Enormous mansion sold for £600,000 because it's too big

Sarah Coles
The Devon house that was just too big
The Devon house that was just too big



A spectacular home near Bideford in Devon has been sold for the knock-down price of £600,000. It comes with a stunning 28 bedrooms, and is more than 30 times the size of the average home, but that's the problem: it was simply too big for most buyers.

Moreton House is Grade II listed. It was built in 1821 and is in beautiful condition. The 28 bedrooms and 19 reception rooms are packed with original features and are built on a grand scale. There's even a ballroom for entertaining guests. So why was it sold for comparatively little?

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Why so cheap?

When you compare it to other properties on the market for £600,000 it seems barking mad. There's a one-bedroom flat in Hampstead, a two-bedroom flat in Ealing, a four-bedroom house in Oxford or a six-bedroom semi in Stockport at this price. Even locally, a property of around a tenth the size is price at the same level.

However, Jackson Stops & Staff (the agent who sold the property) put it on the market at 'offers over £500,000', and said that the property was priced just right. The fact that the open day was back in August and the sale has just been completed is one sign that it wasn't hugely under-valued.

The problem was that it was simply too big for most people to take on. Most buyers in this area didn't need that kind of space, and didn't want the maintenance cost and headache associated with living in a property of that size.

Research from Primelocation found that even if we were given an unlimited budget, we would prefer to buy a home with four or five bedrooms. Most would like a large garden and half want a multi-car garage and a walk in wardrobe, but a ballroom and 28 bedrooms weren't on many people's lists.

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In the Home Counties it might be a different story, because there are enough mega-wealthy people looking for a trophy house. There's plenty of room to install every possible footballer luxury - from the cinema room and indoor swimming pool to the gym and a walk-in wardrobe the size of most people's spare bedrooms. The ballroom could be rebranded as a party room, and fitted with a state-of-the-art sound system, and the footballers would be queuing up to buy it.

In Devon, meanwhile, there's just not enough to draw the footballers, so the sellers didn't have the same kind of supply of mega-wealthy buyers. There was no one with the cash to spend several million pounds on a property of this size, so it found its natural home far further down the property ladder.

But what do you think? Would you go for a house with 28 bedrooms if you could afford it? And would you be prepared to spend more than £600,000 on it?

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