It might not always be wise to judge a house on its outside appearance, advises Kirsty McLuckie
Kerb appeal has a lot to be said for it, but some properties hold all their secrets on the inside.
Stepping into a surprise property – one whose interior presents a feature that is not at all what you expected from the outside – certainly provides a wow factor, which is one of the indefinable selling qualities which can add value and desirability.
After all, if you are impressed, it is tempting to imagine repeating that with every visitor to the house during your tenure.
Barbara Armstrong of Edinburgh Property Finders says that while viewers will have an idea of what to expect from brochures or pictures of a property online, some wow factor features cannot be adequately captured in photographs.
She says: “It is definitely an advantage to be able to exceed expectations when you step through the door of a house.
“With something like a big spacious interior or a spectacular view, it is difficult to portray that in a brochure but viewers will certainly warm to a house that delivers a nice surprise when they walk through the door.”
She points to 15 Wallace Gardens, in the Murrayfield area of Edinburgh, which has a chic modern townhouse exterior which doesn’t prepare you in any way for the interior.
Step inside and the main living space is a huge double height room, a combined dining kitchen with family room, that has windows overlooking the garden and another bank of windows above giving views to the sky.
Armstrong says: “There is the double height glass, which forms a huge atrium letting light in. And then there is the view looking down to the garden to a pretty garden room. It is impressive.”
The house is spectacular in other ways too, that might not be so apparent.
It has been designed with an emphasis on energy efficiency, incorporating zoned climate control, underfloor heating and double glazing.
The impressive aesthetics aren’t confined to the garden-level family room.
The master bedroom suite on the top floor has its own balcony as does the first floor drawing room, giving views over the leafy surroundings.
The house at 6 Gillespie Road, Colinton could be easily missed. From the street side there is just a garage and a garden gate on view.
Once into the house, there is a wealth of space, with the living area consisting of sitting room, dining room, kitchen and huge terraced balcony all open plan on the first floor, along with a master bedroom suite and a further four bedrooms downstairs at garden level.
The house has been completely oriented to take advantage of its private location and would be an ideal set up for someone who loves entertaining and surprising their guests.
The orientation also provides much of the wow factor in 16 Cathkin Gate, High Burnside, Glasgow, too.
Another modern property, built in 2011 in the grounds of Cathkin House, from the front this looks like a good-sized executive home, but walk in and you see that the house has been designed to take advantage of the spectacular elevated views over the rooftops of Glasgow and beyond to the Campsie Fells and as far as Ben Lomond.
It is a spacious, low-maintenance, energy efficient family property, but its views add something special.
At a glance
Where is it: 15 Wallace Gardens, Murrayfield, Edinburgh.What is it: A contemporary terraced townhouse. Over four floors, it has five bedrooms, including the master which has an ensuite and dressing room. The first-floor drawing room has sliding folding doors to a balcony. There is a separate garden room, currently used as a games room which could make an office, plus an integral garage.Good points: The highlight is definitely the open-plan dining kitchen and family room with its spectacular glazing flooding the room with light.Bad points: Lots of stairs, but at least it would keep you fit.Price: Offers over £1,050,000.Contact: Edinburgh Property Finders on 0131 268 0588.
Where is it: 6 Gillespie Road, Colinton, Edinburgh.What is it: A unique modern house with five bedrooms and flowing split-level interior spaces.Good points: The balcony off the kitchen has the best of the views of the garden but the whole of the house at the back has a beautiful, and very private, outlook.Bad points: The circular raised whirlpool bath in the ensuite won’t be for everyone.Price: Offers over £825,000.Contact: Coulters on 0131 6033 7333.
Where is it: 16 Cathkin Gate, High Burnside, Glasgow.What is it: A five-bedroomed, high quality executive home with integral garage and good sized public rooms.Good points: A view that stretches from the immediate leafy surroundings over an industrial cityscape to the hills beyond.Bad points: The garden isn’t huge, but it has a nice deck.Price: Offers over £425,000.Contact: Savills on 0141 222 5875.