Its walls are bare stonework, there’s no carpets, kitchen or bathroom and the garden fell to weeds and bracken long, long ago. 

But this derelict cottage was one of Scotland’s most-viewed properties last month and is already under offer, with an asking price of £215,000. 

Delicately marketed as requiring “full refurbishment internally and externally”, Borve Cottage in Ballencrieff, Longniddry, East Lothian, is being sold as a three-bedroom home to prospective families.  

However, its new owners will have to roll up their sleeves as there are currently no habitable bedrooms, though estate agents say the floorplan does allow for these rooms to be created.  

Also on the to-do list will be finding space for a kitchen/dining room, sitting room and bathroom, subject to the relevant planning consents. 

Completely gutted inside, with plaster walls stripped down to the lathe, the exterior is choked with Ivy and weeds, but the fixer-upper does boast some mod cons.   

The Herald:

The interiors need refurbishing 

Heating is covered by a gas boiler, and the plumbing connects to a septic tank, while there's a double glazed windows to protect from the elements.  

The property also comes with a workshop/garage, further store and greenhouse, though these will need work too.  

Would-be buyers would have to be able to foot substantial bills above and beyond a refurbishment, however, as any purchase is expected to be difficult to finance with the estate agents warning: “It is likely that most mainstream lenders will not consider the property mortgageable.” 

The cottage came top out of the ten most-viewed properties last month according to estate agents ESPC.  

The firm is quick to stress the home’s proximity to nearby amenities, with the nearby villages of Aberlady and Longniddry offering Post Offices, while there are a variety of other local shops with supermarket facilities being available in nearby Prestonpans, Haddington and North Berwick. 

Residents are also encouraged to take advantage of the “delightful” walks nearby and at the seaside at Longniddry Bents. 

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There are a variety of golf courses in the area including Craigielaw, and also Longniddry and Gullane golf courses.  

School links are also highlighted, with local schooling in nearby Aberlady, while the property is within the catchment area for North Berwick High School. 

Properties in the top ten list were located in a range of areas from East Lothian to the suburbs of Edinburgh.  

Nine of the top ten homes in March had at least three bedrooms, with demand still strong for larger homes, perhaps as a result of the rise in hybrid working over the last three years. 

The Herald:

Plenty of natural light

Other properties which made the list include a two-bedroom cottage in Oldhamstocks, East Lothian, which dates back to approximately 1780 and is on the market for £145,000. 

This home boasts a south-facing garden with its own burn, and was laid out originally by John McQueen Cowan - a tree specialist and plant hunter in India who went on to work in the Royal Botantic Garden, Edinburgh. 

He was later responsible for the National Trust for Scotland's Inverewe Garden in Wester Ross. 

Other listed properties include a four-bedroom home in Corstorphine, Edinburgh, valued at £470,000 and five-bedroom detached home in Bathgate with a price of £525,000.  

The most expensive home on the list is a spacious four-bed detached period property in Prestonpans, East Lothian, with an asking price of £700,000. 

The Herald:

The garden may need a little work 

Paul Hilton, CEO of ESPC, said: “This rundown of our most-popular homes on ESPC is an interesting look at the requirements of homebuyers across East Central Scotland, and highlights what buyers are looking for in the current climate.  

“Larger family homes have been particularly popular with buyers in March 2023 with six homes on the top ten list having four or five bedrooms. These homes will stand the test of time as they offer versatile living options to accommodate family living and hybrid working.   

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 “Half of the homes on the top ten list were located in East Lothian which offers a great alternative for buyers searching for homes outside of Edinburgh, as it offers excellent transport links, local amenities, green spaces and a sense of community, as well as a more affordable price tag for a range of buyers.  

“Six out of the ten homes in the list are now ‘under offer’, highlighting the continued strength of the market.”