Page 11 - Redbrik Estate Agents: Winter 2018
P. 11

Hearts of Oak, Dron eld Woodhouse
“On all of the schemes I have worked on to date, I have been involved from conception to realisation and this gives me a real sense of satisfaction.
“One of the  rst things we look is
the size of the homes that are being proposed and balancing the need for great spaces, whilst ensuring maximum development value for the builder. There is no point building a project that works on a spreadsheet if nobody wants to live there because the units are too small.
“If we are discussing a City or Town Centre apartment scheme then sizes will be driven by end out capital values, rental values and investment packaging. We would then look at the ideal mix of studios, one, two and three-beds, which would be dependent on location, car parking ratio, market depth and return. This is a delicate balancing act that we do bespoke for every development and we always analyse our data before advising, because schemes are very similar.
“When looking at suburban sites, sizing is again important to ensure that the optimum sizes are achieved. We know what works well and what doesn’t. We often advise developers to ensure a property is designed to utilise every square foot of space e ciently – which is a real positive for all involved as there is no wasted areas that drive up costs for builders and buyers.
Advising developers on layouts
“Sometimes we see plans showing very small units that may not be what the buyer in that area demands. Fifteen years ago, small units were popular in the City Centre as buyers were not prepared to pay high
values. However, that is not the case today, the City or Town Centre buyer demands more space and is happy to pay higher prices.
“I love looking at layouts and how we can help a building work better for the end user. We provide advice to our developers on room sizes, the  ow of the building, proportions and materials. We get heavily involved in room design too, especially kitchens, bathrooms and the master suite. We’ll look to work with the architect to ensure we get those all-important wow spaces, whether that be from
a view, a double height space or opening rooms up.
“The last decade has seen big lifestyle changes over the last few decades. Separate dining rooms are certainly not desirable anymore and the open plan living/dining room has become the norm. This has led to larger ‘zoned’ rooms, which can be really  exible.
“To ensure the homes we bring to the market are on point, we are now directing even more and looking at all aspects of the external design, layout, technology, heating systems and overall speci cation to make the buildings better homes. In the past these would have only been developer considerations, but our experience and knowledge has meant we are involved much earlier, often before the ‘site’ has been bought for development.
“We pride ourselves on being ahead of the game, attending trade shows, working with the experts and pushing ourselves to learn and gain inspiration from anywhere we can. We have
the luxury of being at the coal face and one of our biggest sources of information for developers comes directly from potential buyers. When people register on our database
we ask questions that we will use to directly in uence the new builds coming to market.
“While resale properties can be extended or changed, they are still subject to some constraints. With new build properties you have a blank piece of paper, a chance to create whatever you want.

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