Thursday, 31 March 2016

Two thatched cottages - Essex and Suffolk

Two puzzling properties for you today. First this thatched and detached cottage in Essex.
The five-bed property was put up for auction this week by receivers but failed to sell. It had a guide price of £550k and is now on the market at £600k via Allsop.
A great price for a large country home in Harlow, with its fast train link to London and easy motorway access. Until you see the rear view.

What you're looking at is the part-finished two-storey rear extension (bumping the property up to five bedrooms), and a great big hole in the ground that was the beginning of a swimming pool.
Presumably you could apply for a revision to the planning permission and fill in the hole.
My thinking is courtyard: it looks a nice spot to sit with a gin and tonic and a couple of hounds.
There are no internal photos, the agent's details describe it as a "shell"', but reader Jaki, who told me about the property, found this archived posting which seems to be the same house in 2007, when it sold at £665k.

'Mutton Row' house is on Hobbs Cross Road, in Harlow. Details here and here.

If thatch is your thing, the cottage below is in need of a fair bit of work but could deliver a very sweet Suffolk country home.

The "puzzling" bit is the price. Advertised on Rightmove at £250k as the cottage plus planning permission to extend, and 0.8 acre of garden. But on the agent's site its advertised at £600k for the cottage plus 1.6 acres and planning permission to build 5 houses on the land.
Not a bad return on its 2013 sold price of £212,500.

I couldn't find anything that indicated whether the house and building land might be sold separately, but clearly that would be an issue if you were thinking of investing the £400k or more needed to buy the cottage and renovate it.
With that reservation, the house itself is lovely. Grade II-listed with parts of it dating from the 16th century, and lots of period details.

'White Cottage' is on Shop Street, in the village of Worlingworth. postcode IP13 7HX.
More on the cottage on OnTheMarket here and on the cottage plus land on Savills here.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

A castle, a manse, and a cottage in Scotland

I seem to have a ton of properties waiting in my 'to do' list at the moment, so let's start with a trio of Scottish homes-in-waiting.
First, please stop sending me emails about Cavers Castle. Lots of you have emailed me about this one and while yes, it's an interesting wreck steeped in history, it's also an over-priced ruin in a difficult location (think big machinery and access roads), with no services and no planning permission.
There are wrecks and there are follies, Cavers is in the latter category.
Incidentally, the castle's ruined look isn't the result of hundreds of years of dereliction. In 1953, then owner James Palmer-Douglas let the British Army use it for explosives tests.
Lovely though it is, Cavers isn't a job for the likes of us; it's the sort of thing the National Trust for Scotland should have taken on years ago. Shame on you NTS.

More wreck than ruin however is Cuither House, pictured at the top  of this post and below.
A former manse recently used as a B&B, sent to me by reader Tony.
The five-bedroom, two bathroom house is at Grean, on pretty Isle of Barra. It comes with two acres of land, including a walled garden.

According to agents Anderson banks, it's in  need of "substantial renovation and modernisation". Cuither (or Cuier) House is also category B-listed by Historic Scotland.
On the market at £140k via Anderson Banks. Details here and here.
Finally, this rather more manageable (and exceedingly cute) bungalow, below, in Kirriemuir.

Sent to me by reader Andy (it's actually his parents' house) the detached cottage has two bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen, lounge and a large garden:

It's on the market at offers over £78k through Martin & Co. Details here and here.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Two Cumbrian farmhouses up for auction

I got a lovely email from regular reader Eleanor. Lovely because she helped fill in missing details on a property I'd featured, and doubly lovely because she also sent me these two Cumbrian beauties.
They're both up for auction on April 7th. I'll start with the easy (ish) one.
Hall Hills is a detached former farmhouse that's been empty for some time.

The agent's details don't say anything about the size of the place, other than it has three-bedrooms.
And, I'm not entirely certain what use this room is intended for:

It's neighbouring property is also up for auction - the two being offered both separately and as one, combined lot. However that farmhouse needs rather more "renovation":

It does however come with two barns, and planning permission to convert them into homes.
The properties are in a fairly remote rural location (as the pictures show), about seven miles from Brampton and 13 from Carlisle.

In the picture above, Hall Hills is the house to the left and the derelict farmhouse is to the right - beyond the outbuildings.
What isn't clear from any of the agent's details is what land either or both properties come with and - my particular concern - access rights to the properties through the surrounding farmland.
Both properties have a guide price of £125k +
More on both properties, plus more pictures and the rather convoluted bidding process here and here. Hall Hills is also on Rightmove here.

I mentioned that Eleanor's email also included information about a previous property I'd featured - Warcop House, also in Cumbria. I've added the extra bit to the bottom of that post, here.

Monday, 7 March 2016

A house on a hill, a house on a train station

Couple of interesting properties in the Malverns to show you today. 
The first, pictured above, was sent to me by reader DJ Clark and is in a gorgeous location in the upper western slopes of the hills.
Woodlands is a four bedroomed detached house in the hamlet of Upper Colwall.
Three reception rooms, kitchen and a large cellar downstairs, four bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs.

Outside is almost half and acre of garden, plus those stunning views across towards the Black Mountains.

It's up for auction on April 14th, with a guide price of £250k - £260K, via John Goodwin.
More details on the agent's site here and on Primelocation here.
Also with John Goodwin is this former stationmaster's house, within Malvern itself:

Station House is on Malvern Link station - the spa town's second mainline station, with regular trains to London Paddington, Birmingham and elsewhere.
The detached, Malvern Stone house has a large kitchen/breakfast room, hall, lounge, dining room and bathroom downstairs, plus three bedrooms and a shower room upstairs.

The garden is small but the location, overlooking Malvern Link Common and walking distance from Great Malvern itself, is attractive.
On the market with a guide price of £260k. Details and more pictures here and here.