Online House Hunter: Two-up, two-downs
THINK of a typical English home and what do you think about? A thatched cottage with roses growing around the doorway?
Such a chocolate box ideal is an expensive rarity these days but a lot cheaper, easier to find and – dare I suggest – just as sweet looking is the two-up, two-down.
Graham Norwood wrote in The Independent last year about this iconic terraced housing being back in demand and showed how resilient they could be in the property market’s turbulent times.
The Land Registry puts the average price for a terraced home (as of July 2011) at £124,453, cheaper than a flat/maisonette at £151,519, a semi-detached at £154,219 and a detached at £256,545. And while some have a run-down image about them, others have been lovingly restored or conserved to bring out the most romantic qualities of English life.
Perhaps the biggest problems are loft extensions, rooms bolted on to the back, double-glazing or other ‘improvements’ which may have added value to the individual house but has destroyed the look of the whole terrace. One suspects that the unrestored house still boasting sash windows, fireplaces and other Edwardian or Victorian features might still be more attractive to house-buyers.
The good news for house-hunters is that you’ll find terraced housing in almost every part of Britain. They can offer a potential first-step onto the housing ladder or an in-road to the more popular and expensive parts of London.
The Independent online search engine enables you to limit by price and number of bedrooms with a photo beside each result in your search. This means finding a terraced home is quick and easy. Here’s a few I’ve chosen at random to give you a taste:
Bexley: This delightful village on the edge of Kent and South-East London has retained much of its historic identity despite the pressures of Metropolitan development. You’ll find a number of terraced properties for sale including this one for £235,000. The kitchen and bathroom are modern enough to make family life easier but include features such as match-boarding and fireplaces to keep that Victorian feel.
Two-up, two-downs can have, fortunately, more than two bedrooms. The Victorians were keen on large rooms which has allowed the modern family the freedom to change things around a bit. This three-bedroom Victorian terrace in Reading is on the market for £174,950. It has the charm of bay windows and the practicality of being within walking distance of the town centre.
Head to the Midlands for a plentiful supply of terrace housing – but still commutable to London. Rugby is just an hour away from the capital by train and within walking distance of Rugby station are plenty of terraced homes including this one on the market for just £115,000. You’ll find sash windows and a bay window here while the fireplace helps create a Victorian atmosphere. But don’t worry, there’s a modern kitchen rather than a wood-fired range!
Finally, for something a bit different in the terraced line, how about this two-bedroom terrace near Colliers Wood, London SW19. Surprisingly, it dates from the 1970s but the architect has evoked the delights of a Victorian terrace to create a picturesque but practical home. It is on the market for £299,950.
- Independent online property search
- Independent property section
- Independent House and Home section
- Homes & Property area guides
- Land Registry
- The Victorian Society
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