Who’s up for a fixer-upper? The pandemic has spawned a reset of priorities for many, and stepping out of your urban comfort zone into a challenging rural property renovation could be a life changer. Having scoured the world for interesting opportunities, here’s a handful of properties with potential aplenty to whet the interest of jaded city folk. Bloomfield Lodge, on North Queensland, Australia’s Cape Tribulation, where the Daintree Rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef, was included on Forbes’ 2010 list of the world’s most remote hotels. Two hours from Cairns, but inaccessible by road, it requires a helicopter or boat transfer, or a 15-minute overland trek from the Mount Louis Station private airport. When it was operational, the resort, accommodating just 34 guests in 18 environmentally sensitive timber cabins, promised experiences of crocodile spotting, bird watching, rainforest walks and sea and estuary fishing. Who is the richest Pink Floyd member? The band’s net worths, ranked The lodge was originally a fishing camp when current owner Sir Mike Gooley, founder of Trailfinders, a UK-based travel agency, bought it in the late 1990s. According to property agent Lynn Malone, of Sotheby’s International Realty, Gooley spent US$14.2 million (A$20 million) on its restoration at the time, mainly for use by family and friends. “He loved the seclusion,” Malone says. “Set within almost three hectares, everything is hidden. Stairs lead through the rainforest to the individual guest cabins, some with their own plunge pool. In the beautiful open-air lodge, everyone sits together for dinner.” The vendor’s main concern is for someone to take over his legacy and ‘bring it back to life’ There’s also a main pool, and a library stocked with memorabilia tracing Captain Cook’s journey to Australia. The explorer even pulled up a boat at Weary Bay on the site where the lodge is located. Many friendships were forged in that unique environment, but six years ago, Gooley decided to “give it a rest” and put the lodge into hibernation with caretaker staff on site. Now that he is divesting himself of certain Australian assets, the property is for sale at an asking price of US$7.1 million ($A10 million). Malone says it wouldn’t take much to bring the buildings back up to scratch. About US$178,000 could fund a “soft renovation” of new bedlinen and upholstery, or allow about US$1.4 million for a bigger upgrade of the bathrooms and shared amenities. A new private jetty, capable of berthing a 70-metre motor yacht , is included in the sale price. Meet Walt Disney’s billionaire-bashing grandniece, Abigail Disney Malone says the vendor’s main concern is for someone to take over his legacy and “bring it back to life”. “It could go to someone who wants a family compound, or a corporate retreat,” she says. “We have three interested parties at the moment, and two plan to restore it as a resort and run it as a business.” Elsewhere, the opportunity to own a slice of Canadian history exists at Edelweiss Village in Golden, British Columbia, Canada. The property of just over 20 hectares (50 acres) contains six original, alpine-style chalets built between 1910 and 1912 to house the experienced Swiss guides employed by the Canadian Pacific Railway to take tourists along the rocky mountain trails. Eddie Leigan, property agent at Re/Max of Golden, says these unique buildings feature “amazing woodwork, wooden staircases and views that are hard to beat from every window”. Vacant since about 2015, the homes were last occupied on a long-term rental basis. Leigan stresses that they are “not abandoned”, with the nearby owners still caretaking the properties, which offer great potential for holiday letting. Why did these 5 Chinese tech billionaires step down? “The historic homes all have upgraded plumbing, heating and electrical components, as well as updated oil furnaces from the early 2000s,” he said. “Under the carpet is the original fir planking waiting to be restored.” The asking price is US$1.8 million (C$2.3 million). Another Canadian institution also up for sale is sadly a victim of the pandemic . The Princess Theatre in Edmonton was built in 1914 by John McKernan as the first marble-faced building in Western Canada. The oldest surviving cinema in Edmonton, its two screens, with 360 and 90 seats, provided enjoyment for generations of local families. They are ‘not abandoned’, with the nearby owners still caretaking the properties, which offer great potential for holiday letting Property agent Ian Fletcher, of Maxwell Commercial, says Covid-19 forced the venue’s temporary closure in 2020, reopening for just a brief period in between restrictions. Now the owners have moved away, and closed its doors for good. According to Alberta’s Register of Historic Places, Princess Theatre is one of the most complete and beautiful buildings of its kind in Western Canada, its stately architecture a landmark of Whyte Avenue in Edmonton’s historic south-of-the-river Strathcona district. As a designated Provincial Historic Site the exterior cannot be touched, but there’s scope to alter the interior. Fletcher thinks it is “not really” viable to reopen as a cinema, but believes uses such as a restaurant, bar or retail space “definitely would work there”. The asking price is US$2.7 million (C$3.5 million). Dalskairth House, an abandoned mansion in Dumfries, Scotland, is one for those who do not mind rolling up their sleeves. Described as derelict by agent Sian Houston of Savills Dumfries, the grade B listed house on 0.8 hectares of land is so run-down it’s unsafe to go inside. However, she points out that it offers “excellent potential for restoration”, and the asking price is only circa US$250,000 (£200,000). How rich is Lady Gaga really? Inside her gigantic net worth The original two-storey country house with attic and basement is thought to date back to the mid/late 18th century. Remodelling was undertaken in about 1830, with further alterations in 1899 including an extension to the north wing. “Dalskairth House was inherited by our client in recent years and has sadly fallen into a state of disrepair,” Houston said. “It would suit someone with energy and drive to bring the property back to its former glory as a beautiful country home. The house could be redeveloped into alternative uses such as flats.” Buying guide What you can buy for about US$7.3 million: Bloomfield Lodge, a currently non-operational eco-resort on Weary Bay, Cape Tribulation in North Queensland, Australia. Formerly one of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, the 18-key property is set in the Daintree Rainforest with a 656-metre frontage to the Coral Sea. Bloomfield Lodge has potential to reopen as a resort or else become an exclusive private getaway. What you can buy for about US$255,000: Dalskairth House, a grade B listed country mansion in derelict condition in Dumfries, Scotland. Dating back to the 18th century, the house has had various extensions and renovations over time, but is now in need of major restoration. Lying between Dumfries and Galloway, the property enjoys 360-degree views of the surrounding countryside predominantly used for agriculture and forestry. 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