Managing Director of central London estate agency, Kay & Co
Q.I live in a mews house that has a garage. I’m considering turning it into extra living space. Is this a wise move?
A.The answer to this question entirely depends on the size of your property. If you live in a small mews house that would benefit from additional living space or an extra bedroom and you feel that it would greatly improve the space then I would say it is worthwhile.
But if your property already has ample living space or is in an area where parking is very restricted, I would suggest that you keep the garage as it is since it will almost certainly give your house a broader appeal to prospective purchasers.
There is no point in converting a garage for the sake of it. Unless you have a purpose for the new room or if it is going to significantly enhance an existing room there is little point in carrying out the conversion.
Q.I’m thinking of buying a new-build flat, but the prices seem to be higher than most of the second-hand homes available – even if they have been newly refurbished. Why is this?
A. New-build properties in general tend to be more expensive than similar second hand properties. With a new-build property you are not just buying a refurbished flat you are buying a flat in a completely new building where everything including all the internal workings, lifts, communal areas and roof are all completely new.
In the coming years your expenditure on the building is likely to be minimal, meaning that your cost of ownership through lower services charges is likely to at least partly offset the higher cost you are paying.
At the minute there is significant demand for new build properties, particularly from the Far Eastern market where investors are keen to capitalise on the weakness of the pound. This is certainly adding to upward pressure of prime central London new builds at the moment.