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  • Writer's pictureThe Cedar Crest Team

How to reduce risk when investing in a grade-listed property



If you've decided to purchase a grade-listed building, there are certain considerations associated with such an undertaking. That’s because the rarity of grade listed buildings sets them apart from any regular bricks and mortar property. Listed buildings are properties that have been included on the National Heritage List and deemed to be of ‘special architectural or historical interest’. The status is intended to protect buildings from alterations that may negatively impact the character of the building and its historical context.



Taking on a listed building can be a rewarding experience, as you are inhabiting part of the nation’s historical fabric and culture. It is, however, vital for any buyer to go into a purchase fully informed and advised when it comes to the costs of refurbishment, maintenance, materials, insurance and energy use.

There may be exceptions to what falls under your care when you own a listed building. Many flats, for example, are part of a greater listed building but their interiors are not always required to be kept in their original state. Communal areas such as hallways and grounds may be protected.



Grade-listed buildings hold their own, unique value and their limited supply can ensure that this value is held regardless of what might be happening across the wider property market. But before buying such a property, make sure you carry out thorough research.

Investigation into the current condition of the building, along with its past repairs and renovations, will help to provide valuable insights. If possible, try to speak with previous owners about their experience in order to gain a further understanding. It may also be beneficial to contact local heritage organisations who specialise in preservation advice on these types of properties.



Due diligence should be carried out on the financial side. You should seek to understand and assess any liabilities associated with the property, such as pre-existing loans, mortgages or taxes that have yet to be paid. It is also important to ask questions about local regulations and restrictions that may affect your plans for renovation or adaptation. You’ll need a Listed Building or Historical Building Survey.

It is essential to consult a professional surveyor who can provide an accurate assessment of the condition of the building. A survey report will help identify any potential problems which could lead to expensive repairs in the future. This information should then be taken into account when negotiating a purchase price with the seller and deciding whether or not the purchase of a grade-listed building is right for you.



Another consideration is that there will also be restrictions on just how much work you can carry out on the building and, more often than not, you won’t be able to make any significant modifications to the external structure or the internal layout.

However, you may be able to add additional value by repairing and modernising the property where possible. You will also require specialist property insurance due to the higher associated rebuild costs and these costs are also higher when maintaining the property as it’s more than likely you’ll need to source specific trade skills and materials.



One of the biggest risks for buyers is to assume that the listed home they are purchasing automatically conforms to the listing rules. If any of the previous owners have carried out work incorrectly, it becomes the new buyer’s responsibility to put it right. Despite being protected by law, listed buildings can be modernised with consent and bringing a listed building to market can be a lucrative endeavour as they offer something unique to homebuyers.



If you are moving on up, we can discuss a range of mortgage options suited to your specific needs. Contact Cedar Crest Ltd – telephone UK T: +44 (0) 203 883 1017, HK T: +852 6645 4462 – email info@

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments.

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