She became known as the “Iron Lady” during her time as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom but many people will be unaware she had already made two prior attempts to break into politics before taking time out for her family. The Thatcher family lived in a two-bedroom flat in Chelsea, West London between 1951 in 1957 and while her very name splits opinions across the UK, there has been much interest in her former family home. So, what do you get with Lady Thatcher’s former family home which is listed at £1.2 million?
112 Swan Court
The lavish Swan Court development offers an array of flats overlooking Chelsea and value for money exposure to the London property market. Located just off the King’s Road the flat was originally built back in 1930 with a distinctive rectangular shape offering two bedrooms, a dining room, living room and kitchen all within 1200 ft.². Even Lady Thatcher described the sixth floor property as “light with a fine view of London” and she was a very difficult lady to please!
The property itself is pretty much as Lady Thatcher left it with estate agents suggesting that a buyer may like to redevelop the flat. It is believed that the £1.2 million asking price could be increased to around £2.5 million after redevelopment and updating. The estate agents selling the property are also said to be in possession of original letters from Lady Thatcher which proved beyond doubt that she lived at 112 Swan court with her husband Dennis and their twins Mark and Carol.
Many potential buyers have questioned the £1.2 million asking price but this does begin to fall into place when you consider the lease expires in 2041. It is estimated that an extension of the lease, which would be required to obtain a mortgage, could cost up to £600,000. However, this would only take the properties overall cost up to around £1.8 million which could increase to around £2.5 million with relatively minor redeveloping and redecorating.
This perfectly illustrates the impact a relatively short lease can have on the value of an underlying property. Even though the laws have been changed over the last few years this is still a very tricky area both from a legal and expense point of view. It is therefore advisable that those looking to acquire the former home of Margaret Thatcher look into the issue of the leasehold sooner rather than later.
The value of Lady Thatcher’s former home
As we touched on above, even the mention of Margaret Thatcher’s name can split community opinions right down the middle. She’s often been described as the “Marmite” of the UK political world prompting very strong opinions right across the board. It is therefore difficult to say whether her connection to this property is positive or negative for the price as a whole or whether indeed investors look purely and simply at the property itself. Would you pay a premium or would you expect a discount for a property owned by such a divisive figure? Or is this simply a case of buying bricks and mortar and ignoring the history?