House on cliff sells for £30,000

Tor Cottage is located in Torquay, Devon, 150 yards away from a picturesque cliff – and a short walk from a neighbouring home, which collapsed into the ocean in 2010.

The rapidly eroding cliff sparked a steep discount for that property two years ago and was snapped up by a retired policeman for £154,000. One week later, a landslide saw the whole home condemned.


The House Buyer Bureau, who specialise in selling challenging homes, were not deterred, agreeing to buy Tor Cottage and place it up for auction after the previous owners moved out. With its open-plan living room, a fitted kitchen, four double bedrooms, a garden and parking, the Dorset abode is worth almost half a million pounds. Indeed, in November 2011, the cottage was listed on the market with an asking price of £365,000.

Auctioneer Graham Perry told The Daily Mail that the risk could reward buyers if they are lucky: “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.”

The brochure for the auction described the home 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”.

The new buyer was not put off by the impending erosion, paying a little over the £25,000 guide price. They still have not moved in properly, though: there is an order in place that prohibits them sleeping in the property until it has been surveyed to prove it is stable.

Even so, the Torquay home is undeniably a bargain, boasting an up-close view of the sea that gets closer every day: a £400,000 home at a knockdown price. Literally.

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