ME­LANIE BIEN Money ex­pert and founder of Bien Me­dia

House Beautiful (UK) - - Property Of The Month -

QHow easy is it to get mort­gages and in­surance for thatched prop­er­ties?

AThatched cot­tage own­ers must al­low for higher in­surance bills, mainly be­cause they’re thought to have an in­creased fire risk. The cheap­est main­stream in­sur­ers may not in­sure thatched build­ings at all, so a small, spe­cial­ist in­surer is the way to go. It’s worth ap­proach­ing a spe­cial­ist in­surance bro­ker to find the most com­pet­i­tive deal, al­though it will still be higher than the pre­mi­ums on a sim­i­lar-sized prop­erty with a tiled roof.

Get­ting a mort­gage to buy a thatched cot­tage can also be trick­ier, as lenders want to en­sure that they can re­sell the prop­erty if it’s re­pos­sessed. This may be harder if the prop­erty has an un­usual con­struc­tion, like a thatch, than it would be for a straight­for­ward three­bed­room semi, as they as­sume there will be less de­mand for it.

While the big high-street lenders may not be in­ter­ested in lend­ing on a thatched cot­tage, one of the smaller build­ing so­ci­eties, which spe­cialises in mort­gages for char­ac­ter prop­er­ties, may look at your case on an in­di­vid­ual ba­sis, us­ing lo­cal valuers who un­der­stand the mar­ket. Seek ad­vice from an in­de­pen­dent mort­gage bro­ker who can point you in the di­rec­tion of such lenders.

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