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The age of your property can have a bearing on home insurance quotes
It’s an interesting fact to find out anyway. But you’ll also need to know how old your house is for insurance purposes.
Insurers ask for this information when calculating your premiums.
In some cases, older and period properties are constructed using materials that might prove difficult or costly to repair, or may require specialist building techniques.
This can hike up the costs of your buildings insurance quote.
If you own your home, then the easiest way to discover its age is to look at your property’s title deeds or title register.
These may have been sent to you by your conveyancing solicitor a month or so after the sale was completed. If you can’t find your deeds, contact your solicitor or the mortgage company, as they may still have them.
Your title register counts as your proof of ownership of the property.
It will show the date of registration at which the first transfer of the plot of land from the property developer to a new owner took place. Your house will likely have been built at around this time.
You could also find out when your home was built on these documents:
If you can’t find your title deeds, you can get them from HM Land Registry provided your property has been registered there.
It keeps copies of title registers for more than 25 million properties in England and Wales which can be downloaded for a fee of £3 each.
You can request a copy of your own title register from them - or for a property you’re interested in buying, for example.
For properties in other areas of the UK go to:
Land Registry in Northern Ireland
If your house is a new build, you can easily find out the build-date from the developer.
In much older properties, it could be difficult to find out the exact year your home was built. It’s usually quite easy to come up with an approximate date that’s fairly accurate, though.
There’s no set definition as to what’s classed as an old house in home insurance terms. But generally, any property built more than 50 years ago might be considered ‘old’ and any built before the late 1900s could be classed as a period property.
Period properties include Edwardian, Victorian and Georgian homes - and those going further back to Stuart and even Tudor times.
It’s not always the case, but in many instances, the older the property, the higher the risk for insurance companies which translates as higher premium costs.
This could be because materials used to build period homes are expensive and hard to get hold of.
Some older properties may also contain hazardous construction substances like lead or asbestos.
And others might be more prone to damp or subsidence too.
Go to gov.uk to find out where your local archives are located and how to visit them. They collect and hold records relating to the history of an area - things like papers, building plans, photographs and maps which could help you trace the history of a property.
Look at the census forms from 1841 to 1911 to see when your house address was first included.
This is a record of 2,000 properties registered in 1862. It's worth taking a look to see if your home is registered – it's free to check.
See if your house is listed in Historic England's National Heritage List for England or Cadw's National Historic Assets of Wales.
Contact a local history society or amateur historian that might be willing to take up the challenge.
It’s important you give your insurance company correct details about the age of your home as it can affect your insurance premiums.
It’s also something you’ll need to know when you’re selling your house in the future. The age of a property can affect its price. Period properties are sought after so can achieve higher asking prices.
As well as being useful to know, it can also be fascinating to discover more about your home’s history and who used to live there.
Plus, if you’re renovating your property, you can make changes that are authentic and sympathetic to its age.
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