How a £400,000 seaview home sold for just £30,000

There's just one - pretty big - problem

A stunning four-bedroom property with panoramic views across the ocean and the English Riviera worth £400,000, has been sold at a bargain price of just £33,500.

There's just one slight problem: it might fall into the sea.

It was available at a knockdown cost because it sits just 150 yards from a rapidly eroding cliff and could fall into the ocean at anytime.

Sadly the new owner won't be even be able to wake to the sound of the waves, because there is an order in place preventing any potential purchaser from staying overnight until they can prove it is safe.


The buyer paid just over the £25,000 guide price and was not put off by the ruined state of a neighbouring home, which has already collapsed into the sea.

The home in Torquay may fall into the sea at any time.

Auctioneer Graham Penny admits the new buyer has taken a risk and could either get a bargain - or a flop.

He said: "The property's enviable sea views does mean it's relatively close to the cliff edge and other neighbouring properties have experienced substantial subsidence.

"It’s impossible to say whether Tor Cottage will be subjected to subsidence itself. A buyer could get a return on their investment if Mother Nature is kind to them."

As recently as November 2011 Tor Cottage, located atop the quickly eroding Oddicombe Cliffs in Torquay, Devon, was on the market for £365,000.

Boasting an open-plan living room, dining room, 27ft x 20ft fitted kitchen, a study, four double bedrooms, a huge garden and parking, it should be worth around £400,000.

The balcony of Tor Cottage in Torquay has gorgeous seaviews


But after watching their dream home lose almost all its value the previous owners sold up to a firm which specialises in selling challenging dwellings.

The brochure for the auction described it as "an interesting opportunity to acquire a superb four bedroomed detached fully refurbished house with balcony enjoying fine sea views in a cliff top cul-de-sac position".

But it also warned prospective buyers that no survey has been carried out and the neighbouring home had suffered from "severe subsidence".

That property, Ridgemont House, looked like a similar bargain when it went under the hammer in 2010, but has since disappeared almost entirely over the cliff edge

Retired policewoman Sue Diamond bought Ridgemont for £154,000 at a blind auction but it was condemned one week later after a landslide.
10. Budleigh Salterton, Devon; £330,436 average house price
Originally the hamlet of Salterton on the Rolle Estate, Budleigh Salterton developed as a resort in the early 19th century. It’s now an ... more 
10. Budleigh Salterton, Devon; £330,436 average house price
Originally the hamlet of Salterton on the Rolle Estate, Budleigh Salterton developed as a resort in the early 19th century. It’s now an assortment of cottages and Victorian villas, alongside impressive early 20th Century residences. This five-bedroom cottage is on the market at £800,000. Fulfords less 
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Yahoo Finance UK
Fri, May 31, 2013 16:00 BST