Monday 5 September 2022

Gazprom-free living - two off-grid wrecks to renovate

Hubby and I have always had a bit of a prepper mentality. Not in that scary guns and desert lockers way, but in the sort of way our grans always made sure there were "reserves" salted away in hard-to-reach bedroom cupboards in case of financial bombshells, or an unplanned party.

Nowadays, after every catastrophe that's pummelled the UK in last two (12) years, and having some sense of what's to come, we're having real conversations about moving off grid. The unused solar panels that have followed us through two house moves have been dragged from the back of the shed; our thrifty summer coal buying has doubled in scale; we're buying one, putting two away.

And we're very, very conscious that this "prepping" is a mark of our privilege. This isn't the place for me to talk about how angry I am that 20% of the UK earns between £800 and £1600 a month - before tax - and 45% take home under £400 a week. Most families just can't buy now to save later.

So let's talk off-grid wrecks instead.

Starting here, with this remote and gorgeous cottage in Scotland - no electricity or gas, spring-fed water supply, septic tank and coal-fired heating and cooking. Plus 6.6 acres of land and woodland. Get a chainsaw and you can step away from energy market shenanigans forever...

Pockleaf cottage was sent to me by reader Melanie ages ago but, as per usual me, I've only just got around to taking a good look at it. Which is an issue for you because the closing date on offers is this Friday - September 9th. Sorry!

Described by the agent at a "much-loved family retreat/private holiday home" the cottage has two large bedrooms upstairs, two large reception rooms, plus bathroom, kitchen and larder downstairs. Attached is a stone store/stable, giving scope to extend, and outside is a two-room, large detached stone outbuilding offering more options.

Closest village is the pretty Eskdalemuir. Access is over a mile-long grassy track, leading from the main, shared forestry road. All drivable in the right vehicle.

It's on the market at offers over £150k, which in Scottish buying parlance means expect to offer 20-25% more. On the market through C&D Rural more details and pictures here and here and PDF here.

Further south (and therefore pricier) is this equally remote and largely services-free Dales cottage sent to me by regular reader/property spotter Tim.

On a Three Peaks hiking route, it's perfectly positioned for serious walkers/runners, and the views are pretty damn spectacular -including of the trains that run along the Settle to Carlisle line just in front of this former railway worker cottage. 

There's not much in the way of land (not that you'll want or need it up on Whernside) and there's a weirdness over vehicle access over landowners' land that could stymie any commercial/holiday let mortgage bid. It's a bit of an ugly box (my advice; hack off that damp-trapping concrete render and find a builder who understands extreme weather) and a tad overpriced given the condition of both the property and the market rumblings to come, but the location is pretty awesome. 

On the market through Fisher Hopper at offers over £300k. Details and more pictures here.