Amanda Ake of Stacks Property Search & Acquisition explains her role and looks at current trends

Establishing a good relationship is key. I take a detailed brief about what they want from the house and their lifestyle, including medium- and long-term plans. I then view a number of houses on their behalf and make a shortlist. The initial viewing with my clients always includes a mix of houses so that I can refine their true likes and dislikes. Location is important too, so I need to orientate my clients to the area. Although they may have decided on the place they want to live, I make sure they are aware of alternatives that might meet their needs just as well.

What does Somerset offer for house buyers?

Somerset offers a real variety, from traditional farmhouses with land to beautiful cottages and even some fantastic new builds. It also provides an excellent quality of life for people trying to escape city life without losing its opportunities. It’s perfectly feasible to commute into Bristol or Bath on a daily basis, and many who live here split their life between London and the country, using the efficient road and rail networks. 


What trends or changes in the property market can prospective buyers expect over the next few years?

Large country houses that are perfect for families will always be sought after. A gradual change in recent years is the popularity of houses with separate accommodation. This allows several generations to pool resources and live together, avoiding potentially large inheritance tax bills. Also, houses with solar panels, and consequently cheaper heating costs, could well have more appeal in the future. I do not predict huge changes in property prices in the next two years as buyers are realising that they need to invest with a view  to the long term. However, there are still great opportunities, especially for those buyers brave enough to get involved in a renovation project.

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