Selling Unique and Unusual Properties

An Englishman's home is his castle and as a nation we're very keen to put our own stamp on our home.  We're drawn to unique and unusual properties, unfortunately self builders - who are those most likely to build a one-off property - are responsible for just a tiny fraction of the UK's new housing, with the majority of people buying and living in mass-produced properties which lack a unique identity. This is a travesty! And it's down to a combination of the prohibitive planning rules we have in this country, the perceived high-cost of self-build in comparison to buying new-build and perhaps an attitude of not wanting to get our hands dirty as it were.

But there is some light on the horizon. There's a growing trend of redevelopment and conversion of unusual and unique buildings like old churches, old mills, old cinemas/theatres, lock keepers cottages, forts, gatehouses and railway cottages etc.

These buildings, which would otherwise continue to decay and crumble, are being lovingly brought back to life and given a new use. This may lead to a less than normal property layout that may turn some buyers off but it will be this same uniqueness and character which draws those other buyers who are longing for something a bit more special than the boxy, uniform, mass-produced offering.

Just because your property is in a niche category doesn't mean it will have little demand, it may play to your favour. In the case of a railway cottage, don't be surprised if you have train anoraks fighting to buy it.  Because it's such an appealing niche you could comfortably end up selling a property like this for well in excess of its market value.

converted church window

Warning - if you are developing a church perhaps don't do this with the window...!

Our advice for selling unique or unusual properties:

  • Choose your buyer, a good agent should be able to target these people for you
  • If you have any unique features in the property show them off to their best
  • If it needs work and especially if it is listed as well, work with an architect (one who is experienced at dealing with non-standard properties) and the planners to develop some designs that will appeal to buyers.

Related Articles

Country and Character Properties

Published on 07 July 2014

Source Dominic Woodward

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