“With houses often full to the brim, Christmas can be a time to start thinking about what the next step on the property ladder might be,” David Blake of Which? Mortgage Advisers said.
“Buying a home can be one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll ever make, so it’s important you can separate the facts from the fiction. Seeking independent advice from a reputable mortgage adviser can help you understand how much you can afford to borrow and how much it will cost.”
Below, we take a closer look at what the Chicago mansion from Macaulay Culkin classic Home Alone would set buyers back, as well as the prices of Bridget Jones's flat in Borough Market, the countryside cottage from The Holiday and the Victorian house from A Christmas Carol.
Bridget Jones's Diary, Borough, London - £693,000
With an estimated value of nearly £700,000, this flat in the heart of foodie temple Borough Market comes with a monthly mortgage repayment of £3,000 and a required deposit of £69,300. A cosy one-bedroom flat, ideal for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of London, the fact it's located above a pub could cause issues when it comes to securing a mortgage.
Typically, Which? Mortgage Advisers notes, properties next to or above commercial businesses are more difficult to secure mortgages on, while smells from the bar and kitchen could drift up into the flat, and the property may be deemed as being at a higher risk of fire.
The Holiday, Surrey, UK - £882,000
The English cottage at the heart of this 2006 film – which sees Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz swap lives for a while and fall in love with Jack Black and Jude Law respectively – would cost buyers a cool £882,000.
Just 40 minutes from London, it includes a 'fairytale English garden' and a range of unique features such as a cosy mini library, a kitchen with a fitted Aga and a wood fire.
The recommended 10% deposit would be £88,2000, while the mortgage repayments would set a homeowner back £3,800 each month.
A 90% mortgage could be secured on a house like this, but older properties tend to have more problems with damp – something which can seriously deter lenders. When buying a countryside cottage, it's advised to check that it's well-insulated before placing an offer.
Home Alone, Chicago, Illinois - £1.53 million
The home at the centre of this Christmas classic boasts 14 bedrooms, a laundry room, family room, basement, dining room and a kitchen big enough to 'feed the five thousand' – albeit with a lack of cheese pizza on offer!
The red-brick, detached Georgian house would require monthly mortgage repayments of £5,800 and a 20% recommended deposit of £306,000.
While the property has been 'fully checked for booby traps', it's recommended that the security system is given a big upgrade.
As for the owner of such a huge home, Which? says it would in theory be perfect for a large family like the McCallisters, but in reality borrowers with big broods might struggle to get a mortgage as lenders will often heavily reduce the amount that can be borrowed after factoring in childcare costs. What's more, US mortgage providers will often ask for a 20% deposit on a property of this size. They're less likely to say “keep the change ya filthy animal!” after a sale has been completed.
A Christmas Carol, City of London, UK - £985,000
Arguably the most famous – and most adapted – Christmas tale of them all, Dickens' classic novel tells the story of elderly miser Ebenezer Scrooge and his overnight transformation into a kinder, gentler man after a visit from the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. It's been given The Muppets treatment, animated and turned into a mime production, opera and Broadway musical in the years since it was first written.
But what would the Victorian property, with its creaky wooden floorboards, wide feature staircase and 19th century architecture, set buyers back by? Of course, period properties are still immensely popular today, and with a price tag of £985,000 a potential buyer would need a huge deposit of £245,000 and would face monthly mortgage repayments of £3,500.
While a considerable makeover would be needed – including updates to central heating and electrics – it's a home with huge potential that would be ideal for a property developer.
Remember, though, that high-street lenders will usually only lend against properties that are in a habitable condition. As a result, some refurbishment finance (perhaps in the form of a bridging loan) might be needed. Which? says this kind of finance usually requires a bigger deposit and the interest rate might be quite high.
For the full list and some impressive visuals of the homes in question, click here.