Still no news here on when I’ll complete on the croft purchase. I can’t even get hold of my solicitor at the moment to find out what the delay is!
In the meantime, if anyone fancies going into business up here on the north coast, there are a couple of opportunities coming up in the auctions.
The Schoolhouse restaurant at John o’Groats has been closed for a while now, but as you can see from old Trip Advisor reviews, it was well-loved.
It has a guide price of £80,000, a considerable drop from the offers over £145,000 DM Hall had it listed at when it first came up for sale. John o’Groats has gone through a lot of changes over the past few years, with Natural Retreats coming in and restoring the main hotel and building eco-lodges, so it could be a good opportunity for someone to revive the restaurant again.
If cooking isn’t your thing, how about a spot of retailing? Two shop units that are usable as one shop with a guide of £55,000.
I have a funny feeling I may have mentioned this in an auction post before, but hey ho. This, along with the unit to its right as you look at it, used to be one of those rummage-y shops that did a little bit of everything, though it leaned more towards DIY stuff. It’s a bit off the main drag, but fine for a destination shop and there’s plenty of free parking nearby.
Saturday evening and time to have a look through the Scottish auction websites to see if there’s anything local (by which I mean north of Inverness).
SVA has a Grade B-listed building with permission for conversion to a 1-bed house in Tain:
I do like the look of some of the period features:
Wilsons has a 2-bed house in Castletown with a guide price of £35k against a home report valuation of £50k. I’d possibly have a look at this if I was buying, but the lack of internal photos makes me slightly wary.
Going in the other direction, there’s a very pretty cottage on Flotta in the Orkney Islands with a guide price of just £16,500 at Future Property Auctions:
However, that looks like a pretty big farm next to it – I’d want to go and see exactly how close it is and what they’re farming (my guess would be cattle with a barn that size).
They’ve also got a shop for sale in Wick – now this is an interesting one, because I know this shop pretty well. It used to be a craft shop, then got split into upstairs and downstairs units with a children’s clothing shop downstairs and a tack shop upstairs, both of which have now moved into bigger premises. Its problem is its location; it’s tucked away off the high street and although a destination shop will do just fine there, it doesn’t get much passing footfall:
The interiors are nicely done though, and with a guide price of £38,000 I’d definitely be tempted if I wanted to go back into retailing: