What is a Character Property

The word “character” is an attribute that distinguishes people or objects apart from one another.

How does this relate to properties? What is a character property? Character properties are historical buildings with a lot of personality that reflect a deep heritage in the UK. 

When asking what a character property is, it is one that is unique, sometimes quirky, and is one that has not been made from the same ‘cookie cutter’ mould that everything else nowadays has been made from.

A character property could range from anything from a lofty red-brick Victorian townhouse to a centuries-old higgledy-piggledy country cottage

Whatever a character property actually is, their primary value is underlined by the fact that they are a few of a kind, as people and societies adopt modern building methods to suit their daily needs and end up living in houses almost identical to each other.

character property

Are Character Properties Worth More?

It is nearly impossible to give a definitive answer on the worth of character buildings over new buildings. A lot, of course, will depend on their state of upkeep.

And as always the adage, location, location, location is always going to be key.

what is a character property?

Depending on their exact character and location, some cottages with character will linger on the market while others will be snapped up like proverbial hot cakes.

Character properties often (but not always) have well-proportioned rooms compared to modern houses and the magic touch of periodic features.

However, (unless renovated) they lack desirable modern amenities such as a utility room, a garage and ensuite bathrooms that will appeal to many home buyers. 

Their poor insulation and the thought of their likely maintenance costs may set many would-be buyers running.

That said, character buildings are still highly sought after in London in particular for their characteristic build and ample environments (larger gardens etc) in which most are built.

Therefore, the worth of a character property will take into account many factors but ultimately, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. 

These kinds of buildings are certainly not for everyone, wherever they happen to be located.

Features That Increase The Worth Of Character Properties

Period Features

Character properties ooze class from the first time you lay your eyes upon them.

Unique and original features like tiled hallways, steeply pitched roofs, sash windows with stained glass, thatched roofs, classic fireplaces, stone walls, coving, and thick high ceilings are all strong selling points for these properties. Sometimes even sinks in the bedroom!

Rare To Find

The rare attribute of these properties can cause them to be prized. As they become scarcer and scarcer, they become even more unique and stand out even more from the crowd.

Excellent and ample settling environments

There is a low risk of surrounding commercial developments as some character buildings are legally protected. There is a need to preserve the character of such vicinities and period features, which might be undermined by prospective commercial and municipal developments.

In addition, they are often located in the most sought after locations.


Most period buildings have good-sized front and rear gardens, which is not common in new builds. The garden is part of the property, and a well-maintained garden can push up prices by up to 20%.

Timeless Appeal

Period features are aesthetically pleasing to look at. They ooze style and charm and speak of the days of bespoke craftsmanship.

Built by the hands with great skill from someone who was a master craftsman, not just a labourer, character properties have had a lot of time, love and care and thought gone into them.

Cottages with character have had a lot of individual time, skill and love gone into them and it shows. 

my character property with a thatched roof
my character property with a thatched roof

Character properties also sync well with modern features, fittings and technology. It is common to see such properties in London, in particular, boasting classic exteriors but with chic and modern interiors.


Despite the ageing conditions of period buildings, they are surprisingly built with the utmost expertise, often with greater care and skill than modern new builds. 

They will also have far thicker walls to protect against neighbour noise.

How To Maintain Your Character Property

Most things age, and with age, deteriorate over time. The physical structures of character properties are no exception due to ageing building materials and the Great British weather.

As such, character properties should be subjected to frequent inspections. 

Even the tiniest of problems could quickly fester into significant issues that will require you to fork out several thousands of pounds in repair costs.

A few tell-tale signs can alert you in advance before things get out of control. As such, you should quickly dive into action and fix these problems the moment you identify their signs. 

Some of these signs you should look out for include:

maintaining character property

Damp Surfaces

It is paramount to check for signs of damp regularly. It will cause timber to rot, bricks to disintegrate and even a mould problem which is a health hazard. 

Frequently check the roofs and gutters, which will help you stay ahead of this problem.


Pests are a menace and more so in period buildings. They can chew through walls and cables and cause significant damage that could undermine the very character of these buildings. 

If you notice rodents in your home, quickly do away with them by setting traps or bringing in an exterminator.

Woodworm can also be a frequent visitor.

Water Pools

During adverse rainy weather, take note of the surroundings with poor water drainage. Water pools can weaken the foundation of period buildings, and you should enlist a tradesperson to adopt suitable drainage systems.

What is a Character Property UK

In the UK a character property is typically awash with historical characteristics that truly add personality to a house.

It is prudent to regularly check your property for signs of anything that may be amiss. 

It is paramount to seek a professional’s advice before purchasing a character property because there can be a heap of very costly issues there that can easily be covered over to the untrained purchaser’s eye.

Character Home Meaning

Exactly as a character property is defined, a character home is a residential building that boasts unique architectural characteristics, historical aspects, or distinct design elements, distinguishing it from other properties. These properties typically exude charm and individuality, often stemming from their era-specific styles, traditional craftsmanship, or use of classic building materials.

Examples of character homes include historic properties, stately mansions, repurposed structures, or houses with eccentric architectural features. Such properties tend to attract buyers who value the exclusivity, history, and visual appeal they provide.