If you’re thinking about buying a listed property, the restrictions, conditions and costs involved can be eye watering and often put people off before they’ve even begun.
However, if you love character properties then you shouldn’t let a few extra reels of red tape put you off. Listed buildings can make fantastic family homes and, as long as you’re clued up on all of the latest information, shouldn’t cause you too many problems.
Types of listing
There are three types of listed building in the UK, Grade I, Grade II and Grade II*.
Grade I listed buildings are classed as the most important nationally and internationally and as a result have the strictest rules and restrictions placed on them.
Grade II listed buildings are the most common to be found in the UK, with around 92% of listed building coming into this category. Like grade I listed properties, they are subject to a lot of conditions, but these are generally a bit more relaxed and occasionally flexible.
Grade II* buildings are those that are considered more important than grade II but not quite meeting the criteria for a Grade I listing. Around 5.5%of listed properties fall into this bracket.
This Sash Windows guide to listed buildings should be something useful too.
The main and overriding restriction of owning a listed property is that it has to remain the same. Windows, roofs, and stonework must all appear as they did originally, and any alterations or repairs must be approved and inspected to ensure that they’re in keeping.
The level of restriction will vary depending on your homes listing, but in some cases even internal work will need to be submitted for approval and carefully undertaken.
This can make something like adding a conservatory or an extension almost impossible, so think thoroughly about the dimensions of the property before you buy.
Grants and bursaries
The bonus of having a lot of rules governing what you can and cannot do to your property is that there are grants and bursaries available to help you to maintain and preserve your home.
This can make expensive work, like a new roof or new windows, a great deal more affordable, so you can get all of the pleasure of a period property without breaking the bank.
Listed buildings are a joy to live in and many people who do find a huge amount of satisfaction caring for and conserving the property for future generations to enjoy.