Category Archives: Property

If only I had a porch

floral porchWithin a week of breaking my leg I started wishing for one thing. I wished I had a porch.

When I talk about porches I’m talking about the Deep South. A porch with proper swings as chairs, where you sit and chat with passers by over glasses of iced tea. A place that provides a change of scene and that special kind of companionship with people you don’t really know.

I’ve never visited the Deep South so my knowledge is a stereotype gleaned from too many books and films. For all I know the pretty picture I’ve painted in my mind is a lie; can anybody save my dreams and tell me this type of living exists? Is it as magical as I wish it to be? Continue reading

London Property: House Prices In The North Vs. House Prices In London

Chawton House

The great British countryside

The price of London property continues to astound me but it is easy enough to see that the strength of the market is based on a simple case of supply and demand.

Demand for London property is sky high for many reasons. Jobs are easier to come by in London, once ordinary Londoners see a buy-to-let property as the new pension, foreign investors park their money in prime central property to ensure its safety and thousands of people act on their dream of living in the big smoke every year.

I wouldn’t swap London life for anything, but it never fails to surprise just how much you can get for your money elsewhere in England. Especially in the North… And on that note, this Buzzfeed post, House Prices In The North Vs. House Prices In London, makes me cry a little inside.

I’m a naive Londoner in many respects and have seen surprisingly little of England. Although I can’t imagine living anywhere else, if family and work didn’t keep me here I would now consider living elsewhere in England. Each region has its own culture and places of wonder, and with property prices cheap in comparison to London it’s easy to envision a better life elsewhere.

Do you live outside of London? If you could sum up your town to someone who has never heard of it in one sentence, what would you say? I’ll include all suggestions in my next blog.

Unadopted street, Hampstead

Frognal Way unadopted street sign, Hampstead, London

I was taking a stroll through Hampstead recently when I came across this street sign for Frognal Way, one of the most expensive streets in the UK. I’d never noticed ‘unadopted’ text on a sign before and I was rather intrigued.

Apparently an unadopted street is a street that is not maintained by the local Highway Authority at public expense. This official description is taken from the new snazzy gov.uk website:

‘Unadopted’ roads are those roads not maintained by a highway authority as defined by Highways Act 1980. The description of such roads covers a wide range of circumstances.

For most unadopted residential roads the duty to maintain it falls to the frontagers, ie the owners of the property fronting that road, which may include those where the side, or length, of their property fronts the unadopted road. Those buying property on an unadopted street should be made aware of the situation regarding their property and their related liability for the road. Under Highways Act 1980, local highway authorities may adopt streets that they are not currently responsible for maintaining, but this is purely a matter for local decision.

Mystery solved, although I’d love to hear from someone who lives on an unadopted road about their responsibilities for it.

Housing and Property in London: How to Spot a Housing Lie

I have been working in the property sector for a year and a half and, much to my surprise, I find it fascinating. Lots of column inches in the papers are dedicated to housing issues (many property supplements have been culled, but property and housing issues feature in the news more) and it is a topic everybody has an opinion about.

I read about ‘Generation Rent’ everyday yet I wonder how many people my age have even the faintest idea about mortgages, finance or housing. Without experience working in the industry I know I would not have the knowledge I have today. I am pleased that I now understand the market, policy and legislation, and that I can also identify a fake stat delivered in a reassuring manner.

As Minister of State for Housing Grant Shapps has delivered a fair share of porkies, and while he never lies outright (spin and inappropriate use of statistics is frowned upon) he does, perhaps, arguably, maybe MISUSE statistics in the standard come-to-be-expected politician way.

Instead of ranting and raving I am going to step down from my soapbox and direct you to a blog from the policy department at Shelter, explaining how to spot a housing lie.

Politics aside, everybody should be able to understand the numbers and form their own conclusions. So go take a read, and I promise I will be back blogging about frivolous matters tomorrow.