House above a shop...

(12 Posts)
StyleManual Sat 15-Jun-13 15:03:07

Oh dear, we went to view it and we love it. It's just a perfect home for us. We can just picture ourselves living there.
The PP isn't an issue I don't think - just if you wanted to change the usage to live in the outbuildings.
The flying freehold is still up in the air (literally), as she sort of skirted round the issue.
Another spanner in the works is that the NDN has access through the garden to get to theirs. A bit of a pain, but is it a deal breaker?! I don't know.
Just think we need to do some sums and find out how much it's all going to cost in extra insurance etc.
Oh, and they have a chicken coop and we can have the chickens! I know that shouldn't sway us, but we are big egg fans!

noddyholder Fri 14-Jun-13 07:52:08

I know that certain banks do refuse. I work in property and flats over shops arevnearlynalways lovely and spacious but limited mortgage availability. We were over an estate agent and it's lease was up when we were selling so everyone was nervous it may apply for change of use which is why so many buyers pulled out a take away for example has late night noise and insurance implications. It is worth talking to a broker. We got a cash buyer in the end which was great.the shop was eventually another estate agent but is now a pizza delivery so they can change of use

OccamsRaiser Fri 14-Jun-13 01:07:28

I bought above a shop (drycleaners) and have had no problems with it - I was given a mortgage through HSBC, so don't know that that "only certain banks mortgage them".

Agree with previous posters that you do want to be careful about what sort of shop is below you - I looked into the history of the business below (and to each of the sides) and they were all long-term tenants (and many owned the freehold to the flats) so I felt it was worth taking the 'gamble' to end up with a place significantly bigger than I could have otherwise afforded (3 bedrooms + huge loft space + separate lounge/dining etc etc)

Parking can sometimes be a nuisance, and things like waste collection etc needed to be sorted out (the local council wouldn't provide recycling tubs etc and there was no space for residential bins at the back of the shops due to the commercial waste bins and parking there) but overall I'm pleased that it didn't put me off.

StyleManual Thu 13-Jun-13 14:58:38

I don't know much about the hairdressers. It's called something like Sheila's, so I guess it's been there a while!

The mortgage thing sounds tricky. Maybe we can get it at a bargain price. The more I think about it the more downsides I can see to it. We will just have to see how the viewing goes and cross these bridges when we come to them. At least I am forearmed now!

noddyholder Thu 13-Jun-13 14:43:06

they are harder to sell and only certain banks mortgage them RBS and Nat West iirc. I had a gorgeous maisonette above an estate agents and it fell through 7 times when we came to sell it. Half because the bank said no but also because the buyers solicitors warned them off.

Pancakeflipper Thu 13-Jun-13 14:38:56

Do you know how long the hairdressers has been there? If it is established then it is likely to be continue to be there a while.

My understanding from my family it is easy to become a takeaway. Think there's an issue if there's lots of similar takeaways in a close area. Residential home dwellings above don't seem to make much difference apart from trying to reduce smells/noise/waste disposal.

StyleManual Thu 13-Jun-13 14:21:37

Yes, that was my worry too. Could a hairdressers easily turn into a takeaway? Isn't that a different type of commercial property? And would they be likely to be granted change of usage if there is a residential property above?

Pancakeflipper Thu 13-Jun-13 14:10:21

Do think about the future. If the hairdressers leave what could the shop become ? A Takeway a taxi cab office? These could affect your daily living.

Some of my family live above a row of shops but they are also the landlords and get to pick who rents from them. They like the ones that shut up at reasonable hour.

StyleManual Thu 13-Jun-13 14:05:05

Cool, thanks for giving me the right word. I was googling, but couldn't find anything about it.
Well, we'll go and look at it and ask some questions. The owners are doing the viewing, so they might have more answers than the agent.
I think there might be room for negotiation on the price, what with the dodgy PP and the flying freehold. Plus...the house also has no parking (just on street), the living room is upstairs and the 3rd bedroom is tiny. So, it's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination.

On the plus side, it's in a lovely little town, near the shops (esp. hairdresser!), near the ducks (good for DD), it's got a workshop for DH, and office for me and the most gorgeous garden. And I think we can afford it! Hope it's as nice as it looks on the pictures.

minipie Thu 13-Jun-13 13:52:30

and I'd definitely want the price to reflect these issues!

minipie Thu 13-Jun-13 13:52:09

the outbuildings thing - sounds likely that they never got the permission to do the conversion, so you'd want to either check with the council that retrospective permission would be given, or get insurance against the risk that the council would find out and wouldn't grant retrospective permission. if you go with insurance, it would be a matter of negotiation whether you or the vendor would pay for that insurance.

the tricky bit is that if you call up the council first to ask about whether retrospective permission would be given, you wouldn't then be able to get insurance, as you've tipped off the council that there's no permission.

the bit above a shop - this would be a worry to me. first of course there is the usual concern about what the hairdresser might become in future and therefore what you could end up living above. but more of an issue is the fact that you don't own all of the land your house stands on, ie you have a partly "flying freehold". this causes issues such as, what if the hairdressers (and that part of your house) burns down. if they don't want to rebuild, you can't rebuild your house. or what happens if there is subsidence under the hairdressers and it affects your house on top of the shop - but again they decide not to fix it. your house will be affected. issues like this could, I suspect, put a mortgage company off.

basically you're in the same position as a first floor flat owner, BUT a flat owner has the protection of a lease which says the freeholder has to maintain the building that holds up the flat. you wouldn't have that protection. (I presume. it's possible there is some agreement in place with the hairdresser owner - worth asking).

I wouldn't write it off if you love it, but i would definitely speak to insurers and mortgage cos about the flying freehold situation before going any further.

StyleManual Thu 13-Jun-13 13:30:11

We're going to view a house at the weekend. After inspecting street view a bit closer I can see that part of the house is over a shop (hairdressers). It's a terraced house and the first floor just stretches a bit further than the ground floor, IYSWIM.

Now, I've never bought a house before. but could this be a problem either for getting a mortgage or insurance? Or for any other reason I haven't considered?

Another separate issue is that there are some lovely old outbuildings that the current owner uses as an office and a play room. On the advert it says something about "office & playroom (subject to relevant planning permission)". The rooms have already been converted and are in use, so what planning permission could it need? Or is it about building regs?

Does this house sound like a nightmare? On the other hand it is gorgeous and has everything I'd want in a house. Lovely fireplaces, walled garden, big kitchen, and potential to add value (possibly extend into loft)

Sorry this is so long, hopefully someone can help though.

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