acres with approved planning permission to convert into a sublime four bedroomed family home with an outdoor swimming pool plus a range of garaging. Outside, grazing, possibly around an acre, is behind post and rail fencing to the front and a smaller paddock on the left side of the drive. Read more

Find Out More? 

For more information about these homes, or to be kept up to date on those we will be selling in the future with plenty of land, contact Jan or Ildi on 01780 750 200 or 01832 808 008.

Homes with lakes, ponds and pools

Whether you wish to relax by the water’s edge, swim or perhaps catch a fish or two, we currently have some beautiful homes for sale with their very own lakes, ponds and pools…

Drove House – Surfleet, Lincolnshire

Drove House really does offer all the bells and whistles as it includes a swimming pool as well as a lake to make a splash in. The two islands at the centre of the lake is a haven for wildlife, whilst the outdoor swimming pool area is entered through decorative metal gates within white rendered walls. It is heated by a “very effective” air source heat pump, and a large pool room stands at one end where there is a changing room, a shower and a separate WC. Read more

Zetland House – Little Bytham, Grantham, Lincolnshire

At the foot of the garden at this lovely four-bed home is a large pond and curved decking which supports an impressive timber pagoda perfect for sitting with your favourite tipple or dinner. There is also a stunning weeping willow which arches over the water. Read more

Offmarket house – Burton Coggles, Lincolnshire

This stunning six-bedroom house is being sold off market, which means that you won’t see its details publicly. It has a swimming pool and a pond however, so if you would like to find out more, please do get in touch.

Find Out More? 

For more information about these homes, or to be kept up to date on those we will be selling in the future, contact Jan or Ildi on 01780 750 200 or 01832 808 008.