Bidders Take the Plunge as Tor Cottage Teeters on the Brink


Who wouldn't want an immaculate hillside home overlooking the sea for a fraction of the cost? But when that home sits on an edge of a cliff -- next door to a home that has already tumbled down the hill -- you'd think no one. But land is valuable, even with threatening landslides, as a four-bedroom home in England -- that would have been worth 400,000 British pounds (about $600,000) in normal circumstances -- just sold at auction for a mere 33,500 pounds. The starting price was 25,000.

Tor Cottage, which is yards from the edge of Oddicombe Cliffs in the exclusive area of Torquay in England, has been declared officially uninhabitable, according to reports by the BBC. "There could be another collapse in three months time, but it may be a 100 years before there's more movement there," said Chris Hodgkinson of the local House Buyer Bureau, the auctioning firm that bought the house from the previous owner. "The location is fantastic, while it's still there."

Torquay Council's prohibition order on occupants means it will not allow inhabitants until structural work is carried out to make it safe. "There is clearly a degree of risk involved, but Tor Cottage and the land still may have potential as an investment opportunity," Hodgkinson said. This home, with "stunning views," was on the market in November 2011 for 365,000 pounds. Details of the previous resident have not been disclosed, nor has info on the current buyer.

Tor Cottage joins some other unusual seaside properties that have come on the market recently in Britain. An 1881-built mortuary was up for sale last year in the hopes that buyers would see the potential for a chalet in Saltburn-by-the-Sea. (See before photos from Jonathan Pow.) Although we don't know if a buyer stepped forward, The Friends of Saltburn Mortuary, who wanted to purchase it and restore it "bringing it back to how it would have been when first," lost its bid to acquire it.

Just this spring, a four-bedroom, two-bath English home set for the wrecking ball sold for a record sum because of its incredible sea view. The 3.45 million-pound selling price for the 2,000-square-foot home on the sandy peninsular in Poole, Dorset, equates to 1,725 pounds per square foot, well above the existing record of 1,364, reported the Daily Mail. In addition to the view of Poole Harbour from the front, it also has views of the sea at the rear. Unfortunately, the couple who bought the home with plans to redevelop the site to build a four-story, five-bedroom home, had their plans rejected by the town's planning commission for being too obtrusive, reported the BBC. The Sandbanks is the fifth most-expensive location in the world to buy property.

See Video of the Collapsed Ridgemont House Next Door to Tor Cottage: