House Hunting in Scotland: A Unique Hybrid in the Highlands for $2.7 Million

A Historic Five-Bedroom Home on a Scottish Loch


This five-bedroom home, in the Arts and Crafts model with Swiss influences, sits on the banks of Loch Leven close to the village of Ballachulish, in Scotland’s West Highlands.

The 5,183-square-foot marmalade-toned stone dwelling, referred to as Dunbeg House, was accomplished circa 1903 by Bishop Alexander Chinnery-Haldane, the Episcopal Bishop of Argyll and the Isles, for his eldest son. The four-story foremost home, designed by the Inverness architects Ross & Macbeth, is listed with Historic Environment Scotland for its distinctive mix of Arts and Crafts and Swiss Alpine architectural kinds, stated David Twist, who owns the dwelling along with his spouse, Helena.

“The bishop, being wealthy, traveled extensively in Europe with his wife, and they were quite fascinated by Swiss architecture,” Mr. Twist stated. “And it was also the peak of the Arts and Crafts movement, so the building has features from a Swiss chalet and from the Arts and Crafts style. It’s the only house of its kind in Scotland.”

The roughly four.5-acre property sits on the banks of Loch Leven in Scotland’s West Highlands. Also on the grounds are a 1,162-square-foot guesthouse and a 1,140-square-foot studio and storage.Credit…Courtesy of Bidwells LLP

The property contains about four.5 acres and features a 1,162-square-foot guesthouse with two bedrooms, plus a 1,140-square-foot studio and storage. A 360-degree glass viewing pod is perched on the shoreline, together with a non-public shingle seashore and rights to a mooring on Bishop’s Bay in Loch Leven.

The house owners have accomplished renovations over the previous 15 years, together with the substitute of the first and second flooring, however the home retains a lot of its distinctive architectural options, akin to engraved brass plaques on every door, Helena Twist stated. An Arts and Crafts hearth encompass, with a stained-glass insert in the model of the Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, might have been designed by Mackintosh or one in all his college students, Mr. Twist stated.

The second-floor foremost entrance opens to a reception corridor resulting in a music room with a hearth. Also off the hallway are a eating room and a lounge with a wood-burning range in the hearth, together with doorways opening to a bay-front balcony working alongside two sides of the home. The balcony has a glass roof and iron columns with arches and decorative railings.

Furniture will not be included in the asking value, however is negotiable, stated Angus Kelly, a accomplice and head of the Fort William workplace of Bidwells, which has the itemizing.

Abutting the lounge, the kitchen has fitted Edwin Loxley kitchen items and granite counter tops, together with two Miele ovens and two Fisher & Paykel dishwashers. French doorways open to the balcony. An adjoining room additionally has fitted kitchen items with an built-in freezer and Miele washer and dryer.

A staircase descends to the first flooring, which has an workplace, a research and a lounge with a hearth. There can be a bed room suite, together with a wine cellar and drying room.

A 360-degree glass viewing pod is perched on the shoreline, together with a non-public pebble seashore and a mooring on Bishop’s Bay in Loch Leven.Credit…Courtesy of Bidwells LLP

The third flooring has 4 bedrooms, two with en suite loos. The foremost suite, which overlooks the bay, has a dressing space with built-in wardrobes and a rest room with a free-standing tub and heated limestone flooring. The fourth flooring is a wood-paneled attic with skylights and two porthole home windows.

A stream with a small bridge separates the foremost home from the visitor cottage, which was accomplished in 2015 and has two bedrooms with en suite loos on the first flooring. The second flooring has an open kitchen and dwelling space that opens to a balcony. The studio constructing, constructed in 2014 in the similar model as Dunbeg House, has a double storage and a studio with a kitchenette and loo.

Dunbeg House lies inside the Ben Nevis and Glen Coe National Scenic Area, and the total area is thought for its placing mountains sweeping right down to the sea, Mr. Twist stated. There is world-class crusing together with snowboarding, climbing, climbing, fishing and taking pictures.

While the village of Ballachulish has fundamental facilities, Fort William, a West Highlands tourism middle with about 10,000 residents, is 9 miles north. There are connections by bus and rail from Fort William and the resort city of Oban, which is about 30 miles southwest. The closest worldwide airports are in Inverness and Glasgow, every a couple of two-hour drive, Mr. Kelly stated.

Market Overview

The housing market in the Scottish Highlands, which embody the sparsely populated rural northern half of the nation in addition to its western offshore islands, was “reasonably steady” earlier than the pandemic struck, and has taken off since, Mr. Kelly stated.

“What we’ve seen in the last 12 months is an explosion of interest,” he stated. “We’re finding properties that have in the past been marketed at about 500,000 or 600,000 pounds ($690,000 or $830,000) pre-Covid, in some cases breaking over that 1 million pound ($1.38 million) barrier.”

A second-floor lounge with a hearth and a window seat has doorways opening to a bay-front balcony working alongside two sides of the home. Furniture will not be included in the dwelling’s asking value, however is negotiable.Credit…Courtesy of Bidwells LLP

According to knowledge from the Registers of Scotland, the total Scottish housing market has been booming, with the common value of a residential property in 2020-2021 at 194,100 kilos ($269,000), up 6.7 % over the earlier yr. Home costs have grown by 25 % since their peak in 2007-2008 earlier than the international housing disaster.

The Highlands area, with its huge swaths of land, towering mountains and dramatic shoreline, has been widespread in latest years with prosperous consumers in search of privateness on landed estates, together with second-home consumers, many from London, in search of a extra rural life.

The pandemic, which shuttered the Scottish property market from March to late June 2020, intensified these drivers when enterprise resumed, brokers stated.

“The market lockdown resulted in huge pent-up demand, coupled with a re-evaluation of people’s lifestyles and priorities, which only drove the desire to move,” stated Suzanne Moss, a senior affiliate director in Strutt & Parker’s Inverness workplace. Last yr, she stated, the agency transferred possession on “about a year’s worth of sales in a much shorter period of time.”

Sales additional accelerated this yr, with the pandemic “completely transforming the way that people want to live, and where they want to be,” stated Tom Stewart-Moore, the head of rural company at Knight Frank Edinburgh. “We’re seeing a lot of people moving out of towns and cities.”

Although Britain is at the moment a world sizzling spot for the coronavirus, and new circumstances in Scotland have tripled since mid-August, the price of deaths had not grown considerably as of Sept. 12, based on the New York Times’s coronavirus world map.

“Threats of new coronavirus strains have only increased the focus on Scotland as a desirable place to be,” Ms. Moss stated. “Here you can achieve tremendous value for money, and because the landscape is less densely populated than elsewhere, it’s particularly attractive.”

The kitchen has granite counter tops, together with two Miele ovens and two Fisher & Paykel dishwashers. French doorways open to the balcony. Credit…Courtesy of Bidwells LLP

Demand is outstripping provide so dramatically throughout Scotland, Mr. Stewart-Moore stated, that by the finish of 2021 dwelling costs might rise by as a lot as 10 % over a yr. “We’re seeing huge amounts of people viewing properties — more than I’ve ever seen before — and they’re all going well over the guide prices,” he stated.

Home costs in the Highlands vary from 250,000 to 400,000 kilos ($345,000 to $553,000) for a cottage, and from 400,000 to 750,000 kilos ($554,000 to $1 million) for a household dwelling, Ms. Moss stated.

“Properties with land or extensive accommodation can often be in excess of 1 million pounds ($1.38 million),” she stated.

Landed estates in Scotland can run to greater than 10 million kilos ($13.eight million), stated Robert McCulloch, the head of estates and farms company in Scotland for Strutt & Parker. Such estates have usually attracted rich worldwide consumers, although what motivates these consumers could also be altering.

“I’ve spoken to interested buyers from the United States who’ve cited the attractiveness of the maritime climate of Scotland, and its safety in light of extreme weather many have experienced in the last few months,” Mr. McCullogh stated.

Who Buys in Scotland

International consumers have dwindled amid the pandemic however they haven’t disappeared, with some shopping for properties sight unseen, Mr. Stewart-Moore stated. “Though we did videos in the past, we really never did virtual viewings,” he stated. “But that’s something that’s become a mainstay, and people will expect that going forward.”

Foreign dwelling consumers hail from all corners of the globe, brokers stated, together with the United States, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Holland, France, Switzerland, Austria, Spain and Italy.

The foremost suite, which overlooks the bay, has a dressing room with built-in wardrobes and a rest room with a free-standing tub and heated limestone flooring. Credit…Courtesy of Bidwells LLP

Homes priced at over one million kilos usually bought to foreigners earlier than the pandemic, however now consumers from different components of Britain are competing for these properties, Mr. Kelly stated: “We’re seeing more people leaving the Edinburgh and Glasgow areas, and more inquiries from across England, not just London.”

Buying Basics

There aren’t any restrictions on overseas dwelling consumers in Scotland, and consumers will want a Scottish solicitor, stated Ross Low, an affiliate and head of company and valuation in Scotland for Bidwells.

“Scotland has a very distinct and ancient legal jurisdiction,” he stated. “For instance, in Scotland, we can state ‘offers over’ a price, which means we expect a higher offer to be submitted by a buyer.”

Most solicitors cost from 1 to four % of the transaction value, relying on the sale, brokers stated. The vendor pays the property agent fee of 1 to three %.

The purchaser is accountable for the Land Buildings and Transaction Tax, which has variable charges beginning at zero % as much as 145,000 kilos ($200,584) and growing incrementally to 12 % over 750,000 kilos ($1 million). If Dunbeg House have been to promote at its asking value, the tax could be 198,350 kilos ($275,000), Mr. Low stated. An further four % is charged to consumers who already personal one dwelling.

Mortgages from Scottish banks can be found to overseas dwelling consumers, Mr. Low stated.

A stream and small bridge separate the foremost home from the visitor cottage, which has two bedrooms with en suite loos on the first flooring. The second flooring has an open kitchen and dwelling space. Credit…Courtesy of Bidwells LLP


Scottish tourism:

Official Gateway to Scotland:

Highland Council:

Languages and Currency

English, Gaelic, Scots; pound sterling (1 pound = $1.38)

Taxes and Fees

The annual taxes on Dunbeg House are three,264 kilos ($four,500), and the taxes on the cottage are 2,200 kilos ($three,000), Mr. Kelly stated.


Angus Kelly, Bidwells, 011-44-139-770-7645,

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