Chance to share seaside cottage in Runswick Bay

There's a rare chance to own a share in one of the most iconic properties on the Yorkshire coast. Sharon Dale reports.

Marlin Spike is in the historic part of  Runswick Bay
Marlin Spike is in the historic part of Runswick Bay

After 50 years of enjoying sand, sea and some of the best views on the Yorkshire coast, Ange Andrassy can’t bear the thought of closing the door on the family holiday home forever.

It’s why she has come up with an innovative plan to sell shares in Marlin Spike, one of the most iconic properties in Runswick Bay.

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She is offering two or three buyers an equal share in the house, which has been valued at £560,000 and is a landmark in the most historic part of the sought-after village.  It features on many postcards and paintings and enjoys breathtaking sea views from its high vantage point.

Marlin Spike, Runswick Bay

If two people decide to join Ange as owners, it would cost them £186,000 each and they would be entitled to spend 17 weeks a year at the property. If three buyers are found it would cost them £140,000 each for a quarter share and they would have 13 weeks a year.

Ange, a retired college lecturer who lives in Sheffield, owns the house with her two siblings but they both want to sell, which is why she came up with the part-ownership idea. It was inspired by the website, which features part-ownership options for everything from horses to boats and houses.

“It is the right time for my brother and sister to sell but I’m really keen to keep it. I love it and I thought sharing it would be a great solution as that is exactly what I do now and it works really well,” she says.

“Runswick Bay is very expensive so this is a great opportunity for people with more modest means to be able to own a house here. This is a fantastic family holiday home, it is an appreciating asset and there is a possible source of income from holiday lettings.”

The view from the window at Marlin Spike

The three bedroom house was designed and built for Ange’s parents, George and Brenda, in 1965. George and his brother already owned a Runswick Bay cottage that they had bought in 1959, but as their families grew, they decided to construct another house on adjoining land so they could have a home each.

The Andrassy’s called the new build Marlin Spike after a rope making tool they used in their marquee business in Wakefield. They felt is was apt as the fishermen in the village used it for their work too.

Building high on the cliff proved problematic thanks to limited access and no parking. The solution was a chute from the top road down to the house.

“It was basically a giant slide but it worked really well,” says Ange, who remembers the property being built and has wonderful childhood memories of the seaside retreat. “It has been a big part of my life. We came up here most weekends and most holidays when I was a child and I grew up pottering around on the beach, which was wonderful. You could see our house from down there, so my mum used to hang a towel over the verandah as a sign for me to come in for tea.”

Marlin Spike, Runswick Bay

 Marlin Spike has magnificent sea views from almost every room. Inside, there is a large sitting room and a separate dining room and a kitchen. Upstairs, there are two double bedrooms at the front of the property, a smaller back bedroom and a bathroom. Outside, the verandah overlooks the bay.

Like most of the properties  in the old part of Runswick Bay, there is no vehicular access., though there are car parks nearby.

While the house is in good order, Ange would like to see some of it modernised.

“The kitchen is quite dated and I think the bathroom could be split to make an en-suite and a separate house bathroom,” she says.

The view from the window at Marlin Spike

Runswick Bay has been Ange’s second home for over half a century and she has seen it change dramatically in that time. When she was a child, it was still a fishing village but the social make-up altered as the industry declined and more visitors fell in love with the idyllic location.

“It is still a truly gorgeous place with its own micro climate but now most of the cottages are holiday homes and there are probably only a dozen full-time residents,” says Ange, who is very happy with the idea of sharing her property.

“At the moment I have four months a year with weeks scattered through each season and that works well and I love the idea of people buying into this property and creating the sort of wonderful memories I have.”

*For details of Ange Andrassy’s Marlin Spike share proposition, contact: email [email protected]

* Co-ownership under a tenants in common agreement is becoming popular, especially among first-time buyers, who club together with friends and siblings to fund a deposit and mortgage payments.

Property lawyer John Robson, of Weightmans, Leeds, says it gives the owners equal shares and the property is held in trust for sale. However, he warns that any of the co-owners could, in theory, force a sale of the whole property. This would involve a court order and lawyers fees of up to £5,000, so it would be a lengthy and very expensive process. The easiest exit strategy for Marlin Spike owners would be to sell their share to someone else.