If the homes of some of the most famous fictional characters were to be sold, how much would they cost you to buy? The world’s greatest detective (or so he says) lays out the clues…
In his somewhat lurid accounts of my investigations, Dr Watson sometimes claims that I am in the habit of declaring ‘the game’s afoot’, when a case begins.
Well, the game is most assuredly afoot at 221B Baker Street at the moment with Mrs Hudson serving the good doctor and I with an eviction notice.
She claims to have grown tired of what she calls my more ‘unseemly’ practices. The bullet holes in the walls, the decaying specimens in the fridge, the aroma of pipe smoke and formaldehyde. The constant violin playing…
She alleges that I am ‘devaluing her property’, even having the gall to declare that I am ‘messy’.
Observe if you will
It hardly takes a master detective, such as myself, to uncover her real motive – she wishes to make a killing on the property market.
I realised the game was properly afoot when that irritating young estate agent called round to value the place.
A snotty-nosed ruffian in his early 20s, I wasn’t able to tell much about him at first glance.
From Shoreditch, naturally. Unhappy in love, father in the army, mother in the civil service and a sister in New Zealand. He had recently returned from Ibiza and had a taste for kippers.
Beyond that I could make little of him.
The plot thickens
He seemed very pleased with the rooms though, which valued at £1.7 million (my violin and deerstalker are not included in the price), particularly galling for us having paid rent on them for more than a hundred years.
Evidently, since we moved in in 1881, the area has risen in value.
You can see why. It’s surprisingly quiet, apart from the occasional visit from a master criminal or a coachload of tourists, and is only a hansom cab ride from the West End.
So, Dr Watson and I have temporarily retired from hunting for villains and it’s the criminal price of property that engages us.
The firm of Cheatam & Rip-off estate agents has provided us with the particulars of these properties.
But can you help us value them? You know my methods. Apply them.
a) Coronation Street
9 Coronation Street, Weatherfield, Salford, Greater Manchester
David Blake, Principal Mortgage Adviser, Which? Mortgage Advisers says: ‘A perfect first-time-buyer purchase. Terraced. Low deposit requirement of £5,000. Save up using a Help-to-Buy Isa and the government will boost your savings by 25%. The maximum bonus you can receive is £3,000. Terms and conditions apply.’
b) Gavin & Stacey
Trinity Street, Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales
David says: ‘A great first-time buyer property requiring a small 5% deposit of just £6,500. Likely to be eligible for competitive mortgage rates starting at around 3%.’
c) Only Fools and Horses
Flat 127, Mandela House, Peckham, London
David says: ‘Getting a mortgage on high-rise properties can prove difficult due to maintenance, service costs and the lender’s concern for their demand. Banks would typically prefer to only lend on local authority properties when at least 50% of the block is privately owned.’
Albert Square, Walford, London
David says: ‘Buying this property as a landlord would typically require a larger deposit of £218,750 (25%). The buyer wouldn’t be able to live in the property without the lender’s consent. A higher-rate stamp duty tax could potentially apply.’
e) Downtown Abbey
Grade I-listed country estate, Yorkshire
David says: ‘Grade I or II listed buildings of this nature often require specialist finance. Those with service quarters and guest rooms can be classified as semi-commercial, requiring bespoke, large-loan advice.’
If you want to see how the case was solved, head here.
This post was ghost written by Paul Ryan. All views expressed here are Paul/Sherlock’s own and not necessarily those shared by Which?.
Would you live at 221B Baker Street?
I'd love to (34%, 43 Votes)
Not a chance (34%, 43 Votes)
I'd like to stay for a day or two, but no longer than that (32%, 41 Votes)
Total Voters: 127