Friday, 29 April 2022

Three reasonably-priced "holiday" homes to do up


Last week I got a bit uppity about second homes and holiday lets. And yet, I still find myself being drawn to properties that have "escape to the country" stamped into their original stone fronts.

Such as this one. Three-bedroomed Ivy Cottage in Ingleton, on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. Downstairs is a large sitting room and kitchen, plus separate loo (best not to look too closely), pantry, and a good-size, integrated workshop.




Upstairs are three decent-size bedrooms and a slice of bathroom. There's a large, walled front garden and small garden space at the back, and the property is tucked away down a quiet lane off Main Street.




On the market through Neil Wright Associates at offers over £220k. Details and lots more pictures here and on Rightmove here.

Rather further afield is this lovely, four-bedroom house on the community-owned Isle of Gigha. 


It comes with over two acres of land and a tidy, if dilapidated, set of outbuildings. 





Lots of potential; lots of breathing space. You'll see the weather arrive.


Rooms are a decent size and, aside from having a rather institutional feel, already have a lot of the good stuff (heating, double-glazing) in place in many. 





Gigha itself is a really interesting - and beautiful - place to live with a strong community ethos. Somewhere to put down roots perhaps, rather than only holiday?

Anyway, the Kinnererach property is on the market through SBS Property at offers over £195k. Details and more pictures here and on Rightmove here.

My third and final pick today could never compete with Kinnererach in terms of space and outlook, but its a cute - and cheap - property in a pretty and much more accessible village location.


The Old Post House is in Millhousebridge, around five miles from Lockerbie. It has three bedrooms (one would make more sense as another reception room or part of an extended kitchen), bathroom, living room and kitchen.






There's a small front garden and the rear leads straight out onto a little residential street, overlooking fields.


At roughly 86sqm, it's "bijou" and the lack of a private garden may be an issue, but the house is in lovely, quiet location with plenty of countryside and walks from the door.

And, as mentioned, at offers over £105k, it's a good price for a first step into second-homing.

On the market through Strutt & Parker, details and more pictures here and on Rightmove here.

Wednesday, 6 April 2022

Two chapels, a church and a lesson


Going to the chapels..... Starting with a duo of Moors cuties. Teeny, limited land (because that's usual with chapels) but oh so pretty.

Smallest first - this chapel is in the gorgeous village of Gillamore, within the North York Moors National Park and around three miles from the market town of Kirbymoorside.




The chapel is basically one tall room, with a disabled loo and a sink placed to the side. There's no planning permission in place (hence its £60k guide price) and permission to turn it into a home would be subject to a local occupancy/principal residence clause because it would count as new home, and to proving it's no longer viable as church.

On the market through Peter Illingworth at offers over £60k, details here.

Let's take a moment. Obviously, 'Wreck..' is about saving rundown or unwanted properties and turning them into much-loved homes for families. It's why I started the blog. 

But also obviously, a great many of properties I feature will become second homes and holiday lets. I recognise that's in the nature of my focusing on cute and country much of the time. But I'm not completely comfortable with it. 

On the one hand, a home that's loved and used even part of the year is better than one left empty or falling down. On the other, the gap between the multiple home owners and those unable to buy any home is growing each year and the imbalance in the home ownership in the UK, particularly between the generations, is a failure of democratic willingness to invest in our children.

Statistic: Distribution of home owners in England in 2021, by age | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista

In 2019-20, just over half of UK households lived in a home they owned. But they were older (average age 58) and richer (54% owned their home outright) than their social renting (average age 53) or private renting (average age 41) neighbours. And their renting neighbours were overwhelmingly unlikely to buy - 81% or private renters and 93% of social renters hadn't considered applying for a mortgage to buy their own home, according to the government's English Housing Survey

So, I don't have problem with local authorities who set rules on limiting second home ownership in some of those cute and country areas. But the planning rule that restricts the residential development of the Gillamore chapel (and the one below) to local occupancy is blown out by central government guidelines which prioritise redevelopment of properties into holiday lets for "economic growth". Hence, rural planning officers are expected to: 
support the conversion and re-use of appropriately located and suitably constructed existing buildings in the countryside (particularly those adjacent or closely related to towns or villages) for economic development. [EC6.2.c]

What that means is it's easier for you to turn your chapel into a holiday let than your holiday home. 

Let's move on. 

Also in a pretty North York Moors village is this chapel in Appleton le Moors. Very similar to Gillamoor, pretty place, good pub nearby, tourism hotspot and small chapel sitting on tiny bit of land (Gillamoor had a strip at the back: Appleton a strip at the front).


Pretty windows and possibly more attractive on the inside, but do make sure you know which of those lovely pews and fixtures (if any) are included in the sale, and agree what will happen if damage is caused in removing pews and fittings.





The chapel has power but no mains water or drainage (hence the cheaper price) and is also on the market through Peter Illingworth. Offers over £40k, details here.

My final pick is also in North Yorkshire, albeit further south and a church rather than a chapel. It also has a LOT more space - inside and out - and potential to become a substantial home.


All Saints Church is in the village of Whitley, around six miles from Pontefract and ten from Goole. One large (158sqm) double-height room, with a porch entrance and pretty apse area, plus services connected (heating is LPG, via tank). Stone floor, slate roof, gorgeous stone details and windows.



There's a large grassed area to the front, setting it back from Selby Road/the A19, and another good-sized grassed area to the rear, backing onto fields. 



Guide price is £185k, for sale via Walker Singleton in Halifax. Details and more pictures here.

Friday, 4 March 2022

A manse, a mansion, and a villa on a loch



I did have this idea about gathering some apocalypse-ready escape houses to show you this week. But then decided that would be a trite response to this week's horrors (#standwithukraine). So instead, here are some sweet wrecks in pretty places to distract and inspire.

Let's start here.

There are no inside pix of Finnart (above and below), on the lovely shores of Holy Loch, Argyle and Bute. 

But given that the detached villa is listed as uninhabitable, with "many of the walls and floors having been removed",  and is Category C-listed and is only for sale as a restoration, not a re-development project, we talking serious, battle-hardened restoration buffs only. The sort who would scoff at pictures of partial rooms and watered walls (wet rot, dry rote and structural reports are available "by request").

But damn, is Finnart pretty. 

And it's position and views and that 1.25 acres of garden surrounding it.




On the market at offers over £175k via Waterside Property. Details here.

If you buy it, do let me know?

Incidentally, while we're looking at renovation challenges with limited photography, reader Kath sent me this "derelict but gorgeous" mansion in Dumfries.




Dalskairth House is a beautiful Grade B-listed country house and comes with two acres of land plus outbuildings and a gorgeous location. 

As with Finnart, Dalskeith doesn't have a floor plan because the building is dangerous to enter.

On the market through Savills at a hopeful/reasonable (your choice) offers over £200k. Details here.

This four-bedroom manse in the Outer Hebrides, is a find from one of my regular haunts - the Church of Scotland's properties for sale page. 


Actually, this property probably would work as an escape route. It's big - four bedrooms, plus a large (over 4m x 12m) stone barn, so space for you and several others, and in an elevated position on the Isle of Benebucula, between North and South Uist and their defendable causeways. There's even a church next door.



On the market at offers over £150k, with a deadline of next Friday - 11th March. Details here and PDF here.



Tuesday, 1 February 2022

Seven renovation-ready wrecks to inspire


Just because I've got quite a few properties on my "possible" list, I thought I'd do a top ten run down this week. Actually, top seven.  
And to make it even more number-driven, in reverse order of bedrooms from 0 to 5, and guide price from a teeny-tiny £20k to a big bucks but reasonable £725k. Ready?

At number seven we have this pretty little Welsh chapel (above). From a tip off from reader Tim (via Wales Online) it's basically a one room plus porch, stone and slate Welsh chapel with a detached former stable. Offered for auction (on 10th February) including the pulpit and pews.



There are no permissions in place (including change of use) which is one reason the chapel, stable, pews etc., and the small plot it stands, on are being offered with the teasingly low guide price of £20k. And, as the excellent video walkthrough will tell you, no drainage and issues in adding drainage.

Sitting a mile outside the village of Meifod, around 10 miles from Welshpool and 20-ish from the border. On the market through Morris, Marshall and Poole. Details and more pictures here and here.

And while we're looking at former church buildings, pick number two is this redundant church hall minutes from the beach in lovely Scottish seaside town of Elie on the East Neuk of Fife.


As well as the hall, there's a kitchen, loo and floored attic and a strip of garden area at the back. On the market at offers over £125k, via the Scottish Church website - details here.

Number three on my list is this two bedroom (three really, but I'd want to knock through from the lounge..) house in the Welsh village of Gorsuch, six miles from Lampeter. 




Not a wreck, it's already had a fair bit done to it, but there's work to finish, including renovating and making use of this large stone outbuilding: 


It was sent to me by a reader who'd bought it during a health crisis and can't now live there. It's up for auction on February 22nd with a guide price of £165k-£175k. Details and lots more pictures here.

Property number four, I couldn't make my mind up about. On the one hand, nice location and a decent plot of garden (aside from the section that is just a wee bit too close to the back of the house...). On the other, you're going to need a lot of white paint:



The three-bedroom semi is in the Scottish village of Kirkmaiden, a mile or so from Drunmore. There are four good-sized rooms downstairs and again upstairs, and a large loft, plus outbuildings, so plenty of space to work with. And the bathroom's upstairs - always a bonus : )

On the market at offers over £200k with SWPC. Details and lots more pictures (the decor!) here and here.

Property number two brings us south and into North Yorkshire, with a landmark former inn owned by the same family since the 1930s and sitting in a gorgeous bit of countryside close enough to national park land and the east coast.


The Mill Inn is on the market with its outbuildings and threequarters of an acre of garden land, and a further 38 or so acres of grassland up for sale separately in four lots.

Downstairs is a pretty hall, a rundown bar, dining room and kitchen, upstairs are three or four bedrooms and a bathroom. Outside is a fabulous two-storey millhouse, toilet block, and other buildings - lots of potential for someone with deep pockets and perhaps a desire to run a rather more upmarket B&B?







Up for auction via Cundalls on February 11th, with a guide price of £200k for the lot. Details here.

And finally, property number one. 

Just in case The Mill Inn doesn't have the scale you're looking for, I offer this five-bedroom country home with stables, three-bedroom coach house, lots of outbuildings, an outdoor swimming pool, and over two acres. It is seriously large.



The Grade II listed property is in Shardlow, Derbyshire, and was sent to me by reader Chris. It's on the market through Robert Ellis at a hefty (albeit not excessive) offers over £725k. Details (and 52 photos!) here and here

There are some amazing pictures among those 52 - from glorious colour schemes to run down rooms to damaged rooms, and this is piano room number three:





Incidentally, if you're looking for an inspirational story on what one creative young family can do with a property of that scale, I interviewed the buyers/renovators of Camblesforth Hall, a past Wreck of the Week, for Tat London here.