Dream Thatched Cottage – Finding it

Help Finding Your Dream

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The Thatch Advice Centre help a lot of people who are in the process of purchasing or have just purchased a thatched cottage, from detailed roof inspection reports, to maintenance, insurance and fire safety advice etc.  Recently, we realised that help is often required in actually finding your dream thatched cottage in the first place.

While many of these wonderful thatched homes are the idyllic Listed properties (mostly Grade II) there are also many other fabulous thatched properties for sale out there including new builds, refurbished and even some needing a bit of TLC.

Finding them, however, is not our area of expertise but, as usual, we have associates with that knowledge.  We decided to ask our friends at Heart Felt Home for some tips on how to find that perfect thatched cottage.  Based in the South West, where there are plenty of lovely thatched properties, they cover the whole country so they know a bit about locating dream properties for clients as part of the property search service they offer.

About Heart Felt Home

Here’s what Sally from Heart Felt Home says:-

“Heart Felt Home began, after realising there was a need, for true independent advice and support for people looking to move house and find their dream home.

Not favouring any particular Estate Agent and not minding what type of property you are looking for, or how big your budget is?  I save you time, effort and heartache.  Not only that there’s negotiating, to save you money.  Houses, both on and off market, are often heard about before the Agent has even signed them up!

All I am interested in, and what makes the work so rewarding, is that there must be an emotional connection to your home.  A sense of belonging, is what we are all searching for, which has to be heart felt, otherwise it’s just a house and not a home.

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Considerations Before You Start Looking

When you first have the notion to move house, you must get the following four points straight in your minds.  It often helps to write separate priority lists (if more than one purchaser).  A 1-10 must haves and no, no’s.  Confer afterwards, to see if you’re on the same page?

  • WHY – What is driving your move?  Is it work, schools, retirement, closer to family, better work life balance, or, being nearer the coast, or in the countryside, or maybe it’s a fresh start?
  • WHAT – Think about the type of property you’d like?  Many do a Pinterest board, to help visualise where they see themselves living.  What practically fits your needs and wants? Bear in mind that this image can often change and you find yourself being drawn to something entirely different.
  • WHEN – Timing is everything!  If work, or schools are the driving force, then obviously they dictate.  However, often it’s the sale of your current home, linked with house prices and availability. Consider renting in between as a breathing space, to try the area before you buy?  Otherwise, my advice is to ‘kick on’ and be open to your home appearing, when the time is right.
  • WHERE – The location is actually more important than the house.  You could find the perfect home, but if you don’t like the surrounding area and what it offers you, then, no matter how great the house is, you won’t be happy, will sell up and go back to where you came from, saying it was a disaster!

House Type

When it’s a thatch property you’re after, there are many to choose from.  Often Listed, but sometimes, it could be a new house, farm house, cottage, or barn conversion.

You will hear reservations from friends about owning such a property, but I find that these comments, usually come from those who have not been educated regarding owning a thatch and their misgivings are unfounded.

There’s a lot of help out there and I recommend my clients contact The Thatch Advice Centre, as a first port of call.  All your questions will be answered properly, as well as maintenance advice, insurance considerations and also recommended Thatcher’s, who are more than happy to help.  You can get an independent inspection, on the thatch itself, so you know the condition and likely costs, if that would give you peace of mind from a thatcher not looking for work!

With every house, or dream thatched cottage, no matter the price tag, or construction, there will be a compromise.  Just what that compromise is, alters with every house!  What you will accept, as not a problem for one, will seem insurmountable for another. To be truly happy, a balance of all the elements needs to be sought, ie. location, size, price, aesthetics.  Also, that unexplainable X Factor, of ‘feeling the house’, that sense of belonging, makes all the difference. If this sounds like a tall order, well it’s not, you just have to recognise it, when you see it and sometimes, that requires my help!

When You Find Your Dream Thatched Cottage

You’ve found your gorgeous home, fallen in love.  So, now comes the hard part!

NEGOTIATE! As I write this, a buyer’s market is returning. Best and finals, are a thing of the past. The market is calming, with many buyers getting cold feet.  Keep calm and don’t get carried away.  Agents may try to convince you otherwise, but stick to your guns!

Hire a Solicitor and Surveyor, who are used to older, thatched properties.  This will save you a lot of problems, as they will be able to guide you through, whatever is discovered in the legalities.  Older properties especially, have specialities of construction to consider so it helps to have sensible and experienced people around you.

Every house is a labour of love and we are all just custodians of these old magnificent properties.  You should think of it as an honour, to keep them going into the next Century and beyond. Owning a thatch is a very special part of our English Heritage and there is no other house that stirs the emotions, or pulls on the heart strings, quite as much.”

And Finally….. Sold?

Many thanks to Sally at Heart Felt Home for her expertise.  Looking for your dream thatched cottage is very similar to looking for your dream home, except that it is thatched. This means there is probably a lot more variety to choose from and they are more unique ones than average tiled property.  Does this then make finding the “right one” harder?  Perhaps you need to identify what you want, and where you want to be, who can help you find it and answer some of those questions.  Even a little compromise may be in order so that you find your perfect property.

Using a property search expert like Heart Felt Home is one way to make things easier, and we thank Sally for her valuable input in this article.    One thing we know for sure is that the property market has been very buoyant over the last couple of years, especially in the area of lovely rural properties.  The place where the majority of thatched dream homes seem to be located.

If you are still looking for that elusive place, then we hope this article has given you a few more options on how to find ” the one” and who can help you get that sold sign up!

Get in touch when you have found it and we will welcome to our Thatched Community.  Remember where we are if you need any additional assistance eg roof inspection reports or helping find insurance etc.

PS.  Why not send us a lovely picture of your new dream thatched cottage, to share with all the other thatch lovers?

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