Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Beauty and beastly properties to renovate

I've had some absolutely stunning properties sent to me by readers recently. Stunning as in "eye of the beholder" attractive because, let's face it, we might all love Belle but it takes a strong heart and blind faith to take a risk on the Beast.

Pull up a chair, rest your wearies and be my guest while I take your through some of this week's beauties and beasts.


Starting with this Cumbrian beauty. A part-finished renovated terrace house on the unfortunately named Doomgate in rather lovely Appleby, it was sent to my by Christina who wrote:
I wanted to send it to you because it makes me quite sad. Clearly someone has good taste and has been rescuing this house bit by bit, but for some reason they’ve had to put it up for sale. I’d love for it to go to a buyer that will treat it just as sympathetically. Sometimes you see homes that you know looked like this at one point, and then someone slapped some ugly flooring or glossy cabinets in it or knocked down historical features for a tv cabinet and it just breaks your heart. It’d be great for it to go a wreck reader, since I assume we all care about preserving buildings like this. 
Put your hand up if you're with Christina (and me) on the "yes we care"!





Kitchen diner, living room and utility downstairs, two good-size bedrooms and bathroom upstairs, plus a full-length boarded and Veluxed loft. 
Not much space outside, but the yarden is very prettily done and feels private, Plus the location is fabulous as a starting point for the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, or dropping over the border into Scotland.




The render hiding its Grade II frontage is a bit of a beast (look at the neighbours and the rear view for what should have been) and you'll have spotted that - unusually for me - I left that picture until last. This house has zero kerb-appeal. 
But truthfully, I was smitten once I saw the dogs:




If anyone could tell me where to buy that greyhound* painting, I'd be much obliged? 
On the market through PFK at £170k. Details and more pictures here.
Which brings me to the Beast. I actually feel a bit bad about attaching the tag because someone is going to look at these pictures and see two-home family living in half an acre of land in the lovely Park area of Great Barton, close to Bury St Edmonds, in Suffolk.
Winslade is two properties and planning permission has already been turned down to demolish and replace them both - West Suffolk's planning team highlighting concerns about trees and access. 
Which means this is an expensive - albeit large - plot of land without anything more than a nod and a wink on what you might be allowed to build on it.
None-the-less, the location is lovely - and not least because it's close to Sandy, who sent me the property and who, you might remember bought and renovated one of my former wreck picks - the Old Forge in Great Barton, turning it into the quite stunning Engine House. This:


To this:


Which means Sandy has form in recognising the beauty in a beast of a building. She wrote:
I thought I’d send you this...my ulterior motive is I’m always looking to find more lovely neighbours! This is a couple of minutes walk from The Engine House in Great Barton, Suffolk. The buildings on the site are beyond creepy but the setting is lovely, it’s in The Park...what used to be the park of Barton Hall - the stately home that The Engine House served with electricity (the hall was abandoned after a fire in 1914).
Winslade is on the market through Bedfords with a guide price of £495k. Details and more pictures here and here.
And finally, here's one I came across that's both beauty and beast (actually I'm bored with that analogy now, let's drop it shall we?). 



Like our Cumbrian cottage, it's frontage has been marred by a concrete cover-up. But, pebbledash aside, the traditional shape and that original front door add a good dollop of cute.
The two-bedroom semi in Beattock, a few miles from Moffatt in Dumfries and Galloway, has clearly been empty for some time and the inside is a bit of a wreck. Which makes it our kind of place : )






Some outside pix from the estate agent would have been helpful - there is a rear garden and Google maps and Streetview suggest open fields behind.
But perhaps best of all it's up for offers around £70k. Details and more pictures here and here.

*Greyhounds. Regular readers will know we usually have two sharing our home. We're now down to one after our elderly lady Summer had a stroke three weeks ago. Summer made many appearances on Wreck over the eight years she shared our lives. Here she is in her last walk-on (and her last car trip) - when we took her and Flynn with us to admire this wreck.


Tuesday, 5 October 2021

Still dreaming? Three more rural homes to do-up


Hello. How are we all doing? Coping with the rain and crossing fingers for better times ahead, or hurtling headlong towards your lockdown daydreams of a new life in space?

This sort of space, perhaps?





Megdale is a two-bedroom cottage looking over Thomas Telford's birthplace, around 10 miles from Langholm in Dumfries and Galloway and close to the village of Eskdalemuir.
Downstairs are two reception rooms, small kitchen and bathroom, with two bedrooms upstairs. Some work has been done - removing fireplaces, stripping back (presumably blown?) plaster, and the cottage already has double-glazed windows.






Water is spring-fed, drainage is to septic tank and there is electricity to the property. 
Outside is a large, wrap-around garden - the fenced section on the upper pictures - and you'll want to check any plans for surrounding land. 
Although it doesn't look like the sort of location Barratt Homes would be interested in.
Anyway, I think it's absolutely splendid - definitely an "...and breathe..." house.
On the market through C&D Rural at offers over £220k - but be quick, closing date this week (sorry!). Details and more pictures here and here.
Morgan Evans has two old Anglesey farmhouses, both with outbuildings, coming up for auction next month (November 4th) that I rather liked. 
This three-bedroom farmhouse isn't the prettiest inside but comes with over three acres of land, as well as stone outbuildings, and water, electricity and drainage connected.







The land surrounding the property is up for sale separately - another 25 acres,  and there's a right of way for allotment users across a bit of your road, but pretty secluded despite these niggles.
Guide price £130k - £160k. Details and lots more pictures here.
This next pick (sent to me by Tim, he of last week's tip-off) may lack the land (and the decor... possibly some walls) but comes with useful outbuildings and makes up for its comparative inadequacies with the most stunning views.





Up for auction with a guide price of £100k. Details and more pictures here and here.


PS: 'Wreck..' has acquired even more fans this week. A lovely mention on Under The Thatch's newsletter. If you've not come across them, hubby and our various dogs have had many, many holidays in their properties. Fron Fach is our favourite and - should you follow us there - you'll find several years of our comments in its guest book. 
Also, the lovely Charlie at Tat London published an interview I did with one our 'Wreck' buyers - Byron and Naomi who bought the gorgeous Camblesforth Hall and have been busy restoring the North Yorkshire manor house.


Monday, 13 September 2021

Auction and best-offer renovation properties


Three properties today that you'll need to get a shift on if you're in a position to buy. Not least because they reflect two growing trends for the renovation property market - "best offers" and the "modern" (read: "more costly") method of auction.

First, this lovely stone cottage overlooking an estuary within an AONB area of Anglesey. Sent to me by reader Tim who spotted it during a camping trip to North Wales. A very old-school layout - two bedrooms and living/cooking room downstairs (no bathroom, loo, or drainage) and three anonymous, interconnected rooms upstairs (animals, storage), it's clearly been a while since Felin Wen housed a family.



The location is what sells it though - stunning estuary views and access rights to the foreshore. However, there's a field between you and that foreshore and that field forms part of a further 25 acres of land you may or may not want to buy for £250k. 

Also, you'll need to be into jets - RAF Valley is just over a mile away and, as Tim reported: 

We had a beach day at Rhosneigr and it was awesome watching jets taking off from the nearby base but, as the details say, it is very near probably on the take-off path.

There are no inside pix on the agent's (or Rightmove's) web listing for the property, although they clearly exist because WalesOnline has used them and credited both (thanks for the tip, Tim). I've added a couple below to give you a flavour.



On the market through Burnells, with an auction guide price of £120k. However, don't forget there's a non-refundable MMOA reservation fee on top of the sales price of at least £6k. Details here and here. Online auction opens15 September.

Also up for online auction is this former farmhouse, workshop and land in Boreland, about seven miles from Lockerbie, in Scotland's Dumfries and Galloway region.



Some work has begun (loving the metal roof by the way, suddenly on-trend...). There's also a large office/workshop and store and half-an-acre of land. Plenty to work with.


Guide price is offers over £90k for the lot, plus non-refundable fee of at least £3k. Details here and here.

My next pick is rather larger - and consequently rather more expensive. This grand High Peaks stone house comes with a guide price of offers over £500k - via best offer, sealed bids today.



Hollinknoll, at Chapel-En-Le-Frith, is a Grade II-listed, five bedroom country mansion dating from mostly 1745. Beautiful, if bric-a-brac packed (I'm being kind) rooms peopled by a disconcerting number of stuffed toys. 

(Sidebar - please don't just skip them. I have a weirdness about abandoned toys. When my daughter was little I couldn't go to sleep until I'd picked up her scattered dolls and put them into their beds or comfy spaces. Still the same now - just can't look a teddy left in a cupboard in the eye.)





Anyway, back to Hollinknoll. Four reception rooms, kitchen, laundry room and loo downstairs - bathroom and five bedrooms upstairs - plenty of space to play with.

Outside over an acre of gardens and woodland, a two-storey barn, and a further five acre field. And stunning views over a quite beautiful bit of England.


On the market through Gascoigne Halman. Details and more pictures here and here

I mentioned it's a "best offers" house. Having sold one myself via that process, I can tell you what others would tell you - best offers doesn't mean the highest offer will win. Your story counts as much as your offer - the sellers will want to avoid selling to someone who bids high just to get the house off the market then starts haggling when the survey comes in. Tell them why you're committed to that property.