Would you like to buy this farmhouse / cottage?
It is on the market at £500,000 with circa five acres.
More land up to a total of 23 acres is available separately.
Because it is a holiday let, you can even 'test drive' the farmhouse to see if you like it by booking it for a one week self-catering rental.
Check availability in 2018 here.
Holiday Lets - allow 6 months notice
Due to Holiday Lettings, especially in Summer, there's a 4-6 months lead time to 'complete', depending on holiday bookings (see bookings page). So if you have a place to sell now, we recommend an early viewing so you can tie in completion on your existing home once it sells, to fit in with occupying this property.
We'll need to cancel and refund any bookings more than 6 months ahead, but we wish to honour summer season rather than expect holiday makers to make short notice alternative arrangements.
|This tucked-away rural idyll, surrounded by its own land, yet within easy reach of the A4067 Swansea-Brecon Road, offers a rare opportunity with its numerous outbuildings for a canny buyer to create a £1m property, subject to the necessary consents.|
Wales farmhouse for sale,
Wales cottage for sale
Bargain basement prices on Wales Properties:
If you are familiar with the Property Market in Wales you will know that prices have dropped since 2007. Bargains for buyers abound. You can get a lot for around £500k now.
So the farm if I wish to sell it, has to be realisitically priced. I would accept £500k.
A bit of background about the Wales property market may be of interest to you, so here goes:
Wales has a curious history with property prices. When I first bought in Wales, in 2000, there were little bungalows you could buy for £20,000. By 2007 these had gone up to £110,000. They've probably dropped by 30% since. What this shows is that Wales can experience significant shifts in prices both up and down. Currently they are definitely low and should one day go up. This therefore is a good time to buy, at the bottom of the market.
It was in 2007 that I decided, unwisely in hindsight, to sell one house and two flats in London. This was to raise cash for some restoration works at Craig y Nos Castle, a sister property, and to fully convert the remaining London houses into HMO's in order to comply with new HMO planning regulations. A developer in London had been interested in buying three of my London properties for years and as I had some cash left over from the sale to 'roll over', I bought the farmhouse as a potential future personal residence. My idea was to use it for overflow accommodation for the castle either for B&B or as self-catering lets.
Back in 2007 the farmhouse cost £630,000, with 23 acres. This was at the 'top' of the market in Wales. In hindsight the purchase was a bad decision as prices in London jumped 50% since 2007 while prices in Wales dropped 20%. The house in London that I sold to buy the farm is now more than double what the farm is worth. Very disappointing.
The farm was in a pretty bad condition - it was a place 'with potential' for improvement and needing it. Now it is in a sound condition though it needs a lick of paint inside and out.
I am selling it with less land - 5 acres - since most people do not want 23 acres. The rest of the land is available by separate negotiation.
Prices in Wales should recover in a few years. You can certainly buy plenty of places already 'done up' for the same money, but what you cannot do once a place is fully done up, is gain the potential for any increase in value.
With this farmhouse you have an opportunity to steadily improve the accommodation and extend into the barns, or use the barns for some other activity.
There is a vast amount of under-developed and unused space. There can be few places where you have 4 star holiday accommodation you can move into straightaway, AND a 'do up' opportunity right on your doorstep that could potentially double the value of the property, more than repaying the cost of conversion, over the longer term.
In Dorset I am looking for similar opportunities and they just do not exist. The farmhouse offers a unique opportunity to be developed. It is a great place for the right person to make something much more of it than what you see now.
What might you do with the farm?
Well, you could live in it, or you use it as a holiday base and continue the self-catering lettings business.
It has a handy little website. I've not really 'optimised' the site to get it found on page one of google organically, but all I (and therefore you) need to do to increase bookings is put a small adwords campaign on the farm website. Google puts the advert on page one and it gets booked up quite fast.
Either I can continue to let it out for you in return for a commission, Or you can put it with a Brecon Beacons holiday cottage agency who will let it and fully manage it for you for a 20% commission.
If you considered it as a small business, you could make around £25k - equivalent to the interest on a 5% mortgage. Plus you would have 15-20 weeks of the year to live in it yourself. If the Castle continued to manage the bookings and website for you, we'd charge you a 15% commission on bookings plus 5% for cleaning and organising the lets.
So this means the farm can be an attractive proposition when taken in conjunction with the established holiday letting business.
Longer term its value can only increase. And when economic circumstances justify the capital outlay, you have huge potential in the two stone barns to do more with it.
You could for example convert the separate barn into self catering accommodation, to double your holiday rental income, or keep the main house for personal occupancy and instead let out the barn to self-catering or B&B (which I had thought of doing myself).
If you are interested in this farmhouse, why not book a week's holiday in it, and see what you think of the position, the location and the area generally.
The peace and quiet is probably one of its greatest attributes. The stillness and silence all around you. There are not many houses left where you can enjoy the complete absence of noise.
Yet it is within easy reach of a number of good restaurant pubs in Penycae and Abercrave, plus there are some big supermarkets 7 miles down the road. It has a good flow of referral business from Craig y Nos Castle.
1. Leveling all the surrounding grounds which had become a junkyard of old metal, rocks, concrete and rusting farm equipment and general rubbish including old cars etc.
2. Re-building all the dry stone walls which had mostly fallen down.
3. Landscaping and laying to lawns most of what is now the back garden, which was all overgrown and strewn with rubbish.
4. Raising the level of a boggy area ready for a garden and patio area at the back of the 'unattached' barn.
5. Re-roofing and repairing the barns which had begun to collapse at the gable ends. They have now been stabilised and repaired.
Builders employed at Craig y Nos Castle have also done some work including:
1. Putting in an en-suite to master bedroom.
2. Replacing the non-existent water supply (a tin tank in a field drawing water off a stream which ran dry in the summer) with a £10,000 borehole.
3. Improving the sewage system which previously was so archaic you could not even put loo paper down the loo.
4. Starting work on a galleried loft conversion to create a mezzanine level above the master bedroom, sitting above the second bedroom.
This would give a new owner a huge amount of extra space or another bedroom, which does not appear on the sales particulars, and which would not cost a huge amount to add (maybe £15k as part of the work is already done).
5. Third bedroom created on ground floor from the former dining room. This could be reinstated as a dining room or second reception room. It has nice orangey quarry tiles under the current bedroom carpet. The tiles are in perfect condition but not suitable for the room's current use as a bedroom.
6. Some work (not completed) done on annexe to create a second kitchen / diner area as part of a longer term expansion into the attached barn.
All-up, I've invested about £780k into the farmhouse, including its purchase price.
Not my best investment, but good for any buyer as I take the hit on the drop in price and the initial restoration improvement works.
What else could you do with the farm?
Longer term I had intended to convert the barns into further accommodation, though I never got around to it as I am forever building en-suites within the loads of empty derelict rooms at the castle.
There is also an ugly tin barn that needs repairing, and which we had planned to use as a carport with accommodation over. There are plenty of drawings you can look at to see some of the ideas we had.
At the time I bought the farm, my main business, Craig y Nos Castle, was losing a lot of potential income through not having enough bedrooms converted into en-suites. Business was booming, our events business was growing fast, and I felt I needed more rooms.
My plan had been to continue converting more of the derelict rooms at the castle into en-suites, and simultaneously adding more rooms at the farm using those barns as overflow accommodation.
Then the recession came along, the events business slowed down, and since 2007 I've continued slowly to add extra en-suite rooms at the castle to meet the current level of demand.
Be advised that getting planning permission to use the barns for B&B or self-catering will be slow. We are in the Brecon Beacons National Park so new-build is out of the question. But you do eventually get permission for change of use, on existinng buildings, and tourism businesses are looked on favourably as a source of income in to the area.
One problem we had was our access on to the road. It is at a curious angle. Highways will want you to improve the access on to the lane. Your next problem would be getting change of use on the barns. A common development in the National Park that I have seen is where barns are used for some local tourism / activity / mixed farm use. A good example would be Cantref Adventure Farm near Brecon, plus there is an outdoor activity centre near the farm. Or you may simply prefer the farm for use as a private dwelling.
Back in 2008, the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority were keen on getting more people to stay overnight in the area, to increase tourism spending. A problem for the Park is that tourists 'drive through', visiting only for day trips which does not support the local economy. This indicates B&B and self-catering applications will be looked on favourably.
The two barns offer fantastic potential either as an extension to your existing living accommodation, or for a hobby business, or tourism / outward bound activity use. Take a long-term view, and over a few years you may realise the full earning potential of this farmhouse-cum-business opportunity, just as I had planned to do back in 2007.
Please use the form on the right -;
(1) if you would like to buy the farm yourself and receive a brochure on it, or
(2) if you would like to stay at the farm, you can use this form to enquire about availability