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Listed Property - A Buyers Guide
Period properties offer a unique charm that is impossible to replicate in new-builds, and many of our home search clients are looking for a building that has housed families for generations before them.
By: Lexis Click
However, more and more country homes are becoming listed, placing them under certain levels of protection and limiting the work that may be carried out on them by the owner. http://www.elitepropertysearch.com
This may be welcome - the very reason many people choose to buy a listed property is to enjoy its protected status as their own little piece of history
But if you simply aspire to owning a Georgian property, be aware that many will be listed - and know what that means before you make the purchase.
With a listed property, you know the key features of the home are protected.
Its unique style and generations of history will be safeguarded, with clear guidelines as to what new work is acceptable.
When you sell, you may benefit as potential buyers and buying agents conducting their own home search can see your property's period features are protected.
As a buyer, purchasing a listed property clearly restricts what you can do.
While the property itself is protected, any changes you might want to make - even as small as painting the window frames or doors - may be subject to planning permission.
This not only means your plans might be rejected, but raises the administrative work involved in even relatively small projects.
Levels of Listing
The restrictions enforced depend on the category of listing - professional property finders can tell you which of three possible levels applies.
Grade I buildings are of exceptional interest - these are structures of national importance which deserve protecting.
Grade II*, or Two Star, is an intermediate grade for buildings of outstanding importance likely to be of exceptional public interest.
Grade II is reserved for structures which do not fall into the categories above but are still worthy of safeguarding.
Most listed buildings fall into Grade II, meaning there are plenty of period properties not subject to Grade II* or Grade I restrictions.
Planning your Purchase
At Elite Property Search, our property finders have dealt with listed properties many times in the past and know the importance of preparation.
Contacting the local conservation officer is a good first step - in a fast-moving market, book your appointment at the first opportunity.
Unnecessary delays add weeks to the house-buying process and let other buyers and buying agents get offers in.
Also be aware of any work carried out on the property by its current owner; work on listed buildings must have the correct certifications in place and planning permission approval.
Work done without permission becomes your responsibility once you buy the building - even if it was carried out by the previous owner - so double check on anything that seems suspicious.
The owner should be used to the extra admin that comes with a listed property, so don't be afraid of asking them for the correct documentation for the work they have done.
Although your solicitor should highlight any suspicions during their conveyancing work, finding out about problems early on can save time and cut down on legal costs.
Buying a listed property is the start of a relationship with your home unlike any other - like any other relationship, if you do the groundwork from the outset, you can expect many happy years together.