Monday, 10 June 2019

Seaside home of author Angus MacVicar for sale

Oh my. This is absolutely stunning - the very definition of a renovation gem.
A sweet little bungalow with amazing sea views, a literary heritage, and a decent price (around £140k).
The downside (obviously apart from the work that will need doing) is that the deadline for offers is noon tomorrow - Tuesday.

Overlooking Southend Bay, the Scottish Southend that is, Achnamara had been owned by the prolific  Scottish author Angus MacVicar. Not sure who has been using the house since MacVicar's death 18 years ago but it doesn't look in bad nick for a long-empty home.


And I love that barely anything seems to have been changed from his tenure - from the wallpaper to those gorgeous lightfittings and less gorgeous storage heaters.
The bungalow has three bedrooms (personally, I'd turn that front bedroom into a dining room and knock through to the kitchen) and a large garden.

Achnamara is on the market through Stewart Balfour and Sutherland at offers over £139,500. Details and more pictures here and here.

And thank you to my regular tipster Jacky for finding this Scottish gem : )

Friday, 7 June 2019

Two large country homes with B&B potential

After my post about homes by the sea, I thought I'd thought I'd step sideways and look at a couple of properties with holiday B&B potential.
Like this, the Old Post Office at Rosehall, in the Scottish Highlands - the name alone has booking appeal.
It needs work, obviously, but the rooms are a good size with lots of original features, and the four bedrooms and two bathrooms upstairs have definite B&B/AirBnB scope.

Downstairs that too-big living room offers scope too for creating an accessible bedroom and en-suite.
And at just £150k (offers around) there's a LOT of space for your cash.
Outside is a decent-sized garden surrounded by fields, a handful of neighbours, and forest walks and trails.

On the market through Bell Ingram. Details here and here.
Rather pricier (and rather more southerly) is this Somerset farmhouse with farm buildings, lovely courtyard and land.

Sent to me by regular reader Charles (currently in his own home building hell) it's a property he knows well:
This is a very beautiful building, or would be if the roof were more securely attached to the walls. There's not much of a view, but the location is fantastic - and the corrugated iron barn at the front could easily be flattened...Personally, I feel no-one should be allowed to buy it unless they promise to invite me down when they've finished the restoration process.
The 17th-century farmhouse has five bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs and plenty of scope for adding an en-suite or two, plus those outbuildings have holiday cottage potential. Assuming you're ready for the level of work needed.


Downstairs there are plenty of lovely big rooms and that hallway is a great feature for welcoming guests.

As Charles suggests, knocking down a couple of outbuildings to open up the views would benefit the property, particularly to showcase its two acres of garden, paddocks and woodland.

Poole Farm is in the village of Baltheaton, about 16 miles form Tiverton and within reach of the M5 (map).
On the market through Carter Jonas at £495k. Details and more pictures here and here.
Don't forget to let Charles know is you buy it ; )

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Two coastal homes to renovate

Oops, bit of a gap there since my last post. As my regular readers know, that usually means significant other things going on in my non-Wreck life.
In this case, those things were changing the day job, moving house (back in Yorkshire - hurrah!), and becoming a Dr.
Anyway, things are settling down again and...

Let's start with Yorkshire, and this lovely property - top and below - sent to me by reader Paula. It's in Scarborough, on a pretty posh road, walking distance from the coast and overlooking the golf course. Hence the chunky price despite it's wreck-y state.

Paula, who wrote that the house had been empty for the seven years she'd lived in the town, said it was in pretty poor condition; broken windows and rotting woodwork, but was a really pretty house with "real kerb appeal" and the gardens had been looked after.

It's full of character and has been crying out for a family to make it into a lovely home. 

Indeed. Lounge, dining room, study, sunroom, kitchen and utility room downstairs; three bedrooms, a lovely big landing, and a bathroom upstairs.


Outside is a long drive with plenty of parking space and gardens - the rear one backing onto the golf course.
On the market at offers over £295k via Colin Ellis. Informal tenders by June 17th. Details and more pictures here and here.
My next pick has rather less kerb appeal - but it makes up for that with quite stunning views.
Let's take a moment.

A three-bedroom detached property about a mile from the centre of Grange-Over-Sands, Cumbria. The views really are exceptional.
Despite that frontage, it isn't a bungalow. While most of the rooms (two bedrooms, large kitchen and lounge, bathroom, and a sun room) are all on the ground floor, there's an lower floor with another bedroom, utility room, a large undercroft and garage. Lots of workspace basically.


Some cute original features (I love this glass wall).


But also some rather less cute aspects - the estate agent's blurb mentions potential structural movement. Albeit that does seem to be a thing in pretty much every mid-range mortgage survey nowadays....
Redesmere is on the market at £325k via Hackney & Leigh. Details and more pictures here and here.

Loving the estate agent's walk through video too - nice idea:

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Grand houses left to rot - or not

This is bit of a catch-up post. A mish-mash of properties and updates sent to me in emails from readers that I thought I'd pull together in one post.
Starting with this definite wreck.
Boleskine (or Boleskin) House, overlooking Loch Ness, may have already crossed your social media path as it has a bit of a reputation.
Owned by infamous occultist Aleister Crawley between 1899 and 1933, it was bought by Led Zep's Jimmy Page in 1970, before being sold to the MacGillvrays in 1992, and on again to the current owners in 2009.

Jimmy Page pictured outside Boleskine in 1973. Photo credit Douglas Corrance
In 2015, whilst some of that family were out, the house was gutted in a devastating - and mysterious - fire and, by 2018, had been added to Scotland's Buildings At Risk Register.

Now the shell of B-Listed Boleskine is back on the market, along with over 22 acres of land, looking for an owner ready to undertake it's next and toughest renovation.
Reader Rebecca, from Seattle in the US, tipped me off about Boleskine House, adding:
I love getting your emails and reading about what you find. My husband and I frequently use the acronym "CYLH" to ask each other: "Could you live here?" Your blog is good fodder for these conversations.
So, could you live here?
On the market at offers over £200k through Galbraith. Details here.
Any of you remember Vectis Hall, on the Isle of Wight? I'd written about the former free school back in 2017, when a battle by locals to prevent it's owners leaving it to fall down resulted in the gorgeous space finally being put up for sale (have a look at the Hall's story and stunning pix on my original post).

Anyway, having been on the market with a guide price of £150k in July 2017, it's now back on the market with a new agent and a new asking price of "unconditional only" offers over £180k. 
Reader Lyn, who tipped me off about Vectis Hall back in 2017, emailed me this week to say the 'For Sale' had reappeared. And, given that the 2017 pictures are still being used on the new sales details, it seems poor old Vectis has continued to be left to rot by whichever owner is now hoping for a boomerang profit.... grrr.
And finally while we're on the subject of falling-down beauties, Emma emailed me to say that Manna House, in Lincolnshire, had lost some floors since I posted about it back in 2013.(I did an update in 2018)

This fabulous post from April 2018, on the always informative 28DaysLater urb-ex site, shows the extent of some of the falling-down-ness.

The guide price has at least dropped since last year - from £250k to £225k, but otherwise it's yet another grand house being left to rot down to land-sale only. As I said earlier.... grrr.

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

A Scottish church, a wreck and a possible to renovate

A couple of Scottish cheap-as-chips and renovation-ripe picks for you today. Plus one that I can't quite make my mind up about.
First, this absolutely gorgeous little church with views of Loch Long, on the Cowal Peninsula, from its doors.

One of Church of Scotland's current redundant property offerings, the Grade C-listed church is on the market at offers around £30k.
That's right, offers around £30k. A bargain for a pretty building in a stunning location - the Highlands village of Ardentinny with its beach and loch-side location, around 14 miles from Dunoon.
Ardentinny Church is basically one big room, with the porch at one end and small kitchen and loo at the other, within a small garden area.

Not much space but services are attached and masses of potential.
Details here and pdf with more pictures here.
Rather ambitiously called "The Cottage", my next pick is a few miles from Hawick, in the Scottish Borders.
Definitely a wreck, but in another lovely location. It's in the hamlet of Branxholm Town and one of a handful of farmworker cottages.

Two bedrooms, living room and kitchen (add -ish to all of those words...), the property comes with just under two acres of land including garden and paddock areas.
Lots of work clearly, but the building's shape and those original windows are really appealing. And I love the colour scheme ; )

On the market through Galbraith at offers over £85k. Details and more pictures here.
On the "can't make my mind" up list is this 500-year-old farmhouse, set in countryside about 14 miles from Inverness. It may just be the uninspiring photos, or the amount of junk that needs clearing away, but I really couldn't decide whether I liked this one or not.

On the upside, nice location, imposing building and lots of space (four bedrooms and bathroom upstairs, four reception rooms and kitchen downstairs).
On the downside, lots of work including dealing with the render and guttering and the ugly extensions.
And am I the only person who has always found Zippy scary?

Anyway, on the market at offers over £175k through Home Sweet Home. Details here.

Finally, thank you to Caroline for replying to the query from reader Jill about insuring her renovation project. Caroline, a regular renovator and property blogger herself with one Scottish project finished and one (or two...) underway, emailed this advice:
With six acres, [Jill] might well be able to get it covered under a smallholder policy, which will cover buildings and outbuildings as well as all her field boundaries and public liability insurance to cover anyone wandering onto her land.  This is what we did with Ethel's and it worked pretty well.  We went through Farmers & Mercantile and still have the land and outbuildings insured with them, though the house subsequently moved onto a specialist holiday let policy with someone else.