It’s been said that buying a property is one of the most stressful things a person can do. Though this is likely not far from the truth, the wide array of odd and eccentric real estate that is currently on the market – and often at surprisingly reasonable rates! – can make this stressful time at the very least exciting, and at the end, if you end up with your own Spanish hamlet or lighthouse by the Irish Sea, utterly worthwhile.

Costa da Morte

Despite the sombre name, the village at the Costa da Morte, in the region of A Coruña (a municipality in Galicia), is a ramshackle but charming little settlement now up for sale. The hamlet incorporates 2 houses and 3 sheds along the rugged cliff faces of the Atlantic, with the dark bricks of the hamlet imbuing the property with a rich sense of intrigue and history.

Price: EUR 59,000
Location: A Coruña, Galicia, Spain
Contact: Aldeas Abandonadas 

The Douglas County Bank

The Douglas County Bank is an odd but charming building of which one can make a quirky home. While the outside may resemble something out of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the interior is fit with modern furnishings and utilities, including Italian porcelain tile and high-grade carpeting. History nuts will be pleased to note that the original doors, vaults and dumbwaiter remain.

Price: USD 249,000
Location: Waterville, Washington, USA
Contact: Coldwell Banker Lavigne 

Church At 13 Monterey Road

With this white-painted church, one could own a little piece of New England history. Built in 1827, the property is perhaps more suited for a business or organisation (think art gallery or performance space) than a home, but with a hefty dollop of imagination, this charming place of worship can be converted into a charming place of anything you like.

Price: USD 99,000
Location: Otis, Massachusetts, USA
Contact: Benchmark Real Estate

Lebold Mansion

The Lebold Mansion was built in 1880 and has the prestigious honour of being named among the “8 Wonders of Kansas Architecture” by the Kansas Sampler Foundation.  This Victorian mansion has been restored so that today it boasts a renovated kitchen, a new roof and modern utilities. However, the Lebold Mansion retains its antiquated charm with a limestone façade, 5-storey tower and exquisite formal draperies.

Price: USD 524,000
Location: Abilene, Kansas
Contact: Weis Realty Executives

A Bucolic Galician Estate

This rural property near the famed Monastery of Oseira includes 3 bedrooms, 2 cellars and the sparse foundations of a house ripe for renovation, plus fertile land for keen botanists. The nearby monastery was built in the 13th century and, regarded as a landmark of Roman architecture in the region, is located along the famous Camino de Santiago, or ‘The Way of St James.’

Price: EUR 30,000
Location: Galicia, Spain
Contact: Aldeas Abandonadas 

Chateau In The Black Mountains

This grand old chateau comes with 4 gites set amongst 89 hectares of land in the secluded Black Mountains. With views of the Pyrenees, the property combines antiquated grandeur with cutting-edge technology: the wood from the 120 acres of forest (oak, ash and sweet chestnut) provides fuel for the underfloor heating in the main house, while hot water is powered by solar panels.

Price: EUR 1,395,000
Location: Midi-Pyrénées Region, France
Contact: Beaux Villages

An Umbrian Hamlet

Situated north of Perugia, this restored hamlet boasts 30 apartments as well as a small bed & breakfast, which has the capacity to include a restaurant. Perugia and the surrounding region are often considered the cultural heart of Italy, with the heavy-with-history Tiber River running through it.

Price: Price on Application
Location: Perugia, Umbria, central Italy
Contact: Jackson-Stops

A French Hunting Estate

With enough cash, one can live like a duke here at this historic hunting estate boasting a completely renovated and moated chateau set amongst 450 acres of land. The estate is fully functional and even includes 25 hectares of Cognac vineyard. The new tenant can follow on from the nostalgia of their predecessor by hosting a raucous array of hunting parties throughout the season.

Price: EUR 10,000,000
Location: Angoulême, southwestern France
Contact: Beaux Villages

The Douglas Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage

The Douglas Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage is a Victorian construction at the tip of the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea. Although the actual lighthouse tower is not included as part of the sale, the coastal landscape and ragged cliff face still make for a striking and exhilarating seaside family home.

Price: GBP 399,950
Location: Isle of Man, United Kingdom
Contact: Black Grace Cowley

Pontevedra Homestead

This village near Pontevedra incorporates four houses and a homestead of over 1,000 sqm. The adjacent farm comes with a stone granary, and the city of Pontevedra is only a 40-minute drive away. Meanwhile, an array of hiking trails are available close by – for example, there’s a waterfall just 5 minutes down the road, and it’s only 7 miles to the river.

Price: EUR 66,000
Location: Pontevedra, northwestern Spain
Contact: Aldeas Abandonadas

Countryside Chateau

Much like a French Pemberley, this chateau in southwestern France comes with two outhouses, a lake and 12 hectares of land; the lake itself comes with the old folly and stables. The occupants of the stables can enjoy the 10 hectares of grazing land, which incorporates patches of woodland and a vegetable garden. The medieval town of Confolens is only minutes away.

Price: EUR 996,400
Location: Confolens, southwestern France
Contact: Beaux Villages

The Bullock House

One of the finest architectural gems of the town of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, this house has never been remodelled and, remaining in mint condition, today boasts 8 functioning fireplaces as well as a library and stained glass windows. In the vein of Agra’s Taj Mahal, the ‘Bullock house’ was built in 1890 by railroad and banking magnate Brigham Newton Bullock as a present for his bride, Flora. It has remained in the same family ever since.

Price: USD 600,000
Location: Fitchburg, Massachusetts, USA
Contact: Richard Bullock


This “circa 1840 Italianate mini-mansion” boasts a walk-in attic, 3 white Carrera marble mantles and a Honduras mahogany stair railing rising from the first floor up to the fourth. Steeped in history, Whitehall was once owned by Nancy Harrison Crozier and her sister Mary, who had inherited a large amount of money from the James Harrison estate – a prodigious name in the shipping of cotton and tobacco up from the south to New York City.

Price: USD 219,000
Location: New York, USA
Contact: Whitehall

Taylor Brownstone Mansion

With its autumnal colours and idiosyncratic turrets, the Taylor Brownstone Mansion looks somewhat like the the witch’s gingerbread house from ‘Hansel and Gretel’. It was built as a wedding gift by the former New York Governor Roswell Pettibone Flower for his daughter, Emma, and designed by the same architects who built Theodore Roosevelt’s Sagamore Hill home.

Price: USD 1,250,000
Location: Watertown, New York
Contact: Franklin Ruttan

Beach Residence At Smugglers Cove

Lovers of Daphne du Maurier and her chilling tales of stealth and skulduggery on the windswept moors of Cornwall will find it hard not to swoon at this striking beachfront residence at Smugglers Cove. With 2 reception rooms, 3 suites and a large lower terrace, this residence is more in the vein of Lady St. Columb than Mary Yellan, but holds all the intrigue and charm of Jamaica Inn.

Price: GBP 3,000,000
Location: Smugglers Cove, Cornwall, United Kingdom
Contact: Jackson-Stops

Gothic Estate Over The Hudson

This estate, designed in a lighter Gothic style to contrast with the ‘High Victorian’ architecture of the Old World, was built in 1858 and offers spectacular views over the Hudson River. The property also includes a watch tower allowing for 360-degree views over the surrounding environs, though the more romantic types may be tempted by the ornate fountain found at the centre of the circular driveway.

Price: USD 749,000
Location: Stony Point, New York, USA
Contact: Rand Realty

A Tuscan Village

Just on the border of Tuscany is this delectable borgo, or village. The majority of the borgo is already refurbished, but remaining to be renovated is the main palazzo, which could be made into a small hotel or a lavish private luxury retreat.

Price: EUR 4,950,000
Location: Umbria, Italy
Contact: abode Italy

Article by Bertie Alexander

What kind of property do you dream of living in?

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