The drama and panache of a period property, the pin-neat and uniform beauty of a brand new home or the ‘somewhere in between’ of a 20th century semi – what’s your property personality? Here we help you narrow down your style.
Best for: high ceilings, grand proportions, big windows and intricate details
Avoid if: you haven’t got the time, patience or budget for improvements and upkeep
Edwardian, Regency, Georgian or Victorian, our former monarchs have left a lasting – and valuable – architectural legacy. In fact, Georgian properties can sell for £100,000 more than other property types on the market, while Edwardian and Victorian properties can command 20% extra in asking price, according to OpenBrix.
The preservation society
Refurbishing period homes has become a property subculture, with owners meticulously seeking out faithful replacements or salvaging original items to complete an authentic project. Browse social media and you’ll see render being blasted away to reveal original brickwork, stain glass panels painstakingly restored and original tiles handled with kid gloves.
Step away from the sledge hammer
Before you acquire a home of heritage, however, it’s worth being prepared for obstacles that may lie ahead. A grade listing, being set in a conservation area or in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty can affect what you can and can’t do to a property, and local authority permission may be required for works – both inside and out. You can also damage a period property’s value if you rip out original features or replace items with those from unsuitable eras.
Brand new homes
Best for: ready-made communities, money-saving incentives and a totally blank canvass
Avoid if: you love individualism, crave a sense of history and desire a big garden
First through the door
New homes are cropping up across the country thanks to a chronic shortage of housing. Built using modern methods of construction with the latest A-rated appliances, heating and insulation, new homes brandish excellent eco credentials and offer lower utility bills. With no running repairs or heavy maintenance needed, brand new homes also have that ‘move in and enjoy’ quality, with only the lightest of DIY required. Many house builders also offer incentives, such as Hep to Buy, part exchange, moving costs covered and stamp duty paid.
Read the small print
While brand new communities and shiny apartment blocks often enjoy a wealth of communal facilities, the perks will probably carry an annual service charge. Also take note of any ground rent in the contract, and whether your property is freehold or leasehold. If you’re buying off plan – before a property is built – be aware that a falling market may mean the value of your home decreases while under construction. In a rising market, however, your home may be worth more than you paid for it by the time you move in.
The alternative: 20th century homes
Best for: those with grand remodelling plans and the ability to see past a bland exterior
Avoid if: you’re not up for a degree of modernisation or a sense of suburbia
The halfway house
Homes built between 1901 and the 1970s sit somewhere between heritage properties and new builds, and often characterise the suburbs. While they don’t quite have the same class as period dwellings, they have more character than many brand new homes – and are not subject to the same covenants and caveats as listed properties. The potential attached to 20th century homes is tantalising, usually with nothing of substantial architectural merit to retain and generous footprints to work with. If you’re lucky – and have the budget – you may come across late Arts & Crafts or Art Deco properties that offer a blend of historic charm and modern convenience.
Bringing the building into the 21st century
While 20th century homes are rarely as antiquated as those from the 19th century, many do need modernisation – especially as they tend to be family homes that stay with one owner for decades. It’s not unusual to swap single for double glazing, rewire the electrics, replace worn carpets and kitchens, chip off ugly cladding, remove avocado-coloured bathroom suites, bring central heating systems up to scratch, strip away woodchip wallpaper and skim over Artex ceilings.
Whatever age or condition property you have your heart set on, contact us and we’ll match you with something suitable from our portfolio of available properties.
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