This 1930s Wells Coates Sunspan house in Chadwell St Mary, Essex was offered at auction in 2018 but is now for sale via an agent.
Yes, a Sunspan house, a rare sight in any condition, but especially when it looks virtually untouched since the 1930s. Hardly surprising as this has been in the same family since it was constructed.
As I said, this one went to auction twice in 2018, once via online bidding and more recently (November 2018) it was offered at a more traditional auction in Essex. It didn’t sell and went back on the market via a traditional agent and was up for quite a while. Fast forward to now and the property is being offered once again, this time with a new agent and a new price.
The house dates back to 1936, the work of Wells Coates in association with David Pleydell-Bouverie and designed for the Ideal Home exhibition of 1934 and designed as an example of what housing could be.
Basically, that was low-cost housing using prefabricated structures and in the case of the Sunspan project, a two-storey house designed to allow the maximum amount of sun into the house. This was the future back in the 1930s, but it was a future that never really happened. Presumably, because a war happened not long after.
Only around 15 were actually built and less remain. I featured one back in 2012 which was for sale in Surrey and I have never seen one on the market since. Even all of those years ago that other house was much pricier than this one. But there was a reason for that.
Well, there might be two reasons. First up, the location could have played a part. But also, the other house was renovated. This one isn’t. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, although if you check the comments you will discover that work and investment are required on this house.
But for now, let’s focus on the house, which looks to have been part renovated as if someone has done the basics needed to live in the place and not much more. Some of the electrics are updated (there are both modern switches and old ‘round’ plugs in here), the windows might well have been updated to modern double glazing (although it is hard to tell from the photos) and central heating is in place.
Outside of a lick of paint here and there, that’s pretty much it. Everything else looks to be how the builders left it in the 1930s. That’s either exciting or daunting depending on your point of view and in light of this being a grade II-listed property.
The original features in this Sunspan really are the dream for anyone in love with architecture from the 1930s. Where do you start? Well, the architecture itself, which hasn’t been modified in any way. Always a strong starting point.
But once inside and through the amazing doorway, your eyes wander to every corner of this one. The fireplace is obviously a stunning feature, but also the hallway cupboards, the sliding wood doors, the curved staircase with chrome and wood bannisters, the fitted cupboards in the bedrooms and of course, the kitchen and bathroom.
The kitchen has original units (with some later additions) and the bathroom, while certainly not appealing to the eye looks like it was part of the original house. Love the way it also has a lovely curve in the wall too.
Oh, and if you want a slice of history, the grounds hold one extra surprise – a World War 2 air raid shelter is still in place. Which pretty much sums up this place.
In terms of the layout, the ground floor has an entrance hallway which features several original storage units, the kitchen, dining room and a large reception room with the brick fireplace and a snug. There is also a pantry and downstairs W.C. on this floor.
The first floor has four bedrooms and a bathroom with separate shower room and W.C.
If that’s not enough, you might have noticed the amount of land around this place. The Sunspan house here sits in 3.5 acres of greenbelt land, which includes a courtyard and garage and offers some wonderful views across the countryside and of the River Thames.
If all of that appeals as your dream project and home, this modern house is up for sale once more, but oddly, for more money than the last time.
Previously, the auction guide price was £420,000 plus fees, then it went on the market for that very same £420k price tag. However, the new price with the new agent is £475,000.
Two things I want to add. Firstly, these are the images via the original agent. The new ones have been ‘virtually staged for marketing purposes’, which you can check out on the agent’s site. But I thought it best to leave the photos without any modifications.
Secondly, the property is sold with an ‘overage’, which the agent says can be ‘adjusted or removed subject to negotiations’. That is something you will want to look into before you get too deep into purchasing the house.
For more details, please visit the Balgores website.