Have you heard of mews homes? Back around the time of Henry VIII’s reign, there wasn’t any such thing. A mews referred to, at first, a cage for hawks to be kept and then later, a stable for horses and carriages to be stored. It was 1908 before the first home was built in London’s Mayfair and those following after were terraced and decorated in keeping with the Arts and Crafts style. They’re tricky to define because their one defining feature is the fact that they’re converted from stables – but you’ll find them fronting cobbled streets, secluded from the rest of the city through dead-ends and gating.
Funnily enough, their popularity didn’t last long. Yet, since the 1960’s we’ve been growing fond of them again, particularly in London. Perhaps it’s something to do with celebrities like Michael Caine and Noel Gallagher calling them home.
Of course, any home that’s celebrity endorsed will carry a hefty price tag – many are around £3,000,000 now – but on the cheaper side, you can snap up some properties for £500,000. If, like me, you don’t have access to the likes of £3,000,000, you can always rent for around £1,800 a week – totalling up at £86,400 a year. That’s still pretty heavy going mind you!
When I heard that estate agents were having to move extra quick on mews properties, my first thought was, “why”? Normally, properties with high asking prices don’t sell as quick, for obvious reasons, so I had to find out what qualities they possess to make them so appealing.
1. They’re sociable
As mews homes are cut off from traffic by dead-ends and gating systems, the people you’ll see walking down the street will always be your neighbours or friends. There’s a huge feeling of community and some mews are well-known for holding evening drinks or street parties – like Bathurst Mews near London’s Hyde Park.
2. They’re freehold friendly
No mews have leases so the lack of a service charge allows the owners to spend as much or little time as they want in the house without feeling guilty. There’s also more freedom if you like making home improvements every now and then.
3. They provide garage space
Inside, they’re normally only 1000-1500 square feet in size but they do come with garages in highly sought after areas. Parking in London is notoriously hard, with the amount of visitors and high parking charges, so it’s definitely one way to recoup some of the asking price! Some people like to have their garage separate to their home, while others keep the garage doors but use the space as another room. I suspect many of them are non-drivers, which makes for perfect homes in a city with plenty of tubes and bus routes.
Aside from the price, the main complaint seems to be that you won’t find a garden in sight. But with many city dwellers used to living in flats, maybe that’s not such a big deal after all?
Would you ever consider renting a mews property? If not, would cost be the only barrier? Let us know by commenting below or connecting with us on Twitter.