Many people who live in thatched properties take pride in the appearance of the thatch and most pay great attention to maintaining their property in immaculate order. This is one of the reasons that thatched houses and cottages command a good market price whenever they come onto the market, and can be sold fairly easily. This is especially true now that the building societies are more willing to advance a mortgage on such properties.
The previous reluctance was based on at least two factors, the presence of a thatched roof which requires maintenance, and the fact that many such buildings are by definition old. The walls of these old buildings may have been made of cob or chalk ashlar for example and, if in the past the roof had leaked and water got into the top of the walls the material would have started to deteriorate. Of course, as can be seen around the country, if the walls are kept dry cob and chalk will last for many centuries, in fact the house above dates back to the middle of the 1600’s while the one below dates back to the early 18th century.
There are several advantages to living in a house with a thatched roof, in addition to the pleasing appearance many thatched houses are old and possess relatively large gardens. These older properties were mainly built in the best possible location which, in the past could be chosen from a wider area that is possible today. It is probable that the original sites were chosen because they were near a natural water supply and were sheltered from the weather by the surrounding land, often on slightly sloping land to reduce any problems with drainage and dampness. Other benefits of a thatched roof include the thick layer of reed or straw acting as a very efficient sound barrier and heat insulator resulting in the house remaining cool in summer and warm in winter. This is helped by the traditionally thick walls in many thatched houses.
It is also worth while using a good, local insurance broker who is experienced in getting buildings insurance for thatched cottages but you should be prepared to pay relatively high fire insurance premiums on any thatched property.
Possible disadvantages are that they may have been built near a road (many country lanes can be busy during the holiday season) or may have been built in a remote location, leading to problems with utilities such as power, water and sewerage.