In­vest­ment in good de­sign pays off for fam­ily firm

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY - Zest town­houses, Radley Court, Mir­field Price: £150,000 Contact: Dar­ren Smith Homes, tel: 07836 604550, www. radl­ey­

THE re­ces­sion has had a dev­as­tat­ing ef­fect on small de­vel­op­ers and many have been driven of busi­ness al­to­gether. But Mir­field-based Dar­ren Smith Homes has proved that good de­sign and added ex­tras can help at­tract buy­ers and sell houses.

The tra­di­tional fam­ily firm de­cided on a fresh ap­proach when it planned its Radley Court site, which has a mix of apart­ments and houses.

“We have been go­ing for 25 years and have a re­ally good rep­u­ta­tion for putting a lot of ef­fort into the de­tail but we knew we had to go the ex­tra mile be­cause of the re­ces­sion. You can’t just put up a shell of a house and hope to sell it and that’s why we de­cided on a con­tem­po­rary ap­proach. We’ve tried to t hink of ev­ery­thing, even down to the smell of the house. We’ve planted herb bas­kets on all the bal­conies,” says Cath Smith.

They started with the ar­chi­tec­ture, which is mod­ern, and also hired an in­te­rior de­sign to ad­vise them on the lay­out and decor.

She sug­gested more stor­age and now there is a cup­board un­der the stairs, a stor­age shed out­side and hid­den cup­boards in the bath­room.

The prop­er­ties are full of nat­u­ral light thanks to sun pipes, roof lights and bi-fold­ing glass doors.

There’s LED mood lighting, iPod dock­ing sta­tions and the liv­ing area fea­tures a wall-hung TV. A glass and oak stair­cases with leather handrail leads up­stairs, where the main bed­room has a built-in wardrobe with white leather doors and a built-in TV.

The front gar­dens have low main­te­nance, ar­ti­fi­cial grass and Radley Court’s shared pi­azza has been flagged with gran­ite. It also boasts a stream and Hi­malyan birch trees. Even the tim­ber bin store has had the de­signer treat­ment and is screened with bam­boo plants.

The at­ten­tion to de­tails has paid off as most of the prop­er­ties are sold. There are seven, two-bed­room Zest town­houses left.

“We have cre­ated a win win sit­u­a­tion with our de­vel­op­ment,” says Cath. “Buy­ers get an un­ri­valled spec­i­fi­ca­tion. We have spent an ex­tra 10 per cent in the fi­nal spec­i­fi­ca­tion of these homes but in re­turn over 50 per cent of sales have been achieved off-plan, the site is near­ing com­ple­tion and we have had un­prece­dented amount of in­ter­est in the first two open week­ends.”

The Zest town­houses fea­ture un­ri­valled at­ten­tion to de­tail and a fresh, con­tem­po­rary de­sign.


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