Should I buy a listed property?
Cornwall has a rich architectural heritage, reflected in its plethora of ancient monuments and Cornish Mining World Heritage Sites. More than 12,500 buildings in the county are listed, meaning that they have been given protection against unsympathetic alteration and demolition. If you’re considering buying a listed property, here are some of the pros and cons to consider.
- Aesthetic appeal – Many listed properties have a traditional ‘chocolate box’ appearance with plenty of character and charm. They often have unique period features, such as ornate fireplaces, cornices, original sash windows, or maybe even a historic mill wheel or well – talking points that you just don’t get in new builds. Older properties typically have more generous proportions than modern homes, which can benefit buyers looking for more spacious accommodation.
- Historic value – When you purchase a listed property, you’re not just buying a home; you’re buying a piece of history. The property has been listed for a reason, and by renovating it or maintaining it, you’re helping to preserve a valuable piece of Cornish history.
- Financial value – Listed houses tend to appreciate in value, so a Grade II listed property can be a savvy long-term investment (depending on its condition). A house that was build before 1919 is worth, on average, about 20 per cent more than its modern counterpart. The premium for a 17th Century period home is 34 per cent.
- Grants – You may be eligible for a grant to help cover the cost of renovating a listed property. Note that this is more likely if you are purchasing a Grade I or Grade II* building than a Grade II property.
- Renovation restrictions – Listed properties are subject to extremely strict guidelines, and obtaining permission for extensions or alterations can be a time-consuming process. If permission is granted, you may need to use specialist materials or techniques that will retain the original character of the property. You can find out more about Cornwall’s listed building regulations here.
- Cost – Older buildings frequently require a lot of remedial work and before exchanging contracts you should get a comprehensive survey to make sure there are no nasty surprises. Given that the building needs to be sympathetically restored using specific materials, the cost of renovating a listed building can be up to 30% more than the cost of renovating a regular property. Insuring a listed building is also more expensive.
- Responsibility – As the owner of a listed property, you are responsible for any alterations to the property, including previous unauthorised works. Before you buy, double check that any work done to the property had the necessary planning permission so you don’t incur extra liability.
Whether you are buying or selling a property, Lillicrap Chilcott offers expert advice and professional service. Contact us today for more information or view available listed and non-listed properties on our website.