House with a downside sells for £33,500


Tor Cottage

A beautiful four-bedroom house in Devon has sold for £33,500. Similar properties in the area sell for around £400,000, but this one has a serious downside - literally. Tor Cottage is on a cul-de-sac skirting the cliffs, and after a number of serious land slips, it is now just 150 yards from the edge

So what did the owner get for their money? And was it a good deal?

The property

As we reported in June, Tor Cottage was described by the auctioneer as a: "very attractive extensively refurbished four bedroomed detached house in cul-de-sac cliff top position overlooking the sea". There's an open plan living room, dining room, spacious kitchen, study and four double bedrooms. It is a beautiful family home in a an incredibly sought-after area.

The home was on the market for £365,000 at the end of 2011, which would make it worth around £400,000 now if it wasn't for the landslips.

However, it comes with an incredibly high level of risk. A neighbouring property, Ridgemont House, has actually succumbed to the slips, and half of the house has fallen into the sea. The new neighbours will be hoping that history won't be repeating itself, because three years earlier it had been sold at auction to someone who had never seen the property.

More to the point, as we reported back in June, Tor Cottage has a temporary prohibition order on it, which means that no-one can live there.

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What next?

In the best case scenario, the buyer will be able to get a surveyor in and prove that the property is stable. They will then be able to apply to the council to have the prohibition order removed, and they will be able to move into their bargain property. As auctioneer Graham Penny told AOL earlier: "It is clearly not going to get any better, but an optimist may hope that the coastal erosion will stop where it is."

In the worst case, the survey will show that the house is already damaged to the point it has become dangerous to occupy, and the warm summer, followed by downpours this autumn, will bring the cliff edge even closer. At that point, the house may be both uninhabitable and unsellable.

Clearly there's a buyer who thinks it's worth the risk. But what do you think?

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