Wednesday, 7 April 2021

A big house by the sea (and a small rant from me)


I was going to start with another list of names, but there are rather a lot of you. Thank-you - many, many thank-yous - for all the "welcome back" emails. Little stars the lot of you : )

Let's get going.

To here - Combe Martin on Devon's gorgeously lumpy bumpy coastline. This six-bedroom house is on the pricey side for a Wreck pick (more of that later), and rather surrounded by its brasher new neighbours. 


But there's something rather stately and lovely about the house with its big rooms, shapely windows, and that stunning 0.66 acre garden. Took something for its former owners to hang onto a plot that size in the middle of one of Devon's prettiest seaside towns. Although the silver mine shaft beneath may have been a factor...

Inside we're talking rather more than "updating" and I'd put money on that ceiling trim being the better type of asbestos. But old houses are always a balance between potential and risk, it's what draws us to them; we're here to save. Or least to dream about saving.







As well as six bedrooms (and one bathroom), there are four reception rooms, a galley kitchen opening into a cute dining/baking space, a conservatory (pretty but unlikely to stay), attached garage and side garden, as well as the rear garden.



It's on the market through Stags at £499,950. Details and lots more pictures here and here

As I said, on the pricier side compared to my usual picks but not a ridiculous price give the area and the land. But can I just say - what on earth has happened to the property market while I've been away?!! Even the very wrecky wrecks that had been kicking around my "maybe" list for a couple of years have now sold. Everything is being snapped up in what must have been a boom year for the building trades. 

I came across this HMO in my trawl around auction sites today. 


Lovely building, in a lovely area of Clevedon, and up for just under £1m at auction on May 19th as an 16-rooms multi-occupancy pulling in over £98k a year in rent. 

That's £500 a month rent to have spent lockdown working from here:

Have a look at some of the other rooms from that link. It's not a dump; it's got a gorgeous garden for a start. It's not one of those multi-occupancy horror stories we're getting used to, but it is a reminder of just how completely out of whack the property market is with our property needs. Particularly, the property needs of our children.

To reinforce my point, Hollis Morgan has another property up for auction (April 21st), this one in even more popular Bristol. Definitely has potential, and with a guide price of just £40k for a building in Brislington, it's likely to attract a lot of interest.



But it's a garage. A big garage, fair enough. And one with a mezzanine floor, a front door, a back yard, and some architect drawings. But a garage with a residential planning application turned down (2016). 

Bet you a reclaimed brick it'll sell for double it's guide price...  Details and more pictures here


Tuesday, 9 March 2021

Thank you - and I'm back (mostly)


Caroline H, Caroline J, Louise, Emily, Julietta, Mark, Tim, Rupert, Jason, Sara, Thomas, Patrick, Jon, Catherine, Mike, Nyamoi, Ali, Anne, Tony, Sally, Geraldine, Josh, Nicole, Matthew, Steve, Hazel, Ben, Tamlyn, Anita, Heather, Dorothy, Jacqui, Anna, Rebecca, Ronny,  Kit and Jasper, Fluffy and Princess and Panda and Bear and Doc (!) - thank you. A gadzillion times; thank you.

I've had such lovely emails from you all - prompting tears and smiles in equal measure. I've appreciated every hand you've held out and been grateful for every well-wish. It's been a damned awful year for so many of us but, as one wonderful gent reminded us before he left: "Tomorrow's another day".

I'm still not certain I'll be able to get back into running 'Wreck' as before* but in the meantime, let's get back to property dreaming. 

Starting with this canal-side former Toll House (above and below), plus stables, outbuildings and around three acres of land in West Yorkshire. Yum.

It's a bit of an odd-bod this one because it's on the market direct through the local authority and without a guide price. However, what that does mean is you get a clean, no-flannel description of Field House Farm with lots of planning links.



The location, in the village of Apperley Bridge, is pretty stunning. And while the house itself isn't large (two bedrooms), there's plenty of potential with a big cellar, attached store and those outbuildings. More details here. Viewings are by appointment up until March 26th.

You'll remember that I'm not a fan of showing you houses that only have outside pix - you need to get some idea of the interiors challenge. Sorry, but I'm about to break my own rule for a second time in this post for this rather gorgeous Georgian mansion with three attached cottages just outside the pretty West Yorkshire village of Greetland.





It's an interesting challenge, particularly for anyone thinking that, after our year of separation, extended family living (and renovation) is the thing. Offers over £500k feels on the steep side, given the work needed and that the parcel of properties has found itself too close to an industrial estate, but well worth day-dreaming over the 23-rooms plan. On the market through Simon Blyth, details here.

By the way, did y'all follow my instruction in the previous post to keep an eye on the Scottish Churches website? Because, if you had, you'll have spotted this perfectly fabulous church, sitting on a third of an acre in Ardnamurchan, looking for offers over £100k by March 24th. Details here and pdf here. Be quick now...




* Next week we complete on our newest home - by the river Foss, on a flood plain, with asbestos ceilings (rolls eyes...). I'll be getting in touch with those of you who said you'd be interested in writing for 'Wreck' - it's time to both spread the load and the voices : )

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.