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Discussing property with Martin Roberts

PUBLISHED: 11:25 04 August 2016 | UPDATED: 11:35 04 August 2016

Martin Roberts © Chris Balcombe

Martin Roberts © Chris Balcombe

©Chris Balcombe

The presenter of the popular BBC property auction show Homes under the Hammer joins the Somerset Life team to give us his views on all things property

Hello and welcome to my brand new column in Somerset Life. Over the coming months I will be keeping you up to date with all the latest happenings from the world of property - from prices, policies and hot spots to helpful advice. Occasionally I will just ramble on about something that concerns, intrigues or amuses me…. to do with Somerset of course!

I thought I’d start with a retrospective look at my own relationship with the area. I recently realised to my delight and surprise that I’ve been living in the West Country for nearly 30 years. I relocated here from Manchester following a company restructuring, and had to find a new home within striking distance of the new company HQ in Bedminster, Bristol. We drew a 25 mile radius around the location of the office and started exploring. It was like I’d stumbled in to a Thomas Hardy novel, with unfeasibly beautiful hamlets at every turn. There were hills and lakes and fields of wild flowers and cows. There were villages with free-ranging chickens and pubs with stone floors that ONLY sold cider! I was smitten.

I remember chatting at the bar in one such place.

“Whervv yuu curm fraaam then?” enquired a friendly local.

“Bristol,” I said

“Brizzdurl?” he exploded, incredulously.

“Oww dyuu get eeer thernn? Elicopturrrr??”

I remember the conversation with fondness to this day.

After much estate agent pounding, we narrowed our potential choice of home down to a three bedroom flat in ‘the place to be’, Clifton village, or a five bedroom semi-derelict Grade II listed country house in a not-very-fashionable mining village in the countryside. The space appealed, as did the opportunity to add value to the dilapidated, run down house, so £115,000 was duly channelled via the solicitors to the vendor.

As a property developing person, you might be surprised to hear that I’ve never moved since that time. Why would I? Somerset has everything I could possibly want. Incredible scenery, easy access to London and the motorway network, amazing cities like Bath, Bristol, Wells and Taunton, great country walks and pubs. And I’m only 20 minutes drive to the entrance of Glastonbury Festival!!

Why would I ever want to move from somewhere so magical?

Reflecting on my property choice from an investment point of view, a three bed flat in Clifton village would now set you back around £650k. My house is worth slightly less.

But in terms of quality of life for my family, there is no comparison. We have loads of space, a large garden and we are walking distance up a quiet road to an OFSTED ‘outstanding’ school. It’s the perfect environment to bring my kids up in.

One of my roles that I am very proud of is as an Ambassador for Somerset Tourism. But I’d like to think I’m an Ambassador for the county in a more general sense at every opportunity.

And nobody could ever accuse me of not ‘walking the walk’.

I live here. And I love it.

For more information about Martin, his property training courses and his property and children’s books, visit MartinRoberts.co.uk

You can follow him on Twitter as well, at @TVMartinRoberts.

Martin’s new weekly property radio show is on TalkRadio every Saturday morning- broadcast live from his treehouse in Somerset from 11am-1pm, repeated Sundays 5-7pm. Listen on DAB or online at TalkRadio.co.uk

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