Stacks Property Search has been helping clients find the right house for them for over 35 years, and it is not an exaggeration to say that an annexe – or some form of annexe option – is one of the single most useful features a property can have.
An annexe provides a useful way of living and infinite flexibility. Guests can be less ever-present, they’re a halfway house for children who haven’t quite flown the nest, a wonderful place for family to stay for extended visits, great for nanny or au pair, or a permanent home for elderly parents or grandparents who can no longer live alone.
For the times in life that none of the above apply, the homeowner has the luxury of finding their own use for the space – either as a place of work or play, or to generate some cash on a regular or occasional basis. It’s win-win.
We tend to use the term ‘annexe’ in the loosest sense. The more separate and self-contained the better, but as long as it’s space that’s self-contained in terms of bedroom/bathroom/very basic kitchen that might just include a kettle and microwave, it meets the criteria. The challenge is, when househunting online, it is not immediately obvious whether a house might have an annexe, or potential to have one, just from the filters. Professional home finders such as Stacks Property Search are adept at reading the details of a house, and of course, we preview it for its potential before we invite you to view any of your shortlist.
While an annexe may just be a separate area of the house, the best are independent in layout with their own access, outside space and utilities. Homeowners who have too much space within the main property would do well to think of ways of carving the space up and adapting it to create an annexe, whether you are thinking of selling or not.
If you require the space, and the main house doesn’t have any spare, can you utilise your outside space to think about creating completely separate secondary accommodation. There are a host of options ranging from a proper new build, to converting an existing building, to a shepherd’s hut, to a caravan.
Bear in mind that planning permission for an annexe is generally granted on the basis that the property can’t be sold separately. There may be other restrictions attached regarding use, especially relating to renting out – check these carefully before you invest.
Be careful of making decisions about secondary accommodation that are based entirely on income rather than utility. Do realistic sums about costs and likely occupancy / rates, and work out how long it will take to pay off the investment.
When selling your house, you want it to be obviously attractive to as many ‘audiences’ as possible, so either having an annexe, or making clear the possibility to create one, will help your property reach multiple markets
Ensure your estate agent understands all of these markets and is actively seeking out those with that kind of requirement to point out how your property could fit their criteria.
If you’re buying a new property, one with an annexe really is an excellent proposition for almost every stage of life, and allows for so much flexibility. Even if you hadn’t thought you needed one, think about the benefits and how it may make the property viable for a much longer life, negating the need to move, and saving huge sums of money in moving costs. An annexe in and of itself, or providing the potential for one, can be a hugely attractive selling point for your house, so ensure that your estate agent understands and advertises the advantages.
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