The UK is lucky to have some of the most beautiful old properties in the world. Nowhere else in the world will you find such a wealth of beautiful old rectories, townhouses, cottages, and more. However, owning a listed home can be a challenge. If you’re considering buying a listed property, here are some of the essential things you need to know.
You may have to put up with problems
Buildings constructed generations ago will understandably lack many modern features. Plumbing, electrical systems, windows, insulation and many other aspects of the home may well fall below today’s standards. However, in many cases you won’t be able to make changes. For instance, it’s unlikely that you’ll be allowed to replace the original windows with double-glazed ones, no matter how much heat loss they allow. If you live in a listed property, you should be prepared for unreliable electrics and leaky plumbing, amongst other faults.
Remodelling can be difficult
Anyone who buys a listed home becomes the property’s caretaker. That means you’re expected to leave the building as you found it. That doesn’t just mean it’s exceptionally hard to get planning permission for extensions and other exterior alterations. You will also need to get “listed building consent” to make internal changes. This can be easier to arrange than planning permission, but the local council can still refuse. If you’re considering making changes, you must speak with a specialist listed building consultant before making any plans. What you have in mind may be more difficult than you think.
You’ll need specialist services
Mortgage providers and insurance companies are a little wary about working with listed properties. Banks are less keen on these buildings because they’re harder to sell; that makes it more difficult for them to get their money back if you don’t repay the mortgage. Insurers are wary because listed buildings can be very expensive to repair using like-for-like materials, and older building techniques are more susceptible to fire, flooding, and other major problems. Because of this, it’s more difficult and expensive to arrange a mortgage and insurance for listed properties.
Finding the right listed home
All of these concerns are worth bearing in mind if you’re considering purchasing a listed property. The hassle may well be worth it for you; these buildings are genuinely beautiful, and many people will put up with a lot in order to live in such a home. However, it’s important that you understand exactly what you might have to deal with. As long as you know what to expect, you’ll be free to enjoy life in your listed home.