This week we’re seriously smitten by this gorgeous loft-style conversion of an old bookbindery in north London.
Why? Well, it probably has something to do with the large open-plan living spaces; the acres of timber flooring; the spiral staircase; the iron stove; the original brickwork; and the fantastic roof terrace at the top.
The pre-Budget report (PBR) is the Government’s autumn statement about the economy and its future plans for taxes, spending, borrowing and benefits – in this instance look at it as a belt-tightening exercise for the Government in order to halve the current £178 billion deficit!
To put this frightening figure in perspective this is slightly more than the current value of the total housing stock in Kent, which we currently value at £177 billion. Perhaps one solution could be to sell Kent?
Seriously though, what does this mean for home owners and those in the property market?
Key property points:
- Stamp Duty Holiday to end 1st Jan 2010
- VAT to revert to 17.5% on January 2010
- Individual Inheritance Tax allowance frozen at £325,000
- Bingo duty to be cut from 22% to 20% (not property related, but intriguing)
- Mortgage support scheme for the unemployed to be extended for 6 months
- New scrappage scheme to help up to 125,000 homes replace inefficient boilers
Here’s the reaction from our Commercial Director of Zoopla.co.uk – Nick Leeming - on the measures affecting the housing market in the today’s Pre-Budget Report:
Stamp duty holiday
“The government should strongly reconsider its decision not to extend the stamp duty holiday if it is serious about helping first time buyers – preferably making first timers permanently exempt. Since the holiday came into effect, Zoopla.co.uk research shows it has provided relief for only 153,000 buyers (a quarter of the number predicted by the government to benefit), but first time buyers already face more than enough obstacles in trying to get onto the property ladder without the additional burden of stamp duty, not least the uphill struggle of obtaining a mortgage. Should lenders demonstrate any commitment to improving the mortgage funding on offer in 2010, there will be more first time buyers in a position to benefit from a stamp tax break. £1500 – the average saving made by stamp holiday beneficiaries – is a big proportion of the cost of starting up in your first home – enough to cover typical mortgage interest payments for around three months or around 5% of an average house deposit. Encouraging first time buyers back into the market and stimulating housing market activity is vital to boosting the health of the wider economy.”
“Death and taxes are the two certainties in life – this government wants to profit from both. Its decision not to raise the Inheritance Tax threshold for couples from £650,000 to £700,000 means 102,525 more family homes would be dragged into the death tax net. Nationally, 581,403 homes are valued at over £650,000 and rising house prices see even more homes move into the IHT bracket. At the current rate of house price recovery, at least 10,000 extra homes a month would be required to pay the tax.”
Recently Google ran a poll on which UK landmarks people would like to see in full 360° Googlevision and the results have just been updated in Street View.
So you can now do what druids have been trying – with various degrees of success – to do for generations and wander at leisure around Stonehenge.
[googlemap lat="51.17906" lng="-1.826337" yaw="164.03" pitch="-0.44" zoom="0" width="450px" height="350px" type="STREETVIEW"]Stonehenge[/googlemap]
[googlemap lat="50.362504" lng="-4.745" yaw="88.84" pitch="-25.26" zoom="0" width="450px" height="350px" type="STREETVIEW"]Eden Project[/googlemap]
[googlemap lat="52.279384" lng="-1.585267" yaw="241.69" pitch="-18.3" zoom="0" width="450px" height="350px" type="STREETVIEW"]Warwick Castle[/googlemap]
[googlemap lat="55.609883" lng="-1.712498" yaw="121.5" pitch="-7.98" zoom="0" width="450px" height="350px" type="STREETVIEW"]Bamburgh Castle[/googlemap]
[googlemap lat="54.913988" lng="-1.589422" yaw="336.63" pitch="-32.66" zoom="0" width="450px" height="350px" type="STREETVIEW"]Angel Of The North[/googlemap]
And finally, after an exhausting day’s druiding, floating, fighting and gazing, there’s nothing better than a nice pint in one of the nation’s favourite boozers; the Rovers Return in Manchester City Centre.
[googlemap lat="53.477792" lng="-2.255495" yaw="49.94" pitch="-5.22" zoom="0" width="450px" height="350px" type="STREETVIEW"]Rovers Return[/googlemap]
The Property: Grade II listed Methodist chapel with attached Sunday school.
The Price: £150,000 Guide
(Click on pics for more images & property description.)
The Pain: It’s listed and there are a few restrictions here that won’t suit everyone. The chapel must be kept as an office or for light industrial use while the school house can be converted to residential use.
In the chapel, you can’t remove the pews, so you’ll have to add a false floor above them. You can’t remove the organ either. Or the headstones in the garden.
The agent thinks it will cost around £50,000 to convert.
The Gain: This is an ideal set up for someone looking for a live/work unit in a lovely rural location. The agent says artists, yoga teachers and the like are showing an interest.
Tavistock is a thriving market town (voted best market town in 2003) and is situated on the edge of the Dartmoor National Park in West Devon – so this manages to combine access to town life with that rural getaway you’ve dreamed of.
Water, water everywhere… Nope, not a blog on famous poems, simply a comment on the recent weather that’s been wreaking havoc on the British Isles.
However, the almost constant rain of the last few weeks has determined our property type this week: watermills.
A popular conversion choice, these properties are ideal for anyone who’s ever wanted to live in a beautiful period property close to water.
So without further ado, here are five splendid watermill conversions currently on the market – some of them with the old mill workings still intact!
(Click on pics for more images & property description.)
1. Horsham, West Sussex
2. Sudbury, Suffolk
3. Newent, Gloucestershire
4. Bude, Cornwall
5. Machynlleth, Wales
More here: Watermills: A Buyer’s Guide