The idea was simple: some areas of Liverpool became completely uninhabited following the decline of the city’s shipyards in the 1980s and 1990s.
With vast stretches of Liverpool all but derelict, the city council offered the abandoned houses for the symbolic figure of £1, provided that the new owner would take on renovation costs.
The first 20 houses listed triggered more than 1,000 requests, and the houses are currently being transacted. More houses are expected to hit the market in the future: Liverpool has about 160 more to allocate.
The homes are all located about 5 kilometres east of the city centre, in the area of Edge Hill (map right).
They are all two-up, two-down style Victorian terraced houses, and Liverpool City Council has undertaken major renovations to make them livable.
“They come with basic kitchen and bathroom, the owner needs to undertake the cost of decorating and making them pretty,” a spokesperson from Liverpool City Council told to Business Insider UK.
The BBC estimates that a further £35,000 would be required to bring them up to standard, and the owner has to commit to live in them for five years. Still, it is much cheaper than a regular mortgage.
Although, consider that these houses are tiny: they normally measure about 60 m² (650 sq. ft).
We decided to take a tour with Google Streetview of the available houses in Liverpool. Frankly, the neighbourhoods look bleak.
Some of the houses are nice Victorian terraces, with a bit of garden in the front:
They were clearly in need of a massive renovation when the pictures were taken:
But this one, for example, has a nice pair of houses on each side, and looks promising:
Some other bidders were not that lucky. This looks rough:
Or here (the house for sale is the one in the middle):
Left or right, both of them for £1. Which one do you fancy?
The purple paint seems to be a feature, because we found it on this other house too:
These two are also part of the scheme:
The neighbourhood looks very empty:
In some areas, kids are banned from playing football in the street.
If those houses looked fairly small, you might opt for one on the end of the road:
There is also a purple version:
At least this one actually has neighbours:
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