A nuclear bunker is up for auction, with an estimated value of up to £400,000. It was built on a lonely hill in Devon, ready for 150 dignitaries to occupy in the event of a nuclear strike on Plymouth. Now, as the threat of nuclear war has diminished somewhat, the property is up for sale.
So is it worth £400,000? Would you fancy living there?%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
The bunker is known as Hope Cove R6, and will hold some attractions for buyers. For your money you get 56 rooms, and a unique slice of history. The metre-thick walls and the steel blast doors would be interesting talking points and unique features if you were to invest.
The sellers add that if you stand on the roof there are amazing views of the sea in one direction and Dartmoor in the other - so there's potential for a spectacular view - if only there were windows. The auctioneer, Clive Emson Auctioneers in St Mellion, Cornwall has put a £300,000-£400,000 estimate on the property, and told the Metro he was hoping for a bidding war.
On the downside, however, you've have to overcome the fact that there are no windows, there is only one floor above ground and two underneath, it's in the middle of nowhere, and it's an empty shell which would take endlessly deep pockets to make habitable. If you had £1 million to spend on a unique property, there are more attractive candidates.
Of course, the options for the former bunker don't just include residential accommodation. The current owners told the Daily Mail they were hoping someone would pick it up to be used for disaster recovery, a server farm or they could continue to rent out the land next to it for a radio mast. Then again, if you were after a commercial property, there's no shortage of more traditional options available.
If you have your heart set on a nuclear bunker, there are cheaper versions. In February one in Coswarth in Cornwall went up for sale for £50,000. Admittedly it was much smaller with just 15 rooms, but had the same winning combination of an ugly building above ground and subterranean living space.
In March one in Dundee went on sale for £200,000 - which had 49 rooms, and even featured a recording studio and a hospital. This one was sunk into a grassy knoll, so had added Teletubbies appeal.
The same month saw one in Derbyshire go under the hammer. This was a mini version - with just a hatch above ground, and three small rooms down a ladder. However, it would have the same novelty feel and came at a guide price of between £2,000 and £3,000.
But what do you think? Does it appeal to you? What would you use it for?
The people who affect house prices
Nuclear bunker for sale: Grand Design or white elephant?
They have the power to push a price higher, depending on how many other people are in the running for a home and how liberal they want to be with the truth to the buyers. In some cases, they can also do more harm than good by initially overvaluing a property. The worst case scenario is the home eventually sells for less than it would have done had it been priced realistically in the first place.
Sometimes a quick-moving solicitor can be the difference between getting the home at the price you want and getting into a bidding war or missing out entirely. If the buyer needs a quick sale, they're more likely to do a deal with someone who has a flexible solicitor who can push through the sale so it suits them.
Research by Halifax concluded that anti-social neighbours could take £31,000 off the price of an average home. If you’re selling, you should declare any problems you’ve had on a Seller’s Property Information Form, otherwise you could face a claim later on.
While an increase in Council Tax might not be too much of a deterrent to a potential buyer, plans to grant permission for new homes, a mobile phone mast or wind turbines could knock an asking price down. If you're a buyer, the local council should have details of any future planning applications and you can search them for a small fee.
A lot of traffic in an area obviously has an effect on air quality. Since 1997 each local authority in the UK has carried out studies of the air quality in its area. If an area falls below a national benchmark for air quality, it has to be declared an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA). Some residents of the Llandaff area of Cardiff expressed concern that it had become an AQMA due to an increase in traffic in the area. Whether this becomes a widespread issue remains to be seen.
Mortgage availability is a key driver of property prices. If no-one can take out a mortgage, then prices will stall and eventually fall. We've seen this happen in parts of the UK in recent years, as lenders tightened up their criteria following the credit crunch. Conversely, good mortgage availability will mean more people are competing for properties - to a seller's advantage if their home is desirable.
An outstanding local school can add around 8% to the value of a home, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. On the flipside, a not so good Ofsted report can take off a similar amount. If you’re concerned about a school’s performance, one way to get involved is to become a governor.
Initiatives such as the Help To Buy scheme have been credited with pushing house prices up. A buoyant economy with strong employment gives people the confidence to buy and leads to an upward shift in house prices, while rises in unemployment have the reverse effect. Planning restrictions, at both a national and local government level, affect the number of homes in a particular area.