Pros and Cons of buying a terraced house in the UK

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Terraced houses are those that are joined together and do not have any walls that are shared by themself but what else is important about this type of property? In this article, we will discuss how this property works.

If you’re a landlord looking to buy or perhaps are looking for a house to buy for the first time, this article will go over the history of terraced housing and the pros and cons of buying to help you out.

A terraced house in the UK

Pros and cons of buying a terraced house

There are some pros and cons to weigh up before buying a terraced house. After this, you should be able to make good decisions around buying. Whether that be for someone who’s under 18 or for an investment.

Pros of Terraced Houses

There are a few pros to be aware of such as there being increased affordability, there being more space to do what you want in the property and also the property having more character.

Affordability

Terraced houses are often more affordable to the general public than detached houses like cottages. This makes them a popular option for those looking to buy in a city where there are a lot of people.

Because of this, it may make sense for a buyer to not mind living in a well-populated urban area. Not only is it likely that they’ll be buying in a city if they’re buying a terraced house but they will also have neighbours close by.

Space efficiency

Terrace houses are designed to make the most of limited space, making them ideal for people who don’t want to spend a lot of time cleaning and want a low-expense property with a good location.

Character

Many terraced houses have unique architectural styles and features, especially those built in the Edwardian era where a lot of housing was built with intricate details. 

So, if you want to live in a property you can show off then a terraced house could be for you. Be sure to check out the interior of the property to see if the style here matches.

Looking to buy a terraced house?

Finding the right place to buy can be a challenge. We partner with Cozee, award winning estate agents in London. Check out the terraced houses they have listed.

Cons of Terraced Houses

Having a terraced house may not be entirely beneficial. Limited privacy, additional maintenance and the fact that you can’t extend and easily add value to your house are some reasons that may prevent buyers from deciding on a terraced home.

Limited Privacy

Living with neighbours right next to you can mean the privacy you face is limited and you’ll be able to hear your neighbours a lot more than those in an end-of-terrace or detached home.

Maintenance

As terraced houses are part of a row, maintenance and repair work can sometimes affect multiple properties, making it important to work together with neighbours to ensure the houses are well-maintained.

Can’t extend

If you’re buying a property with the intention that it will serve as a great investment for years to come, you may want to think again when buying a terraced house.

Because of the nature of the property, there is only the option to extend on the roof and the garden. Street-facing sides of a property and the walls you share with neighbours cannot be extended.

Different types of terraced houses

Depending on the time when the house was built and the type of architecture, there are a few different types of terraced housing. For example, a terraced house that was built in the Victorian age is called a Victorian terraced house.

An introduction to buying terraced houses

A terraced house is a type of residential house that has shared walls on either side given the appearance that a house is joined together.

They usually have a facade that is joined together with other properties giving the illusion that the facade is continuous and the set of properties are uniform in appearance.

Terrace houses are often found in built up areas of the UK such as cities and are usually two or three stories high, sometimes with the addition of a basement.

What defines a terraced house?

A terraced house becomes terraced when there is no gap between each house and theta are joined together by the side walls. This means a house that is joined with other units of the same house will not be terraced.

A house is defined as being able to be accessed by the same door or doors in this case. For instance, a house that has a front and back door that has the interior of a 

Why are terraced houses called terraced houses?

A terraced house gets its name from the word terrace which means a flight of wide or shallow steps that provide standing room for spectators in a stadium. This results in a series of rounded stairs that flow into one another.

As a result, houses that are terraced look the same way. They all have the same design with no gap in the middle. Terraced houses first gained their name in the late 17th century as a result.

A terraced hosue in Enfield

Victorian age property

The Victorian era was in place from 1837 to 1901 during the reign of Queen Victoria the First.

In a Victorian house, there are some key features that make them different from the rest of buildings. 

For example, the sanitation on a Victorian property is likely to be new for the time but older now. Things like early drainage systems and the water closets could still be installed in a Victorian style terraced house.

Terraced houses were great ways for those who were working in the city of London to live cheaply and then commute into the city to work in the factories and earn a living.

Back in Victorian times, it was therefore common to have a few different families in just one property who would all contribute towards the rent and co-exist as they lived in the short term.

A Victorian style terraced property can therefore come with weird room layouts and could require additional work to turn the property into a home that makes sense.

Edwardian age

The Edwardian age was a period that was a lot shorter and followed the victorian age from 1901 to 1920 during the reign of King Edward. Houses of this era have decorative and ornate details.

In an Edwardian terraced house, you may also be able to find things like stained glass windows and larger rooms.

A typical three bedroom house that is built in the Edwardian age will therefore have a three bedrooms that are all pretty even in size, a victorian age property would commonly have a “box room” on the other hand.

A terraced house for sale

Georgian age

Georgian properties are the older type of property in the Uk and they will often be built out of older materials like stone as a result. Older cities are therefore the most likely to have Georgian architecture.

If you’re interested in buying one, there may have to be a fair amount of work done on a property like this such as updating the property with modern construction materials.

What is a mid-terrace house?

A mid-terraced house is one that is in the middle of the street where there are rows of houses on the street. For example, if there are 10 houses on the street, a mid-terraced house would be one that is fifth or sixth in the row.

It is worth noting that a house like this will likely suffer from additional noise from neighbours because there are neighbours on both sides. An end of terraced house on the other hand will not have this same problem.

In this sense, an end of terraced house is just a semi-detached house that has a side of the house with no neighbours and is therefore just a semi-detached house. Both types of names are applicable to a property like this in this sense.

Are terraced houses cheaper than detached ones?

In general, terraced houses are cheaper than detached houses. This is because of the additional seclusion a detached house provides. However, there are a variety of other factors that go into property price. This is unlike other property like link detached houses.

This means it is quite likely a detached house selected randomly is still less expensive than a terraced house. A terraced house could be in a good area where there is a lot of buyer demand so the price of the property increases.

Are terraced houses worse than detached ones?

Terraced houses aren’t necessarily worse because they still have to be considered with the other factors of the property. For example, if there is nice interior to the property or if there is a lot of living space inside

What to consider before buying a terraced house

While a terraced house has the main consideration of there being neighbour space in the property, there are other factors to make a note of when buying a terraced house too.

Terraced house as investments

Terraced houses are often in areas that are near a city. This is good for investment purposes because a house near a city tends to have a fair amount of jobs that come along with it.

This is confirmed by data from Zoopla seen here. Terraced houses also go up in value more and have a higher capital appreciation because they tend to be more popular properties in more desirable locations.

Are terraced houses easy to sell?

In general, terraced houses are the easiest to sell because they have the highest capital appreciation. Capital appreciation means there is a higher buyer demand which drives up the price so you can infer from this that properties are easier to sell.

There are other factors that go into whether a property is able to sell including:

  • How desirable the location is where the terraced house is located
  • The market conditions and whether inflation has impacted house prices
  • The property condition and if it requires any work
  • If the property price is reflective of it’s true value
  • If there has been effective marketing for the property in order to sell
  • If there are similar properties on the market which drives up competition

As well as this, there is also an element of unpredictability whenever a house is listed for sale. It is normal for those to have a property listed on the market for a long time to still have to wait for longer.

On the other hand, there could be a property on the market that comes on instantly and is able to sell.

It all depends on what the buyer is looking for, the property could be exactly what they want straight away. It is important to remember that properties are bought by real people with real requirements for the property they’re buying.

On top of this, buying a terraced property is a big decision for a lot of people so it is common for people to change their minds, make offers and withdraw them or even take their property off the market altogether.

An orange terraced house

Can you get an extension on a terraced house?

Unfortunately, a terraced house is often limited on how it can do an extension. This is because a terraced house is only able to be extended in two ways, through the garden and through the loft. 

On either side there is another house which prevents an extension from happening and this means garden extensions are the most popular choice for those buying a house wanting some more room to add room to a kitchen.

On the other hand, a loft extension will likely add an additional bedroom to the house so this isn’t space that can be shared by everyone in the property making it a less popular choice for extensions.

For investors, this can be a common way to increase the value of a property which is ideal if they want to remortgage in the future or make some money perhaps in a second home by taking some equity out of an unencumbered home.

Overall, if you find you cannot add an extension to a property, adding in an annexe to your build instead could be a great idea.

Do terraced houses have gardens?

The majority of terraced houses have gardens but some do not. There is also a large variation in the size of the gardens that terraced houses have.

A lot of terraced houses, especially in London, were built at a time where there was a lot of revolution and a house that had a garden may be seen to waste space that could be used for housing,

As a result, particularly small gardens and no gardens at all are not surprising.

To conclude

In conclusion, a terraced house is perfect for those looking to buy a house with a lot of space efficiency and they can certainly go up in value a lot more than others too.

To make sure you’re making the right decision in buying one, make sure you look over the pros and cons and consider if the purchase is right for you.

You don’t want to buy a terraced house that is built as a result of a poor housing development where developers cut corners and only build terraced houses to save space. 

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donnell-bailey

Donnell Bailey

Property expert

Donnell is a property expert focusing on the property market, he looks at a combination of legislation, information from property managers, letting agents and market trends to produce information to help landlords.

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