To Sell or To Let – That is the Question?

We currently live in a three bedroomed semi-detached house in Maidenhead, Berkshire, just a few miles along the road from where a certain Royal Wedding is taking place this coming weekend.  With no invitation from Harry or Meghan and wanting to give Windsor a wide berth, we are heading over to Surrey on Saturday to take in an English Vineyard Tour – a pre-requisite skill for our forthcoming trip to Australia in a few month’s time.

It is hard to believe but I have tonight worked out that we have been grappling with the question over whether or not to sell our house for the past two and a half years!  We are in the fortunate position of owning our house and the other half of the semi next door which is currently let to a lovely couple.  The house is in the centre of town and has been the focus of considerable attention by various developers especially since CrossRail will make travelling into London a breeze in the very near future.

For 18 months we were in a legally binding position with one such developer who hoped to be able to knock the house down and replace it with flats.  Unfortunately the town planners decided insufficient attention had been paid to the one in a hundred years potential of flooding and rejected the application.  Since then we have ourselves taken advice and put in another application and a decision on this is still awaited and just keeps being delayed.

Our thinking was if the place is to be knocked down and built into flats then we would simply sell up, potentially reserve one of the flats for ourselves and put the rest of the proceeds into the bank until we had completed our Big Lap.  Downsizing was always going to be an option especially since we do have a small two bed apartment in Dee Why and may look to spend time there in future, visa dependant.  We are sounding like property moguls but honestly we’re not, we’ve just been lucky with how things have panned out.

Our tenants have known since the outset that we may sell the house but meantime are keen to remain there as long as possible.  Indeed, their request a couple of months ago to do some internal decorating was what ultimately helped us make our minds up about what to do.  To agree to them painting the living room seemed a really mean thing to do if we were then going to sell it a few months later if planning permission were granted.  So we have made the decision to continue letting next door and our own property for at least twelve months and if we should get planning permission (decision now possibly by the 8th June 2018) then we will simply put that on ice and deal with it on our return from Australia.

Things have now moved a-pace.  Within three days of putting the house with a letting agent we had three formal offers from people desperate to rent it, even if only for the year.  Selecting which of the people to offer it to was tough but ultimately it came down to the couple who were happy for the furniture to remain in situ, had no pets and had a delightful 11 year old daughter.  They move in on the 29th June – that’s just over six week’s time – yikes!!!

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