A tale of two islands

Little Ross Island, located south of Kirkcudbright off the coast of Dumfries and Galloway coast, is a 29-acre island with a lighthouse, keeper’s cottages and other ruined buildings, pebble beach and natural harbour. It was the scene of a murder in 1960, when visitors discovered the dead body of the lighthouse keeper, Hugh Clarke. His assistant, Robert Dickson, was subsequently convicted for life.

The island is entirely self sufficient in terms of power, with its own wind turbine and solar panels, and can only be accessed by air or sea.

The lighthouse dates back to 1843, and was fully automated in 1961. It is still maintained and operational – but isn’t included in the sale. The lease was sign in perpetuity and the agent anticipates that the Northern Lighthouse Board, which runs the lighthouse, will continue to share the use and maintenance costs of the jetty wall.

Little Ross has a bargain asking price of £325,000. In contrast, just around the headland lies the most expensive property in the area which is currently listed on Rightmove with an asking price of £2.3 million – for which you can own a baronial mansion with 45 rooms and 5 acres.

Hope Island, off the coast of Portland, Maine, is a little larger at 86 acres. It offers a 11,295 sq ft three-bed mansion, two guest houses, barn with workers’ accommodation, 10-horse barn, bird coops, eight ponds, private chapel, boathouse, deep water pier and its own tavern.

Hope Island can be reached by air or a 25-minute boat trip.

The real estate brochure says that no expense has been spared in the 24 years its current owner, John Cacoulidis, has lived on the island. He and his late wife, Phyllis, have turned the island into a working farm, taking in rescue animals as well as caring for wildlife.

Hope Island is currently on the market with an asking price of $7.95 million. Again, a bargain – an eight-bedroom seafront home in Cape Elizabeth is currently on the market for $11 million.

Whilst appealing to the romantic escapism of people, evidence exists that the premium price for properties away from the mainland, and away from access to services and jobs, limits the value of the majority of island properties.

Whether you are looking for an island or any other kind of property in England or Wales – contact PropertySurveying.co.uk for professional survey advice before you buy.