Annexes – more in demand than ever

Eighteen months of living with Covid has resulted in a massive surge in demand for properties with an annexe.

Amanda Ake of Stacks Property Search says, “Successive lockdowns have prompted families to re-organise their living arrangements, either moving home to be closer together, or increasingly, seeking a property with secondary (or even tertiary) accommodation.

“Annexes have always been in demand; buyers have looked for secondary accommodation that is flexible, serving as occasional space for relatives when and if required, or for guests, or if finances become tight as a source of income. Self-contained was non-negotiable, but size wasn’t necessarily a major issue. But today’s buyers are looking for something more substantial that will serve as long term and comfortable accommodation for the generally older but sometimes younger generation.”

“Successive lockdowns have prompted families to re-organise their living arrangements, either moving home to be closer together, or increasingly, seeking a property with secondary (or even tertiary) accommodation.”

So what should buyers look for in the perfect annexe?

Amanda Ake says:

“Moving parents into an annexe was often to do with necessity; now it’s becoming a lifestyle choice, so while the second property may be smaller, it needs to measure up in terms of desirability.

“Space between the main property and the annexe is particularly desirable, so that the two households can conduct their own lives without being in each other’s pockets.

“While some communal garden may be a good plan, each property should have its own well-defined curtilage with private outside space. Even if outside space is at a premium, clever planting and landscaping can achieve this goal.

“A proper functioning property is what you’re after; if it’s not large enough, it needs to be something that can be extended and rearranged to create a perfect home. Don’t blow the budget on the main house leaving the second property compromised as you’ll find your own home being used as an overflow, or the only available entertaining space.

“The most successful arrangements I’ve seen are where families who decide to live in this way conduct their lives as they would if they weren’t living on the same plot. It’s best to lay down the ground rules at the outset, for example, text before popping round; don’t make assumptions about availability of either party for helping out. Remember, you’re living as two separate families, you’re simply sharing a plot.”

“Properties with great annexes are highly sought after and sometimes tricky to find.”

James Law of Stacks Property Search says, “As well as being a fantastic lifestyle choice, buying a property with an annexe can be financially beneficial. The total price of the estate is divided by two and Stamp Duty is payable on each half. It’s not necessary for the two properties to be registered separately. As a buyer it’s important to be aware of this loophole, it may not necessarily be picked up by your advisors.

“For example, take a single property with a sale price of £1m. Following the Stamp Duty holiday, SD payable is £43,750. A property with an annexe, where SD is payable on two properties worth £500,000 each, the total SD payable will be £30,000, amounting to a saving of £13,750.

“There are other savings to be had, many related to economies of scale such as sharing cleaners and gardeners, bulk buying of necessities, sharing vehicles and providing each other with services such as dog and child care, and taxiing.”

Amanda Ake says, “Properties with great annexes are highly sought after and sometimes tricky to find. But there are many other options ranging from a completely new build in the garden to converting an existing outbuilding.”

Start your property search with Stacks today. Call us on +44 (0) 1594 842880 or complete the form below

Start your property search today

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