Maisonettes in East London – a quick guide
There are many reasons why people do and don’t want to move to maisonettes in East London or anywhere else – it’s really a matter of personal preference. In this blog, I’ll look at the pros and cons of maisonettes, as well as highlighting a few things that you should get clarification on before you commit to living in one.
What exactly is a maisonette?
A maisonette is traditionally a portion of a block of flats that has its own front door to the street. Nowadays, the term can be used to mean a flat arranged over two floors. Purists would say that a flat arranged over two floors that doesn’t have its own front door is a duplex. And there was a case where a terraced house with a basement had been divided up and the basement let separately – the remaining space was referred to as a maisonette because it wasn’t a complete house.
Because of this confusion, it’s important to find out exactly what you’re getting, and what the estate agent or seller means when they use the word “maisonette.” You don’t want to waste time viewing a property that won’t be suitable for you because it doesn’t have its own front door, say.
There can also be mortgage implications. If you’re buying a maisonette and will have regular service charges to pay for maintaining the communal areas of the development, the lender will factor in the additional expense when they’re calculating what you can afford.
It’s also important to find out which bits of the building you’ll be responsible for and what your ground rent will cover.
Why live in a maisonette?
Personally, I love maisonettes – they’re just what the name implies, “little houses.” You might even have your own front door and outside space – these will add value to the property, particularly if you maintain them well. You’re also likely to have close neighbours, always a great community and security benefit.
Property arranged over two or more floors can often feel more spacious. Clearly defined living space can also mean clearly defined head space. For example, you can put the children to bed upstairs then go downstairs, open the wine and enjoy being called by your first name! If you work from home, it’s lovely to go upstairs to bed and know you’re leaving work downstairs, not to be touched until tomorrow (you might even sleep better).
Why some people don’t like maisonettes
Maisonettes aren’t for everyone. Not everyone likes (or can manage) stairs, and if you consider the square meterage of a property, some space does get lost to stairs and landings which you’d never need in a one-floor flat. They’re also less likely to be freehold so you’ll have ground rent and service charges to pay. And have you ever met anyone who actually likes vacuuming stairs?
Like anything, there are pros and cons to buying or renting a maisonette and it really comes down to personal choice.
Sell a maisonette in East London
I’ve had a lot of experience of helping people to buy and sell maisonettes in East London. If you’ve got one to sell, please give me, Adam Dockley, a call today to get started: 020 3633 4440.