What does 'Period Property' mean when buying a property?

Find out what Period Property means when you are buying a property. 'What does Period Property mean?' plus over 150 other property related terms and jargon in plain English

Period Property

Do you keep seeing properties which are listed as "period"? What exactly does it mean?

This refers to a period in history. The three most common are Georgian (1714 to 1830), Victorian (1830s to 1901) and Edwardian (1901 to 1910).

Although buildings exist from earlier periods these are usually called directly by the period name - e.g. "A Tudor House".

After 1910 properties are usually referred to as "Pre-War" (up to 1939) or "Post War" (the first two decades after 1945) and from then on "New Build" or by the decade they were built - e.g. "in a 1980s development".

So "period" is most often used to describe a property built between 1714 and 1910. During this time the most common property by far were houses although Victorians did get into apartment building to some degree and called them 'mansions' even though they had little to do with mansion houses.

Are period properties a good or bad idea?

Estate agents point out when a property is a "period property" for a reason.

Some people love them. They can have character with bay windows or antique wooden doors or floorboards ideal for sanding down and varnishing or tiled and iron grated fireplaces. In many ways they are just less boring than apartments that were made to be apartments.

Others hate them because they can be poorly insulated, have drafty windows, suffer damp more easily and so on. They just weren't built with today's technology.

Period properties can also have higher maintenance bills such as the expense of replacing wood sash windows or an aging roof.

Note however that calling a property a "period" doesn't mean it will have any of the old characteristics from yesteryear. When some were converted this also meant getting rid of what were then considered "old and ugly doors". The person carrying out the conversion might have replaced the wood sash windows with lovely UPVC units.

In other words there is no legal definition of what a "Period Property" actually means beyond the property being built before 1910.

To learn all the lingo you need to know when purchasing a property pick up a copy of my ebook How to Really Buy a Property.

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