Cosy winter evenings in East Devon

Thatch End, Feniton

Thatch End, Feniton - Credit: Archant

Nigel Bishop, of Recoco, takes a look at the East Devon property market.


Loughwood - Credit: Archant

Another year draws to a close - Christmas is near and the dark days are brightened by cheerful lights.

Christmas cards will forever depict the romantic fireside scene and cosy atmosphere of open fires.

Life has evolved but Devon has retained the pretty cottages and thatched farmhouses. No longer solely occupied by local residents, many are second homes, owned by city dwellers seeking the dream and catching glimpses of a rural life away from their frenetic lifestyle. This brings a new dynamic to the local economy and maintains house prices, although local residents are often precluded as incomes can’t substantiate mortgages that compete with City bonuses. The incoming money does generate jobs and boost the local economy so it is realigning lifestyle in tune with 21st century.

Despite a significant change in lifestyle, the attractions of an open fire and country walks still sit on the ‘to do’ list at Christmas when families gather.

Owning period houses takes regular maintenance. Second homes that are cocooned suffer when left unattended. The vernacular structure of natural materials, often stone and cob under a thatched roof, suffer with sealed double-glazed windows, central heating and fitted carpets. Whilst addressing the personal comfort levels and perceived improvements, consider the long-term effect on the building. The heating and draught-proof windows become irrelevant when an open fire is lit that will soon warm the entire house.

Too late to buy for this Christmas but maybe for next - Thatch End, Feniton Old Village is a Grade II listed three-bedroom cottage, the bright interior decoration of which will cheer even the dullest of days! Greenslade Taylor Hunt are the agents (01404 46222). At Dalwood, Loughwood House is a classic restored cottage looking over the valley. With a history dating back to the 17th century with an up-to-date interior plus a four-car garage, it blends old and new seamlessly. Stags are the selling agent (01404 45885).

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So whether Christmas is by the fire in a cosy cottage or just turning up the central heating, it’s a family time to enjoy home: ‘it’s all about coming home’.