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Crap. Fallen in love with an old Scotish castle that is fecked. Am i crazy?

(100 Posts)
plumviolet Wed 03-Oct-12 17:52:01

Living in Scotland with dh and 2 dds, been here for around 10 years and love it.

I left my job to have the kids and am planning on going back to work in the next few months. Whilst searching for a job online, i got sidetracked and started searching for hotels and b&b's for sale. No experience with that kind of thing, but its always been a bit of a dream of mine and although i know it's majorly hard work and difficult to get right, I feel like it is just the kind of project for me to get my teeth stuck into.

Well....near where we got married (an area we know and absolutely adore) an old Scottish lairds mansion has come on the market at the top of our budget and hour away from my husbands work. It has been a hotel before and it has 12 bedrooms. Its not been one for a few years now though. It was built in the 1800's and has some nice history that comes along with it.

It is in the most gorgeous area, think of the movie Brave and that's basically it. Major tourist area, loch side, cute local village you name it.

Roof is fecked. Lots of damp, turrets and towers to deal with too. Wet rot for sure, possibly worse (no survey yet). Sizable tree growing out of one of the chimneys. Guess that is why it is in our price range. We won't have much money to initially plow in and will have to do a lot of the work ourselves over time. We're both fairly hands on so that's ok, me and dh don't mind getting our hands dirty and would look on it as a long term project and a house for our kids to grow up in. Husband would still have to work, well, until it started to make money. Would run it as a b&b kind of thing and possibly hold weddings there in the future.

Oh, its also grade II listed.

I am totally crazy to even consider this aren't I? 

expatinscotland Wed 03-Oct-12 17:55:09

If it's at the top of your budget and you'd have trouble borrowing more, yes. Damage like dry rot isn't a DIY job, particularly if you're running a business, and the roof may not be, either.

wonkylegs Wed 03-Oct-12 18:00:48

Yep probably, but crazy people can sometimes do amazing things.
If you seriously want to consider it look at it clinically - you've sold it to your heart, now sell it to your head (& your bank manager)
Lists - what needs doing (+ time scales & costs), funding sources, possible issues, rough business plan & development programme would help. Make a case for why this is a good idea (besides the fact you love itgrin)

Toomuchtea Wed 03-Oct-12 18:01:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AgentProvocateur Wed 03-Oct-12 18:01:55

YOLO, as my teen DSs would say. smile

RonettePulaski Wed 03-Oct-12 18:02:13

You will needst £100s of thousands to put it right

Not just the work itself but input from conservation specialists in order to comply with listed building consent

Have you got hundreds of thousands of pounds?

scurryfunge Wed 03-Oct-12 18:02:48

This is my dream too but my very modest budget won't allow it. If you are prepared for lots of hard work and being penniless for a number of years, I'd say go for it.

Begs nicely for link!

PfftTheMagicDraco Wed 03-Oct-12 18:08:24


MoreBeta Wed 03-Oct-12 18:09:25

Run for the hills!

Do not even go there. The roof will require very specialist workmanship. The stone work will require stone masons. The interior might require specialist cabinet makers and you might need to buy replica fire places made of hand carved stone. The cost could be horrendous. It is a LISTED BUILDING and you will not be allowed to use modern materials at all.

Our Grade II Listed house has hand made tiles on its roof. Think £10 each and there are thousands of them! The lady who bought our next door house had to have a £30,000 staircase made as the previous owner had ripped out the original and the local heritage officer made her put it back even though it was not her fault. Windows have to be replaced with hand made Crown glass. Normal glass will not do. Drainpipes - cast iron only.

OliviaPeaceAndLoveMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 03-Oct-12 18:10:55

We can't possibly comment until we have a link.grin

expatinscotland Wed 03-Oct-12 18:11:06

Get a structural survey and get a specialist in about the rot. Research the council's approval of planning permission of Grade II listed buildings (it could be for sale because it needs rennovations that particular council doesn't have a good record of approving).

Thing is, if it's top of your budget then you need it to start making money asap, not 'over time'.

Watch a few episodes of the HUGE problems Sarah Beeny ran into with Rise Hall (they are trying to sell it and probably lost money on it already).

We live in an area full of listed buildings and conservation areas and tbh there are a lot of beautiful properties like this for sale because they just don't make enough money after the amount needed to invest in them and raise them to a standard that will earn it back.

MoreBeta Wed 03-Oct-12 18:12:10

<I wouldn't mind a link BUT refuses to beg>

tiredemma Wed 03-Oct-12 18:13:32

Please link. I am in no position to 'gazump' you. I have £26.00 in my bank account.

hellymelly Wed 03-Oct-12 18:13:34

I will beg for you MoreBeta....PLEEEEEEAAAAAASE, PLEEEEAAAASE give us a link?

expatinscotland Wed 03-Oct-12 18:14:13

YY, Ronette. A house, just a house, was sold round here for £150,000 - gorgeous with land, in a conservation area. It was so cheap because it 'required modernisation'. It was purchased by returning Scots who retired and sold their property in the SE of England for WAY over what they purchased it for in the 70s.

We know them and they have sunk an additional £150,000 into that house. Because it's listed and in a conservation area, most of the repairs are not DIY jobs. And they don't have to worry about the added expense of licensing required for business owners.

hellymelly Wed 03-Oct-12 18:14:25

<wringing hands and looking pathetic and beseeching>
am also in no position to gazump, am in Wild Wales anyway.

TunipTheVegemal Wed 03-Oct-12 18:19:47

I would love to encourage you but with it being listed and at the top of your budget I would say don't do it.
It doesn't sound like something you can do as a DIY project - too big and because it's listed the materials will also cost a lot and there will be no scope for making mistakes and learning as you go along.
If you want to restore a house to use as a hotel and that is your dream then start searching for one systematically and try and find one in a better condition that's not listed. It might seem like a once-in-a-lifetime chance but things do come up from time to time.

MisForMumNotMaid Wed 03-Oct-12 18:20:06

possibly you could get some grant assistance with repairs

plumviolet Wed 03-Oct-12 18:24:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MisForMumNotMaid Wed 03-Oct-12 18:24:34

Would you get a title? Because if one comes with the estate this is another option. On-selling tiny bits of the land sq ft with shared title lots and lots of lairds and lady's of plums place!

plumviolet Wed 03-Oct-12 18:24:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wonkylegs Wed 03-Oct-12 18:24:45

I don't agree with the complete worries about Grade II listing. Yep it can be more of a pain to deal with but its not always as onerous as it sounds as sometimes you would do that to it anyway. Check the extents of the listing and double check with the local conservation officer before you do things as if you get it wrong it can be costly and a criminal offence
I have done quite a lot of jobs on listed buildings (Inc Grade 1 listing) and although some have been really hard work & cost a fortune others haven't really been that bad and have been really interesting to work with.

plumviolet Wed 03-Oct-12 18:26:01

The church down the road has rob roys grave in it. Full of romance and history. Tourists would LLLLLOOOOOVE IT.

expatinscotland Wed 03-Oct-12 18:27:54

It's in a national park in Scotland, wonky. Ever had to work with them? NIGHTMARE! Everything has to be approved by them, too.

scurryfunge Wed 03-Oct-12 18:28:19

Love it but I am deluded.

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