Could you afford to live in Baker Street? Estate agents Tepilo count the cost of five of the most famous fictional homes in the UK.
TV is made up of famous fictional homes, but how many of them could an ordinary buyer actually afford?
What would a home cost in Albert Square, with its high death rate and infamous levels of misery? What about the iconic flat at 221B Baker Street or the sprawling opulence of Downton Abbey?
Luckily, Which? Mortgage Advisers has carried out new research into this very topic, calculating the cost of five of the most iconic TV properties in the UK and just how affordable (or not) they actually are.
Downton Abbey, Yorkshire
Downton Abbey, part of the Downton Estate in Yorkshire, would be on the market for an eye-popping £72 million. If you wanted to follow in the footsteps of Lord and Lady Grantham and the troubled lives of their children, you would require specialist finance and a rather large bank balance.
On the upside, you get plenty for your money – set in the stunning Yorkshire countryside, the grand and lavish residential manor includes 11 first-floor bedrooms and extensive service quarters, as well as ample space for wining, dining and entertaining.
Historic, Grade I or II listed homes of this type often come under the bracket of ‘semi-commercial’. As such, they require what is known as bespoke, large-loan advice. For 99.9% of people, such an estate is beyond our wildest dreams, but we can still dreams those dreams anyway!
Flat 5, Apollo House, Croydon
Much more affordable is the two-bedroom flat lived in by the ‘El Dude’ brothers, Mark and Jez, from Channel 4’s cult sitcom Peep Show. On the market for around just £220,000 – Croydon is still one of the most affordable suburbs in the whole of London – the property has its own balcony and is only five minutes’ walk from East Croydon railway station, one of the biggest transport hubs in the capital.
The flat would work best as a buy-to-let opportunity, catering for cynical, anxiety-ridden young professionals or workshy ‘musicians’. The bathroom door will also need replacing – it’s a long story, trust us.
In reality, multi-storey flats are nearly always leasehold, with a lender usually requiring a minimum of 50 to 60 years remaining on the lease. Homes nearby to railway stations can also cause issues, because of noise levels and issues with demand.
Generally, though, any home close to good transport links will be snapped up with glee, so £220,000 for a home in an up and coming area is a bit of a bargain.
221B Baker Street, London
The game is afoot, time to deduce how much a two-bedroom Georgian flat in the heart of London will set buyers back. What’s that you say? £1.7 million? I see.
Well, you’d expect no less in trendy, well-to-do Baker Street, made famous not only by the crime-fighting duo of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, but also by Gerry Rafferty’s classic 70s jazz track and nearby tourist attraction Madame Tussauds. Arthur Conan Doyle’s greatest creation defines the street, though, with The Sherlock Holmes Museum and a Sherlock Holmes statue both located here.
The flat itself is full of character and intrigue, with an airy, open-flat sitting room flooded with light by broad sash windows. Best to ignore the wall partly indented with bullet holes, mind.
Generally speaking, properties next to or above commercial businesses – in 221B’s case, a café – have a harder time securing mortgages. Smells could drift into the property from below or the home could be deemed at greater risk of a fire. A hefty 25% deposit (up to £425,000) would be required to make Sherlock’s home your own. So, er, get saving!
25 Albert Square, Walford, London
If you’re after a true taste of the East End, Dot Cotton’s Albert Square residence might be right up your street. You’re likely to see your fair share of drama, shouting, death, misery and relationship break-ups, but on the plus side you can drown your sorrows in The Vic (unless you get chucked out) or sample the delights of Ian Beale’s produce in the café, the chippy or Beales. And, if you ever get bored of life here, you can just up sticks and disappear into the horizon in a black cab.
Properties in Albert Square aren’t particularly cheap, either, with Dot’s three-bedroom Victorian terraced home likely to cost buyers around £875,000. A local daily market is on your doorstep, a Tube stop too, while the area also has a real sense of community and a keen emphasis on the importance of ‘familyyy!’. The home in question may require some modernisation, unless you are a fan of doilies and 1950s décor.
In real life, buying a property of this type would require a deposit of around 25% (£218,750), while the buyer wouldn’t be able to live in the property without the lender’s consent. What’s more, a higher-rate of stamp duty could also apply.
Buckingham Palace, London
Netflix hit The Crown has been wowing audiences and critics alike since premiering in November 2016. Of course, given the show’s subject matter, Buckingham Palace is featured heavily, but if you wanted to purchase the majestic 775-room palace off Her Maj it would set you back a cool £2.2 billion.
Originally inspired by the style of French neoclassical architecture, the Palace includes the largest private garden in the whole of London.
Given its Grade I listed status and national, architectural and historical importance, buying such a property would require private specialist financing. More likely, any attempt to buy the Palace would be met with a stern frown and a swift rebuff. One is not impressed!
Most of these fictional homes either don’t exist, or would be out of reach for many buyers, but Mark and Jez’s ‘bachelor’ pad is comfortably top of the league when it comes to affordability.
Buckingham Palace and Downton Abbey, on the other hand, are on a whole other planet. Even a big lottery win would give buyers absolutely no chance of purchasing such homes, but such luxuriousness can still be daydreamt about.