Are you looking at Victorian/Edwardian properties in Easton?
We have spent years surveying properties in Easton and the surrounding BS5 postcodes. Mostly good-sized Victorian or early Edwardian houses, sadly, many suffer from what Martin in the office describes as “the trinity”; roofing, dampness and movement.
There was often a lack of maintenance in this type of property in this area over the years. Some houses have been long term rentals and suffered from chronic underfunding, then were sold off when property prices increased. Sometimes the issues were fairly major and hence were neglected; the maintenance of important parts of the building were ignored. Estate agents used to refer to the customary slanting floors and skewed doors as “Easton Creep”; in reality this is movement in the building’s structure.
Two decades ago
Around 2000, the area was described as “deprived”; as a result, funding from the EU and Councils poured into the area in the form of grant funding. This was taken up by most home owners as the portion for them to contribute was very small.
This work often included rebuilding chimney stacks, re-roofing and (importantly) replacing undersized roof structures during this re-roofing, rendering the external walls and under-pinning them as required (a lot did) and re-building boundary walls, for example.
The last ten years
In the last 10 years or so this area has seen a massive increase in house prices, with bigger up-swings than in many areas in London. Some of this increase in prices has happened because they have been bought by a diverse selection of people bring new money into the area. Often newcomers quip that it reminds them of London in cultural and structural appearance.
So if you are looking for properties in this area, it is a good idea to seek out one that has had a great deal of the remediation work already carried out, with much of “the trinity” already repaired. You should then find that many of the expensive basic fundamentals of the house have already been sorted out.
From the road, look for matching chimneys that appear in good condition and which have been rebuilt in the last twenty years; this may indicate that the area may well have had grant funding. The biggest clue is the front boundary walls; these again appear more recent and often match along the length of the road, with only one or two being different where the householder did not take up the grant funding.
Besides matching boundary walls and chimneys, most of these houses have concrete roof tiles of a similar colour. Some examples of streets where grant funding was offered are Battersea Road, Stanley Park and Bloy Street. Maybe have a look at these on Google Earth Streetview, so that you are aware what the rebuilt chimneys and front boundary walls look, to aid your house hunt successfully.