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We pick some renovation projects in rural and coastal locations  

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Properties in rural and coastal locations have seen their desirability soar during the pandemic as people seek out more space.

It means values have increased significantly in these areas as demand has outweighed supply.

As such, it has made it challenging to purchase in some of these places, so it may be a surprise to find any local properties that have a lower-than-expected price tag.

We highlight some renovation projects - including this one in Cornwall (scroll down for more details)

We highlight some renovation projects – including this one in Cornwall (scroll down for more details)

We hunted down some examples of properties listed on website OnTheMarket that are in desirable coastal and rural locations such as Cornwall and Devon, with price tags of between £240,000 and £500,000.

However, all of the buildings are in a state of significant disrepair as they are renovation projects that need deep pockets in order to transform them into habitable family homes.

1. Five-bed house, Cornwall, £500,000

This Grade II-listed renovation project in Cornwall was once a monastery, but could be transformed into a conformable home.

It is believed to date back to the sixteenth century, and is 1.5 miles away from the village of St Keverne, near the town of Helston.

This Grade II-listed renovation project in Cornwall's St. Keverne is for sale for £500,000 via Clive Pearce estate agents

This Grade II-listed renovation project in Cornwall’s St. Keverne is for sale for £500,000 via Clive Pearce estate agents

The property is in need of renovation and has a partially converted annexe and studio, along with just under 3 acres of land

The property is in need of renovation and has a partially converted annexe and studio, along with just under 3 acres of land

Having previously been a monastery in the 1500s, the property now has an entrance hall which leads to a lounge, kitchen, dining room, utility room, and cloakroom on the ground floor. It needs completely renovating to make it habitable.

Upstairs, there are five bedrooms, along with a bathroom and shower room.

The outdoor space boasts an impressive 2.7 acres of fields beyond the walled garden – a feature that will appeal to buyers during the past year of the pandemic.

The property is believed to date back to the sixteenth century, and is 1.5 miles away from the village of St Keverne, near the town of Helston

The property is believed to date back to the sixteenth century, and is 1.5 miles away from the village of St Keverne, near the town of Helston

In addition to the main accommodation, there is a separate studio and a partially converted annexe, providing extra space for new owners to utilise as they see fit.

Helen Whiteley, of OnTheMarket, said: ‘As well as being in a hugely desirable location, this Cornish property exudes great charm despite needing renovation and therefore promises to be a wonderful home for new owners who are ready to embark on their next project.’

Clive Pearce, of the eponymous estate agents in Truro, said: ‘From the exposed wood ceiling beams to the exposed internal brickwork, this farmhouse is certainly full of character.

‘While there is a great deal of work to be done, this largely blank canvas offers lots of potential for new owners to really transform the property into their very own piece of Cornish paradise surrounded by outdoor space galore.

‘The beaches of Porthallow and Porthoustock are just 1.5miles away making this location perfect for enjoying peaceful, rural living.’

2. One-bed house, Devon, £240,000

This Grade II-listed thatched cottage is in the village of Lynton on the Exmoor coast, North Devon, and is for sale via Exmoor Property for £240,000

This Grade II-listed thatched cottage is in the village of Lynton on the Exmoor coast, North Devon, and is for sale via Exmoor Property for £240,000

On the ground floor, the stable-style front door leads to a cosy living area and open-plan kitchen space

On the ground floor, the stable-style front door leads to a cosy living area and open-plan kitchen space

In the village of Lynton on the Exmoor coast, North Devon, sits this enchanting Grade II-listed thatched cottage – although this could mean some challenges when it comes to certain aspects of renovating. 

The almost fairytale-like exterior boasts plenty of character as its undeniable charm certainly makes for a warm first impression.

Inside, the largely blank canvas is ready to be renovated to the new owner’s unique style.

On the ground floor, the stable-style front door leads to a cosy living area and open-plan kitchen space behind which there is a room that’s ready to be transformed into a bathroom.

Meanwhile, on the first floor the well-sized master bedroom has French doors that allow for the potential to place a balcony beyond.

As well as benefiting from garden space outside, the cottage is a short distance from Exmoor National Park making it an ideal spot to enjoy long walks with moorland views.

Helen Whiteley said: ‘This characterful one-bedroom hideaway has the potential to become an absolute gem in the right hands. Its bijoux charm together with its fantastic location and very private garden are all likely to make it highly sought after by those seeking either a second home or commercial opportunity.’

Greg Lang, of Exmoor Property Lynton. which is handling the sale of the £240,000 property, said: ‘There is a real ‘wow’ factor with this property. It’s like someone dropped Hansel and Gretel’s cottage into the Exmoor National Park.

‘It’s finished to builders “first fix” so the new owners can put their own stamp on the interior to make this property a unique retreat for themselves or a profitable holiday let.’

3. Farmhouse, Wales, £250,000

This traditional Welsh farmhouse is in the hamlet of Rhydrosser, Llanrhystud, and is for sale for £250,000

This traditional Welsh farmhouse is in the hamlet of Rhydrosser, Llanrhystud, and is for sale for £250,000

Make a bid! Best offers are being invited by midday this Friday via estate agents Morgan & Davies

Make a bid! Best offers are being invited by midday this Friday via estate agents Morgan & Davies

The 'race for space' amid the pandemic: The property enjoys extensive rural views with a glimpse of the sea in the distance

The ‘race for space’ amid the pandemic: The property enjoys extensive rural views with a glimpse of the sea in the distance

Located in the hamlet of Rhydrosser, Llanrhystud, in a valley setting surrounded by mature trees is this traditional Welsh farmhouse ready for complete renovation.

As well as benefiting from 14.3 acres of unspoilt land, the property enjoys rural countryside views and glimpses of the sea.

Although as it currently stands the property is an ambitious renovation project, there are two ground floor rooms with original fireplaces as well as a former bedroom.

As well as the main farmhouse, there is also a separate stone and slate barn, providing further storage or other additional living space, subject to the necessary planning consents. Although there are no mains services connected to the building, there is an old well and several natural springs located across the adjoining land.

Helen Whiteley said: ‘This property really is a blank canvas and the perfect opportunity for a buyer who is seeking a property that requires total renovation.

‘Although the farmhouse benefits from a private location, for every-day essentials everything you need is available in the nearby coastal village of Llarnrhystud, including a school and small supermarket, golf course and leisure centre. 

‘This means the new owner will benefit from both a glorious tucked-away location yet with amenities being conveniently close by, a combination that’s hard to find.’

Dylan Davies, of Morgan & Davies, Aberaeron, said: ‘With Cardigan Bay Coast just four miles away, this farmhouse is surrounded by natural beauty in abundance making it perfect for anyone looking to enjoy the country lifestyle in a property they can totally make their own after renovation.

‘The farmhouse is a truly rare opportunity to purchase a traditional country property which can be transformed into a new buyer’s dream rural home and is certainly an opportunity not to be missed.’

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Selling your home? Here’s how to make sure it has kerb appeal by sprucing up outside space

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As anyone who has indulged in the brutal ‘swipe left’ culture of internet dating will testify, you don’t often get a second chance to make a first impression. And the same is true when trying to sell your property.

That’s why what lies at the front of your house — be it lawn, gravel or flagstones — can play a major role in making a sale.

Indeed, having a pleasing ‘shop front’ to snag potential buyers scrolling through listings or even walking past outside can offer leverage to boost the asking price, says Colby Short, CEO of estate agent comparison site getagent.co.uk.

Dress to impress: Colourful flower beds transform the look of a cottage in East Lothian, Scotland

Dress to impress: Colourful flower beds transform the look of a cottage in East Lothian, Scotland

‘Homes that offer a front garden carry a 4 per cent property price premium versus those without, and that equates to more than £11,000 in the current market,’ he says.

So what changes can you make to the patch in front of your house to help improve the saleability of the property?

Some alterations are simple, entry-level innovations. For example, even the smallest swatch of grass should be mown and rubbish-free. 

In fact, bins and recycling boxes are often the first thing you see in a front garden, as well as the detritus left by squirrels who have curated bits of dinner from your bags of rubbish. But it’s easy to hide bins away in a box unit.

‘If you’re trying to hide ugly bins, how about building a bin store with a planter on the top, then you can have some gorgeous outdoor succulents and flowering alpines?’ says QVC UK’s gardening expert Michael Perry. 

You can also buy wooden bin stores from outdoor furniture suppliers such as Wayfair (from £125.99).

Meanwhile, hanging baskets outside your front door help to break up a harsh brick wall, says Sean Lade, of Easy Garden Irrigation.

‘Hanging baskets are an excellent choice for adding colour and scent to your front garden and soften the front of your house. They should be installed at eye level —about 5 ft off the ground.’

Hanging baskets add colour and scent to a front garden and soften the front of a house

Hanging baskets add colour and scent to a front garden and soften the front of a house

And think about replacing tired fencing or dilapidated brick walls with natural borders, such as Boxwood hedging, which will add visual interest and is also easy to prune throughout the year.

‘If you prefer a cottage garden appearance, then why not train climbing plants to create natural archways around your front door, porch or gate?’ says Deborah Cobb, product manager at builders’ merchants MKM.

‘Raised flower beds are also a clever way to add some natural foliage. If you fill them with evergreen shrubs, then they are an easy-to-look-after and low-maintenance option that will look good all year round.’

In terms of what plants to go for, Nicola Bird, founder of seed subscription service The Floral Project, suggests some annual flowers are perfect for planting at the front of your house if you’re looking to sell. 

‘They include varieties such as cosmos, phlox, zinnias and sweet peas — not only to bring a bright splash of colour to your front garden, but also serve as a great conversation starter with your potential buyers.’

Even if you don’t have a patch of grass in front of your home, there are other fundamentals which will help with the sale, says Jonathan Rolande, professional property buyer at housebuyfast.co.uk.

This includes jet-washing your path. And just before a visit from potential buyers, remove any vehicles, where possible, to help to create an impression of space.

‘Clean the windows, frames and front doors — and clean the house number,’ he says. ‘If the garden is mostly given over to parking, soften the look with pots and planters filled with bright flowers and attractive shrubs.’

 You may think your garden gnomes are cute, but to a prospective buyer, they can be just plain creepy

He adds that if you don’t have a lawn, terracotta planters on the front sills look great with fragrant plants such as lavender and rosemary appealing to the sense of smell, too.

If your front garden is really small, use decorative gravel such as pea shingle or slate chippings, suggests Thomas Goodman, property expert at homeowner and tradesman connection website myjobquote.co.uk.

‘This will give you an attractive, low-maintenance base for topping with a few nice plant pots.

‘Fix anything that’s broken, including gates, fences and walls. These detract from any nice planting and give the impression of a home that’s not properly maintained and is going to need work.’

Colby Short says some items in your garden should be permanently jettisoned to improve the chances of a sale.

‘You may think your garden gnomes are cute, but to a prospective buyer, they can be just plain creepy. The same goes for any large statues or display items, particularly if they are of a political, religious or risque nature.

‘When it comes to potential buyers, you want to present a blank canvas. But that doesn’t mean this canvas can’t look good and add appeal in its own right.’

On the market… with kerb appeal 

Buckinghamshire: This four bedroom semi-detached cottage is on the edge of Denham Village. The bedrooms are spacious overlooking front and rear gardens. Struttandparker.com, 01753 481 781, £800,000

Buckinghamshire: This four bedroom semi-detached cottage is on the edge of Denham Village. The bedrooms are spacious overlooking front and rear gardens. Struttandparker.com, 01753 481 781, £800,000

Suffolk: There are four bedrooms in this detached house in Old Newton. The property dates from the 16th century and has a thatched roof and mature gardens. Fineandcountry.com, 01379 646 020. £1.2m

Suffolk: There are four bedrooms in this detached house in Old Newton. The property dates from the 16th century and has a thatched roof and mature gardens. Fineandcountry.com, 01379 646 020. £1.2m

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Elephant Park expands its retail offer (GB)

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Lendlease has announced the openings of two new spaces at Elephant Park: all-day kitchen and bar RAREBIT; and community garden store The Nunhead Gardener.

 

RAREBIT – the all-day kitchen and evening dining, bar, and grocery store – has opened its first brick-and-mortar location on Elephant Park’s casual dining hub, Sayer Street. The brand-new concept has a menu focusing on British favorites including the Welsh ‘rarebit’, and its grocery stocks a range of independent wines, craft beers, and coffee from East London coffee shop, Climpson & Sons. This selection is complemented by cheeses from Neal’s Yard Dairy, charcuterie from London Smoke & Cure, and produce from Natoora.

 

The Nunhead Gardener is the latest brand to move from one of Lendlease’s meanwhile units into a permanent space at Elephant Park, following the likes of Dima Beautiful, Beza Ethiopian Vegan, and bar and bottle shop The Tap In. The 900ft² unit on Sayer Street stocks a selection of indoor and outdoor plants, as well as specialty gardening tools, seeds, and seasonal scented candles.

 

Guy Thomas, Head of Place Assets at Lendlease, commented: “Both of these openings speak to our core values at Elephant Park, with a commitment to providing our local community with uses that are independent, sustainability-oriented, and unique. The arrival of RAREBIT adds a new cuisine to casual dining hub Sayer Street, and The Nunhead Gardener’s revamped permanent space has created a plant haven that we know local people will love.”

 

Mark Angell and Will Nias, Co-Founders of RAREBIT, said: “RAREBIT is about bringing a modern, fresh concept to people who want top-quality food and drink. Whether that be for grocery shopping or sit-down dining, we are so excited to be welcoming customers through our doors at Elephant Park. It is such a buzzing area, and we are proud to introduce RAREBIT to this diverse and vibrant environment.”

 

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Hotel Indigo debuts in Austria

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Hotel Indigo opened its first hotel in Austria, Hotel Indigo Vienna – Naschmarkt. Located a short walk from the city’s historic center, the hotel offers 158 guest rooms, a rooftop garden resembling an urban jungle, a restaurant, and a lobby bar.

 

Taking inspiration from a famed local architect, Otto Wagner, a key member of the Secessionist movement, guests will find touches of gold used throughout the fixtures in the bathrooms as well as intricate patterns, made famous by Otto, woven into the carpet design in the hallway, and the tiles behind reception. Otto’s love for gold, Art Nouveau design, and ornate patterns can also be seen at famous local buildings such as the Majolikahaus, a short walk from the hotel. From ground level, the building looks innocuous, but as guests look skywards, they will see the top floors are decorated with exquisitely sumptuous floral motifs in brightly colored porcelain and gold leaf, a hallmark of the new style.

 

Stefanie Augustin, General Manager, Hotel Indigo Vienna – Naschmarkt, commented: “We are pleased to open our doors and accept our first guests into the first Hotel Indigo in Austria. We sit in the heart of the surrounding neighbourhood and strive to make all the locals proud, by helping to bring a bit of that external story in so guests can truly experience what Vienna has to offer.”

 

 

 

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