Many buyers are attracted to rundown property with land because they think they see the good life.
Then think they’ll do it up to their standard and live out in the countryside.
There’s been a lot of these type of properties around for the last 40, 50 years. Old farmhouses, where there were small farms that have been incorporated into big farms, and a lot of the old farm buildings or old houses have just been left derelict.
During my 15 years on the Durham planning committee board we rarely saw these type of building being converted to dwellings.
And it was absolutely stupid.
They used to say the dereliction was an attractiveness to the area. And I thought, how can you ever say that? I used to have heated discussions with them because my Parrish award is one of the biggest rural ones in the country. And it really used to annoy me as I knew people would really like to buy them and take them back to their former glory.
A lot of people come from the towns and cities and want to live in the country
They see these as nice projects and I don’t blame them. And, they can be very attractive because once they’re finished and built you will have a nice, attractive saleable property that will attract an array of buyers.
There’s no doubt about it because having a bit of land, a bit of space, is a premium.
There again, you might have to start from scratch. The planning has been relaxed since 2010. So fortunately you can now convert these properties quite easily.
The result is that 10 years on a lot of these conversions have been completed and there’s not as many available.
Saying this there is still quite a few out there. I know one that’s just gone up on the market and with a little piece of land for £50,000.
And another important thing that you’ve got to remember when you’re buying is the connection of services because a lot of them could be quite remote.
- Is electric available?
- How much will it cost to get electric to them?
- Hows the local wifi infrastructure?
- Is there gas supply?
If not you will have to think of oil, wood burners or liquid LPG gas.
You need to think of these services as there will be a cost involved with their connection.
Is there phone lines locally? Everybody wants broadband now. What about the water connection?
Again, very important because a lot of these old properties on the hillsides don’t have mains water. They run off springs. And you need the check.
Be very, very careful to check these utilities before buying so that you can accommodation according when budgeting on the refurb.
And make sure you have water rights or there is water there with your solicitor. Because if you haven’t got any water or rights for any spring water, then you could be in serious trouble. Because the cost of putting a main’s water supply to a remote property will be very costly.
If you consider all of the above with regards to services and utilities on the whole, you should end up with a nice property.
I’ve seen some lovely conversions over here in Durham where people have made a really, really good job. And they’ve turned a £100,000 derelict property with 10 acres into something worth in excess of £500-600,000.
They would’ve spent a lot, so don’t think it’s all profit. But the lifestyle does appeal to a lot of people as well.
My advice is these could be great buys but to do thorough due diligence.
Look at everything.
And check with the local planning department before buying. Ask their advice even on the small things such as installing small windows.
So do a pre-planning before you buy.
Best of luck with the purchase. However, if you are an owner of a property with land for sale and want some guidance please do feel free to give me a call. I’ve numerous years of experience and also live in the countryside. So, feel free to call me on 0191 486 2386.