Homeowners are certainly fond of their house names. You just have to walk through a village anywhere across Britain to see signs that bring a smile to your face. And at this time of year, Christmas themed home names rival the more traditional or unusual: Ivy Cottage and Holly Manor go up against Chaffinch Briars and Gooseberry Bush. No two properties are the same, and every one with a story to tell. But what’s in a name and does it matter?
In some rural areas, there are almost as many houses with names as numbers. According to figures by www.mouseprice.com, the Cottage is the most popular house name, with the Coach House leading the way among mid-priced properties, and the Old Rectory at the top end.
Puns are another fascination, and there is a long tradition of playfully named houses, from Thistledome to Costa Pakit. One homeowner with a literary bent apparently bought the property next to “2B” and called it “Or Not 2B”. It is all good fun.
Whether a feel-good name adds value to a property is matter of debate. You might think that most people would not pay an extra £10,000 for a house simply because they liked the fact that it was called the “Beehive” or “Old Vicarage”. But one should not underestimate the importance of subconscious powers of suggestion.
An interesting survey by the website www.globrix.com found that 1 in 14 of respondents said they would be prepared to pay more for a property if it had a name not a number. Autumn Twigs, Station Approach, trumped No. 11 Station Approach – even in spring, with not an autumn twig to be seen.
And another survey of 200 estate agents carried out by the website www.housenameheritage.com discovered that respondents reckoned a well-chosen house name could add between 0.5 per cent and 5 per cent to the value of a property.
It might sound odd, but in a competitive marketplace, sellers need to identify the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) of whatever it is they are selling. And what better USP than a house name that is the only one of its kind for miles around?
Snowflake House or Christmas Cottage … See a name like that at this time of year online or read the sales particulars, and you might just be tempted to take a peep inside.