House Hunting in … England

A Six-Bedroom Estate (With Pool) in Surrey

$4.2 MILLION (£3.25 MILLION)

This six-bedroom, five-bathroom Tudor-style house is in the county of Surrey, in southeast England, roughly equidistant from London to the north and the English Channel to the south. Dating to the 17th century, it was built on a large estate called Baynards Park, and was restored in the 1970s. The 16.8-acre property, known as Brooklands Farm, includes an indoor pool, stables, garage and a barn converted to a two-bedroom guesthouse.

The 5,738-square-foot, two-story house retains original features like half-timbering, parquet floors, leaded-glass windows, wood paneling and ornate, wood-burning fireplaces. Some of the details were likely salvaged from the original manor house at Baynards Park, which was damaged by fire and demolished many years ago, said Nigel Mitchell, a partner with Knight Frank, which has the listing.

A winding, oak-shaded drive leads over a stone bridge, through the property’s formal gardens, to the house. The front door opens onto a foyer and reception hall, with a staircase and study to the left and a dining room to the right.

The reception hall, which has a large fireplace and substantial ceiling beams, leads to a sitting room with another fireplace. Beyond the sitting room is a drawing room paneled in pine, with built-in bookshelves and a stone fireplace with a carved pine surround.

The dining room has parquet floors and carved wood paneling. A large hatch with a pull-down door connects to the kitchen, which has stone floors, a large AGA range, and oak cabinets and countertops handmade in France. The first floor also has a utility room and a playroom.

All six bedrooms are on the second floor, including the master bedroom, which has an en suite, wood-paneled bathroom. Attached to the master bedroom is a large dressing room that leads to another full bathroom. Two of the other five bedrooms have en suite bathrooms with bathtubs, and three share a bathroom.

Across from the circular driveway are the converted barn and the stable complex. The barn has a double-height sitting room with a vaulted ceiling and floor-to-ceiling windows, a brick fireplace with a wood-burning stove, a family room and a kitchen; on the second floor are two bedrooms with en suite bathrooms.

The pool complex, which houses a 49-foot pool, is clad in pine and includes a changing room and shower room, as well as a Turkish bath. There are several paddocks on the property, and a stable block with two boxes and a feed/tack room. The garage has room for four cars.

In all, the outbuildings total 5,296 square feet.

Brooklands Farm is about two miles from the village of Cranleigh (population 11,240) and 12 miles from the city of Guildford (population 77,000). Central London is about 40 miles north, and the train ride from Guildford to Waterloo station in London takes about 35 minutes, Mr. Mitchell said. The property is about 20 miles from Gatwick Airport and 30 miles from Heathrow Airport. The region has many excellent preparatory schools, as well as recreational options including golf clubs, theaters and racetracks. Not far from Brooklands Farm is the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which includes National Trust properties like Box Hill and Leith Hill.

Market Overview

The housing market in Surrey has been fluctuating in recent years, following changes to the Stamp Duty Land Tax in 2014 and 2016, said Lottie Geaves, an associate director of the country department at the real estate agency Savills.

“Peak market in the Surrey area was definitely in 2013, and sort of crashed in 2014, but then actually has remained fairly stable since then, with a bit of growth,” Ms. Geaves said. “But I would say there’s been a bit of a correction more recently.”

The southern stretch of the M25 road, which encircles London, roughly splits the county’s real estate market, with multimillion-dollar estates to the north and multi-acre estates, farmhouses and equestrian properties in the more rural south and west.

When the market is “rocking and rolling,” there can be price differences of 20 to 40 percent between the properties in north and south Surrey, said Mr. Mitchell, of Knight Frank.

The north Surrey market, which had been a prime investment area for wealthy foreigners, has taken a hit, he said, as “foreign buyers have stepped away from it for the time being, probably because of Brexit and the general economy.”

But south Surrey — the area where Brooklands Farm is — continues to thrive, particularly in places like Guildford, one of the county’s largest cities, said Frederick Biss, an agent in the country house division of the real estate brokerage Winkworth.

“Guildford remains a strong market, with property prices being protected by the ease of getting into London Waterloo in just over 30 minutes,” he said, adding that the University of Surrey also plays a role, attracting foreign students and “bringing in foreign buyers.”

Typical prices per square foot in Surrey are 450 to 500 pounds (about $600 to $650), said Mark Wheeler, director of the prime and country house department at Hamptons International.

There are estates in St. George’s Hill, in north Surrey, on the market for nearly 20 million pounds ($26 million), agents said. But much of the area’s best housing stock is in the range of 750,000 to 1.25 million pounds ($980,000 to $1.63 million), with more options at the high end, Mr. Wheeler said.

Who Buys in Surrey

One of the Home Counties surrounding London, Surrey has long attracted bankers and executives, with excellent schools, an easy commute to central London and rural beauty.

No single nationality predominates among the foreign buyers in Surrey, agents said, noting that in recent years, Russian, Chinese and Indian buyers have scooped up huge estates in areas of north Surrey like St. George’s Hill and Virginia Water, but that the market for those homes has been slower in 2018.

There are still wealthy foreigners buying property, Mr. Mitchell said, noting that in south Surrey two Russians recently bought estates worth more than 10 million pounds ($13 million) each. “I’d say there are a few Russians,” he said, and “a smattering of Scandinavians, but not a host of foreign buyers here.”

Agents said they also see buyers from the Middle East, China and Germany, and that they work with a number of British expatriates from countries like Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia.

Buying Basics

There are no restrictions on foreign buyers in the United Kingdom, although they must comply with strict money-laundering laws, Mr. Biss said.

Most buyers hire a solicitor to represent them, which costs roughly 2,000 pounds ($2,600), but can vary, Ms. Geaves said. It is also becoming more common for buyers to hire acquisition agents to assist them, a service that costs about 2 percent of the sale price, she said.

Prospective buyers usually hire a surveyor to assess the property, for a fee of about 2,000 pounds ($2,600), agents said.

The seller typically pays the sales agent’s fees, which range from 1 to 2 percent of the sale price, agents said.

The total that buyers pay in closing costs can vary because of the Stamp Duty, which can be as high as 12 percent on the portion of the sales price above 1.5 million pounds ($1.95 million). “Depending on the price being paid, buyers should budget for approximately 10 to 11 percent of the value in costs, to include Stamp Duty Land Tax, legal and local authority search fees,” Mr. Wheeler said.

Mortgages are available to foreign buyers, and the cost of borrowing at the moment is low, Mr. Mitchell said: “You can borrow money through a multitude of banks, but the criteria is quite tight to make sure people don’t over-borrow.”


Languages and Currency

English; pound sterling (1 pound = $1.31)

Taxes and Fees

The council taxes on this property are about 3,000 pounds ($3,933) a year, Mr. Mitchell said.


Nigel Mitchell, Knight Frank, 011-44-1483-617-916;

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