What To Consider Before Buying A Listed Building

Friday 17th December 2021

There’s no denying that listed buildings are unmatched in charm and history. After all, that’s why they have their protected status. So, if you’re thinking about buying a listed building, we certainly don’t blame you! When it comes to buying a listed building there are however a few key factors to be aware of. Buying a listed building to live in can come with additional costs and extra work. We’ll take a look at the main factors involved in buying a listed building in just a second, but first let’s take a moment to clarify what it means for a building to be ‘listed’.

What Counts As A ‘Listed Building’?

A listed building is a property that has been placed on the national register of buildings with architectural or historical importance. This includes most properties built before 1840. The aim of protecting these buildings under law is to preserve and maintain them for future generations. That’s why these buildings carry extra restrictions and maintenance. There are 3 different levels that determine how a property is graded. These are:

Grade I: buildings of historic, national or outstanding architectural interest

Grade II: significant buildings of local interest

Grade II*: buildings of special architectural or historic interest

Now that we’ve established what counts as a listed building let’s take a look at the main factors to consider when buying a listed building. These include:

Listed Building Consent

Listing imposes restrictions upon the changes that homeowners can make to a property. So before buying a listed building, you should always check what’s covered in these restrictions. If you want to make changes to the property then you’ll need to gain permission from the local conservation officer. It’s important to note that you’ll be required to supply a lot more detail in your application than you would for regular planning permission. In short, it’s a lot more complex to make changes to a property when it is listed. If you’ve fallen in love with the property then this isn’t an issue, however if you’re not completely happy with the property as it is then this can be one of the main disadvantages of owning a listed building.

Extra Maintenance Costs

As we mentioned previously, buying a listed building does come with extra costs.  Due to the fact that listed buildings are very old, they’re likely to have more maintenance issues than modern homes. So, when thinking about buying a listed home, make sure to factor the cost of maintenance and repairs into your decision making. Additionally, repairs will often require the use of specialist materials and specialist tradesmen which will of course make the process more costly. The good news is that you can sometimes get grants from Historic England to help towards the costs of these repairs. Regardless of this, before buying a listed building, make sure to get a comprehensive survey completed so that you’re aware of the amount of repairs that you’ll need to pay for. 

Specialist Home Insurance

Another key factor to consider when buying a listed building is the fact that you may need to take out specialist insurance. This isn’t always necessary, however when applying for home insurance, you’ll need to inform the insurer that the property is listed. In many cases, you may need specialist cover, depending on the type of property that you’re buying. Be aware that as the homeowner you’re also responsible for unauthorised alterations made before you moved in and so you may want to look for insurance that covers pre-existing works. 

Should I Buy A Listed Building?

Buying a listed building certainly comes with its own set of challenges. However, the benefits of owning such a unique and beautiful property can’t really be argued with. The key to buying a listed building is doing plenty of research so you know exactly how much work and how many costs you’ll be taking on if you go ahead with the purchase.

Once you’ve found your dream home, get in touch with the team at Hackworthy to arrange a stress free moving day. With over 40 years experience in removals you can rely on our services for a simple and stress free moving experience.