Tinie Tempah on first homes: ‘There was a two metre-long giraffe head’

The rapper began his property portfolio with a hackney townhouse (Picture: David M. Benett/Getty / CSA Images)

Tinie Tempah is one of the most successful British rappers of all time, what with his debut album Disc-Overy going platinum, two Brit awards and seven Number One singles. But he has also smashed it in the property market.

Despite being just 33 years old, Tinie has a substantial property portfolio and his first purchase in his early twenties wasn’t your average shoebox-sized studio flat – it was Alexander McQueen’s old gaff.

He also recently presented his own Channel 4 property design series, Extraordinary Extensions.

Tinie is partnering with Strike, the fast-growing online estate agency which offers a free-to-use service to help you sell your home and is now available nationwide.

When did you buy your first home?

I was around 22 or 23 and I was renting furnished flats in Canary Wharf, hopping from apartment block to apartment block living the bachelor life.

When I felt I had saved up enough I wanted a place to call my own and I took the plunge. I was really lucky.

I was always looking for a Victorian townhouse as my first place, with enough rooms for my friends and family to stay. Then I stumbled across Alexander McQueen’s old terraced Victorian house near Victoria Park in Hackney, which was huge and spanned across four floors, but strangely only had two bedrooms.

It was too much of a good opportunity to pass up, so I went for it.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 23: Tinie Tempah attends the Annabel's x Swarovski Holiday fa??ade unveiling party in the nightclub at Annabels on November 23, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Annabel's)

Tinie Tempah loved his first Hackney home (Picture: Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Did you fall in love with it?

I fell in love with the fact that it had been owned by another creative – in fact one of Britain’s most celebrated – and he had gutted out the whole house and designed a bespoke interior with David Adjaye, unlike one I had ever seen before.

To say it met expectations is an understatement.

Any hidden surprises?

There was a two metre-long giraffe head, which was waiting for me at the top of the staircase. That was a pretty nice surprise.

Did you need to change much in the property?

It was so beautiful inside already, just a little neglected, so I refurbished and restored and then added some tech via an AV system.

Where did the property ladder take you from there?

Buying my first home made me ambitious and took me all over London to Notting Hill, Hampstead and even back to where I grew up in Plumstead. I have quite an extensive portfolio now.

Is there any advice you would pass on to homebuyers?

I’m yet to sell any of my properties but when buying, check all the taps and showers for the water pressure.

If you’re in an area with loads of noise pollution go to the rooms you feel you will be spending the most time in and listen to see if it will be comfortable for you.

And don’t buy all your furniture and decorations at once, take your time and enjoy the process and haggle for everything. Most things are negotiable.

Television programme: Outrageously Expensive Extensions Tinie Tempah.

Tinie has taken his passion for property to the screen with his show Expensive Extensions (Picture: Adele Jakeman / Channel 4)

What do you make of the housing market right now?

The world is changing and more options are being offered to the consumer than ever before, that’s why it’s great to be partnering up with Strike. Customer service and community, I feel, is at the heart of good business these days.

Being able to remove estate agent fees entirely puts a lot less pressure on the buying experience and allows for those funds to go towards adding more value to your home, even taking a holiday after the stress of it all.

As a working-class kid, I think buying is important for your future and there’s never the perfect time. Just get on it whenever you can.

Tinie Tempah is investing in Strike, now available nationwide. To find out more about the free-to-use estate agency visit Strike.co.uk.

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