Friday’s Property Hot Pick is in…. DERBYSHIRE!

Hey everyone, I've a great auction lot in Derbyshire to share with you today, which is sure to appeal to a wide range of buyers.

This is a fantastic opportunity to purchase not one, but two connected properties! Both are very quirky and charming, plus the gardens are a feature in themselves.

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I made the mistake of reading the title of the Auction House website listing first, and as a result thought initially that I was looking at a single five bedroom house for sale. The indoor images were niggling at me though and, on closer inspection, the discovery of a second kitchen had me reappraising all the info much more extensively. Fortunately the brochure cleared things up swiftly and stated immediately that this is a rare sale of two character properties, one with two bedrooms and one with three bedrooms…

Ok peeps, now that we are totally clear on how many properties we are being offered here, it's about time we actually took a look at one of them, and herein lies a slight conundrum. It's not actually been made clear which images belong to which property, but we will muddle through. I quite fancy starting with that fabulous exterior first.

There are some well loved gardens to be found around this pair of properties, and it's got quite the magical feel to it. It has the look of a secret walled garden, dancing perfectly that line between manicured and running a little bit wild, plus those exterior walls of the houses are equally mysterious with their unexpected angles, dimensions and scale. It's a bit of a brain bender.  The more I research this property, the more I'm actually becoming sympathetic to whoever the Auction House had write up this lot.

It constantly tries to defy your attempts to describe it clearly or to understand the floor plans when looking at the outside walls. Even a close look in Street View could not clear up what bits belong to which property, so I'm changing tactics… These properties are clearly very much intertwined together, so I'll treat them as more like a main house with annexe, I think. The longer I look, the more I can see it's greatest potential would be either conversion to a single dwelling, multiple smaller units, or my favourite would be to do no worse than maybe add a connecting door so that a dependant relative could enjoy relative freedom in the smaller property, while also remaining close at hand.

The second garden, belonging to the smaller property I think, is the more overgrown looking of the two and it's hard to tell from these images if those are just mature plants bunched up together or if something is running rampant. It is a fairly manageable size though and flat enough to be rather mobility friendly too.

The smaller of the kitchens is likewise making me think it would be very well suited to perhaps an elderly couple or a dependant relative. It would be a tight squeeze in here for a family of four, for example. It may also prove bigger than it appears were you to redecorate in lighter neutral tones instead of this navy patterned paper on show now. I think the navy shelves and units (if they remain) could be fab, left that way once the walls behind them are much paler. As for that floor, I'm really hoping it's an original feature and as hard wearing as it appears. That red/terracotta shade in check pattern with the black is rather retro funky in appearance. I'd definitely be keeping that if it were my choice to make!

By comparison, the larger property has a true family kitchen with enormous long pine dining table and bags of room to spare. You could easily host Christmas dinner at that table it's such a generous size. There is also a modern contemporary feel in this kitchen with the lovely glossy cream cabinets and smart wooden worktop. Plenty of room to cook, bake, and entertain in here. Answers on a postcard if you've any real ideas why there appears to be some kind of plastic bag hanging from the middle of the ceiling! I'm unsure if maybe it's a broken light fitting and the bag is preventing bits falling, or perhaps it's an uber awesome light fitting they're hiding so we won't know they plan to take it with them to their new house?

Right, so where are we now… gardens – check… kitchens – check… living room/lounge… now we have three rooms to puzzle out their location/purpose. Two are clearly a sitting room and the pattern continues in more ways than one! One room looks a little larger than it's counterpart and belongs to the property with the little navy blue kitchen, and while I personally find the wallpaper a little too busy for my own tastes it is probably light, clean, and bright enough to work for some folks. That feature fireplace looks to be cast iron with what appears to be tile inlays to each side. I'd like to think that wonderful fireplace will be retained when any renovation/redecoration is carried out as it adds tons of character to the space.

Now, the other sitting room has pale walls, modern feature fireplace, and modern looking furniture, so I'm again confident this one belongs to the large dining kitchen and the three bedroom house. Wow, that almost sounded like I was playing Cluedo there! While the camera angle made the first of the sitting rooms seem a little bigger, these images are actually deceptive and the floor plans indicate the opposite to be true. I think furniture has also played into that illusion as well since the sideboard in the modern property is enormous and the room would definitely appear bigger without that large piece.

Ok, more Cluedo now… according to the floor plans our third room is a dining hallway. Yes, you read that right. Apparently dining hallway is a room function! New one on me, but it's a slightly old fashioned kinda home so maybe it's me that's too new to recognise an old type of room. Either way I'm not accustomed to spotting a curiosity like that every day. It feels almost like it's been a spare space and not much used beyond perhaps sitting by the lovely fireplace. Another dark patterned wallpaper on display in there as well, and it's making the place much smaller and darker than it need be. I'm thinking a warm neutral colour would easily liven up and enlarge this space. I'm not sure if you will want to retain it's current function though. The layout would be worth examining in the two bed house for ways it can be improved perhaps.

Lastly, it's time to check the upstairs in these properties. Now I'm glad to be able to be a bit more general here. All the rooms are a good size, and it's easy enough by now to spot which has a newer or older style so as to pinpoint which property they reside in. We have only been shown one large modern bathroom though folks, so make sure to check what the situation is in the retrotastic two bed home. It's possible that's needing updated, or maybe they just didn't want to put up too many photos and it's needing a lick of paint at worst. It's an unknown for the moment.

My one disappointment is that there is mention of the cellars under the two bed, and before I forget to mention, it's still got a pantry in there folks. Total blast from the past there. But there's no pictures of those intriguing cellars, so unless you plan to make some enquiries prior to auction, I'd assume they may not currently be in a usable state. That said, these are some rather solidly built properties that have clearly stood the test of time, so I'm sure those cellars will be worth any work required since it is likely that the bare bones are pretty decent.

Wow, what a crazy adventure this one has been. A proper mystery tour! One property is large spacious and modern while in a move in as is state, and the other is smaller with a lot of retro decor and might benefit from a layout tweak as well as refurbishment. There is a lot of potential here though, and it definitely feels like it has been a family home with older dependant relative adjacent in the smaller cottage. It's got plenty potential for further use in that way, but of course it will also be of interest to the investor or developer. There is a lot of property here for the price, and there may be scope to change layout, divide things up smaller, or to convert these into one large five bedroom home.

I'm not quite sure what way it'll go with this one. I am very curious to find out though. I'll be keeping an eye out for this unique pair of character properties in future and hope to someday discover where things will turn next for this puzzling property :-)

And the most important bit… for auction with Scargill Mann on 7th June!

L x

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