The Gatehouse, Dover

For Sale

Guide: £120,000

We Value At: £90,000

Subject To Survey & Legals

The Gate House, Victoria Park,

Dover, CT16 1QR.


Failed To Sell At Auction

Today, Friday 9th February 2024 and we have a Unique Property Bulletin treat for you that was sent in to us by one of our very helpful readers. This gem is known as: The Gate House, Victoria Park, DOVER, Kent, CT16 1QR. It is properly quirky. So much so, it featured on the holiday scene for many years. But now it looks a tad forlorn. Worse, the Gatehouse FAILED TO SELL AT AUCTION. In fact, it was at our favourite Barnard Marcus AUCTION last year at a guide of £150,000. If Chris Glenn at Barnard Marcus cannot find a buyer, then this place must have a problem lurking deep within its DNA?

Currently this building is in the custodianship of the LPA Receiver. In our experience, once a building is in the hands of the administrative receivers, they want it OFF of their books and FAST. A quick cash sale. When we see an LPA and an FTSAA mentioned in the same sentence, our Bat Radar For Mischief In Property switches on.

So why is the Gatehouse going through a second auction and at a reduced guide of £120,000?

Because it is leasehold and only has 66 years left on the current lease.

At this point the majority of folk in an auction hall will say “next” and walk on by this very rentable and eye-catching building.

=> But think about this please: how old will you be in 66 years time?

91 year old? Seriously, how old WILL you be in 66 years?

The writer of this will be 130 years old.

So does the fact the Gatehouse is leasehold and not freehold really matter that much?

Besides, many long-leaseholds have a RENEW LEASE CLAUSE. Often, because of inflation, it turns out to be relatively low. We have seen £5,000 to £10,000 be the amount you have to pay to some charitable trust or university endowment fund to renew for another 100 to 500 years leasehold.

The really old/long leasehold buildings sometimes have…

“5 cows of good fettle and milking age, withe ye fair furred 6 sheep and a dozen two legged hens of ye laying desirement.”

Or “6 Guineas and three groats” that is groats, not goats. So well worth putting your legal anorak and studying the terms of the leasehold. Especially the renewal part.

Even if you are not entitled to renew at very low terms in 66 years when you are 130 years old, what happens next (and we heard whispers that legislation is being brought forward to make it mandatory to allow for for fair-value renewals to both a tenant and landlord/lady).

For sure, you are in a mighty good negotiating position with the LPA receiver. Their sole purpose now is to liquidate these bricks and mortar into cash. Not haemorrhage cash the wrong way by having to pay fees and insurance and council tax etc.

Back in the days where your host here was on the right side of 40 years, I put a very cheeky offer in for an LPA asset and ended up buying the Isle of Wight Ferry off of the LPA Receiver for less than £5,000 (yup, just five thousand pounds)…

MV Southsea: Isle of Wight Ferry

A Denny Built Ship

Well worth £5,000. We needed to spend another £7,000 to plate the hull so the ship could be floated and tugged out of David Able’s dry dock in Bristol. But that learning lesson led directly to this charity being formed. The document here was written on the very same keyboard that is mangling the words on this page featuring the Gatehouse in Dover. It can be a funny old world…

Which resulted in this old wreck (another Denny Shipyard special) being bought by the charity we registered (and now run by our friend, the the awesome Iain Sim: click here)…

TS Queen Mary Being Rescued

A Denny Built Ship

The ship was rescued, then towed half way around the UK from Telford to Glasgow and has been renovated back to her former glory..

TS Queen Mary After Restoration

Good Lessons Were Learnt From MV Southsea

& A UPB Adventure That Digressed A Bit

So please learn a lesson… Be VERY careful when you wave at an auctioneer. Your wee paws can really get you into properly deep mischief.

Right now we are tempted to offer £9,000 to £14,000 for the Gatehouse building in Dover…

At £14,000 we reckon that would stand a 50%/50% chance of succeeding.

If you doubt our belief, just check out what £20,000 bought from a similar distressed sale (the TS Queen Mary). So you may end up with the best buy you will have for decades in bidding a randomly low amount for the Gatehouse building…

If you don’t ask, you don’t get!!!

We here at Unique Property Bulletin will NOT be bidding because we already have nine Unique Property Syndicates on the go right now and a castle turret style house in Dover would dilute the focus we have on the actual assets sitting on our Unique Property Bulletin and our collegiate shareholders’ plates.

So how do you feel about buying a bargain mini-castle in Dover…

What if YOU studied the legal pack and had your lawyer look at it? What if you had an RICS survey to see if there is any nasties such as dry rot?

What if the lawyer said the lease was good at the declared £45 ground rent each year was cast-iron. Plus the surveyor says the building structure is good (just needs a modest makeover).

We reckon if you offered £90,000 cash, the LPA Receiver would most likely say YES.

But before you go off like a rampant windmill with all your arms waving, just do the math.

Very rough numbers…

Purchase price: £90,000.

Auction & Legal Fees: £4,000.

Modest makeover: £5,000.

That means you have 66 years at £45 a year ground rent and £99,000 up front. With a good chance your grandkids will have the right to extend the lease 100 to 500 more years.

That worst case scenario still gets you an awesome building, for which YOU have the keys and POSSESSION for 66 years. Divide £99,000 by 66 years equals £1,500 a year for the Gatehouse (plus £45 ground rent each year).

=> Long~story~short, is the Gatehouse worth £1,545 a year?

That equals: £128 a month.

Or £29 a week

=> £4.23 a day.

No be honest please… how do you feel about “short-leasehold” property now?

We would be reaching for the cheque book today for this. But we are busier than ever (and Unique Property Bulletin started in 1987). So fair is fair: over to you…

=> CURRENT Rightmove Page: Click Here.

=> Old 2023 Barnard Marcus Auction details: Click Here.

=> Holiday photos & Rent Rates (money inbound): Click Here.

=> 3D interactive viewing (slowish): Click Here.

(we’d need to put a ladder up through the ceiling and onto the top of the round tower)

Bonne Chance Mes Amis

^^ Russ McLean ^^

^^ Your Word Mangler For Today ^^

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