Living in a listed building can come with many advantages, not least the opportunity to call a beautiful old property your home. There are thought to be over 350,000 listed buildings in the UK at the moment, and many of them are seen as part of the national heritage of this country. However, when it comes to the financial side of living in a listed building, it can become instantly apparent that they can cost more to purchase, run and repair, should there be need to do so. Why do listed buildings exist? A building is chosen to be listed if it is of sufficient old age and importance to the area that it needs to be protected.
This is to stop people from altering its original appearance and doing away with the historic value contained within the building. Listed buildings generally have to be over 30 years old in order to be listed, and those built before 1700 are usually always listed.
The architectural style of listed buildings can help to build a greater picture of the history in this country, which is just one of the many reasons why listed buildings exist today. What are the different grades for listed buildings? If a building is listed it will be placed under one of the three different categories of listing that exist.
These include: – Grade 1These buildings are the most important and are seen to hold both national and international significance. – Grade II*If a building has a Grade II* listing it is of special interest to the local area. – Grade Either is special interest in Grade II buildings, so they must be protected at all cost. Almost 90% of all the listed buildings in the UK are Grade II.
The higher the grade, the more expensive the property will be to purchase and insure. What if my property is listed? It is possible to own and even live in a listed building, but this will be rather different from living in an ordinary house. For starters, you won’t be able to make changes to your property without written consent from the local council.
Do listed buildings cost more? Yes, they do. When buying a listed building you will instantly notice that they can be more expensive to purchase, and there are additional costs to be found when insuring your new listed property. This is for a number of reasons, including: – Due to the special nature of listed buildings, insurers want to increase the cost of home insurance in order to match the risk taken when providing cover for them. Listed buildings often come with many faults, which owners can claim on their insurance for.
– If any repair work needs to be carried out on the listed building at some point, authentic materials will need to be used in order to ensure the property retains its original appearance. These materials can cost much more than modern ones though. – Some listed buildings come with one-of-a-kind artworks and antiques, which can push the price of the insurance up. – Should a listed building be damaged in a fire or flood; significant work will need to be carried out to return the property to its original state. Is there a solution to all this? There are specialist insurance policies available for those living in listed buildings, although it is still possible to get an insurance valuation and quote from a ‘normal’ insurance company.
Listed buildings can be incredibly beautiful, but due to their special nature, they often cost more to insure.
Michael Palmer is a freelance writer based in Oxford, writing on behalf of MORE TH>N home insurance. These are his own thoughts and do not represent the views of MORE TH>N.