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What are Pitfalls of buying above commercial premises?

(11 Posts)
fourwalls Fri 28-Sep-12 06:27:31

Help please!
We're going to see a flat today in Norwood area which looks really good compared to everything we've seen so far HOWEVER, it's a maisonette above a 'daytime only' cafe/snack bar.

What are the negatives of buying this sort of property?

So far, we've thought of:

Higher contents insurance (how much higher?)
Rear access to property only via stairwell - doesn't look good but might be more secure.
On main road - we like the thought of this - access to shops and transport but noisy - no parking - bus stop nearby
Smells and stuff from premises - will know more about this later.
Difficulties getting mortgage for any buyer especially important when we cam to resale - how difficult is this?

Please tell us about anything we haven't thought of?

Wondering about how service charges are usually divided between shops and flats and so on - guess that would be in lease.

Homebird8 Fri 28-Sep-12 06:30:48

I don't know about the questions you have and I hope someone else will be able to help you. One thing I have thought of though is that although the cafe is daytime only now, it might change hands and become evenings too at some point. Just worth bearing in mind smile

I have a flat above shop and although I found it easy to get the mortgage, when the market slowed we had prospective buyers that pulled out because banks started getting funny about the fact it was above a shop.
That's a pretty big factor... We've ended up deciding to keep it for the long term instead and rent out.
Have never noticed it creates higher costs like insurance and has always rented out very easily (nice area and we keep the rent cheap)

2cats2many Fri 28-Sep-12 06:34:58

A friend lived above a cafe once. The noise and smells were a real pain. The extractor can was right outside her bedroom. She hated it.

Onlyaphase Fri 28-Sep-12 06:49:39

We rented above a daytime cafe once, and I hated it and certainly wouldn't do it again.

The noise (mainly of chairs scraping on the floor) was irritating, and wasn't consistent so you couldn't get used to it.

We couldn't have the windows open in summer when it was baking hot as the noise from the street meant you couldn't hear the TV or my flatmates. At the back of the flat we were above their kitchen and had the noise of fans etc and the smells all the time. Again, worse in summer.

Getting rid of rubbish was an issue for some reason too - commercial rubbish gets collected differently than residential and it was a pain

As we were leaving the premises below us changed to a taxi office - all night phones and chat and doors and drunken people. So, so glad we were moving.

HiHowAreYou Fri 28-Sep-12 07:20:37

We lived above a daytime cafe and a grocers, there were three flats.
We didn't have a problem with selling or insurance or noise or smells, anything like that.
We did have a minging problem when they weren't clean, the flats above kept getting visits from their cockroaches.

Merrow Fri 28-Sep-12 10:43:13

Having rented in a similar situation (although more a whole-day food place than just a cafe)

- rats
- cockroaches
- noise from early morning deliveries
- noise from people in the shop hanging round the back on their breaks
- constant piles of rubbish

It was horrendous, and I hated it, although I admit I could have had a particularly bad experience. If I were you I'd have a good look at how they store their rubbish - commercial properties it's supposed to be removed every day, but if they're lackadaisical about actually putting in the bins then you get massive pest problems. Everyone we had round to deal with the various infestations were of the attitude that it's what you had to put up with if you lived by somewhere that served food.

Bumblequeen Fri 28-Sep-12 16:50:24

As the other posters have mentioned:

Food smells
Rubbish issues leading to vermin
Customers hanging around the shop (primarily youth)

I would not consider it but then I would not want to live close to a newsagents, fast food shop or a bus stop. The oncoming 'traffic' would annoy me.

fourwalls Fri 28-Sep-12 18:16:08

Thanks for all the 'alarm bells' - will now also add very steep metal staircase for access - interesting when carrying a washing machine shock

QOD Fri 28-Sep-12 18:22:07

Night time noise, drunks wandering up and down, if its a high street.

(First flat was above an off licence)

SomeoneThatYouUsedToKnow Fri 28-Sep-12 18:23:19

I would worry about it changing to a late night fast food outlet.

I would not consider buying a flat above a commercial unit. There are too many unknowns. I would rent one but not buy one.

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