As late as the 1980’s and 1990’s we were still finding and selling a great many of these unmodernised, crumbling mews houses; blank canvasses where you didn’t have to pay a premium for the seller’s poor taste. Often un-mortgageable these houses were so run down there was nothing worth keeping, just four square walls behind a Victorian façade located on a pretty cobbled street where you could build pretty much whatever you wanted.
But like all good things, their supply was finite and their values rocketed as our chairman convinced so many of their owners to convert them into the gorgeous streets we still specialise in today. So just when we doubted whether we would ever see another, we were called into one of the best we have ever seen.
This Little Venice mews house takes the description of ‘being unmodernised ‘ to a whole new level. It is the first house I have seen with gutters, both inside and out, to carry the rain water away. Yes the roof really is that bad. So bad in fact, that just like in the film ‘Chitty, Chitty Bang, Bang’, you’ll be taking an umbrella to bed.
This is the kind of house children run past when walking to school and could quite possibly be the most derelict inhabited house in Prime Central London but ironically it is for exactly these reasons it is also one of the most desirable. And at £2,500,000 this could be the cheapest way to own a house that could potentially be worth £4,000,000.
Let me explain. You will see from the photographs that this is the only house in the street without a second floor so, with current planning policy, both a basement and a roof extension should be (subject to planning) just a formality, and by adding these two floors you will create a house of around 2700 square feet.
The saving on Stamp Duty alone will be £180,000, compared with buying a £4m house and, if the house is demolished and rebuilt behind the façade, the VAT on the cost of building a new build house is reclaimable plus, with an estimated £700,000 build cost, there should be a tidy, tax free, profit for you at the end.
An Interesting History
The house also has an interesting history as it has been used in the filming of a number of TV series including The Saint and Rumpole of the Bailey and the street not only has a number of film companies based there but also has been a backdrop for The Avengers.
And like all mews streets it had, and has, its fair sprinkling of celebrity residents including musicians like Boy George, Marilyn, Janet Street Porter, Tony James of Sigue, Sigue Sputnik but none are so famous, or should I say infamous, as The Sex Pistol’s late front man Sid Vicious and his girlfriend Nancy Spungen.
So whether you want to create your perfect mews house, or relive your youthful punk days by living in the same squalor as Sid did in number 3, this could well be the very house for you.
Article by James Robinson, General Manager of London mews specialists Lurot Brand