Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Pretty farmhouse with land and outbuildings

It's amazing what a bit of sunshine can do for a set of property pix. Particularly when, as today, I'm looking at them with the sun streaming into my garden room/office of heat-dopey dogs and chattering zebras*.
This four-bedroom house plus barn and land may be a tad on the pricier side, but its secluded location in rural Norfolk caught my eye. That and the sunny back garden:

No. 170 The Dyes is just outside the village of Hindolveston, around 20 miles from Norwich and around 18 from Cromer and the coast.
The house has two good-sized reception rooms downstairs, plus kitchen, utility room, boot room and study.

Upstairs are four bedrooms - no bathroom, and a bit of a weird thing going on with two staircases.
There's a large outhouse attached to the main house, plus two further brick and tile outhouses.

The property comes with around 1-.5 acres of land, surrounded on three sides by woodland and reached by an unadopted road.

On the market through Pointens with a guide price of £325k. More here and in the pdf brochure here.

* These Zebras. Have I mentioned I have aviaries?

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Farmhouse with outbuildings and nine acres

This gorgeous Dorset farmhouse with land and outbuildings is up for auction in a couple of weeks.
A tip off from reader Angus, the five-bedroom Grade II-listed house comes with masses of farm buildings, two paddocks, water meadow and over nine acres of land.

Hayden Farmhouse, is in lovely Charminster, about a mile from Dorchester.
The farm buildings need a lot of work (or demolition/rebuild), the house needs remodelling and renovating, but most rooms are big and light with lots of original features. And that land is a big plus.

On the not plus side, there's a public right-of-way across the drive and one of the paddocks; and a patch of Japanese Knotweed (treated) at the end of the garden.
There are reasons handsome properties like this end up at auction.

Up for auction on June 1st via Symonds and Sampson with a guide price of £575k. Details here and here.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Two not pretty but super nice homes by the sea

Bear with me on these picks. I know they're not the prettiest of properties I've shown you, but both have a special "extra" to offer.
Starting with the three-bedroom, 'old lady gone' bungalow above and below.
It's a decent size (albeit one bedroom is a bit small) and comes with a garage and a former milking parlour in its gardens - and space to extend into or rebuild the parlour.

I love this room. Absolute 70s heaven!

What really makes this property worth a second glance however is the location. In the middle of the coastal Welsh village of Trefin and walking distance from the Pembrokeshire Coast Path and the sea.
Trefin itself is lovely - a bit of a hidden Welsh gem, and a former home of Cerys Matthews.
Cue excuse to play one of my favourite dancing songs...

I love Cery's green suit.
On the market through West wales Properties at offers over £225k. Details here and here.
My next pick is equally unpretty (it's the concrete...) and not helped by the lack of internal photos.
However, what Mill Farm House (below) lacks in looks, it makes up for in location and "extras".

The Grade B-listed farm house is just outside the Scottish coastal village of New Aberdour, about nine miles from Fraserburgh and 15 from Banff.
Like our Trefin bungalow, there are lovely coastal walking paths almost from the doorway.
However, what makes Mill Farm really special is that there's also an option to buy your own chunk of the beach - 36 acres of Aberdour beach to be exact.

The farmhouse itself is a good size - hall, sitting room, dining room (both with open fires) and kitchen downstairs. Upstairs are four large bedrooms and the bathroom.
Outside is a front garden and a rear yard and farm buildings - steadings, cattle court and store. That beach is 400 yards away.

On the market through Galbraith at offers over £185k for the farmhouse and steading. Details here and here.
The beach is on the market separately at offers over £90k, details here, or by negotiation with the farmhouse.
There's no mention of rights of way and outlets and other things that might make owning a beach less than appealing, but personally I can't see why anyone would want the house and not the beach.
But then, you all know how I feel about houses by the sea...

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Renovation story: Station House

Sometimes readers get in touch and tell me their renovation stories. They're always amazing tales - of battles against what lies beneath (the wallpaper, the plasterboard, the floor...); of working until your bones ache; of extraordinary creativity and dogged determination. 
And they always - at least in the renovation stories you send me - have happy endings.
Your stories inspire me in ways any number of George Clarke TV do-ups never could.
So I want to start posting more of them on "Wreck". I'll still concentrate on showing you properties to renovate most weeks, but now and then I'll post a renovation special.
Like this one.
This is Station House, in Malvern Link, Worcestershire. Back in March 2016, I wrote about a house on a hill and a house at a station. This was the house on the station.

At the time, it was on the market for £260k through John Goodwin. A young couple, Chloe and Lee bought it and, a few months ago emailed me:
In March 2016 we saw the Station House at Malvern Link Railway station advertised through local agent John Goodwin - we fell in love and made an offer on the first viewing. Only days after, we saw that you had featured the property on your website. The estate agent set an unofficial challenge for us to put the property back on the map and give it a new lease of life. Nearly two years on we have made some amazing transformations and are finally able to describe it as “WOW” instead of “WOTW”.  
Lee is a builder, his dad is a builder. That helped, as did the willingness of of both their families to chip in with hard work and suggestions.
None-the-less, when the couple moved into Station House, they were living out of one room, with no hot water, no boiler, and one working light. If that wasn't hard enough, they'd moved in with a baby and a toddler (baby number three is due round about the time you read this).

Those 2016 pictures seem to show a house more tired than derelict, but the reality was a building with room shapes that didn't work and an awful lot of those "battles against what lies beneath". Ceilings that had been lowered were uncovered and reinstated. Floors were ripped up and relaid. Walls were moved. Doors and architrave rebuilt from scratch. A massive amount of structural work was undertaken.
This is Station House now, with two thirds of it renovated.

The section on the left, with the balcony, has been turned into an absolutely stunning holiday let. The bit in the middle is where the family currently live, and that section on the right is due for the Lee treatment next (think removing the roof, "dropping in steels", doubling the height, adding a matching balcony, a new glazed gable end, a hot tub and a massive injection of luxe!).
Here's that "before" picture again.

Lee isn't your average renovator. Notice the new chimney pots? Handmade King and Queen from moulds Lee designed and built himself.

And that renovated stonework on the "after" picture? Painstakingly restored Malvern stone and traditional snake pointing. The stonework and repointing (also called ribbon pointing) took around five months of the 20-month project, with Lee using a fork with the centre prongs removed to hand work the lime mortar.

Inside, Chloe's design skills and that same commitment to putting time into the details, meant keeping the concept of the station masters's house (as it had been) and mixing traditional and contemporary finishes. This, the entrance to the holiday let, is a good example:

A floor made up of 19,000 hand-laid 2p pieces, covered in tough resin, with walls half-tiled in a traditional finish, and a digital heating system controlled from their phones. 
I so love that floor!!
By contrast, here's the more traditional hallway in the centre section of the house:

Elsewhere, light switches hand made by a relative to keep the 'industrial' look in the details.

Yes, that's hubby. I took him along on the interview thinking I might need a technical interpreter, but mostly I just needed to stop him and Lee talking DIY... and talking... and talking ; )

Aside from the hard work and the building challenges, the couple dealt with spiralling costs and architect missteps ("they can end up drawing what's in their head, not yours") - two things most of us who've taken on renovations or builds will recognise. 
And their first quarter heating bill of over £2k was a bit of shock: "We switched on the new boiler and the heat pushed all the water out of the walls. It had to dry out."
The eventual aim is to have a property which will split into three independent holiday lets or combine into a large group let. At which point, Lee, Chloe, Olivia, Ruben and baby-to-come will move out and onto a new project. Somewhere in the same area. Lee's talking about building a house, Chloe wants a forever home "somewhere a bit greener".
I've got this suggestion they - or you - might want to look at. Grade II listed Holly House (below) is detached, with three big bedrooms and large gardens, and needing work.
It's in the village of Lower Moor, just outside Pershore, around 17 miles from them and on the same GWR trainline that passes under their balcony.

On the market with the John Goodwin at offers over £300k. Pictures and details here and here.

Got a similar renovation story? I'd love to hear from you.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Three country homes with land for auction

Three properties up for auction to show you - one of which will look familiar...!
My first pick is one of two Staffordshire cottages sent to me by reader Jill. Hurst Bank Cottage (above and below) is being sold under the Modern Method of Auction.
The MMoA basically makes you pay a large-ish reservation fee (in this example 3.5% of the accepted offer price) to get the property off the market, but doesn't bind you into buying the actual property.
Useful if you want to stop anyone else gazumping your bid while you wait for the survey, talk to lenders, etc. Less useful if losing your deposit (for instance if you can't get a mortgage) would be an issue for you.
Note that it's a fee on top of everything else, not part of your deposit, and in effect you're paying the seller's fees to the agent. The MMoA is becoming increasingly common, particularly with the new online-only agents and auction houses, and for properties needing substantial renovation.
But back to Hurst Cottage.
It's in Biddulph, close to Congleton, Stoke-on-Trent and the Cheshire border. The detached stone cottage comes with around 1.6 acres of land, including a stream and waterfall.

The house has two reception rooms, kitchen and larder downstairs; two bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs, with tiled floors, stoves or open fires in most rooms.

The location is gorgeous - just outside Biddulph Grange Gardens and Country Park. Although its position in a little valley below the Grange, and with that stream, is a bit of a concern.

On the market through Reeds Rains at offers around £225k. Details and more pictures here and here and pdf here.
Jill also sent in Hockadilla Farm, below. But you'll have to get a move on if this smallholding appeals - Hockadilla is up for auction this week!

The three-bedroom, Staffordshire stone farmhouse comes with around five acres and a bunch of farm buildings.

Again, a pretty location - just on the edge of the Staffordshire Moorlands village of Biddulph Moor.
Two receptions, hall and kitchen downstairs. Three bedrooms and bathroom upstairs.
The agent's details say it's in need of major renovation, but no inside photos to judge quite what that might mean.
There's also a public right of way running through the main gate, over a wall, and down one side of the land...
Up for auction on April 12th, via Wright Marshall, with a guide price of £230k. More here and here.
And finally, Volker emailed me to tell me that Manna House, near Market Rasen, Lincolnshire, is back on the market.
I featured the handsome country manor back in 2013, after it had failed to sell at auction.

It had issues then, goodness knows what it's like now! However, it does look like some work may have been started, if only perhaps to reduce further damage:

There are no internal pictures from the estate agent this time around, but this video shows that in 2014 it still had some lovely original features. And a fair bit of rubble.

Manna House is up for auction on April 26th via Savills, with a guide price of £250k. Details here and here.