Wednesday, 9 July 2014

A bunch of property wrecks in Charentes, France

Some of you may remember that this whole wreck of the week blog thingy started after hubby and I lost our deposit on a wreck in France.
Anyway, I still have a bit of soft spot for France's green and lovely middle so today's pick is a French wreck - several wrecks actually - sent to me by reader Kevin.
The first one is the half-shell of a cottage, above, with these imposing ruined lime kilns and around 8000m land, next to a river near the town of Nieuil, in Charentes:


Secluded, peaceful and with planning permission to renovate and rebuild the cottage. There are no services or drainage. It's on the market through Beaux Villages at euro70k, details here.
Also up for sale is this partially-restored former barn with its own three-hectare lake:

The ground floor of the barn had, according to Kevin, been developed for use as a restaurant and the upstairs is still one big, open space.
Pricier than my usual picks at euro318k, it's up for sale through Leggett - details here.
All these properties are part of one big lot - split up for sale through different agents.
The details online are pretty rubbish - it's impossible to see how they relate to each other or what else is around them, or even what else may be up for sale on the site.
For instance, the former forge below, that hasn't yet come on the market, and seems to be on the same lake (along with other buildings) and all of them may once have belonged to the grand Chateau de Nieuil.

Anyway, now it all belongs to Kevin who had been renovating it himself until the dream ended this year with "a couple of heart attacks".

Friday, 4 July 2014

Two grand Scottish villas (and a Borders mansion)

I had a nice email last week from the couple that bought the manse in Muirkirk, a property I featured a couple of years ago, and are now partway through their labour of restoration love. 
Elaine added:
When I think about the rabbit hutches that masquerade as family homes at £200k and compare them to the home I now have I cannot help but smile.
Indeed.
As an antidote to recent news stories about the dark matter of property pricing that is The South, here are two more very big and very cheap Scottish alternatives to "rabbit hutches".
First,the villa above and below, in the small town of Seamill, West Kilbride.
I absolutely adore this house. It looks like it should be in the middle of the English countryside, with a vicar or two taking tea on the lawn. Instead it's on a junction of the A78 in a Scottish seaside town:


It's detached, with big, enclosed gardens either side, five bedrooms, bathroom and loo upstairs; hall, cloakroom, four reception rooms, kitchen and pantry downstairs.
There are gorgeous period details in most rooms, including stained glass windows and original fireplaces, and lovely views (ignoring the road) towards the Firth of Clyde and Ailsa Craig. Seamill itself has two very nice beaches (Seamill and Ardneil).


It's on the market through GSPC property. Have a guess at the price... go on, five-bed detached with period details, big garden and views of water....?
Offers around £219k. Details and more pix here and here.
Still in Ayrshire, the detached villa below is just outside the village of Mauchline, nine miles from Kilmarnock:

A tad smaller with four bedrooms and with a bit of an odd layout two big reception rooms downstairs but the kitchen is upstairs (in one of the ugliest kitchen/diner arrangements I've seen). That, plus the sideways gardens, the name (Haughbank House) and those steps to the right, suggest there's a hill behind it.
Anyway, the decor throughout is pretty grotty, but we live for grotty here on 'Wreck'... it gets us up in the morning and reaching for the paintbrush!


A nice, rural location and no A74 outside the door (but also no Firth view) and a decent-sized garden area and drive - and I love the entrance porch:


So, what do you reckon for this one? Four-bed detached in the country. Lovely outside, bit of a dog's breakfast inside...how much?
It's on the market through Clyde Property at offers over £165k. Details and more pix here and also here.
And finally, Wreck reader Kit sent me a link to this news story, about the listed mansion for sale at offers over £1.
Old Whitehall House, below, is at Chirnside around seven miles from Berwick-on-Tweed (with mainline trains to Edinburgh and London).

The seven-bedroom, B-listed Georgian mansion has lost its wings and is in a dangerous condition. It needs a lot of work - around £1.2million-worth - to restore it and get it off the Buildings At Risk register.
Getting that work done is a condition of the sale. So, £1 plus £1.2m - starting to sound like London prices...


Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Detached house, Lydbrook, near Ross-on-Wye


I like this property. Aside from the obvious renovation work, it's got such a nice feel to it. Maybe it's the sunny photos.
A three-bed, two reception, detached house in the village of Lydbrook, in the Wye Valley, around seven miles from Ross-on-Wye and Monmouth, and with lovely views front and back..
Inside are some nice original features - like this fireplace (well, I like it):

And a sweetly eccentic approach to decor. I LOVE the woodland animals feature wallpaper above! And how about this bedroom's pattern and stripe combo below (and another nice fireplace):


Some of the original features are a little less useful - notice the kitchen's old electrical sockets, and there are some signs of rising damp in downstairs rooms and water-damage to the hall tiles.


But that's the joy of renovation - the plus side being a detached house in a nice village for just £130k.
Inside are hall, lounge, dining room, kitchen and utility downstairs, and three bedrooms and bathroom upstairs.
Outside is a courtyard with big detached garage/store (you'll want to check for asbestos) and a garden
It's on the market through Bidmead Cook, who I'd not come across before but I'd like to give them a pat on the back.
Not only do they have a simple, easy to view website, but the photos of this house are nicely done - and whoever took them has clearly got a bit of an artistic bent. Have a look at these - the garden behind the house (described as "in need of cultivation".!), and the steps leading up to it:


And how about the view through the landing window:


Anyway, good on you Bidmead Cook snapper for going that bit further to show off this house.
Agents' details and more photos here, and also on Needaproperty, here.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Two cottages and a chapel - Derbyshire

Here's another of my former featured properties - bought by a reader and now back on the market. 
Wensley Chapel is up for auction this month, now with planning permission to convert to a two-bed home with open-plan living area. Patrick emailed me about it. He said:
It is a lovely building and in a great spot – but three years down the line and plans have changed, it will be a great project for someone.
It's a while since I featured the chapel, in the Derbyshire village of Wensley. I seem to remember a friend of mine was seriously thinking of buying it - until her then boyfriend told her no way could he live in an old church. Anyway, Patrick bought the chapel and the friend eventually ditched the boyfriend.
It's on the market through Fidler Taylor, with an auction guide price of £80-£120k. Details here.
The auction is on June 19th and the catalogue has a couple of other properties also worth a look.
The detached cottage below is in Hackney, on the edge of Matlock.

It needs renovating but there are lots of original features. Dowstairs floors are flagged; there's a cast iron range in the living room; and a proper walk-in pantry off the kitchen.
But the best bit is the views - across Derbyshire hills and moors towards the Wye Valley. Gorgeous.


It's up for auction with a guide price of £90-£110k
Finally, this former farm, at Bonsall, is on the pricier side of my usual picks with an auction guide of £325k-£350k:


For that you get a detached, two-bed farmhouse in a lovely setting in the Derbyshire Dales, plus around half-an-acre of gardens with several outbuildings.Details here.




Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Three Gloucestershire village cottages


Don't know about wreck of the week, it's been about more like wreck of the month of late. Sorry about that - the paid job* has been taking more of my time than usual. Anyway, I'm back. And with a positive glut of Gloucestershire beauties to show you.
First up is the sweet mid-terraced property, above, in the pretty border village of Staunton, around four miles from Monmouth.
Now it takes something for me to pick a terraced home for "Wreck..", and with this one the something was the shuttered windows. Plus the whole darn cute cottagey-ness of it. I mean, look at the garden:


It's Grade II listed and needs renovation, although it looks like some electrical work's been done recently.
Downstairs is a kitchen, a good-sized lounge with stone fireplace, and a downstairs shower room. Upstairs are two bedrooms and the bathroom.
It's on the market through Steve Gooch at a £tenner under £180k. Details here.


The cottage, above, in the ancient village of Bream is a part-finished renovation job. Downstairs is a good-size lounge/dining room, plus (unfitted) kitchen, and (fitted) bathroom. Two bedrooms upstairs.

There's a decent-sized garden at the front and a tarmac yard and double garage at the rear. Outside there's that 100ft rear garden, plus a garage, and a courtyard garden at the front.
It's on the market through Richard Butler at a £fiver under £160k - a £10k reduction on its original asking price. Details here.
Next up is this old-lady-gone end-terrace in the Cotswold village of Chalford Hill:

Not the prettiest of houses as is - but isn't that the challenge? And it's in a nice setting with a good-sized garden wrapped around three sides:

Downstairs are the hall, sitting room, kitchen/diner. Upstairs are two bedrooms and the bathroom.
Then it gets a bit more complicated.
The property is up for sale through Parkers at £135k - that's after two price reductions within a month, in a village where similar-sized, renovated cottages are going for £100k more.
The reduction on its original (£150k) selling price is probably down to the sentence tossed in at the end of the agent's blurb:
We understand from Stroud District Council that there is a covenant covering this property. Before you arrange to view, please check with the district council on 01453 766321 that you meet the criteria to purchase this property.
Blimey O'Reilly! It's not as if the agents don't know what the covenant is! No wonder they can't sell this house if they expect interested buyers to ring up the council before even deciding whether to view it.
Anyhow, I did some detective work.
This is a former council house on Aston View in Chalford Hill, which is listed as in an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB).
When Stroud council sold off hundreds of AONB homes around the district, they attached residency and development restrictions to put off developers moving in redeveloping those areas.
In 2010, those rules were softened but the upshot is that you have to have lived somewhere in Glos for three years to be able buy this house. Property details here.