A professionally finished barn conversion offers a fantastic living space and owners can be proud of the fact that they have breathed new life into a redundant building. However, if you desire to become the proud owner of such a property then purchasing a barn for that dream conversion can take patience and determination.
Below are 5 tips that could speed-up the search process and may help lead to a successful outcome.
How to find a barn:
- Local press: Get your hands on as many local papers and publications as possible. These will give details of any barns being offered for sale. This exercise can prove to be a highly effective way of establishing availability that is limited to the local and not national population.
- Local estate agents: Visit every estate agent in the area you wish to live and ask for details of any barns they have for sale. It is important that you stipulate the barn you are seeking is to be used for a barn conversion. Don’t despair if you initially draw a blank. Ask each agent to put you on their mailing list and request they contact you immediately a suitable barn becomes available.
- Local authority check: The local authority in the area you are seeking to live will have details on record of all barns that have been granted planning permission. With these details at hand you can then trace the owner or the vendor responsible for selling the property.
- Online research: Don’t dismiss the value of global online search engines for local searches. There are a number of extremely valuable sites that provide details of barns currently available and will regularly add new listings that come on to the market. These sites also provide interesting, informative detail on the many factors you will need to take into account during the conversion process.
- Go for a drive: Touring your chosen area and noting any semi or derelict barns can be a fruitful exercise. It could increase your chances of securing a barn that may not be on the market, but whose owner may be willing to discuss a sale. It will also be beneficial in terms of helping you familiarize yourself with the lay of the land and practicalities such as distances to local shops, schools and transportation routes.
- Important caveat: Be aware that there are strict planning guidelines and rules relating to barn conversions that must be adhered to before any permissions are approved and granted. Check that these can be fulfilled or have been fulfilled, before rushing into a purchase.
Conversion process – seek professional assistance:
Attempting to complete the conversion yourself, or to juggle the project management and associated red tape with the demands of your current employment can be a risk that leads to far more stress and problems than you imagined. Employing an experienced RIBA chartered architect with proven experience in this type of project should ensure the entire process from initial planning to completion is a success. By taking this option, you will find the cost of such services is money wisely invested.
Realising the dream:
Purchasing a barn for that dream conversion is something many hanker for. Persistence will be required and challenges overcome before a successful completion of such a project, but those who rise to these challenges will deserve their just reward; a home to be proud of.