Grade II listed 6-bed farmhouse for £395k: what's the catch?


The farm

A Grade II listed farmhouse is up for sale. Despite having six bedrooms, and sitting amidst landscaped gardens, an orchard and a lake, the property is listed in the auction catalogue for a snip at £395,000. It's about a quarter of the price you'd expect for a property of this type in Wiltshire.

So what's the catch?


Hunts Copse Farm in South Marston, Wiltshire, does come with a sizeable downside. It sits right in the middle of an industrial park.

The property was taken over by the government during WWII, and an aircraft factory was built in the grounds. The farmland has since been developed into an industrial park complete with a Honda Factory and a B&Q distribution centre.

The property is currently set up as offices, but there is planning permission to turn it into a hotel, and there is consent pending to turn it back into a home.

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Would you buy?

The guide price on the property is a real steal compared to similar properties in more traditional local areas. This sort of farmhouse commonly tops the £1.5 million price bracket.

It is up for auction with Moore, Allen & Innocent. Surveyor Andrew Stibbard told AOL there had already been a lot of interest, thanks in part to coverage from the media. He said the location wasn't as noisy as you may expect, and was tranquil at the weekend.

However, he said: "We'll have to what and see what it fetches on the day. It's impossible to value a property like this with any certainty, because there are no comparable properties: that's why it's being sold by auction."

There will be a buyer, because there will be those who can see past the surroundings. However, for most people, the setting of a property will have a massive influence on what they are willing to pay.

The NAEA estimates that being in close proximity to a mobile phone mast will bring the value down by at least 25%, while academic studies place the drop in property values associated with a great deal of noise from a nearby airport or motorway at around 20%.

According to the Halifax, even something as small as difficult neighbours can shave £31,000 off the value of the property. It's fair to say that a massive industrial site probably exceeds the definition of difficult neighbours.

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