Sunday 25 September 2016

Insurance costs off-putting for potential buyers says auctioneer

Published 25/11/2015 | 02:30

Thatched cottage in Adare
Thatched cottage in Adare

Auctioneer John O'Connell of GVM in Limerick has first-hand experience of thatched houses, both professionally and as an owner.

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He's currently the selling agent of a thatched property (pictured left) at Churchview in the picturesque village of Adare, Co Limerick.

They rarely come on the market and in his 15 years as an auctioneer, this is the first one he's had on his books.

Despite a lot of interest in the house, the practicalities of owning and living in a protected structure are putting people off.

"It went on the market in February and we've had about 80 viewings and it has exceeded its reserve of €225,000," he said.

"The big selling point is the area. People want Adare because of its character and heritage.

"But when they go away and do the sums, they realise it's a lot more expensive than they thought," he said.

"The big thing at the moment is trying to get insurance on it. It also needs some work but the cost of insuring it and even getting a quote is driving this up further."

The thatched cottage at Churchview is one of 11 historic family homes that were built by Lord Dunraven for his staff in 1826.

Two of these burnt to the ground in a devastating fire in June and a third sustained water damage but was saved from the blaze.

The incident shocked the heritage town and was covered extensively in the media.

Mr O'Connell says this if anything has only added to the woes of the vendor.

"Interest levels were knocked back a bit after this but it also highlighted the dangers of thatched roofs," he added.

Meanwhile, An Bord Pleanala will decide in January on a planning appeal to change the roofs on several houses in Old Killarney Village in Aghadoe, Co Kerry.

Kerry County Council had granted conditional planning permission to change the thatch roof to slate on five houses in the development but this was appealed to the planning watchdog.

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