Friday, 28 August 2015

Sweet stone cottage and barn, North Yorkshire

Among the many things you don't know about me is that I'm an expat Yorkshire lass (also that this morning I sprayed the ends of my hair blue. I'm looking forward to washing the colour out tonight). 
Anyway, back to houses. I get a bit nostalgic when I come across a proper Yorkshire stone wreck and this is a lovely one.
Sent to me by reader Graeme, Greenbank cottage lies just above the village of Whaw, at Arkengarthdale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park
Downstairs are two reception rooms, kitchen, diary and bathroom - all with original floors and other features.

Upstairs are three bedrooms, one accessed through the others, and with original fireplaces.

Attached to the cottage is stone barn and outside is a garden area - though it's not clear how big a garden. The house has electricity connected, septic tank drainage, and spring-fed water.
It's pretty remote and access is via a right of way over neighbouring land and a track that will need a 4x4. You'll want to have a conversation with the land owner about getting trucks up there when you start the renovation work.
The house needs a fair bit of work but the shape and original features make this a really attractive prospect - and the views are just stunning.

On the market through GSC Grays with a guide price of £200k. Details here and on Rightmove here. Downloadable PDF here.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Scottish mansion with a twist in the tale

Let's go large.
This property was tweeted to me eons ago (weeks at least) by the agent and, having initially ignored it because it's a bit big and a bit pricey for my usual 'Wreck' pick, I seemed to just keep on drifting back to it.
I think it's this picture - the little boy tumbling over the chair in the jumbly room - I just saw my own family running through its 69 rooms:

Actually 22 of those rooms are in the basement, so we'll ignore them for now and focus on the 40-ish in the ground and first floor. Which includes 10 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, a shedload of dressing rooms and walk-in stores, a library, formal dining room, kitchen, reception rooms - and a separate six-bedroom apartment.
Phew! is the word.

Grade B listed Drumcharry House is positively oozing with original features, including marble fireplaces, stained glass windows and a turret.

I want the stag's head to stay.
It's on the market at £650k, which seems pretty reasonable for a Scottish mansion with two-and-a-half acres and a whole lot of history.

Google, sorry Alphabet, view
So, what's the catch?
The house needs work, lots of work - that's clear from the photos. But what else?
I wondered whether there was something in it being sold as a commercial property. The agent's details mention it having been a guesthouse but it doesn't look like it's housed paying guests for a long time and I couldn't find any records related to its conversion from residential to commercial use.
The only planning application I could find was a request to put up signposts back in 1989 (refused).
And then I found it (I'm a persistent little bugger...)

Garth House Memorial Youth Hostel, 1975
Back in the 70s it was a youth hostel, having been donated to the Scottish Youth Hostel movement by the mum of Lieutenant Ian Mackenzie-Anderson, who died when his submarine was sunk by enemy action on June 13, 1940.
The SYH then sold it in 1982, for just £18k, having been outfaced by its dry rot issues. (Anyone else thinking there's an RBS analogy here?)
More digging and I found it on an archived hotel listing. It sounded nice. Three-stars.
Anyway, whatever the history missing from the agent's details, this is a gorgeous Scottish country mansion that deserves to have a family loving living in it.
But which may still have dry rot.
For sale through Real Simple Estates. Details and more photos here and here.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

A seaside home in Kent

Have I been to the seaside recently? Hang on a minute while I yes. 
But that was back in April, so we're way overdue a return visit to the beach.
I almost skipped past the Kentish semi, above and below, because it's not exactly jaw-dropping. I mean look at it:

Decor influenced by your dad's favourite local, and exteriors in need of more than a paint licking.
And a hefty £275k price tag.
But then I saw this:

It's the view from the bottom of the garden and suddenly I'm thinking: paint those garden walls skyblue, knock down this gently rotting sun room and replace it with something glass and modern, or better still glass and Victorian, and Captain Bob's your uncle!

The four-bed house is Grade II listed and has direct access from the garden to the esplanade.
There's a basement with two rooms, shower room and a sort-of kitchen. The main accommodation is on the first floor - a sitting/dining room, kitchen, shower/cloakroom and that sunroom.
Upstairs are four bedrooms, dressing room and a bathroom. It's on the market through Lawrence & co. Details and more pictures here and on Zoopla here.
Incidentally, that April seaside house, in Cornwall, is still on the market - time for a price drop perhaps, Olivers?