Will couple of the moment, Liam Payne and Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, set up home in Radlett?
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Will it be his place, or hers? As fresh reports emerge that Liam and Cheryl are already thinking about moving in together in order to bridge the 40 mile gap between their houses, could it be that Radlett will be where they feather their nest?
It was only last Autumn that Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and husband Jean-Bernard were eyeing up a Hertfordshire property together, reportedly signing the papers for a luxury mansion close to St Albans, in Radlett.
But the tabloids have been awash during the last two weeks with stories of the breakdown of the Fernandez-Versini marriage and of Cheryl’s apparent new relationship with Liam Payne, of boy band One Direction.
It would seem, therefore, that rather than mortgage papers, Cheryl will instead be signing divorce papers at some point soon.
While speculative at first, Instagram and Twitter posts from the newly love-struck pair appear to have confirmed the coupling of the X Factor stars, who met on the singing show six years ago, when Cheryl was a judge and Liam an auditionee.
Despite the relationship only being “a thing” since December, this week’s gossip rags are now reporting that the couple have no qualms about moving in together pretty swiftly.
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But this begs the question - whose house? His or hers?
Liam owns a £5.1 million mansion in Surrey, south of London, whereas Cheryl reportedly still has the house in Radlett, also worth around £5 million, 40 miles away from her new beau.
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Recent planning application submissions, made public by Liam’s local council suggest that he has no plans to go anywhere, having been apparently granted permission to build a games room and gym on site. However, as the world of property teaches us, investment-savvy property owners often renovate or extend in order to increase value, in the lead up to a possible sale.
Meanwhile, the Fernandez-Versini’s home was reportedly never lived in by both Cheryl and Jean-Bernard as a couple due to the marital break up occurring at the time the sale went through. The house, therefore, has been Cheryl’s base, rather than her estranged husband’s.
Should Liam and Cheryl indeed be looking to set up home together, it’s unclear as to which property they’ll choose - or whether or not they will find somewhere new altogether.
Liam’s home in Surrey is enclosed by a mesh fence and security is tight - monitors and motion sensors aplenty. Cheryl’s house in Radlett comes with a steam room, six bedrooms, an indoor pool and a roof-top bar, designed in a wood/glass style.
In last year’s Property Rich List, Radlett came in eighth place, with an average property value of £843,814 and with around 8,000 inhabitants living in the plush area, known for its cricket, tennis and squash clubs. Surrey, however, features on the same Rich List four times in the top ten - with spots one and two both belonging to areas in the county.
So - where’s best to move? Both properties and areas are equally affluent and well-regarded, and so the choice may boil down to a preference to live north of London, or south of it.
Liam’s former One Direction band-mate Zayn Malik owns a property in Hertfordshire also, originally purchased for £3.65 million but worth a lot more now due to a recent increase in property values of 18.8 per cent on Zayn’s street. Could this kind of surge tip the scales in the direction of Radlett, where Liam and Cheryl are concerned?
And what of Jean-Bernard? Property and other assets are something that confuses divorce proceedings further, and takes time to settle. The government encourage a civil agreement between married couples to take place, in order to avoid going to court. They even provide a divorce and separation calculator on their website, to work out who is entitled to what. While it’s advisable to ask the court to make it legally binding by applying for a consent order, this is often not the case - and if the split between Cheryl and Jean-Bernard has indeed been an acrimonious one, they will likely need to use mediation proceedings. Failing that, courts will use a financial order to make a final ruling.
Celebrities tend to flock to the counties of Hertfordshire and Surrey when it comes to property investment. While Surrey boasts the likes of Sir Michael Caine, Dame Judi Dench and Chris Evans, Hertfordshire has been home to Rupert Grint, Tulisa Contostavlos and Tim Rice.
Should Liam and Cheryl decide to settle in Radlett, there will surely be an even brighter media spotlight shone on the eighth most expensive place to live in the UK, right on the doorstep of the likes of Harpenden and St Albans.
Check out our guide to Radlett by clicking on the word ‘Radlett’ in the first line of this article.