NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: LOOKING AT A CROFT  (Read 918 times)

larrylamb

  • Joined Feb 2014
LOOKING AT A CROFT
« on: August 31, 2019, 06:44:28 am »
Hello I'm looking at a croft in Watten Caithness it is 500 acres but I don't know the area I'm thinking it must be pretty rough ground I'm looking at running sheep and cattle I'm thinking about having a look but it is about 7 hour drive from me so any input I would like thanks
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shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: LOOKING AT A CROFT
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2019, 09:17:53 pm »
Just had a look on google earth seems a lot of good fields and arable ground around the area but without a specific address then I couldn't guess , know the area around Latheronwheel  which has some good ground near the sea and some goo rough ground not to high

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
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Re: LOOKING AT A CROFT
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2019, 09:27:21 pm »
500 acres is quite big for a croft and my first reaction was that alot of it might be unusabel, but like Shep I checked google and it all seems pretty cultivated all around the watten area .  There seems to be a large loch north of the area and some preetty wooded areas to the south west

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Watten,+Wick+KW1+5YN/@58.470081,-3.2989983,1429m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x489ace55e94bb2bd:0x1047a79b5b445a8e!8m2!3d58.472337!4d-3.299458

https://earth.google.com/web/@58.47214019,-3.30231417,26.73767782a,2497.33608198d,35y,0h,0t,0r
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Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: LOOKING AT A CROFT
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2019, 09:06:35 am »
Is it a registered croft? Are you buying it or buying a tenancy?

larrylamb

  • Joined Feb 2014
Re: LOOKING AT A CROFT
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2019, 09:30:12 am »
It is to buy freehold its 2 crofts put together but only 1 house and buildings I don't want to say the address just in case someone else sees it

larrylamb

  • Joined Feb 2014
Re: LOOKING AT A CROFT
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2019, 09:45:08 am »
I have just checked and it is a registered croft and registered iacs one croft only but no single farm payment

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: LOOKING AT A CROFT
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2019, 10:40:44 am »
Land says grade 4 5  6  so may be able to grow some hay or silage as only just above sea level  .  Mostly poorer land so maybe  1 ewe per ha  circa 200 or if you want cattle then 5 ewes less for each cow kept but the land will be wet in winter so more land needed per cow , buildings for in wintering cows or what most farms do is send cattle and sheep away to better ground for the winter . 

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: LOOKING AT A CROFT
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2019, 11:01:28 am »
Excellent only 14mls to your nearest auction  :excited:

larrylamb

  • Joined Feb 2014
Re: LOOKING AT A CROFT
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2019, 12:06:00 pm »
It's a big step I will be running it by myself and all my family is in about 20 mile radius of where I live in Northumberland.i had been thinking about 200 ewes and 10 cows to make it pay my living mind I live cheap

CarolineJ

  • Joined Dec 2015
  • North coast of Scotland
Re: LOOKING AT A CROFT
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2019, 05:33:30 pm »
Things to bear in mind (I live not too far away and although I haven't driven as far down as the one you're looking at, I nearly bought a derelict mill further up that road):

- Yes, you're only a few miles from the mart, but the prices there will be below Thainstone because fewer buyers come up.  When the grass is good in Aberdeenshire, people can make money buying in Caithness, putting to grass only in Aberdeen for six weeks and selling at Thainstone.
- Prices for feed are higher at the agricultural merchants because of the extra fuel used for delivery.  A bag of 18% ewe rolls is currently £8.60, that's up £1.20 on a year ago.
- Hay/silage season is very short.  The year before last, when we had a wet summer, people were having to bring lorry-loads of fodder up the A9 at huge expense.
- Budget for frequent foot bathing, that ground is pretty wet.
- I'm concerned that there are no internal pictures of the house, I think you might be camping in it. 
- Check this out with SGRPID, but I believe the money for capital improvements on crofts is now all spent.  You used to be able to get up to £25k over a two-year period, but a neighbour of mine *just* got his agricultural building squeaked through before it closed and I don't believe there's any more coming.
- I believe it's an executor sale, which may work in your favour slightly.  The croft isn't registered on the ROS, which it will have to be, but depending on how the will was worded (if there was on) it may be possible for the incoming purchaser to 'come in place of' a dependent.  This is what happened when I bought another two crofts 4 years ago, basically you become the inheritor of the crofts in exchange for paying the purchase price to the estate and it cuts out a lot of paperwork.  If you do go for it, expect it to take anything up to a year for the purchase to go through, because the crofting commission does not do anything fast, although they're very helpful if you phone them up.


larrylamb

  • Joined Feb 2014
Re: LOOKING AT A CROFT
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2019, 06:03:03 pm »
So even if it's a owner occupier you still have to go through croft commission. I don't mind if I have to do work to the house long as it has a roof it looks like it has double glazing

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: LOOKING AT A CROFT
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2019, 07:20:09 pm »
Dingwall is a good mart and 2.5 hrs with a trailer down  a good road  ,you have to factor in haulage  and a maybe better price against min haulage and maybe a lower price . My nearest mart was 2.75hrs away so I only took full loads

larrylamb

  • Joined Feb 2014
Re: LOOKING AT A CROFT
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2019, 07:30:51 pm »
I always look at about £ 50 a lamb if I get more great I would love to stay my area I have contacts but I cant afford to buy and most farms that come on the market for let is already let before advertised

CarolineJ

  • Joined Dec 2015
  • North coast of Scotland
Re: LOOKING AT A CROFT
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2019, 08:57:31 pm »
Yes, a croft is always a croft, even if it's been bought out to owner-occupier status.  One thing it doesn't state in the particulars is whether the house site has been decrofted.  If it hasn't, you won't be able to get a mortgage on it.  You'll also need a solicitor who understands crofting law.  Young Robertson in Thurso are good and I'm told Inksters or Munro & Noble are as well. 

 

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