Once the season truly has turned, though, those properties with the space and facilities for outdoor entertaining will really come into their own. “Facilities” can mean a wide variety of things, from a modest patio area for seating (often simply a back yard), right through to a terrace, swimming pool and tennis courts.
Of course, the more you can offer, the more people will want to come round, so if you’re a social animal, a home built with socialising in mind will be perfect for you.
In warmer climates – think Australia, California or the Mediterranean – such properties are commonplace, but as more people try to bring the holiday lifestyle back home, they’re becoming far less of a rarity here too. That said, many people also add a northern twist, with a set-up designed more to keep warm than to keep cool – firepits, chimineas and hot-tubs are increasingly popular.
If you fancy inviting people round for drinks under blue skies, or food beneath the stars, one of the following three properties could be the one for you. The current average moving-in time in our area is about 18 weeks, so if you buy now, you might be in by mid-May – just in time for the warmer weather.
Inglefield, near Kirkby Overblow, is semi-detached house which is part of a gated development set in bluebell woodland and grounds of around two acres. One of the highlights of the Edwardian property is the master bedroom, which has an en suite bathroom and fabulous balcony with stunning views across the Wharfe Valley. There are three more bedrooms besides, plus two bathrooms, kitchen, utility room, study, dining room and 26-foot-long sitting room. This opens onto the south-west-facing terrace, which overlooks the gardens and is perfect for a sundowner with friends. There’s also parking and a double garage.
In Knaresborough, 42 Aspin Park Road is a detached house with five bedrooms, three bathrooms, kitchen, 30-foot-long open-plan kitchen/dining/living room, utility room and integral single garage. There are front and back gardens, and to the rear is a large patio area and outdoor kitchen, with separate cooking area under a pergola, and stone preparation surfaces – perfect for summer barbecues. There’s currently also a hot-tub, plus side storage area and shed.
Finally, 2 Whitcliffe Grove in Ripon looks lovely from the front, but its “wow” factor is round the back. Here there’s a large full-width south-west-facing wooden balcony, which not only looks made for evening drinks, but also provides a covered area below, at garden-level. The house has three bedrooms, two of them opening onto the balcony, plus two bathrooms, a kitchen-diner, a large lounge, which opens onto the garden, and adjoining single garage.