Real estate experts tell us that location is the key ingredient to getting top dollar when selling a property. Even more important than a building’s condition is the place where that building sits; everything else can be primped up or renovated completely, but location, of course, can’t be altered.
If that tenet of the real estate business is true, a spectacular property now up for sale in England should have no trouble fetching its 125,000 pound price tag – or perhaps even more.
The DailMail.com recently reported that a coast guard tower that watched over Sussex Beach is now up for sale in Littlehampton, West Sussex. The three-storey tower has fallen into bleak disrepair, but that hasn’t dampened the enthusiasm of prospective buyers, according to the agent in charge of the sale, Martin Dear, of Graham Butt Estate Agents.
During the war, the tower was equipped with a machine gun and a supply of ammunition, in case Germany eventually followed through on its desire to invade England. It was built in 1930, but when the war happened in 1939, the tower was usurped from the coast guard and officials kept watch for German invaders. After the war, the coast guard took it over once again.
Photos of the tower reveal it has spectacular, unobstructed views of the beach and ocean. Inside, the tower has a charming spiral staircase that is rusted, and paint is peeling from every wall. In spite of these and other problems, interest in the sale has been keen, Dear said. They don’t foresee it becoming a full-time residence for whomever buys it, but rather a unique vacation spot.
Dear told the DailyMail.com that, “at the moment, it is a bit of a shell but it has huge potential. It’s been empty for about 10 years, and to be honest, it probably needs gutting out.” He went on to say that approvals for upgrades are already in place, but, “as part of the conditions, it can only be for 28 days per person, per year. With that in mind, we’re looking at a holiday rental market, where people will always be interested in something so unique.”
The site is more than a footnote in the history of World War II; it might be that famed spy novelist Ian Fleming was once there. He commanded a special operations unit in Littlehampton during the war, so it is likely he visited the tower at some point during his time in the area.
The tower reverted to being an outpost for the coast guard when the war ended in 1945, and remained so until 1986. At that point, a new tower was built close by, and the tower that is now for sale was eventually left empty.
Dear said that although it may seem an unlikely choice of anyone interested in a vacation home, the location and history of the tower make it very appealing. “From a buyer’s point of view, we will have no trouble selling something like this.
Potential buyers will always be drawn to its uniqueness, even though the market, as a whole, could be deemed as limited.” In fact, Dear continued, the property has very nearly sold more than once.
“We’ve already had a few deals fall through, (but) expect to sell it very soon.” And no doubt the buyer will be someone intrigued with the history of World War II, a fan of spy novels, and a lover of seaside vistas.