Three of the best charming rural cottages for sale in Scotland now

This time of year could offer advantages to holiday home buyers, especially if you're looking for a rural cottage to rent out.

Just as the holiday season in rural Scotland slows down in the autumn, so does the rural secondhomes sales market.

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But buying now has advantages. In viewing property over the gloomier and more weather beaten days, viewers will at least get a more realistic idea of what owning the home will be like year round, and with fewer buyers in the market, there could be bargains.

Certainly if a property has been run as a holiday home, the current owner might well be persuaded to take an offer in November or December rather than having to leave it largely empty and unused until spring.

Duncan Fergusson of Baird Lumsden says that likely holiday homes – modest properties in pretty villages, by the sea or near to attractions such as a national park – can often change hands from one holiday home owner to another rather than being considered as a permanent home.

He says: “But that is not to say that buyers will all be looking for the same type of property.

“Quite often they are looking for a placeto tick lots of different boxes, for their own use as a weekend place, to rent out some weeks of the year or with a view to their own retirement, using it more and more as that approaches and eventually downsizing and moving into their second home when they finish working.”

In terms of valuation, accessibility is a key factor, and Fergusson says coastal properties tend to be in greatest demand, or any kind of waterside location.

Picture: Croftnamuick, Galbraith

“Highland Perthshire is a popular choice too, but most people will be thinking of how long it takes to travel from the Central Belt.

“Certainly somewhere within two hours of Glasgow or Edinburgh will mean that Friday night to Monday morning is easily commutable and that adds value.”

Not every buyer comes from Scotland though, Fergusson points to a considerable interest from those who are based permanently in Yorkshire and the north of England.

He says: “Certainly in and around the Southern Highlands, in places like Strathyre, Lochearnhead and Killin there are a lot of buyers from Yorkshire.”

For those considering letting a property to offset costs, he says that buyers should be realistic, with most rural properties not letting over 30 weeks a year. “Certainly doing your sums on 20 to 30 weeks a year is probably about right.”

“It is highly seasonal, usually April to October with a week or two at Christmas.

But if a cottage is close to good amenities, such as a quality hotel with spa, or good fishing, shooting or golfing then the letting season can be greatly extended.”

Croftnamuick, near Aberfeldy is a former farmhouse which has been refurbished.

Picture: Galbraith

It is a beautiful family home, but its four bedrooms and three public rooms, plus its location, means it would let well on the holiday homes market for larger groups.

Picture: Baird Lumsden

That would also apply to Moon Cottage, which is in a rural location near Dunblane in Stirlingshire.

Picture: Baird Lumsden

It has the advantage of most of the bedrooms being on the ground floor, which may serve to future proof it for buyers looking to make it their permanent home in later years.

Picture: Williams Gray Williams

Thatched cottages are sought after in Scotland because of their rarity and Westend, Collessie in Fife, which is not only thatched, but pink, is likely to prove a hit on the romantic holiday rental market.

At a glance

Picture: Galbraith

Where is it: Croftnamuick, Camserney, near Aberfeldy, Perthshire.What is it: A detached former farmhouse set in its own grounds. Four bedrooms, three public rooms and a detached barn.Good points: The house is already well set up to be used as a holiday home, with two sitting rooms – the second styled a whisky lounge – and four good bedrooms, one of which has extra sleeping accommodation at a mezzanine level. The purchaser could also negotiate buying it fully furnished, and the detached barn offers further scope for developing the letting potential.Bad points: It is probably too much to take on as a weekend cottage for one family. An absent owner would need to bring in help for the extensive garden.Price: Offers over £420,000.Contact: Galbraith on 01738 451111.

Picture: Williams Gray Williams

Where is it: Westend, Collessie, Fife.What is it: A characterful cottage with two bedrooms, a sitting room and dining kitchen.Good points: As a holiday let this chocolate box , pink hued thatched cottage is bound to be popular. Although it dates from the 18th century, it has mod cons such as underfloor heating.Bad points: A thatched roof is likely to require specialist house insurance.Price: Offers over £225,000.Contact: Williams Gray Williams on 01334 656644.

Picture: Baird Lumsden

Where is it: Moon Cottage, Keir, Dunblane, Stirlingshire.What is it: A four-bedroomed detached cottage with two and ahalf acres of gardens.Good points: It is in a highly accessible location close to the Central Belt. Three of the bedrooms are on the ground floor which may suit buyers looking for a place to spend their later years. Solar panels provide an income.Bad points: Spiral stair up to the attic bedroom.Price: Offers over £375,000.Contact: Baird Lumsden on 01786 833800.