Thursday, 5 November 2020

And it's goodbye from me...

So, here we are - day one of lockdown two. It sort of feels appropriate that, by happenstance, this is also the day I'm writing what may be my last post for Wreck of the Week.

You'll have noticed there's been a gap since the last one. Indeed some of you have already emailed to check in on me (thank you, that was lovely of you) and others have wondered whether this site you'd only just discovered was still operating. It had been, for ten years and with almost six million page views and thousands of regular readers - many of who have sent me the most amazing property finds of their own.

But this year has just been a bit too much - for me and so many of us. I was finding it harder and harder to carve out the time and generate the energy to update 'Wreck'. Like others, "lockdown" for me has meant more work; it's been pretty full-on since February and won't ease off this year. And in my close family, a divorce, two diagnosis of terminal cancer, and multiple house moves, have sliced up the year. So 'Wreck' is being sidelined. I hope not forever, but this isn't the time for  promises.

But it is the time for dreaming. And I'm going to sign off with a big bunch of properties, all of which have that something special that has defined my Wreck picks for so many years.

First, this "money pit" (as reader Kath described it) between Creetown and Carsluith, towards the west coast of Scotland. Grade B-listed and on Scotland's Property at Risk register, The Glebe is not a property for do-uppers - you'll need more than matching hard hat and wellies to tackle this one.

But boy is it handsome. At least on the outside...

It comes with just under five acres of land, mostly forest, backing towards a rather lovely quarry - with the quarry itself and more land also available for sale separately (that could become an issue depending on who buys it...), and its own private access track. Yummy.

On the market through Galloway and Ayrshire Properties at offers around £165k. Details here and pdf here.

And this one, also in Scotland, I'm late to the table on (despite having had a tip-off from another Kath three weeks ago). The Linn (above) in Helensburgh is a seven-bedroom, B-Listed villa with three acres of fabulous botanic gardens, plunge pool, separate holiday cottage and other buildings, at offers over £295k, via Savills. 

It's already under offer (hopefully by the community, or someone as committed to the gardens as Dr Jim had been) but is so gorgeous I'm posting it in any case. So we can all look at the pictures and daydream "what ifs...". Pictures here and here. Oh, and here's Dr Jim - another gentle soul lost.

And just to finish off this round-up of properties sent to me by readers. Here are a couple of lovely (but pricier) Southern beauties.
This Grade II-listed three-bedroom detached country house in Buckinghamshire with a quarter of an acre was sent to me by Fiona.

No inside pictures (and you know how I feel about that) and clearly masses of work needed, but a lovely feel to the place. On the market through Michael Graham at £275k. Details here.

And this five-bedroom and also Grade II-listed house, near Woolacombe, came via Louise. On the market through agents Stags at £450k and more tired than a wreck, but those "original" features may prove a challenge.

Details and more pictures here.

I'm going to leave you with one final property - and a tip. This is Lionel Mission Hall, on the bracing Isle of Lewis.

Pretty, isn't it? Like most Scottish (and Welsh) Mission Halls, it's one big room and a vestibule. In a quiet location, surrounded by countryside (and a small garden), the Hall has lovely, wide-open views. Best of all, it's cheap at offers (by November 11th) around £35k. Details and more pictures here.

Lionel Mission Hall is just one property on the Scottish Churches register of properties for sale. It's one of my favourite go-to lists. The Church of England had a similar one but an update to their website seems to have killed all the links. And Welsh churches and chapels tend to go direct to estate agents, with a corresponding mark-up. But you will find some on this page.  

However, in Scotland you get to deal direct. Which means that, had we both been a faster off the mark, we could have put in an offer of around £20k for this stunning waterfront Shetland church (albeit without any land).

Anyway, here's the page you'll want to keep a eye on while I'm away.

Stay safe, stay hopeful.

Sue : )

Friday, 21 August 2020

Farmhouses with near-neighbours

I've picked two properties to show you today - both gorgeous, obvs, but both with location issues that add to the renovation challenge. 
First up, Bull Farmhouse in the village of Hockcliffe, sent to me by reader David.
Well-placed for London's commuter belt (assuming that's still a thing?) and handy for trains from Leighton Buzzard and for the M1.
It's a good size - four bedrooms over two floors, plus a further attic room, and a bathroom upstairs. Downstairs are three reception rooms, a chunky kitchen and utility aching to be reunited, and a large cellar.

There are gardens to each side (looks like a track and farm buildings behind it) and a picket-fence bound garden to the front. 

So, aside from the work that needs doing, there's the location. As mentioned, there are a bunch of farm buildings and land behind it and my worry would be that they'll be sold off and you might find your chocolate box farm house surrounded by an industrial estate. 
Moreover, Watling Street, which the house sits on, is the A5, so not the quietest of outlooks - and full marks to the agent's photographer in choice of shots ; )

That aside, it's a pretty house in a convenient location and an open conversation with the seller would help.
On the market through Household Estate Agents at offers over £350k (feels on the cheeky side). More details here and here.

Next, and a full 393 miles away in the Scottish village of Braco, near Dunblane, is this very handsome house.

There are two bedrooms upstairs, two good-size reception rooms and a hodge-podge of smaller rooms downstairs that you'll want to rearrange or extend.

Outside is a decent bit of garden land but, as with its big sister from the south, a larger farm property nestled behind it. 
However, unlike Bull Farmhouse, no busy road out front and rather fewer neighbours. And the selling agent has been rather more upfront with the location shots.

Sent to me by reader Irene (who is wreck-hunting in Scotland) it's on the market with Aberdein Considine at offers over £140k. Details and more pictures here and here.

Monday, 27 July 2020

A chapel with sea views and a cottage to renovate

Thought I'd show you this rather lovely Welsh chapel with sea views today.
I've featured former churches and chapels several times in the past and they have their particular challenges in terms of planning permission and change of use. But they, and this seems particularly to be the case with Welsh chapels, are also pretty inspiring spaces to work with.
This particular chapel sits in the village of Llaneilian, about two miles from the Anglesey port of Amlwch.

Capel Selio is a good-size, single storey building with entrance, main chapel and attached school room, and with much of the original pews and features still in situ.

It's Grade II listed and there are covenants in place - no details given by the agent but my guess would be the restrictions are either on the future use of the premises or on future sale profits.
It's been recently re-roofed and there's mains electricity to the building, but beyond that you're on your own. There's no suggestion of toilets or kitchen for example which may mean no mains water or drainage. The property seems to have been sitting on the market for a good year which suggests there are issues, but potentially issues that a fair bit of information has already been gathered on.
Outside is a small forecourt and it looks like a little bit down the side, with a store, but no suggestion of a garden or rear outside space.
However the views over the village and across to the sea are lovely and it's in a great location.

It's on the market through Morgan Evans at offers around £99k. Details here and here.
Incidentally, Morgan Evans also have for sale this rather less pretty (but with more land) cottage on Anglesey.

A bit of a wreck, obviously, but it does have designated rooms and key services.
And the neighbours look friendly.

The Llangaffo cottage has two rooms downstairs, plus kitchen and shower room, and two bedrooms upstairs. There's an attached store, which could make a garage or extension, and two gardens - one of which has parking potential.
On the market at offers over £125k. Details and more pictures here.

Monday, 13 July 2020

Faded, glorious West Yorkshire manor for sale

It's a while since I was last in Sowerby Bridge. I've lived in and around Bradford in the past, and that whole area of West Yorkshire is dotted with old friends and old memories.
All with a strong seam of creativity running through it - from jobs in the arts sector, to amazing maker friends, to regular trips to Salts Mill, and the Piece Hall, and the Hepworth. A beautiful area of England producing beautiful things.
So when I was sent Wood Lane Hall ("a beaut of a house up by us") by reader Aaron, I knew it would be something lovely and in that gorgeous dark West Yorkshire stone I remembered.
The five bedroom house is Grade I listed, built (or re-built) in the 17th century by the Deardens who, it seems, were quite the party animals.
It is also said by Oliver Heywood, the local vicar, after he had recorded the death of Joshua Dearden (John's eldest son) aged 36, that he "prejudiced himself with brandy", and of John he write: "Buried September 13, aged sixty six, rich." (Source)
It is quite, quite stunning with (as befits its protective listing) original and rare features such as the galleried hall and rose window still in place.

Many of the original windows remain, as does the "ship's cabin" bedroom, fitted out as a 1930s' Pacific steamship cabin with salvaged material in a pre-internet version of an eBay vintage hunt (this post has more on the house's architecture).

Some of the house appears to have been recently lived in, but much of it has been left to gather dust

There's no mention of land, other than a reference to gardens, but it had been on the market several years earlier with three acres attached. Presumably that's gone elsewhere.
Back in 2014, it had been on the market at £750k, but doesn't appear to have been sold. The last listed sale was in 1995, for £160k. This time around, it's been waiting for a buyer since 2018.

Wood Lane Hall is on the market through Edkins & Holmes with a guide price of £550k, albeit up for sale through that weird "Modern (sic) Method of Auction" business. Given the time it's been on the market, I reckon just making a sensible offer would do the job. 
Anyway, details and more pictures here and here.