In an increasingly fast-paced world it comes as no surprise that a lot of people want to strip out, pare back, slow down – and simplify.
In fact, perhaps more people than ever prefer to swim against the swifter currents of modern life and crave a simpler, more balanced existence. Hence the city-to-country stampede of downshifters investing newly liquefied assets in land and chicken coops.
But you don’t have to go the whole hog and buy a pig farm to streamline your life. For the single person or couple, probably the easiest, and most modest, way to simplify is to buy a single-bed flat with a garden. A bit of indoor space with a bit of outdoor space ticks two of the most fundamental boxes for a balanced life.
Back in January, estate agent Knight Frank published a list of what it expected to be the top property trends for the coming year, and “garden studios”, as it termed them, was one of them.
The following four properties all have one bedroom as well as varying amounts of outside space, and all are currently for sale in our area.
Flat 1, 49 King Edwards Drive is a well-proportioned ground-floor duplex apartment on the ground and first floors of stone-built townhouse conveniently close to a parade of shops.
It used to have two bedrooms and now has one, with two reception rooms (and two bathrooms), but could be converted back to a two-bedder.
There’s a garage on the back lane and to the rear there’s also a courtyard garden, which is large enough to be used as off-street parking for up to three cars, but which could easily be given a green makeover to create a (sub-)urban oasis.
Flat 2, 25 King’s Road is a well-presented flat, also in a stone-built townhouse, with entryphone system and re-fitted bathroom, and being near the top end of Coppice Drive is within easy walking distance of the town centre.
Being on the first floor, you might not expect it to have much in the way of outside space, but it does apparently have a private patio area.
Flat 11A, Stockdale Walk is a spacious ground-floor flat near the centre of Knaresborough. As well as a good-sized double bedroom, it has off-street parking for one car. Its front gardens have been gravelled for ease of maintenance, but could be “re-greened” if desired.
Finally, including 2 Crimple Cottages is a bit of a cheat, as it’s not actually a flat, but it does show how much can be had for under £200K, if you’re willing to keep the bedrooms to a minimum.
The one-bed terraced cottage is on raised ground on the edge of the Rudding Park estate, overlooking open fields.
To the front is a low-maintenance gravelled and shrub area with steps leading down to the front door – which alone would fufil the “garden” element of the criteria – but to the rear is a 200-foot-long garden.
A pathway leads from a split-level landscaped portion with private decking area to a further terraced and decked area – complete with overhead cover and hot tub.