Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

House Fergie Didn't Want; Just 16 Months after She Gazumped Couple to Land This [Pounds Sterling]1m Country Home, Duchess Sells Up. and She Never Even Stayed There

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

House Fergie Didn't Want; Just 16 Months after She Gazumped Couple to Land This [Pounds Sterling]1m Country Home, Duchess Sells Up. and She Never Even Stayed There

Article excerpt

Byline: MIRA BAR-HILLEL;PATRICK SAWER

IT HAS views of the South Downs, a swimming pool and a paddock. But only 16 months after buying this idyllic cottage Sarah, Duchess of York, has sold it again - without spending a single night there. Despite gazumping a family who had set their hearts on it, Fergie and her representatives decided the property wasn't for her after all.

Now, however, in a happy twist of poetic justice, Wareham House has been been bought by the family who lost out in the first place.

The Grade II listed house, dating back to the 16th century, came on to the market in spring last year with an asking price of [pounds sterling]1.1 million.

It has five bedrooms, four reception rooms with inglenook fireplaces, a small period barn, generous gardens and woodland.

The most serious would-be buyers were Simon Prichard, a chartered surveyor, and his wife Karen. But the couple, who have three young children, felt the price was too high as the property was in need of major refurbishment.

"We were renting locally, so we sat and waited, and in the summer the price started coming down," said Mr Prichard. "When it was reduced to [pounds sterling]950,000 we put in a bid of [pounds sterling]900,000 and the agents told us there was a good chance we would get it."

But their hopes were dashed. One Monday in July last year the cottage, near the Surrey town of Haslemere, was viewed by the Duchess, who has been property hunting for several years. "By the Wednesday she had made an offer and it was hers," Mr Prichard recalled.

The house was bought that same month for [pounds sterling]995,000 through three nominees - the Rt Hon David Alexander Cospatrick Douglas Home CBE; Rufus Nicholas Hambro; and the Rt Hon George Reginald Oliver Molineaux Herbert, Earl of Caernarvon, who had previously bought property for the Duchess. …

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