10 long weeks later we returned, knowing that we couldn’t make a decision based on a single visit. During those 10 weeks we’d started a lot of conversations and attended the Home Building and Renovating show in Edinburgh. During all of this activity we’d uncovered more complications. The first surprise to us was that you can’t use croft land as a security on a loan. From our understanding this is because the Crofting Commission can install tenants on your land if you are not using it appropriately (I’m sure there’s more to it than that). “Just get it decrofted” was some of the initial feedback, after just a little research it became clear that this wasn’t happening. The size of the land and the community it’s located in mean that approval of an application to decroft was highly unlikely. If we did decide to undertake the application it would be a long and expensive process that couldn’t be started until after the purchase. Cash is really the only option for purchasing croft land.
Based on the condition of the cottage we also understood that we would need temporary accommodation while repair work was in progress. Living in a caravan seems the only option that fits our budget but caravans shouldn’t be sited on croft land. After a little unraveling we were able to get details from the crofting commission on where the croft boundaries are which provided some good news, we would have space to put a caravan!
We learnt the options available for temporary electrical connections. We also learnt that the old toilet block on some of the decrofted section had been built when the property was used as a mini caravan site years ago. Somewhere under all the brush there’s likely 2 septic systems, one for the cottage and one for the toilet block. Hidden treasures!