Tag Archives: Arborfield

Jumping Back into the Housing Market

So after a good deal of pontificating, today we made the first step into moving to somewhere bigger, and put the house on the market. It’s going to be listed with Richard Worth mainly because we know the family of one of the sales negotiators there through the Church. Since it was last valued about this time last year, the value has gone up a little, and it is on at £215,000 – we paid £166,000 when we bought it back in 2001.

Interestingly we’d actually done a ball-park estimate ourselves based on what similar properties were going for locally and come up with about the same sort of figure. By way of comparison, it’s at the top end of the two bedroom properties, but on the plus side has two en-suite bathrooms, it also has a garage and drive rather than allocated parking. In addition our slightly strange shaped plot scores well – for example although we have a large border alongside the drive at the moment, it could easily be converted to provide more parking.

Oddly enough, we had a visit from one of our neighbours in one of the three bedroom houses further down, saying that she had split from her boyfriend and was moving away – currently he is going to keep the house. However we did discuss that it would be decidedly odd living a couple of doors away from our old house, and it may be a bit awkward if they wanted to change something in this house with us close by!

In terms of where to go, we’re primarily looking around Finchampstead, slightly closer to the Church, and for somewhere with three bedrooms. Of course as with any property search it entirely depends what is around, so we could equally well end up in Wokingham or Crowthorne if something grabs our attention. I’m already looking through the various property web sites – the slightly misnamed OnOneMap.com – which has some, but not all of the local listings being one I find really easy to use. Oddly enough Beth seems to prefer the more common listing by price. I’ve done a couple of searches on Rightmove, who trumpet themselves as the market leader, however the real problem I have is getting the search I want. It offers a graduated scale for distance from a particular location, however it is not overly accurate, so the search ends up giving either properties that are only in Finchampstead, or including large parts of Bracknell, Camberley and Reading, none of which I am interested in, there appears to be no happy medium.

Anyway, hopefully we should be able to get the bulk of the viewing process out of the way by the end of the summer, and maybe look forward to being in a new house by Christmas (although since we’re also heading over to Canada for part of the Christmas holiday – as a follow up to my recent posting we went with BA thanks to them being almost £100 cheaper than Air Canada – it might all get a bit hectic)…

Travel Chaos

Longwater Lane Gridlock 1

Why is it that local councils seem unable to communicate with each other? In particular over roadworks.

Before we went on holiday, we had seen signs warning that the A327, that runs through Arborfield and Eversley, would be closed for “up to six weeks” from 15th August. Whilst it was quite good that they were doing it when it would be quiet over the summer (aside from the last two weeks when the schools are back of course), it would still be fairly chaotic.

Anyway, I took a look at the weekend, and established that the official diversion route was on large roads suitable for the traffic, and went massively out of my way, but that it would be easier to go round back roads either through Finchampstead, or Swallowfield. This morning I went through Finchampstead, and it didn’t take much longer than usual.

Longwater Lane Gridlock 2

Tonight, all was going well until I turned into Longwater Lane, the road between Eversley Cross, and Finchampstead, to be greeted by the first picture. The second is half a mile further on, crossing the border into Berkshire. It was absolute chaos, with traffic queuing back towards California Crossroads, along through Finchampstead Village, and even round residential side streets. People were even resorting to using single track back lanes to get through.

Listening to the radio I found out that it wasn’t just caused by the closure of the A327. In addition, it seems there were roadworks on the diversion route too. On top of that, one of the other possible routes was also closed, and there had been an accident in Bracknell. As a result most of the roads to the south of Reading were jammed. Each closure was the responsibility of a different local council. I would have thought that anyone with any sense would have realised the chaos caused by the closure of one main road on the border of several council areas and consulted so as not to close any others whilst the work was taking place…