When we finally decided to venture north to see it, I notified the estate agent and that’s when the first complication came to the surface. We knew the property hadn’t been occupied for a few decades so we expected interior water damage. An anxious phone call back from the estate agent advising us not to enter the property because it was too dangerous cast serious doubt if this was the right one for us. Maybe it was too far gone to be “saved”. The estate agents had already readily admitted they had no idea of the condition of the property as they were over 100 miles away and hadn’t seen it in years. What we were hearing was third hand information at best. We decided that we still needed to go, it seemed possible that the folks involved were being overly cautious (and they didn’t know about my renovation habits).
Coming around the corner to see the wee village nestled in the strath, I think I was holding my breath and pulling up in front of Rose Cottage was absolutely surreal. This place that had been discovered during a daydream 9 months ago and had been so elusive since, was right in front of me, close enough to touch. The conditions we discovered were worse than we were hoping though and we were glad we’d brought a bottle of wine with us to help us discuss how to proceed that evening, especially as it was also our wedding anniversary.
We’d expected water damage, what we found was any extensions to the property had been given a flat roof and all of those flat roofs had completely failed with little evidence of their existence remaining. Flat roofs had also been employed for the first floor dormers, one of which was clinging to life by it’s fingernails, the other was MIA and what had previously been a bedroom was now an indoor garden. Plaster was sloughing off many interior walls in the original parts of the cottage. Floor boards felt rotten and the carpet was making squelching noises of saturation as we stepped on it. Bathroom and kitchen fixtures looked like they’d been directly impacted by a tornado. The remains of the demolished porch was now rubble on the living room floor. What a mess!