Tuesday 1 January 2008

Anyone got a spare £500,000?

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Just over 7 years ago, I was suffering from a monster hangover. It was the day after my 21st birthday and towards the end of the previous night I had engaged in some discussions with the porcelain gods.

What better way to get over the lingering feelings of nausea than going on a drive along some winding Fife roads. The point of this journey was to pick up my 21st birthday present - my kilt outfit.

Accompanied by my then-girlfriend, Donna, Mum drove us over the Tay Road Bridge and through Fife to Caledonia Highland Dress in Abernethy (as an aside I looked for their website so I could link to it - they don't have one, so this will have to do, but I did find an amusing kilt-related story which quotes the owner).

On the way to the kilt shop, Mum had to pull over a few times so that I could, umm, admire the views.

At one of the stops I saw the building in the picture above.

At the time I remember thinking that it was a fantastic looking old building and would be a great project to restore and turn into a big house.

Over the following seven years I always meant to try and find it again to take a proper look - if it was still there.

So last week, Dad, Fraser and I took another journey over to Fife. I couldn't remember exactly which route we had taken. I could only remember that it was about 50m from the road and that it was a building surrounding a kind of courtyard. It was amazing when we finally found it - we were starting to think we would not find it - perhaps it had already been knocked down.

Was was more interesting was that there was a for sale sign up outside it. It seems it has recently been put on the market. We guessed that it might be for sale for between £100,000 - £180,000, but in fact it is up for a cool £275,000. It does have planning permission to convert it into three residences and it also has a fair plot of land, but even still it seems a tad expensive for what it is.

At a rough guess (based mainly on watching Grand Designs and the like!) we reckon it might need around £250,000 spent on it to turn it into three decent residences, bringing the spend to £525,000. So to get a decent return you'd probably want to sell each residence for about £250,000 to get £750,000 in total and make a decent £225,000 profit (30%) with some room for overspend.

Things is I don't think you'd get £250,000 for the properties. I do, however, think the current property is overvalued. Maybe I can get it for £150,000. Perhaps it needs more properties to be build on the land includes in the plot. That would lower the value of the original building conversion and there is no planning permission to do that. Plus it would be rubbish in that stereotypical "greedy property developers who cram as many rubbish modern building into small plots of land thus ruining nice existing buildings" way.

I've checked my finances and I have £250 to invest. So I am looking for a co-investee to invest £524,750. The co-investee gets all their investment back, but profits are split with me 50:50, coz it's my idea. It's an unusual investment proposal, but I think it can work.

Anyway, the reason I posted all this is just that I think it is cool that I have been thinking about this place for seven years, with only a vague memory of it, and now we found it. I hope somebody does buy it and do a good job in restoring it. I would love to go back in a few years and see three nice homes there.

Have a look at the rest of the photos:


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