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 https://www.fandmgroup.co.uk/ and still have the land and outbuildings insured with them, though the house subsequently moved onto a specialist holiday let policy with someone else.

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Looking for a town house and a country house?

Two very handsome wrecks to show you today and which just so happen to both be in Newport. As in the not-Wales Newport. Or the not-Isle of Wight Newport. Or the not-Yorkshire, not-Cornwall, not-Essex, not-Norfolk Newports. Nor any of the not-UK Newports, such as the ones in Quebec, California, Vermont, New South wales, Queensland, or even the Newport crater on Mars.
There are a lot of Newports.
This particular Newport is in Shropshire and I'm going to show you Station House first on, predictably, Newport's Station Road.

Built around 1830, the former Station Master's home was bought from British Rail in 1974 by its previous owners. The building is Grade II listed, and that listing also covers the (attached) former stable and coachhouse.
It is seriously lovely: big, airy rooms packed with original features. And seriously in need of renovation.
Some work appears to have been started, or at least thought about - the current owners are trying for planning permission to convert the coachhouse and stable and working on having the wrought iron railings to the front reinstated.

Station House is a lovely size. Three reception rooms, kitchen and pantry downstairs (plus those extra buildings), and four bedrooms plus bathroom and separate loo upstairs. There's also a cellar, and a roof space above the coachhouse.

On the market through Nock Deighton at offers over £295k. Details and more pictures here and here.
My next pick, also with Nock Deighton and on the market for the same price, is on the outer edge of Newport, in the village of Chetwynd Aston.

Like Station House, it's a "former" - in this case former lodge house to Lilleshall Hall estate (now sports centre), and has also spent over 40 years in the same family.
Golden Gates Lodge (I'm sorry, but it sounds like a Chinese takeaway...) has three bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs; two reception rooms, kitchen and loo downstairs.
The gates it guards are Grade II listed but it looks like the lodge house may have escaped that restriction.
It's pretty house, with lots of lovely features but in need of fair bit of updating - including adding heating and upgrading all other services.

Not as large as the Station House, but perhaps also less of a challenge - and the village location is more appealing. Although I admit to being bothered by the window bars.
There's a large garden (that "green roof" aside. ; ) and a detached garage.

On the market at offers over £295k, via Nock Deighton. Details and more pictures here and here.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Cute three-storey town/country house to renovate

Last week I posted a couple of handsome town houses, and I thought I'd stay with that theme this week and show you this rather lovely house that is almost town, almost country.
The three-storey semi is in the lovely Snowdonia market town of Bala. It's Grade II listed and sits on the corner of Tegid Street (the B4391) and a sort-of square, with a church to the side and a backpacker's hostel to the front, according to the God of maps:

The house itself is a good size, with a large kitchen/diner, pantry, hall and two reception rooms on the ground floor; two bedrooms and bathroom on the first floor, and two more bedrooms on the second floor.


There's also a weird extra room - a bedroom/office/loft on the first floor but currently only accessed via that ladder and access hatch in the kitchen.

I'm not quite sure what the green filter is about in some of the pictures, either a mistake or an experiment with adding a vintage vibe? But the filter can't hide that extraordinary mishmash of prints and colours. Or the damp patches and peeling wallpaper. Lovely, lovely wrecks ; )

Also, can I mention that old heater on the wall?
I've seen these things a few times in older houses, including the cute wreck of a semi in Hull that my little brother is living in and renovating. Sometimes electric, sometimes gas - like the one my brother has just taken out of his bedroom.
The pipes and fittings are tucked inside the wall cavity, which seems a quite fantastic idea to me - sort of underfloor heating in the walls, plus the boost from the heater itself. Not sure how effective - or safe - these things were (?) but I really like the concept - and I think they're prettier and more space efficient than today's big clunky radiators.
Outside is a decent size garden, and there's access to a garage and outbuildings via an arrangement with the church.

The property has a flying freehold in place, maybe something to do with that weird extra room on the first floor. Anyway, it does mean you may need to find a more amenable mortgage company than many of our algorithm-driven high street lenders (says the woman currently becalmed on the property sea between risk-averse Nationwide and ultra-cautious Valunation....).

But back to Tegid Street, the house is on the market through agents Tom Parry at offers around £169k. Details here and here.
Thanks by the way to regular Wreck reader Jacky for sending me this house. And, if any of my readers can help out with a question from a fellow reader, Jill emailed me this query.
My husband and I have been avid followers of your website for quite sometime whilst looking for a wreck of our own to renovate. We have now found a wreck and bought it, a derelict stone cottage in Staffordshire with 6 acres of land!! Could we ask whether any of your wreck owners have experience of insuring their properties?

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Grand Victorian townhouses to renovate

This week, I've moved away from my usual middle-of-nowhere rural wrecks and picked two large and lovely townhouses.
Starting with this gorgeous Scottish villa. The detached, traditional sandstone house is in the coastal town of Prestwick, about 30 miles from Glasgow. 'Midland' is positively dripping with period details - but clearly also needs masses of work.
I love the colourful approach to decor...

There are half-a-dozen bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs, kitchen, four reception rooms, and a bunch of workshops and stores downstairs.

Outside are good-size gardens front and back, and the property sits on handsome-looking avenue.

The house in on the market through Black Hay, offers over £250k. However, there's a deadline looming - offers by the end of this week (Friday, March 15th).Details and lots more pictures here and here.
My second pick is also in Scotland. This time a grand (if junk-filled) semi in the Crown area of Inverness.

It's bigger than your average semi - five bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs, three reception rooms, kitchen and stores downstairs, and good-size "garden".

There's a similarly ambitious approach to decor (is it a Scottish thing; bright colours and jazzy prints?), and a similarly challenging project. The kitchen is it's own special challenge...

Personally, I'd take it all on just to own those spun-sugar lovely bedroom windows.

On the market through Tailor Made Moves at offers over £175k. Details and more pictures here and here.