Title: or of Bandrum
There’s lots to like about the Scottish Land Sales site: it is straightforward, easy to navigate and looks very Scottish. Like Lochaber Highland Estates (reviewed here) Liz and Sandy Dean actually identify the parcel of land which Lairds and Ladies can buy in Fife, and they do this using aerial photography. This looks great and is hugely credible. Also excellent are the pictures of the place, and the views therefrom.
The fact that the Deans identify themselves is also very welcome – it personalises the whole experience. Add to this the presence of the Tower of Bandrum onsite (well, we think it is onsite but are not sure — clarification would be good but we rarely get over to Fife) and the fact that you buy as many parcels of land in 5 foot square lots as you like and the package is, to this extent at least very attractive.
Yes, there are reservations. The first is that if you purchase from Scottish Land Sales, you’ll by buying a 175 year lease. On the one hand this may be a way around the problems described here, a Route A.5 solution perhaps, on the other it is only yours for 175 years, or heritable for two and a half generations. Why this limit? If you are going to create a lease why not create one for 999 years? Or more. Doesn’t matter to both purchasers or vendors at all — presuming immortality doesn’t become a reality in the next couple of centuries anyway.
Next is that no mention is made of the Dean’s plan for the property or the context of their ownership and that of the lairds. This may not be important to some prospective lairds, but this seems an oversight on the part of the owners.
Lastly, we note that Scottish Land Sales acquired the land as a body corporate (or that’s the way it reads) and we are no wiser as to the Dean’s location — one wonders, as a WhoIs query on the domain name reveals only that the domain is registered by Somerset webdesign company, whether the profits from this enterprise remain in Scotland? Confirmation on this would be lovely!
These questions aside, this offering is certainly worth considering, and you have to admire the Deans for putting themselves at the forefront of the site.
osf rating: 3.5 stars