What does 'Purpose Built' mean when buying a property?

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

Purpose Built

So you're out looking for a property to buy and you keep seeing the word 'purpose built' in descriptions. What does it mean and is it a good thing?

Purpose built properties are properties built from day one to be what they are today. So a purpose built flat is a flat that was built to be a flat. Sounds obvious?

Not quite. Many of the properties on the market were not built to be what they are used for today. Like old factories built to be factories but have now been converted into loft apartments.

Many houses built before the war were then converted into apartments (and are known as 'Period Conversions'). These are not the purpose the building was designed for and so those which were converted badly can have walls and floors that do little to block out the noise of neighbours.

I'm not saying all purpose built apartments have dreamy noise insulation but at least they had to adhere to the building regulations of their day which in recent decades have been a bit more robust than the Victorian attitude that foundations are a bit of an optional extra and a few rows of bricks should do it.

The term "purpose built" is, in reality, used most often on apartments and flats and those that were built post war. It's rare to find someone selling a Victorian house and describing it as "Purpose Built" even though it was built for the purpose of being a house.

The term is more meant to make a clear difference between buildings that are built to be flats and 'period conversions' which are old houses that have been split into flats.

To learn more about what various property types are called pick up a copy of my ebook How to Really Buy a Property.

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