Monday, 4 April 2011 3:17 PM
The house that Kate Middleton grew up in is being sold at auction in June.
With a guide price of £460,000, the semi-detached Victorian villa has four bedrooms and is in the Berkshire village of Bradfield Southend – a major feature on the 'Middleton Country' bus tour, which has been a hit with royal-crazy tourists ever since the engagement was announced in November 2010.
The house, which Prince William's fiancée Kate Middleton lived in until she was 13, is currently leased to tenants, but the owners are now selling up – possibly because of the amount of attention the royal wedding will generate for the property.
The Daily Telegraph quotes Dudley Singleton, the auctioneer handling the sale, as saying: "It’s always possible that someone will buy it as an investment, because if Kate becomes queen someone might even want to open it as a museum one day and charge people to see it.
"There’s also a chance that someone could look to buy it as a holiday let, but if it sells to someone who just wants it as their home I’m not sure the royal connection will attract a huge premium.
"It’s not the same as buying something like the dress [modelled by Middleton as a student] that sold at auction recently for £78,000. It’s a house after all, so I wouldn’t expect the price to be pushed up significantly.
"What I do expect though is that any publicity around the sale of the house will make more people in that price bracket aware of what is a very nice property, and that might mean more bidders."
The Middletons bought the Berkshire property, named West View, in 1979, and were living there when Kate was born in 1982. It was from West View's playroom that Michael and Carole Middleton began their children's partyware mail order business, which generated enough income for them to upgrade to a much bigger house when Kate was 13.
Singleton said that the house's guide price of £460,000 was typical of other, similar properties in the village, and that it hadn’t changed an awful lot since the Middletons moved out. And he should know – he also sold the house for the Middletons when they left in 1995.
According to Singleton, the garden, playroom and ground-floor extension (which was built by the Middletons) remain unchanged and the house is "very much" as the family left it.
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