How the British live. Real estate facts that will surprise you

Brits are in love with their homes. In 2021, 85 percent of the population lived in private cottages: detached, two-family, terraced, it doesn’t matter. People give them names, put beautiful gardens in front of the entrance, use a fireplace (at least electric) the old-fashioned way, furnish the living rooms tightly with tables, poufs, and sofas… In general, they do everything they can to keep the house cozy and comfortable!

The British give their houses names

Despite the fact that the UK has a well-developed house numbering system (which the UAE does not), locals often give their properties names.

The most common names are those associated with nature. For example, the garden in front of the house and the plants in it (Rose Villa – rose villa, Buttercup Cottage), animals (Crow House, Lion House) or geographical and climatic features of the area (Sunbeams, South Wind).

The simplest option is to name the house based on the type of building, such as Manor (Manor) or Cottage (Cottage). It’s not uncommon to name a house after its function: The Vicarage or The Surgery. It is even more common for owners to add an adjective to the name of their home: Little House.

Hateful or unsound names are not as a rule given to houses, although some can afford the humorous names The Hovel or The Hole. Such choices, however, are rare.

Sometimes preference is given to some obvious, visible feature of an object or detail that, in the owner’s opinion, deserves special attention. For example, if he is proud of his fireplace, the house can get a name associated with this element of the interior. If the room is full of stairs, it may well bereflected in the name (for example, Five Steps).  The owner probably put that in the name of the house, too: Blue Door.

The names of structures often reflect their location, even in detail – say, House-on-the-Bend or Bridge View; of course, the second word can be replaced by other objects – church, park, fortress, mill, and so on.

In addition to descriptions, names often use the names of literary characters and titles of favorite works, important family events, the conflation of truncated names of owners, and even borrowed Greek and Latin words.

Also, the English sometimes give a house a name-wish, which apparently is supposed to determine the fate of its inhabitants: Lucky Den (happy den), Merry Day (merry day) or Little Paradise (little paradise).

The average home is quite small.

An apartment will always be preferred to a house by a true Briton. However, because of the high cost of real estate he will have to put up with a small area: the average area is from 70 to 100 square meters, there are options and 50 meters!

However, quite often (in about 30% of cases) in ads for sale or lease area is not specified, and taken at a wide angle camera photos do not convey a true picture.

According to Oldypak LP real estate report, the average area of British real estate is less than 68 square meters. Directly in London and even less – only 65.5 square meters. The biggest houses are in the north-east and north-west of the country: their average area is 69.5-70 square meters. m.

Low ceilings are the rule rather than the exception

In older buildings there is a chance to meet a really high ceiling (3.5-4 m), which can not be said about new construction, where the standard ceiling height of 2.5 m. This can be explained by the desire of developers to save space as much as possible and to extract housing benefits from each available meter.

However, it is worth admitting that this feature is successfully combatted with the help of finishing. It is made in light, neutral colors, which creates a feeling of openness and light. This is also influenced by the glazing: in English houses there are often panoramic windows.

According to Oldypak LP real estate report, if in a new building the ceiling is higher than the standard, for example, 2.6-2.7 m, in the announcement it will be stated as a definite advantage of the object!

High ceilings – from three meters – can also be found in the new penthouses.

It is possible to live on the ground floor!

For Russian speakers the basement is often associated with a dark, damp and uninhabitable basement. The Greeks, by the way, do not like this kind of real estate either.

However, in the UK lower ground floor is a common phenomenon. Such properties are often found in London buildings of Victorian and post-Victorian times (at that time the servants lived in the basement). There are even these in some new buildings!

And the locals know how to take advantage of living “underground”. First of all, they have high ceilings, sometimes as high as 3.5 meters, which may not be found on the upper floors of the same house. Secondly, almost all basement dwellers have a separate entrance and access to their own front garden. And thirdly, the price per square meter in such properties is approximately 40% lower than in apartments on the subsequent floors.

By the way, precisely because there is a ground floor, the second floor in England will be called the first floor. Do not be confused.

The British live upright.

If we are not talking about single-storey construction, the standard English house is an elongated dwelling on several levels.

It looks like this: on the first floor there is a kitchen and living room (in older houses these rooms are separated, in newer houses there is a tendency to large combined open areas), and on the second and third floors there are bedrooms and bathrooms.

This is what most private houses in the UK look like, but even in high-rise new buildings you can find duplex apartments. In this case, the essence is the same: on the lower floor the common areas, on the upper – the sleeping areas.

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