Over the past 30 years alone, the number of Post Offices in the UK has almost halved - losing over 10,000 of the 22,400 businesses around the country. Of the remaining 11,780, many have moved from being stand-alone enterprises to a few counters at the back of a shop. The death of the Post Office has been a tragedy for many - particularly in rural communities where it was a hub of village life.
However, it has offered opportunities for house-hunters. So what do you think? Would you take advantage of the demise of a Post Office?
There are a currently 53 former Post Offices for sale on the residential market in the UK. We examine 5 buying opportunities.
1. Land for sale in Telford - with abandoned Post Office, £69,950
At the moment it doesn't look too inspiring. There's a single-story brick building with no redeeming features, and a patch of neglected grass beside it. However, for the right buyer, with a plan that secures planning permission, it could be the opportunity to build an attractive little home with very little outlay.
2. Charming historic post office, Buxton, £275,000
This three-bedroom terrace has bags of stone-built charm in the heart of the Peak District. There's little sign of the former Post Office here, because it hasn't been anything other than a pretty home for quite some time. Of course, because of its former use, it's very conveniently placed near the local shops, the pub and the village school.
This unusual property has been created by knocking together two cottages and the former Post Office. It means the property combines period features like exposed beams and an inglenook fireplace with lots of space and six bedrooms. The Post Office itself is now a sitting room.
4. 2 bedroom maisonette, Frittenden £220,000
The fact this was a former Post Office is clear from the outside, as conversion has left a strange-looking residential building - with a mishmash of doors and windows. However, on the plus side it's right on the high street and some of the original features from the 19th century have stayed - including an impressive fireplace. The building has been turned into two properties - so this 2 bedroom maisonette has been carved out half of it.
5. 4 bedroom semi-detached house, Petersfield, £600,000
There's no disguising this building's former life. Half the home looks fairly traditional, while the other half still sports the glass shop windows of the Post Office. It dates back to the 19th century, so there are a handful of original features, but inside it's simply a neutral modern family home. The former shop is now by far the biggest room in the house - a huge sitting/dining room.