PROPERTY FINANCE SPECIALIST
MELANIE BIEN Money expert and founder of Bien Media
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.