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    • Becks32
    • By Becks32 7th Aug 18, 4:34 PM
    • 6Posts
    • 5Thanks
    I need to sell my house!
    • #1
    • 7th Aug 18, 4:34 PM
    I need to sell my house! 7th Aug 18 at 4:34 PM
    I am at a complete loss as to how to sell my house. It has been on the market for almost 3 years now and I am starting to worry it wont sell at all. I think the main problem is that it is in Orkney but I always thought that as long as this was priced accordingly then it would sell. Other houses are selling there (although not in my immediate vicinity - not sure why) so hence my confusion.
    The house is a large 4 bedroomed house with 3 acres, a newly roofed ruin with development potential and outbuildings. It has a 270 degree view of the sea with an island, lighthouse and ships passing regularly. There are secluded beaches, regular sightings of orcas, seals and the Aurora is visible when the conditions are right. The property has a borehole and although this could be seen as a negative it does reduce the council tax and has been fitted with an industrial filter and the water tested to prove it is of good quality.

    The house is 10 minutes from the local village which has amenities such as village shops, school, Drs surgery, cafes and the ferry to the mainland. We have reduced the price by 35k since it was originally advertised as prices have fallen and it is now at a price in line with 2 similar properties within a 2 mile radius which also have land.

    We have it listed with a local estate agent who seems to just wait for enquiries and wont attend viewings, we have already changed once so I am reluctant to do so again and there are only 3 there and all seem to be the same, so probably wouldn't achieve anything. I have listed the house with a smallholding website and posted on lots of local southern sites such as Facebay and other sales sites in London and across the south. I have produced leaflets and put up in prominent places and mentioned it to everyone I know. I really am at a complete loss so any advice, ideas or recommendations would be gratefully received.
    Thanks in advance!
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    • Slinky
    • By Slinky 8th Aug 18, 4:57 PM
    • 5,760 Posts
    • 27,296 Thanks
    Agreed. I thought that photo of the lighthouse were the chimneys of a waste incinerator.
    Originally posted by usefulmale

    So did I, it was only the OP's comment about the lighthouse that made me believe they weren't.
    • Nebulous2
    • By Nebulous2 8th Aug 18, 7:44 PM
    • 2,216 Posts
    • 1,427 Thanks
    Fragile rural communities in much of Scotland have been struggling for most of living memory. There are multiple reasons, not that complicated, the move away from a rural economy, increased take-up of opportunities in education and travel and a tipping point as communities lose key facilities like schools, banks and shops.

    Any success they've had has depended on a stream of incomers, particularly in the mid-eighties. That has been very much swimming against the tide, rather than something that should be seen as the norm.

    In other words they've had a surprising succcess in attracting people to slowdown the flow in the past, rather than a lack of it now.

    Prosperity ripples out from the rich areas, like London and it takes a long time for the ripples to reach somewhere like South Ronaldsay. Ironically the conditions when they do might just about be right for a rerun. As property price increases begin to dry up people who've made a lot of money bank it and look to escape. I remember around the mid-eighties a couple who had sold a two-bedroom cottage somewhere coastal in the South of England for 150,000 bought the biggest house in our village, an 8 bedroom ex-manse, for 65,000.

    The problem remains for many people who do relocate, that it is difficult to make a living. Someone, possibly Samuel Johnson, wrote something like. "Fort William is a place where a man could live like a king on half-a-crown a day. The problem is there is no ready way to earn half-a-crown a day."

    The figures have changed a bit, but the sentiment still rings true.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 8th Aug 18, 8:20 PM
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    On that front - ie about just how does one earn that "half a crown a day" and remote working is a lot more possible than it was in this day and age of the Internet though.

    A friend that moved here (West Wales) at much the same time I did has still continued with his worldwide career - courtesy of the Internet and "travelling back" (ie to Southern England) a couple of days a month. There are reports of people in some executive type jobs (maybe not even that level) even living in another country - with just the occasional "commute back".

    For info. - people might be interested to get hold of the latest copy of "Permaculture" magazine (ie the autumn edition) and the magazine office has just "gone virtual" (page 41 - The Virtual Permaculture Office).

    So certainly some types of job/career lend themselves to this virtual commuting.

    It's one way some people can manage to work where the jobs locally arent available/well-paid enough/some employers expect you to speak a "local language"/etc - and can serve as a way round that sort of obstacle course in making a living.
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 08-08-2018 at 8:23 PM.
    • ProDave
    • By ProDave 8th Aug 18, 8:21 PM
    • 1,138 Posts
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    ^^ Very true.

    But a lot of the incomers are like me, sold up in the south, mortgage paid off, far better house here than I would ever have aspired to down south with no mortgage at the age of 40. So since then we have both only needed to work part time and have had a far better standard of living.

    So anyone in that position, and indeed the retired can do very very well indeed here.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 8th Aug 18, 8:28 PM
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    Retired myself - so that's where my income comes from.

    Don't know about "doing very very well" - I wish

    One thing one does have to factor in is "Trips back" - even if not necessary for work. I was working out the cost of, say, 3 "trips back" a year for around a week a go - to see relatives/see friends/do shopping/have loads of stuff going on/just "have the chance to let off steam from Being Careful" for a few weeks a year.
    • ProDave
    • By ProDave 8th Aug 18, 8:32 PM
    • 1,138 Posts
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    Whenever I go back, it takes no more than 3 days of the traffic and overcrowding to have me itching to get away again. You can drive it in a day, or fly for not much money.

    The "do very well" thing, well if you have a house paid for in the south and you move here, you will have a better house paid for and a pot of money in the bank.
    • Becks32
    • By Becks32 8th Aug 18, 9:36 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    Thanks for all your help and advice. I have a lot to work with here and appreciate the honesty. Its refreshing to have a frank response and some genuine advice. I will get cracking and hopefully get some results. I know its not to everyones taste but Orkney is a very special place with some amazing scenery and I have experienced some amazing things there. The house was built by potentially the best builder on the island and so working on that basis, if I can resolve the cosmetic stuff the house should find a new owner fairly soon.
    • TheGardener
    • By TheGardener 8th Aug 18, 9:48 PM
    • 2,619 Posts
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    I think some better photography is the starting point - you need to sell the 'lifestyle' as much as the house. Sunsets, the wildlife, the beaches, sitting round a beach bonfire with the kids and dogs, sun glinting on the sea (now! while you can - it'll be winter in a week or two ) Is it a croft/feu ?Borrow some sheep to 'mow' the ground...just get some great photos of both the house and the local surroundings even if you have a pay a bit for professional ones - there is no shortage of photographers on the islands.
    Set up a website and Instagram - its got potential to sell on 'instagram-ability' with the right photos.
    Last edited by TheGardener; 08-08-2018 at 9:52 PM.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 8th Aug 18, 9:57 PM
    • 34,772 Posts
    • 21,210 Thanks
    Locals know the views

    anyone outside thinking of orkney will view everything they can get to in a visit

    A fancy picture of a lighthouse won't help increase viewings.

    How busy is this best builder that's the market against the next project
    • ProDave
    • By ProDave 8th Aug 18, 10:39 PM
    • 1,138 Posts
    • 1,376 Thanks
    Might be worth selling the "B&B potential" of it, and with the land camping / glamping potential. Tourism is a big industry up here.

    Our old house was a B&B and we used to run it. The people now renting it (who we hope are eventually going to buy it) are successfully making a living just from running it as a B&B.

    Don't rule out further development. With 3 acres it is very likely you would get permission for another plot or 2.
    • franklee
    • By franklee 9th Aug 18, 12:47 AM
    • 3,767 Posts
    • 4,069 Thanks
    Although it looks in the middle of nowhere it is as I said only 10 minutes from the local village, school bus comes to the end of the drive for primary and secondary.
    Originally posted by Becks32
    After being on the market three years I would assume the locals all know about it so your marketing needs to allow that readers will not know the area. Understandably they may be concerned about being too remote so include the above information in your listing plus distance to Doctors surgery etc.

    Also what would any incomer do for a living? I would have thought working online is a possibility if there is internet access which your listing doesn't mention. Even if someone was retired they would want to know if there is internet access given the remoteness.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 9th Aug 18, 6:36 AM
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    Absolutely! re the Internet access.

    I've found that one needs to be on the Internet these days (even if not using it for work) when living in a city with a lot of shopping facilities/lot going on/in England.

    However, the need to be on the Internet has increased by a gazillion per cent since moving more remotely - with a lot less shopping facilities/less going on/got to cook more (as not in a "foodie location")/not in England. Even little things like one can buy a huge computer screen and use it as a tv to watch one's "own" area tv programmes on the Net - rather than watching the local area ITV-or-whatever ones (I swear there's a lot more sport on the local versions of the tv channels than I'm used to for instance.....darn it).

    People will fight and fight to get their Internet in (and working normally) if they are living somewhere more remote - even if it's just for leisure use. So make it plain it's all sorted and they don't have to "fight it" to get it to normal standard - if that's the case.
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 09-08-2018 at 6:42 AM.
    • TheGardener
    • By TheGardener 9th Aug 18, 7:51 AM
    • 2,619 Posts
    • 2,600 Thanks
    Locals know the views

    anyone outside thinking of orkney will view everything they can get to in a visit

    A fancy picture of a lighthouse won't help increase viewings.
    Originally posted by getmore4less
    I disagree - most of the posts on the 'have a look at this' thread on the forum are about the photos of houses! I know what the 'views' round my way look like but good photos make me look - poor photos seriously impact on the sale of any property to locals and non-locals alike.
    Many island communities are quite conservative, perhaps not seeing the potential (familiarity breeds contempt and all that...) she needs to paint a picture of the property's potential - Instagram and the web are one way you do that.
    Also completely agree that high speed internet, if its available, needs to be included in the details.
    Last edited by TheGardener; 09-08-2018 at 7:53 AM.
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 9th Aug 18, 7:58 AM
    • 13,735 Posts
    • 19,799 Thanks
    The problem remains for many people who do relocate, that it is difficult to make a living. Someone, possibly Samuel Johnson, wrote something like. "Fort William is a place where a man could live like a king on half-a-crown a day. The problem is there is no ready way to earn half-a-crown a day."

    The figures have changed a bit, but the sentiment still rings true.
    Originally posted by Nebulous2
    Apologies for derailing the thread further but I believe our very own Artful makes more than half a crown a day in Fort William.
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 9th Aug 18, 12:12 PM
    • 5,869 Posts
    • 4,445 Thanks
    That's because it's being sold by estate agents rather than solicitors. The solicitors property centres (as the name suggests) generally only market properties being sold by solicitors.
    Originally posted by davidmcn
    I tis being marketed by the solicitors who are using the Rightmove advertising portal to advertise it.

    This property is marketed by:
    Lows Solicitors, Orkney logo
    Lows Solicitors, Orkney

    5 Broad Street, St. Ola, Orkney, KW15 1DH
    • Crashy Time
    • By Crashy Time 10th Aug 18, 10:30 AM
    • 7,358 Posts
    • 2,681 Thanks
    Crashy Time

    Looks like a few others are struggling to sell as well.
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