With statistics showing that real estate will likely experience a slight upward trend in 2020, many are considering a big investment as a way to welcome in the new decade.

And guess what? Mews is in the news, with properties proud to face a peaceful, idyllic alleyway looking set to attract significant interest this year. A mews house for sale in London, in elite areas like Notting Hill or Marylebone, for instance, can attract investment due to that sense of tranquillity that they bring, all while being right in the centre of the hustle and bustle of city life. If this has got you thinking, then read on; our 5 IDEAL considerations before buying a mews property in 2020.

WINDOWS & LIGHTING 

The mews was originally designed as a place for stables at ground floor level, with living quarters above for stable servants. That design endures to this day, and as such, mews houses usually have only small windows at the front, with none at the back (specifically built to limit interaction between stablemen and their employers). However, with modern technology, these small windows are often now converted into bay windows or larger windows. It’s important to note that in such a property, a bathroom in the window is rare.

With the small rooms, window arrangement and generally lower ceilings of a mews property, lighting can be a problem; however, this can also be overcome with the help of modern lighting technology. One option, for instance, would be to add skylights to the roof to improve the flow of natural light.

GARDENS & PARKING  

Mews houses are generally built on a fairly busy road, with no garden or private outdoor space out back. Some do have terraced gardens, so do make those enquiries prior to any viewings or commitment if you’re particularly green-fingered to avoid disappointment. What’s more, mews residences have no driveway, leading to some property owners converting the ground floor into a garage for parking. With space usually at a premium in such properties, it may be wiser to succumb to the notion of on street parking here.

FREEHOLD TITLE

Ownership of a mews space is a complicated business. When buying a property with such attachments, you can become the outright owner of the property and its outdoor space, with no time limit to ownership, and you can use the land for any purposes (in accordance with the local regulations) should you be acquiring a freehold title.  

Unlike leasehold properties, you’ll not be subject to further payment like service charges or admin fees. Also, the purchase and sale of freehold properties involve less paperwork, which is definitely an advantage. Seeing as value tends to increase with such freehold premises, it’s well worth reading the small print (or getting a lawyer to do so) before entering into any financial commitments. 

PRIVACY & SECURITY

Though the limitations of a mews property are obvious (the lack of space and light, relatively), the positives are also many. Often built on quiet cobbled lanes with hardly any traffic, mews properties generally benefit from heightened security and, since it’s a shared space, a sense of community often found lacking in the city. As they’re set back from a busy road, such a property strikes a fine balance between being ‘amongst the action’ and being peaceful and undisturbed by street level noise.

ALTERATIONS

Also worth noting; the planning restrictions on most mews properties are more lenient, since most of them are not listed buildings. In general (although it’s always wise to check with a solicitor first) it’s less bureaucratically restrictive to to make alterations to such houses, by adding a sliding door to create another room or even by constructing a basement, to provide more space. Of course, permission (where required) will have to be sought, but the likelihood of such permission being rejected is lessened.

Looking for the right neighbourhood in the capital to put down roots? Then check out our 5 IDEAL places to buy property in East London.

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