Owning your own home

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  • Is this house on the West Norwood Native American Burial Site?

  • oh ffs.

    Is that ceiling going to have to come down as a result?

  • I was talking to the guy next door to me and he mentioned that the council owned the property (they were putting scaffolding up to do some work). By coincidence it was the same in the last place I lived. Both were Victorian terraces.

    I was just wondering how the council ends up owning odd properties like these? Was there an investment strategy of buying up properties or were places compulsory purchased at some point or something? Anyone any ideas?

  • Every council needs some large houses on its books to cater for larger families and in many areas, particularly inner London, they were cheap as chips from the 1960s-80s.

  • At a guess they would have bought them when they were very cheap and when it was politically acceptable and desirable for them to do so (50s-70s). Unlikely to be CP, probably just the buyer of last resort because the houses were fucked and couldn’t be sold easily on the open market.

  • Yep. Not all of it, but a whole board.

  • I remember reading an article by someone who was talking about a move their parents made as a child. Their parents were tossing up whether to buy a townhouse in Islington, or something newer in Guildford with a garden for similar money; the London prices were apparently running so much cheaper then that the two were sort of comparable.

    They went for Guildford, 30 - 40 years later there's quite a difference in those house prices...

  • A lot of properties were falling derelict as a result of London's population decline after the Second World War, and councils had several interests in buying up property. First, doing up old properties was cheaper than building new even then, they were the main social landlords and there was a lot of poverty and, as today, a lot of privately-rented 'accommodation' was in a terrible state (less frequent now, of course, but see the regular stories of 35 'migrants' living in one and a half rooms in Newham), and, finally, councils were looking to assemble larger plots of land (the land was often the main reason why they bought old houses, not the houses themselves, which were seen as lacking mod cons, cheaply-built, and eminently disposable), as the LCC had done before, to build estates, schools, and other public buildings, of which there were too few in many traditional Victorian neighbourhoods.

    As BobbyBriggs says, property was cheap back then, and they also needed larger houses for larger families, as most estates had only up to three-bedrooms flats.

    When I moved to Hackney, the council still owned a huge number of Victorian houses, which for the most part were then sold off cheap when the council went into financial crisis around 1999-2000.

  • When I lived in the far far north, a lot of the Tyneside flats in my street either were or had been council-owned. You could tell by the front doors that had all been replaced as a job lot.

  • Architects and wannabe architects of LFGSS.
    I want to open up the kitchen/living/dining space.
    I'm thinking it would make sense to move the bathroom to where the kitchen currently is. Would you put the kitchen on the left hand wall? or an L shape where the bathroom currently is or something else?


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    • Screenshot 2020-11-10 115728.jpg
  • Could you put the bathroom in the cellar?

  • Cheers all. I only moved to London when prices were starting off on their ludicrous phase so had forgotten about the cheap spells.

    I'm a little bit surprised the council hasn't tried to sell them all off.

  • Short of the cellar question, I would look at moving it between the two bedrooms - so that it's equal access from both rooms and you dont have the toilet/shower in the living space. That would be a more dramatic move but feels maybe more balanced? I'd probably go for one long floor to ceiling run of cabinets on the left hand wall with an island

  • i think most of them were sold off under the Right to Buy scheme

  • A couple of years ago I lived in a little detached cottage on Barnes Common in Putney. The rent was about £1500 a month. It was owned by the primary school next door which was connected to the church opposite us. I'm sure they could have sold it for a lot of money but from their perspective it was an easy way to keep a bit of spending money trickling in which didn't effect school funding. I imagine having a big wedge of cash from selling assets might do.

  • Looks like a chimney breast between Reception and Bathroom so bear in mind it will need supporting (assuming it's still there in the flats above). Is that a skylight in the kitchen? I'm guessing that's an infill extension.
    White it looks like it would make sense to swap them and have the bathroom more central and accessible, that leaves the middle bedroom windowless, doesn't it? Not that it has much of a view at the moment but it has something.

  • ^^ If you start moving/ changing the proportions of the bedrooms, may look at getting rid of those chimney breasts as well otherwise the rooms will look odd.

  • @Señor_Bear in case no-one has said it... you're doing great.

    This stuff must be overwhelming because of the never ending nature and what feels like the worst luck on every turn... but you appear to be doing well. I hope you're able to chill in the evening with a drink... the work and money haemorrhaging will end.

  • Girlfriend says no to going down to the cellar to go to the toilet.. I thought not a bad idea!

  • Yes, supporting wall needed. Yes a skylight above current kitchen and an infill extension. There is a drop in level from the front to the back so the back bedroom currently looks out over the top of the infill extension if you see what I mean

  • the back bedroom currently looks out over the top of the infill extension

    Aha - that makes things much easier then!

  • I know that house well. I’d always thought it was the vicarage.

  • I know a couple who did this. It requires some special plumbing bits to whizz the waste up and out to the main waste pipe but it did give them a lot more space upstairs.

  • Yeah we used to get all sorts of people looking for help thinking it would have someone from the church living in it. It was rough around the edges inside, but positives were it was only £500 each, they didn't increase the rent for the 8 years I was there, lots of room for bikes and summer bbqing in the garden it was difficult to leave

    As a side note, if you park there don't leave anything in your car. We used to have police round every couple of weeks in winter asking if we had seen people breaking in.

  • There’s currently a rolls parked there on the regular... and a matching Range Rover.

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Owning your own home

Posted by Avatar for Hobo @Hobo

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