The word island conjures up images of messing about on the water, basking on beaches and stumbling across secret coves. The only problem is waterfront property has skyrocketed in value and it rarely changes hands. One good alternative might be to hunt for a home a bit further inland where often, you get a good deal more for your money.
One fine property for sale inland is Plaish Farm at Carisbrooke on the Isle of Wight. This period farmhouse, that overlooks downland and Carisbrooke Castle and comes with over 87 acres, is on the market at £1.3 million.
‘It will appeal to someone who wants to move to the island to enjoy a better quality of life at a slower pace. A number of people are now spending half the week on the island, commuting back up to London for a few days to keep in touch,’ points out selling agent Charles Spence from Christopher Scott (01983 242121, www.christopherscott.co.uk ).
The other plus is the hidden potential at Plaish Farm. Mr Spence says it is difficult to find homes these days that a new owner can renovate and turn into what they want. Here, there is great scope with what can be added to the farmhouse and other buildings on site.
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‘Although the house was modernised in the Nineties, some cosmetic work needs to be done. You could split off the adjacent brewhouse into a separate cottage for staff or guests and the outbuildings could be used for holiday lets,’ suggests Mr Spence.
With a healthy demand for holiday homes on the island, it is likely the local council would grant permission for the outbuildings to become holiday boltholes. Or, a new buyer might want to look into the commercial prospects for the buildings, letting them out to small local craft-makers or other businesses.
The configuration of the current stone Grade-II listed farmhouse is six bedrooms, three reception rooms, three bathrooms, a conservatory, study and handy utility room. Character features include flagstone flooring, exposed beams, stained glass windows, a cream coloured Aga and a brook running through the middle of the farm.
It is even rumoured that a secret tunnel runs from the castle to the farmhouse – perhaps a discovery for the next owner to make on this romantic island.