- Food & Drink
- May 11, 2016
Jane and Gus Alexander have just put their Grade II listed 4-bed 1,835sq ft family home on the market for £1,899,950 but the interesting part of this story is they paid only £300 for the property in 1977 which in today’s money would have cost £1986.00.
It also has planning permission in place for a further 600sqft extension ideal for an office or studio flat!
In 1977 the Greater London Council ran a lottery featuring many run-down houses the council couldn’t afford to repair, Jane, a writer had never seen the property but put her name down for the lottery.
‘We were on honeymoon in Ireland when we found out that we had won.
‘I didn’t really know quite what I had won,’
‘We got a letter saying that we had to pay £300, £150 for each house, and the condition was that we had to turn these two houses into one.
‘I had married an architect, and everyone who took up the offer was artistic. Some people refused [the prize] because of the cost and scale of the work that needed to be done.’
‘The area now is completely different to when we won the lottery in 1977, it has been through amazing changes.
Today, the Grade II listed terrace spans three floors, with two original front doors still in place but the blue one is bricked up from the inside.
Jane and Gus undertook a 2-year restoration project on the house which set the couple back £30,000, we’re unsure if this was done around 1977 or not but let’s presume it was done then, this is an equivalent of £198,600.00 in current money so not pocket change but if that estimate is correct it still works out at an increase of £42,533 per year for 40 years (if the house sells for list price).
*quits job and buys a house*
‘We made the mezzanine level with big windows, allowing someone to work at the top and feel like they are in the garden, even in winter.’
‘In the end, we all created really lovely family homes. We raised our two daughters Alexa and Gabby here, though of course they’ve long moved out. We’ve had diverse neighbours over the years too.
‘At one point, we had the actor Alfred Molina and his wife. They took in a homeless person, but then couldn’t get rid of him!’
‘We need to downsize,’ Jane says.‘It’s worked well as a family home and it’s a delightfully quirky property.’
‘It seems ironic now,’ she recalls, ‘but the council felt the original houses would be too small for modern families. Of course, they wouldn’t think the originals were too small now.’
The listing for those feeling nosey (like us)