Living above commercial premises can have its benefits and drawbacks. Depending on whether you intend to buy or rent, your decision to live above a shop for example, is likely to be influenced by a number of factors. If your intended period of occupation is likely to be short term then, depending on the use of the ground floor premises, there could be a number of convenient advantages to choosing this sort of location, such as proximity to goods, services, catering and hospitality. Provided you are willing to put up with the more ‘anti-social’ aspects of such a location, the personal advantages could be numerous.
However, when considering a more long term investment, caution should generally be exercised. Although these types of dwellings are often at the more affordable end of the market, there is often good reason for this. Lenders are frequently anxious when it comes to lending on these sorts of properties and often will not at all if the current planning use of the commercial premises affords it the benefit of a late licence or takeaway use. However, if the use is at the more premium end of the retailer market such as well-established high street chain, this could have a positive impact on value.
Similar to yellow cars, beauty can often be in the eye of the beholder. The important thing to consider is the long term use of the commercial premises, possible changes in local and national planning policy, market trends and the future resale viability. With housing in short supply and the extension of permitted development rights making it easier to convert shops and offices to residential use, the market for this type of property might not be as limited as you might think. At Brown & Co, we work with a number of independent and corporate clients with these sorts of properties within in their holdings, demonstrating that investor appetite remains healthy.
Glen Henry Doick, Commercial Professional Services.