Monday, 19 August 2019

Two (more) English country homes to renovate

I thought I'd stick with the English country homes theme for a little longer and show you two beautiful big and neglected homes.
Both are pricier than my usual picks but both are in lovely locations - and there's nothing wrong with a bit of fantasy house planning ; )
The first, sent to me by regular reader Paul, is just outside the little village of Dunnington, in Warwickshire.


Five bedrooms, Grade II listed, edge of village location and a decent chunk of land to play with - what's not to want?
Lovely light rooms and lots of original features. I particularly love these cupboards, though I suspect they'll end up being replaced with bi-fold doors or a shiny kitchen island and some macramé plant holders : (


However, I have NO any objections to the next owner replacing this fireplace with a wood burner and chunky stone mantel. And ditching that glass door.

Or that green paint.
Bags of space but clearly a fair bit of work ahead. Four reception rooms, central hall, kitchen and utility downstairs; five bedrooms, plus bathroom upstairs.
Albeit one bedroom is accessed through it's neighbour, so realistically we're looking at bedroom four becoming the en-suite or some other part of a master bedroom suite with bedroom one. So, are we thinking four or three bedrooms and two or more bathrooms?


I get a bit excited when I start looking at floorplans and potentially movable walls!


Old Dunnington Farmhouse is on the market at offers over £550k with Sheldon Bosley Knight. Details here and here.
My second pick is equally - possibly more - handsome.
And pricier. And wreckier.
It makes the cut however because, as reader Sue said when she sent me the link, "I liked the fairytale vegetation encroachment".


Haroldstone House, at Crickley Hill in the Cotswolds, is pretty fairytale throughout. And in a pretty magical location.
Agents Hollis Morgan describe it as a "forgotten gem" (not exactly forgotten, given the owner applied to convert the coach house  - below -  a couple of years ago). The property package includes the house itself, plus the coach house, plus a whopping 22 acres of land.


We're talking renovation challenge of, and probably for, a lifetime. But what a gorgeous space!
Packed with period stuff, as you'd expect. And more of that vegetation Sue mentioned.




Not so sure about the "air conditioning" in this picture:


Just needs a bit of TLC really, and a coach load of power tools and cash...
On the market through Hollis Morgan at £750k. Details here and here.



Thursday, 8 August 2019

Three English country-ish homes


My last few posts have all been about amazing "wrecks" in Scotland or Wales, so I thought I'd balance things out with three very English properties today.
At the top of the finances-needed tree is this farm on the Staffordshire/Derbyshire border, just around the corner from me and a property I've been driving past for 12 years.
There are two houses - a three bedroom farmhouse and adjoined two bedroom cottage. Clearly scope for creating one big home.




Plus masses of farm buildings, particularly these lovely, if ivy-supported, brick buildings around the farmhouse and its yard.



As well as the large yard and (small) gardens, the property brings with it over three acres of land.
It sits off a fairly busy bypass (I did say I drive past it a lot) but there are decent motorway and train links from its location on the edge of Tutbury.


On the market through Fisher German at offers over £500k. Details and more pictures here and here.
This next property is also on the larger size.


Sent to me by reader Morgaine, the six-bedroom former school is in pretty Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire.
The Grade II listed building is currently divided into three apartments (Morgaine tells me there's a tenant in one), but there's plenty of scope to turn it back into one home.



Lots of period details and big, airy rooms in a very large and handsome house - if in need of some serious remodelling and several skips ; )



On the market with a guide price of £385k through Morris Bricknell. Details and more pictures here and here.
My final pick made the cut because of this gorgeous husky.


Actually it's an interesting house too, some lovely rooms (albeit there are clearly issues) and period details. There's a gorgeous big garden, a deck area off one room, and a nice-looking pub a couple of doors away.






But whoever thought to let that handsome hound wander in and out of the photos was a genius.
The three-bedroom semi is in the village of Pulverbatch, Shropshire, and is on the market through 99Home with a guide price of £240k. Details and more pictures here.
There's an Open House event on August 24th.

Monday, 29 July 2019

A Scottish mini-castle and the cutest smallholding


Time to dig in. I've got a couple of bigger renovation challenges to show you this week. Starting with this gorgeous Scottish country house with an unfortunate history.
Chesterhill House, just outside Newport-on-Tay and across the Tay from Dundee, has been empty for a while and has a bit of a media reputation.
The C-listed property was last on the market a couple of years ago, when it reportedly "broke the internet" as people lined up to view it (can I just interrupt the flow here to say how completely STUPID that is as a story headline? Not only is it impossible to break the internet, but putting something in scare quotes because you can't back it up in the actual story doesn't make it any more journalistically valid). Around 15 buyers pitched in, with bidding war won by  last-minute offer of just under £620k.


Since when, the current owner has done some immediate remedial work and put through a planning application to extend and repair the property.
However, Fife Council dragged their heels deciding on the application, while poor Chesterhill has continued to decline through the winters. The new owner then gave up on it and put the house back on the market earlier this year.
Given that the owner - Gillian Bayford Deans - is a Euro Lottery jackpot winner, losing a couple of £hundred grand on the sale probably isn't a biggie.
To her credit, at least she had a punt at resurrecting Chesterhill, but it might have been better for the house if one of those rival bidders back in 2017, perhaps one with rather more commitment than cash, had won out?



Anyway, back on the market Chesterhill went, originally at offers over £500k to include its derelict gatehouse, but that's changed and it's now just the house and garden up for sale. Chesterhill has tons of original features, most importantly a listed walled garden that predates the house itself.





Chesterhill is a quite stunning space and if ever a house needed some fierce love, it's this one.
On the market through Bell Ingram (again) at offers over £350k. Details here.
No internal pictures for my next pick, but the outside of this four bedroom farmhouse is impossibly cute - a gorgeous traditional building to work with.


However, it's the rest of the property that makes this smallholding really attractive - as well as the farmhouse you get a whole bunch of outbuildings (some in better state than others) and over 34 acres of land, all within a stunning  setting.



Bellamore Farm is just outside the village of Pinwherry, off the A714 through Ayrshire, and about 11 miles from the coastal town of Girvan, the distllery centre for Grants whisky and Hendricks gin.
The farm is on the market through Bell Ingram at offers over £195k - details and more pictures here.


Monday, 15 July 2019

Non-traditional homes by the coast




Yes, yes, I know I "did" Wales in my last post, but having just come back from a holiday in lovely Ceredigion, I thought I'd chuck in a couple of more unusual Welsh properties.
Starting with the pretty seaside wreck above.
On the pricey side for what's effectively  a two-bedroom pre-fab, and unlikely to be mortgagable except as a plot of land, but its gorgeous location* on the edge of St Dogmael's Poppit Sands sells it.
I spotted the house last week. We'd just taken our two greyhounds for a blast across the sands, and I saw this cute little wreck as we went back to the car.
Not surprising given that, despite those gorgeous sea views, it is pretty much overlooking Poppit's carpark and visitor centre...


However, it's rare for properties (or land) to come up in this location. The last one I came across at Poppit was back in June 2017. Rocket House (red door, below) was a one-bedroom, stone-built property and up for auction at the time with a guide price of £120-£140k. It actually sold** at almost double that - £235k! A couple of Wreck regulars emailed me to say they'd tried to buy it at auction but had been priced out.


It'll be interesting to see what this latest Poppit project goes for.
The bungalow has two bedrooms, two reception rooms, kitchen, bathroom and a separate loo. Outside is a pretty garden to the front and rear yard with some storage.







It's a couple of minutes walk from the sea and a few minutes drive from St Dogmaels village, and Cardigan.



On the market through West Wales Property. Auction date is September 11th, and current guide price is £230k. More details and pictures here and here.
And while we're looking at bungalows beside the sea, this cute three-bedroom chalet is up for auction this week.


Seaviews are rather more distant, which in part explains the auction guide price of £40k-£50k, but the non-traditional construction also means this one's unlikely to get a pass from your average surveyor.



In a lovely rural location just outside the Ceredigion village of Trefenter, about seven miles from the seaside town of Aberystwyth.
There are four large rooms (three listed as bedrooms) plus a small kitchen and bathroom. Some nice details - the wooden floors especially - but a lot of work ahead.





On the market through John Francis. Details and more pictures here and here.

* After I posted this, regular reader Philippa emailed me to from Australia to tell me that her mother's family came from St Dogmaels and her grandmother and a great aunt had lived in the village until the 1970s. 


There is a memorial bench seat for my grandmother on the road that goes around to Poppit - named for Winifred warren (nee Evans). the first one was stolen so the 2nd version was concreted in. This was 20+ years ago, but it should still be there.

Philippa's mum has fond memories of times spent as a child on Poppit and Phillipa herself visited there "including backpacking at the Poppit youth hostel in the 1980s". 

** I also heard from Dan, via Twitter, who had been one of those interested in Rocket House when it was on the market: "We....went back to see it last year for the first time. It was a beauty and what a view!"

I found Rocket House and these lovely pictures of its post-sale renovation on Wales Online. It's now a dog-friendly (yah!) holiday let.