Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Big and cheap-as-chips Scottish manse for sale


There aren't many places in the UK where you can buy a five-bed country manor for £120k, but Orkney happens to be one of them. 
At least, it is when it's the Church of Scotland doing the selling.
Strictly speaking, the East Manse is a four bedroom house - I'm not convinced that, just because someone has turned a downstairs room into their bedroom that you can call it a bedroom for ever after.

So - kitchen, three reception rooms, large utility room and attached garage on the ground floor; four bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs.

All pretty tired and in need of revamping but a decent size and plenty of space.
East Manse is in Lady Village, on Sanday, the third largest of the Orkney islands (largest as in around 500 people live there... It's a different life in the real North).

The house has a good sized garden, plus drive, and I think we say, can "open" views (Sanday is known for its dunes and beaches).

The Church is looking for offers around £120k and hasn't yet set a closing date.
Details and more pictures here and here, and PDF file here.
Incidentally, I've written about buying Church of Scotland property in the past, and it's always worth keeping an eye on the organisation's property page - here.  Aside from our manse on Sanday, I'm also pretty taken with the cute as a button Perthshire chapel, below.

On the market at offers around £100k. More details here and pdf here.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Scottish mansion plus castle to renovate

Sometimes one house isn't enough. Sometimes my renovation daydreams extend to owning - say - a big, seven-bedroom country mansion with a castle in the grounds.
Exhibit A: Culdees
Looking over the unfortunately named Perthshire village of Muthill, Culdees Castle was built in 1810 for Charles Drummond, extended in 1867.

It's fallen on harder times since - last lived in in 1968 and the photos, despite the sunshine and prettiness, show a building possibly lacking some walls as well as its windows and parts of the roof.
Renovation will be a BIG job, and as you'd expect, the castle is Grade B listed.

Lovely location, gorgeous views and reasonable distance from Perth (20 miles), sort of middle of a triangle between Crieff, Auchterader and Dunblane.
The agent's details stress Gleneagles six miles away and the Waitrose at Stirling and fast trains to London from Dunblane. I think we know the market they're aiming for.
The nearby manse has a running-down, 70s vibe but also lovely airy rooms and bags of space and potential.

Five reception rooms, two kitchens, pantry, larder, and a lovely hall. Upstairs are seven bedrooms, three bathrooms and a games room. Plus a large floored attic.

There are lovely views over the gardens and parkland (around 18 acres, according to the brochure) and across the valley of Strathearn.

Sent to me by Thomas ("I enjoy reading your blog, and this caught my eye the other day, thought I would submit") it's really intriguing property.
However, at offers over £730k it's pricey unless you are able to renovate the castle. The mansion on its own wouldn't make that amount. Plus there's a lot of renovation work in that castle - could turn out to be a money pit...
But then there's a reason I don't run a blog called 'Development opportunity of the week'. Some properties need daydream believers.

On the market through Galbraith. Details and more pictures here and here.

Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Three big Shropshire-ish houses to renovate

I've been promising reader Louise a Shropshire post for ages. Possibly even eons.
In the interim, Shropshire properties she and other readers have sent me have been and gone; sold or fallen by the survey wayside. And I've got distracted by the weird or more wonderful elsewhere.
However, today is Shropshire (-ish) day on Wreck.
First the pair of cottages above and below, being sold as one lot.
The cottages each have three bedrooms, the second cottage has a shower room (no bathroom in the first cottage) and both have a kitchen room and one or two other reception rooms.
I'm being generous in my description of the rooms and their possible functions there. Because both properties are in a very sorry state.
The estate agent describes them as needing a "seriously robust" programme of works, and suggests the property is unlikely to be mortgagable and children are banned from the site at viewing stage.

Who on earth leaves a record deck behind? So want that!

You may be looking at rebuilding rather than renovating (there's structural movement at one gable end).
Having said that, there's a lot of scope to create a large, detached country home here. And the properties sit in half of an acre of garden land, off a country lane.

They're in Sanford, just off the A41 and within easy reach of the pretty market towns of Whitchurch and Market Drayton. The M6 is around 20 miles away so reasonable commuting links.
On the market through Halls at offers around £195k. Details and more pictures here and here.
This next property isn't the prettiest and, as with the cottages, there are structural issues to deal with. However, the issues have kept the price down. It's a LOT of property for under £200k.

Four or five bedrooms upstairs (definite en-suite potential) plus bathroom; three reception rooms, kicthem pantry and utility downstairs.
Lots of good-sized rooms and a nice open feel.

Outside is a large yard with parking and grass area (there's a touch of council building utility about it...) and the house is on pleasant street in Oswestry.

On the market through MMP at £195k (they seem to be hoping a builder will buy it for cash). More details here and here.
And finally, this part-finished renovation is lovely, if a little on the pricey side for Wreck.

Just outside Luston, and a couple of miles from Leominster, it's actually over the border from Shropshire in Herefordshire. But we'll ignore that.
The house was part of a batch of suggestions sent by reader Philippa who, like Louise, is an overseas fan of UK do-ups.
Three bedrooms, three reception, kitchen and bathroom. Nicely-done modern extensions and lovely open views. Just unfinished (why?) and pretty light on details in the agent's description.

On the market through Andrew Grant at £485k. Details and (a few...) more pictures here.

Friday, 19 October 2018

Creepy/not creepy country house in a wood

Oh crikey! I'm don't know whether I adore this house or am terrified by it!
It has definite country manse potential - and definite horror film potential.
The Woodlands is at Luddendenfoot, a few miles from Halifax., and it's up for auction in November.
It has five bedrooms and two bathrooms upstairs; hall, two reception rooms and a big dining kitchen downstairs. Plus 1.5 acres of proper woodland and garden.

So far so good.
The hall is impressive. Lovely panelling and sets the country house tone.

But it doesn't matter how many lamps they switch on, I'm not walking through this doorway...

Sitting room too is, yes, ok. Windows are lovely (nice stained glass). Needs work, obvs, but definite potential for cosiness.

But then there's the room of abandoned furniture.

Anyway else seeing poltergeist-powered chairs?
This bedroom is lovely. Clearly the matriarch picked the best for herself.

But which poor soul got to sleep here?

There's a bolt on that adjoining door by the way. And that wardrobe is big enough to hold something rather larger than winter coats.

And what's going on with the walls in this kitchen? And please don't open that cellar door...

.... or that very large stove. And what lies beneath those carpet tiles...?

Outside, the house is a nice shape. Loving those tall windows, and the privacy definitely appeals.

Let's talk location.
The Woodlands is secluded, but not entirely so. You do have neighbours and Luddendenfoot itself is a pretty village in a pretty area of West Yorkshire.
I'm a big fan of the area and I love Halifax myself, having lived in both Saltaire and Queensbury for many years - we spent a lot of family Saturdays at Eureka and the stunning Piece Hall.
But back to the house.

I mentioned the trees. There are lots of them. And the house is down its own private drive off Ripley terrace.
Just saying, noise - party or otherwise - ain't gonna carry far...
Can I mention escape routes at this point?
There's that terrace. But then there's this iron shed to pass first.

There's this path through the trees. But then there's that creepy wooden shed.

And this route up and out to freedom. Probably...

Seriously, Woodlands is a lovely house in a great location, with lots of do-up potential.
And only a little bit scary... 😉
Up for auction through Charnock Bates on November 20th, with a  guide price of £375K- £400K. Details and more pictures here and here.