Welcome to Part Three of “Shall we Move to Scotland?”
For those new to my blog, the story so far is this: We watched a popular TV Housing programme which gave us an idea about moving to Scotland, found a property where we wanted to be, viewed it, lost it and decided to widen our search to the West Coast!!
So you may remember that I have drawn up a shortlist of some 17 properties, 8 of which we viewed on the Friday. Over the next three days we had a further 9 to see – well some of them I discounted before viewing once we’d starting seeing the area – many reasons, but they just weren’t right for us.
However, I do want to tell you about one property. I’m a Pisces and I love water. As I was trawling through the options I saw this photograph….
Can you imagine my excitement! A house, within our price range, on the West Coast of Scotland and with That View!! I was on the phone immediately to the Estate Agent. Now this property is currently a rental property, so we had to be mindful of that and setting up a viewing proved a tad difficult – but with a little bit of negotiation the date was set. 4pm on Monday 9th May. EXCELLENT!! JOB DONE!!
So on Sunday, we went off and viewed a few more places. We also decided to pop into Craobh Haven and work out where the property was. Craobh Haven is halfway between Lochgilphead and Oban on the West Coast. There is a very nicely maintained road and heathland leading to the marina of Craobh Haven. I was full of excitement. The weather on Sunday was miraculous – see how blue that water looks? That’s the weather we had on Sunday. We parked the car up and jumped out – and this is where it all starts to turn a bit strange.
It is May – a warm balmy Sunday – it’s about 3pm – and there is NOBODY about – not a soul – no birds are singing – no seagulls are wheeling above our heads. The place is totally, totally silent. We all stood and looked at each other, perplexed. So we walked closer to the marina – the restaurant was closed. The bar was closed. Suddenly from the side a man walks toward us – dressed like a fisherman. We were practically at the water’s edge – still no sound. It was getting a bit eerie. Also disappointed that the restaurant wasn’t open for an ice-cream – we start to walk back towards the houses. Where is the one I’m viewing tomorrow – I know what it looks like in the Estate Agent documents – why can’t i see it……I walk up and down…..
Now let me just take you off on a short tangent. We are on the West Coast of Scotland. An area of hills and mountains – where most of the houses are either granite or wooden. They are mostly left natural, or they are painted white – there’s not much colour around these parts. Well let me describe the houses in Craobh Haven – for those of you old enough to remember the programme “The Prisoner” – the houses in Craobh Haven would not have looked out of place in Portmerion. For those of you younger – did you watch Tobermory? Those brightly coloured houses on the roadside, will that’s Craobh Haven – a rainbow of colour next to a marina. Again very odd.
My friend remarked “That looks just like a lump of Cornwall has been transported to the West Coast of Scotland” and she was absolutely right. Those beautifully coloured Cornish houses look great in the fishing villages of Cornwall, because everything around them blends with them – but in Craobh Haven it jarred. So adding this to the lack of sound – and then the realisation that the wonder garden portrayed in the Estate Agent details actually looked away from the marina towards the hills meant that my dream of owning a marina view property was over.
In hindsight, and after discussion with some more of the locals, we found that all of the properties in Craobh Haven are second homes to the Yachting crowd, or holiday rentals – so it would not have been the right place for me anyway. I cancelled the viewing on Monday morning.
We looked at a couple of properties in the nearby village of Taynuilt, which were lovely family homes but again, didn’t ring quite right for us. We also viewed a detached bungalow near the hamlet of Kilchrenan which was by far the most professionally finished of all the properties we viewed. Tastefully decorated to an exceedingly high standard and ready to move straight in. A carefully thought out layout with a highly desirable bathroom. Its closest neighbour was 1 mile away. It was certainly one man’s vision – sadly, it was not mine. Whilst I like peace and quiet, that, for me, was isolation. So we walked away from that one.
We finished Sunday with a much smaller shortlist than we started with and a prayer that on Monday we would get to see that lovely elusive bungalow not on my primary list!!
Tune in next time to hear what happened on Monday.