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Townhouses – sartorial elegance sees a revival in recent times

The word townhouse conjures up pictures of beautiful Georgian terraced townhouses located in plush squares in London and in wonderful regal coastal towns. Obtaining insurance for this type of property should pose no problem at all – unless of course the property is being used as a second home, or if it has listed building status, which of course must be declared to any insurance company as material underwriting fact. Almost always built of brick or stone, this type of property has achieved iconic status in the UK and is now popular not only with city dwellers where space is at a premium, but also with property developers and builders who see this as a way to build lager properties on less land throughout the country.

The definition of a townhouse has a plethora of variations! It depends really on what part of the world you live in, but in the UK a townhouse (literally a house in a town) was the residence of very important or wealthy people – often from the aristocracy who resided in the capital or in a major city, such as the wealthy port of Bristol where traders made their homes. These people would have another, much larger and grander house in the country and their townhouse was simply somewhere they stayed when in town – often during the social season. The properties were arranged on several floors allowing for living space by the family and often for a number of servants too. As in most cities, space was at a premium so these properties were identical to their neighbour and shared common walls. It is only in relatively modern times that these buildings have become gentrified and are now much sort after by city dwellers.

Townhouses have enjoyed a bit of a renaissance in recent times – again, due to the constrictions on space. Builders and construction companies are faced with diminished land supplies and what is left is extremely expensive to purchase, so it makes sense to maximise on the available space: more townhouses can be constructed per square metre than almost all other properties (excluding flats and apartments, but high rise developments are no longer sort after or deemed popular – unless of course they have amazing views and frontage – such as on the river Thames in central London). The flexibility which the townhouse provides in multi-floored accommodation is popular with families – and local planners welcome the concept as a conservation of building land space.

These properties are generally very low maintenance and as the gardens tend to be small (think of the width of the building), homeowners are not forced to spend all their weekends tending to the garden! The modern townhouse is constructed over two floors although many construction companies offer a third floor. Often the living accommodation is constructed above a garage, again maximising on space.

When requesting a townhouse insurance quote, you will need to provide certain information such as the risk address postcode and the rebuilding cost of the property. The actual building cost does create a great deal of confusion as it is often confused with the sale value of the property – so make sure you obtain the correct figure for this. It is advisable to take professional advice with any type of property insurance. At Westhill Insurance Services we have a great deal of experience dealing with all types of property – and especially those which are often hard to insure, such as listed properties or those on flood plains. We can advise you on the best possible policy to suit the needs of your townhouse – and, as an independent broker, we will shop around to make sure we find the best possible deal to suit your needs and your budget. If you are using the townhouse as a holiday home, or perhaps renting this out, then speak to us as we can help with all aspects of insurance cover. Whether your townhouse was built in an earlier era of grandeur and opulence or is a new build maximising on space, we will be able to make sure you have the cover you need to protect your home on all levels!

Contact Westhill Insurance Services, today.

Posted on 10th February, 2013