Thatched cottages are the marmite of the property world – you either love them or hate them, according to Charlie Comber from estate agency Hayman-Joyce in the Cotswolds.
‘Many people refuse to even consider a thatched property, even if it ticks every other box on their wish list, citing fire risk, higher insurance premiums, cost of maintenance renewal and arguments with Listed Building inspectors. Spiders and other bugs, that love living in thatch, are the final nail in the coffin. However, there are enough lovers of thatch to provide a good market, and thatched properties in the Cotswolds always sell well,’ he says.
Gideon Sumption of Stacks Property Search reports that although many purchasers specifically say they do not want thatch, he has had at least two overcome their prejudices and buy thatched houses.
‘It is easy to imagine that the only variety of thatched properties are cute little cottages, but in Devon that’s not the case – some fairly important houses can come in the thatched variety. The good thing for buyers is that because thatch doesn’t hold wide appeal, you do get more bang for your buck,’ he says.
Also, in these times of crunched credit and high fuel bills, it’s worth remembering that thatch provides fantastic insulation, adds Mr Sumption.
‘Although some buyers are concerned about the upkeep, there is very little architecturally to rival the charm of a picture perfect thatched cottage. When this is coupled with an idyllic location, the chances are the house will be extremely well received,’ notes Andrew Grice from Strutt & Parker Salisbury.
He cites the example of Cress Cottage in Sherrington that came to the market this autumn with a guide price of £510,000. ‘It was presented in good order with a neat garden, outbuildings and beautiful views across the village cress beds. We arranged 20 viewings in just over a month and the interest attracted competitive bids to arrive at a final selling figure in excess of the guide price,’ Mr Grice explains.
Property finder Mark Lawson at The Buying Solution lives in a thatched cottage, so fully appreciates the appeal – ‘there really is nothing like seeing a pretty thatched cottage at the end of your driveway when you return home.’
Beauty is not their only merit, he adds. ‘Thatched cottages are practical because they are warm – when it snows, the snow on the roof of our cottage is the last to melt, a sign the warmth is kept in by the insulation provided by the thatch.’
Some of the best thatched cottages currently on the market:
Limberhurst Cottage, Horseheath, Cambridgeshire £595,000
Grade-II listed 17th century thatched cottage with four bedrooms, double garage with workshop and studio over it, summer house and mature gardens. Carter Jonas Cambridge 01223 346602; www.carterjonas.co.uk
The Rowans, Broad Marston, Warwickshire £350,000
Dating back to 1571, this Grade-II two-bedroom listed cottage comes with seven residents – white doves in the garden’s dovecote. Along with the birds, The Rowans offers a secret garden for the summer house and a vegetable plot surrounded by fruit trees. Hayman-Joyce 01386 858510l; www.haymanjoyce.co.uk
Farringford Cottage, Freshwater Bay, Isle of Wight £550,000
Period thatched cottage from the 17th century with four bedrooms, outbuildings and views of downland. Once a bailiff’s cottage on the estate, Farringford Cottage was mentioned in Lord Tennyson’s will. Christopher Scott 01983 242121; www.christopherscott.co.uk
Tregarne, Higher Reen, Perranporth £595,000
Three-bedroom recently extended and restored cottage with views across farmland to the sea. Tregarne is one mile from the nearest beach. Chesterton Humberts Truro 01872 278288; www.chestertonhumberts.com
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