So you are looking at your new home. It’s a good asking price – because it’s a coach house. Coach houses benefit from competitive pricing but sometimes mainstream insurers are not keen to insure coach houses.
In short it can be a bit like living in a flat, as your access is on the first floor, but you may well have that longed for garden at a good price, and the property is usually a freehold detached property, which has benefits. This only means that there are some other issues with these properties when looking at insurance, but as a detached property than at least with this type of buildings your neighbours are separate from you.
Nevertheless, coach houses are becoming a popular choice for homeowners because of their low-maintenance and affordable price – they are seen as good value for money. But not all coach houses come with the same amenities, so it is important to know what you might be sacrificing before making your decision. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of living in a coach house.
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What is a coach house?
A coach house is a house style that many think of as old but in fact more and more are being built in new developments. It is see as a space saving design where many a garage for different owners are under a single property, usually a detached house.
So someone will own the freehold for the entire building (ie the land and the buildings on that land), usually a detached property, but on the ground floor there are downstairs garages or carports. Everything is local – so only neighbours will have these garages, and they are let out on long-term leases.
Do coach houses always have garages?
It usually has garages and one is yours and the others are let out – so for example if there are three garages on the property one might be yours and two garages are let out on a long leases. That is the usual structure for coach houses, but sometimes there are carports. They are usually let out on peppercorn rents, but that puts the obligations on both sides in a binding lease.
Are the garages under coach houses always let out?
Yes indeed – and so in effect your coach house might be like a flat or apartment above each garage. In that lease for each garage
What are the problems of coach houses?
One is insulation. If the floor is poorly insulated then flats above can be notoriously cold. However if you are the owner of a new build property then this should not be a problem and no different from flat counterparts.
What are my insurance obligations to the other garage owners?
If you are the owner of a coach house you will have the insurance responsibility to insure the whole building as the building generally falls to you to protect. That will be as part of your house insurance – but not all providers will cover a coach house under home insurance. Emerald does – and you can find details on our website (www.emeraldlife.co.uk).
Getting the right cover
As part of your home insurance you will need to make sure that you are covered should you damage any surrounding properties, as well as the fabric (walls etc) of the leasehold garages. Note however that those leasehold garages within the coach house will need their own contents insurance.
Coach houses can be a tricky area as a type of property. They can be good things, but they also have some disadvantages that you should consider before buying one.
Generally speaking, coach homes don’t offer as much privacy or living space as traditional single-family dwellings (although this varies from unit to unit). In addition, the structures tend not to be built with high levels of insulation and ventilation which may lead to higher utility bills and more difficulty in regulating humidity levels inside the home during changing seasons.
Lastly, because these properties are often attached to larger residential developments there is typically little green space around them for residents’ use – although this too varies depending on where your property stands relative to other buildings in its strata title development. These issues notwithstanding however it’s worth looking at them because of flexibility of space and the option of your own garage underneath.
Coach houses are a great way to live in the city, but they also have some disadvantages. If you’re considering buying one it is important to understand what those pros and cons might be before making your decision.
Your final decision?
These homes can offer an affordable living space with more privacy than apartment-living or other types of condos because there’s no sharing walls with roommates or neighbors. However, coach house ownership has its drawbacks as well; for example, these residences often come with parking spaces underneath which means that you have extra responsibilities for your property and the property of others which you will be unable to insure (they have to insure their own cars or contents kept in the garages).
However, coach house properties have some strong benefits and it will be possible to get a mortgage for those buyers wanting to branch out!
Emerald Life Limited is a company registered in the United Kingdom and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.