Quality properties and quiet surroundings in Edinburgh are highly prized, says Kirsty McLuckie.
The Grange is a highly prized area of Edinburgh. Its leafy surroundings and impressive Victorian villas command high prices but not without reason, according to Matthew Munro of Simpson & Marwick.
He says: “There are few areas of any city in the UK that offers the combination of quality of home, quiet surroundings but within walking distance of the city centre.
“The only place I can think of is perhaps Bath.”
Although the area is well known to capital residents, that isn’t the case with those from elsewhere.
Munro says: “Buyers with a high budget, relocating to Edinburgh from other parts of the UK or abroad, often buy New Town Georgian townhouses as the pinnacle of Edinburgh property, but particularly for families, the homes in the Grange are a lot more family-friendly.
“I’ve lost count of the number of people with young children who swap a townhouse for a Victorian property in the Grange after a few years.”
Frances and John Hall had small children, Sam who is now 14 and Lucy, 12, when they bought 31 Lauder Road in the Grange ten years ago, and Frances says the house had everything they wanted.
“More space, another bedroom, a lovely safe garden for the children to play in and plenty of off-street parking.”
The house is indeed the sort of what-everyone-wants type property that is ideal for families.
A substantial stone-built Victorian double-fronted detached villa, the house was built around 1880 and has been upgraded and extended more recently.
It is over three levels with a large walled garden, a double garage and off street parking for up to four cars.
The generous and versatile accommodation is bright and airy with retained period features including ornate cornice work, fireplaces, window shutters and a fine stone staircase.
The remodelled layout flows naturally from room to room and lends itself perfectly to modern family living on a grand scale.
From many of the rooms there are far reaching views towards Arthur’s Seat and Salisbury Crags.
In the decade that they have owned the house, the Halls have upgraded.
Frances says: “We remodelled the kitchen almost immediately.
“We moved the back door and redesigned the layout to get it exactly how we wanted it and fitted a Mark Wilkinson kitchen.
“It leads through into the family room so we spend most of time between the two. “
Moving the door meant that the children weren’t running through the kitchen on their way outside and means on warmer days the house is open at the back.
This part is the only place in the house that has been substantially changed.
The kitchen was originally the coach house and there is a small extension at the back but mostly it is the original Victorian layout.
In the garden the family put in raised vegetable beds to complement the apple trees and the expanses of lawn. John tends the garden, although it is low maintenance.
Four years ago the couple extended the accommodation into the loft to create a large study area, for John who is an insolvency practitioner and works from home.
The views from the room are the best in the house. Frances says: “You look out to Arthur’s Seat, over the rooftops and it is amazing how high up it is.”
Matthew Munro says that houses of this size in this location don’t come on to the market that often.
He says: “Lauder Road is one of the prime streets in the Grange, and is very broad, giving the villas a lot of elbow room, there is space all around you.
“The house has a neutral colour scheme, top quality kitchen and bathrooms.
“The accommodation flows extremely well on the ground floor, from more formal rooms to an absolute plethora informal spaces which is ideal for a young family.
“This is a house for somebody with school aged children who want a house long term.”
It is also versatile. Munro says: “The top floor makes a great study, or with its ensuite would work equally well as a guest suite.”
31 Lauder Road is on the market for offers over £2.3 million with Simpson & Marwick.