This terrace house in Blackheath, southeast London, lay abandoned for years. During that time, the front of the house was almost completely swallowed up by plant life, to the extent that you can barely see the front door from the street!
One neighbour, Julia, who has been living opposite the property for 52 years, said that she remembered a former resident planting something "quite a few years ago", but it is doubtful that they would have expected this.
What might be more surprising than the jungle enveloping the house is how highly it has been valued. The property was auctioned by Savills today with a guide price of £450,000, and the bidding started at £470,000!
“We don’t get homes like this very often,” admitted Robin Howeson, Director of Savills Auctions.
"It has been neglected for so long and is in need of a complete renovation. We're calling it The Tree House.”
The price of this “tree house” might seem shocking, but its location has a lot to offer. The house is just a stone’s throw away from the shopping and entertainment available in Greenwich. Plus, while Savills warned that the property required a “complete modernisation” in its sales catalogue, other houses on the same street have sold for as much as £800,000.
Seeing the opportunity for a profit, several bidders battled it out at the auction. The property eventually went for £554,000, an amount nearly £80,000 higher than the average cost for a home in London, which is currently valued at £475,000.
"Although it is one of the most derelict houses I have come across over the past five years, I think it has been bought for a really good price," said Howeson, speaking after the auction.
"The buyer has bought it for his son and it is going to be renovated for him to live in.
"It will be interesting to see what they do with it but with house prices in the area as they are I think it will be a good investment.
"At the end of the day they are getting a home on a really good street in a really good area."
Indeed, it will be interesting to see how exactly the new owners deal with the property. The most obvious concern, the untamed plant growth, will need to be handled by a qualified local tree surgeon at this point, given its sheer size and the danger it could pose to neighbouring properties. Given the size of the tree, as well as how long it has been allowed to grow, there may also be several different pests living inside.
We can only speculate on the state of the interior. A property which has been abandoned for as long as this one is likely to be housing pests, not to mention piles and piles of rubbish, dust and grime. The new owners will likely require the help of a cleaner and pest controller just to get started!
Having said that, given the house's fantastic location, there could be some real potential here. Let's just hope that, once the greenery is gone, there is still plenty left to make this house stand out.
Stephen heads the team for marketing, media and research at Plentific. He loves sharing insight and advice for the home services market. He has a keen interest in property renovations after successfully completing a number of property projects.