Great potential: buyers pay £500k for a ramshackle cottage... on an eroding cliff top

Would you pay half a million for a tumbledown property on an eroding part of the coastline? One couple decided to (ahem) take the plunge and we're impressed with the transformation…

It takes creative vision to go and view a ramshackle property and imagine a beautiful modernist house in its place.

When Alex Michaelis and Susanna Bell went to view the original three-bedroom cottage, the property was so rundown and unloved that they almost missed it because it was concealed by undergrowth.

That's not all. The tumbledown house, near Penzance in Cornwall, was situated on a cliff top that is slowly eroding away.

When Alex and Susanna went ahead and bought the cottage for £500k, eyebrows were raised among their friends.

'We were amazed by the uninterrupted sea views and thought the location was amazing – it was magical,' says Alex.


The couple originally wanted to renovate the house, but soon found that the task would be impossible, so they opted to demolish the property and build a sleek, ultra modern house in its place.

'The original cottage hadn't been lived in for a while. We bought the house because of the stunning views, but the cottage itself was in need of some renovation so we decided to knock it down.

'The building was on an eroding coastline, so when we went to apply for planning the council said we were completely mad – but we went ahead with it and we are now looking into some coastal defences,' says Alex.

Architect Alex has made the most of those magical views by ensuring that all the main rooms, including four bedrooms and five bathrooms, face the sea.

'The ocean is just so beautiful and it's lovely to sit in the main room and look at the stunning view. We have even seen dolphins.'

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