Rachael Johnson has lived near Norwich for 25 years and is able to use her extensive knowledge of the area to give valuable advice on favourable areas and those to avoid.
She has carefully built sound, long-term relationships with local estate agents from nationals such as Strutt & Parker and Savills based in Norwich, to prime coastal independents such as Sowerbys. We provide a personal service tailored to your individual requirements and oversee all aspects of your purchase, including advice on schools, leisure activities and transport links.
Rachael is supported by Andreas Bonney who has lived in East Anglia for over ten years. Between them, Rachael and Andreas offer a comprehensive and experienced homefinding service across the whole of Norfolk.
The North Norfolk coast is justifiably popular for second home ownership and retirement, boasting breathtakingly vast expanses of golden beaches backed by Scots pines and acres of rolling farmland punctuated by pretty woodland and miles of quiet country lanes. Property around villages such as Burnham Market, Brancaster, Blakeney and Holt is particularly in demand. Inland, Norwich is an appealing city offering historical charm alongside excellent facilities and some attractive property options; many buyers are also increasingly becoming aware of the value and character offered by certain towns and villages around the city. A good source of further information is www.northnorfolk.org.
The international airport at Norwich provides an invaluable link to the outside world, whilst Norwich also has train links to London Liverpool Street in about two hours. Central areas of Norfolk are currently less well served by rail but offer excellent dual carriageway road links via the A14 and M11. Everyday shopping, leisure and medical facilities centre around the larger cities of Norwich and Cambridge. The county boasts an extensive choice of good quality independent and state schooling.
The following testimonials all relate to purchases in Norfolk and are available to view on request.
"We were in a real bind - had sold our house, the house we were buying had fallen through, and were envisaging an imminent future of being homeless with a baby. Andreas and Michelle spent three hours with us on their first visit. They really took the time to get under the skin of who we are and what we needed. By the time they left we felt confident that they had the right brief. And we were right. We are now living in bliss in the very first house they sent through to us. We would never have selected this county (in fact we'd never set foot in it before our first viewing!) but theycorrectly ascertained that for us the house - something truly unique and exceptional - was the real driver. And they totally nailed it. We couldn't recommend Andreas and Michelle enough."
“When we first registered with County Homesearch we were a little sceptical as to whether or not anything would come of it. Right from the outset you said that it would be quiet throughout the summer months and we would need to be patient, and so it proved. In October you heard of a property that was coming to the market, that on the face of it ticked all the boxes. We had 1 week before the property was officially marketed. The property was everything we were looking for. You negotiated with the agent on the purchase price but more importantly to keep the property off the market for a two-week period by way of a lock out agreement, at the end of which time we had to exchange contracts. You arranged a solicitor, organised for the survey to be carried out, and arranged for 2 builders to tender for the necessary works. In a nutshell he took a lot of, if not all of the hassles associated with buying a house.
One further point just to underline the importance of keeping our property off of the open market was the response to an advert in the local property paper that had already been placed prior to our viewing the property and which could not be withdrawn. In the words of the Estate agent, "we were inundated with calls” when the advert appeared. You provided a professional, courteous service that went beyond what we were expecting. We have no hesitation in recommending his services.”
“We knew the area well and had clear ideas about our search criteria. Still, we quickly realised after a bad experience with an undisclosed line of pylons crossing the garden that travelling from London to look at houses in Norfolk every weekend was pretty hopeless. The real reason we called County Homesearch (on the advice of friends who had themselves used County Homesearch) was to get a quick, locally informed and above all objective view before we travelled. For us, the vetting procedure worked perfectly: after three months of searching, we bought the first property that passed muster.
However we had grossly underestimated the real value of the service that came afterwards. Andreas had the house off the market, below the asking price within 24 hours. He then worked with the agent, the vendors, three groups of solicitors, local planners and builders to resolve a horrible complex of problems arising from covenants on the property held by former owners, unpermitted development works, [and] a renegotiation of the price. All this he did seven days a week over more than two months with reassuring experience, charm, efficiency and determination. Without this kind of support, there is no question we would have given up and lost the place.”
“We started to look for a house ourselves but living over two hours away it was proving not only exhausting, frustrating and time consuming but more importantly fruitless. Your courteous and professional approach put us at our ease and we had every confidence in your ability to search and find. We were not disappointed. To see all the properties photographed by you eased our stress levels considerably and with your expert eye and knowledge of our requirements whittling the many down to the few was an enormous help. We were both greatly relieved that you took over the tricky negotiations on our behalf and I’m sure your skill was instrumental in closing the deal in our favour.”
“We would like to thank you for helping us find a house and situation that we are so very pleased with. Your professional approach to the selection of homes and areas to view was extremely useful, so too your guidance on the downsides of various areas and houses that we might not have been aware of. There was no doubt that you had our interests at heart throughout the house hunting process and we would have no hesitation in recommending your services to others. Using County Homesearch removed a good deal of the stress of house hunting from a distance of 200 miles and your help with negotiating the price meant that we were able to buy a lovely house within our budget.”
“I truly don’t think we would have been able to find a house in Norfolk on our own while we were living and working in London. The five weekends we spent making trips up to see totally unsuitable properties was completely soul destroying and made us doubt whether we were trying to achieve something that was impossible. Thanks to all the hard work you both did on our behalf we couldn’t be any happier with the house you found us. Thank you both so very much not only for undertaking all the hard slog of the viewings but also for your unending patience and understanding as the idea of what kind of property we wanted changed so much from the original brief we gave. To say we couldn’t have done it without you would be an understatement!”
Good source of information on places to visit and upcoming events in north Norfolk, though weaker on eating options – try www.glavenvalley.co.uk/norfolk for a more comprehensive list.
For an excellent guide to Norwich itself, see www.visitnorwich.co.uk/norwich.aspx
Hoste Arms, Burnham Market. Much admired privately owned hotel in the centre of this beautiful north Norfolk village, close to the coast. Contemporary style in a beautiful 17th century house, run by the irrepressible Jeanne and Paul Whittome. The new Vine House boutique hotel opposite is billed as the best boutique hotel outside London. We agree.
Byfords, Holt. Beautifully finished unpretentious ‘posh B&B’ with excellent restaurant, popular all-day cafe and superb delicatessan. Located in the centre of north Norfolk’s finest town, 15 minutes to the coast.
Strattons Hotel. A small, independent hotel tucked away in a quiet location in the centre of this attractive west Norfolk market town. Eclectic style with an excellent restaurant.
The Great Escape Holiday Company. Family owned holiday lettings and management company, specialising in quality cottages in north Norfolk – and in London, Morocco and Djerba (an island off Tunisia)!
County Homesearch Company Ltd
Old College Nurseries
+44 (0)8454 757502