Omaze Cornwall II House – Facts to Consider. Do You Want to Win This House?

Most people in the UK will have heard about the amazing Cornwall II house that Omaze are giving away in their latest grand prize competition. All you have to do is to buy a few tickets and hope for the best that your entry wins, and lo and behold, you are then the proud owner of a £4,500,000 house in a much sought after part of Cornwall.

Some lucky person will definitely win that house when the competition results are announced on the 5th May 2023, so as I like that area around Cornwall, I started to wonder if I should enter the competition. As there is almost no information about it on the Omaze website, I thought it would be sensible to find out more about what I would be letting myself in for if I actually was the fortunate owner of this superb house.

Here is what I’ve found out, with some of the implications that owning this property would entail.

Where is the Cornwall II house?

I imagine that most people who enter the competition will want to know where the Cornwall II house house is. After all we all know that with property location is one of the key aspects of its attractiveness.

The first thing to know is that the Cornwall II house is actually not in Fowey, but is situated on the opposite banks of the River Fowey estuary in a hamlet called Bodinnick. This is the actual
address of the property:

Pieds Dans L’eau, Bodinnick, Fowey, PL23 1LY.

The house is delightfully called Pieds Dans L’eau (meaning “feet in the water”) taking on the name of the previous house on that land which was knocked down when the Cornwall II house was built by the recent owners (I believe) between 2016 and 2018.

You can see the exact location of the Cornwall II house in Google Maps

The Omaze Cornwall II house location in Bodinnick, Cornwall

With its cobbled streets, cafes, quant shops and fabulous location on the river, Fowey is a sought after and thriving small town, in an area of outstanding natural beauty. However as the Cornwall II house is located on the opposite side of the river, the only direct way to drive or walk to Fowey is via the Bodinnick Ferry which operates between 7am and 7pm in the winter and 7am to 8:50pm in the summer. The ferry fares are £10 return for a car and two passengers and £2.30 each way for an adult foot passenger.

It’s expensive to travel from the Cornwall II house to Fowey and you are dependent on the ferry!

If you want to do the weekly shop, then other places such as Polperro, Bodmin or Lostwithiel are within about a twenty minute car journey but there is no question that the Cornwall II House is in a remote location. Just make sure that you don’t suddenly need a pint of milk!

There is another point to consider. If you look at Google maps, you will see that the roads to the Cornwall II house are very narrow. There is also a popular pub called the Old Ferry Inn very close to the house which attracts many customers, particularly during the busy tourist season. Expect parking and access problems in those narrow lanes in the summer.

What about running costs?

Council tax will be the biggest cost as you will be in the enviable position of not having a mortgage or paying rent for the house, if you win.

The Cornwall II house is in Council Tax band H which results in an annual Council Tax charge for 2023/4 of £4,375.72. The winner should be aware, however that from April 2024, Cornwall Council will charge second home owners an additional 100% council tax charge which will increase the council tax to £8,751.44.

As the Cornwall II house was built in 2018, it will be built to recent energy conservation standards so although the house is nearly 6,000 square feet, it should be surprisingly energy efficient. Heating it should not be too expensive, but it is unlikely to have a mains gas supply and may be subject to the fluctuations in oil prices if it uses oil powered central heating.

Maintaining a property like that could be expensive, particularly as it has wood cladding that may require regular treatments. But as the house is only about five years old, maintenance costs should not be too prohibitive for the next few years. Omaze state on their website that the house running costs are £1,500 per month, but they don’t say if this includes council tax.

So although living in the Cornwall II house will be more expensive than the costs of a more normal house, it should be viable for someone with decent salary and the ability to spend a lot of time working from home. The £100,000 that winner will also receive will cover the running costs for several years, even if the house is used as a second home.

Would I live in the Cornwall House II house?

It would be fantastic to enjoy those fabulous waterside views everyday, luxuriating in all that living space, pinching yourself that you have won such a brilliant waterside property in a sought after and beautiful location.

Many will think that it would be a fabulous house to call home, however, to be honest, I am not so sure that it would be suitable for our main residence. It’s isolated position and long drives to local towns down narrow country lanes could be a daily issue that may well override the fantastic benefits that the Cornwall II house brings.

If it actually was in Fowey, with such a fabulous waterside position, then I would certainly consider it for our main residence, as our children have left school and are perusing their own lives. Unfortunately, it is on the other side of the river in a remote location, so I am pretty certain that we would not live there permanently if we were the fortunate winners.

Remote working from home

Would I rent it out on a leasehold tenancy?

Cornwall is blessed with very good broadband infrastructure and fibre based broadband is now available in many remote hamlets and villages. I checked the availability of fibre to the premises broadband for Pieds Dans L’eau, but unfortunately only copper based broadband with speeds maximum of 24Mb/s is available at that address.

This is a shame as it means that video meetings will be very difficult and accessing streaming services will be curtailed. It would certainly be possible to install satellite broadband into the house which definitely makes working from home more viable, however satellite broadband with high monthly bandwidth allowances can be expensive.

Omaze state that the monthly rent under a leasehold tenancy for the Cornwall II house is likely to be in the £5,000 to £7,000 range. This represents an excellent revenue stream of at least £60,000 a year, which is a highly attractive proposition for a winner, especially when you add the £100,000 contribution to the running costs, and the house comes fully furnished too.

However, given the potential issues with the isolation of the house, its distance to the nearest mainline station and the lack of fibre broadband, would a family be willing to spend £60,000 a year on renting Pieds Dans L’eau? It would be challenging to get children to and from school everyday and very few jobs in that part of Cornwall would support the high salary required to pay rent of £5,000 plus living costs per month.

So is it viable to rent out the Cornwall II house long term? It might be a good option, however I think it would be difficult to find a stream of suitable tenants that are happy to live within the access and location limitations of the property, even with that fantastic waterside position. As a result, I would probably not rent out the house on a long term basis because of the limited potential market of well heeled tenants.

Would I use the Cornwall II house as a holiday let business?

Short term holiday makers will love the awesome waterside position of the Cornwall II house. They are very likely to forgive the difficulties of getting to and from the house and won’t need to be bothered by the school run issues and the half hour drive to the nearest supermarket. The ferry crossing to Fowey will be an adventurous delight.

Omaze estimate a peak potential weekly income of £14,000 for Pieds Dans L’eau which, if achieved, could bring in substantial annual revenues as there should be a long letting season for a house of this quality in such an attractive location.

However, people wiling to pay such high weekly holiday rentals will be demand extremely high accommodation standards and levels of service. The house will have to be impeccably clean and well looked after. Also, the lack of fibre broadband will be a major issue, which will have to be addressed before the house can be made available as a holiday let.

As long as a local holiday let management company can be found that delivers consistently high cleaning and maintenance standards, then building a holiday letting business around Pieds Dans L’eau could well be a viable, but also stressful, business.

A suitable high quality management company will be expensive, however this is more than justified by the huge margins that can be made through letting this house out to wealthy holiday makers. Don’t forget that there will be no mortgage to pay so annual profits could be substantial provided the business was run to exacting standards and delivered a constantly high level of service. To me, this could be a viable option, but it will not be without its challenges!

Two business people in agreement by shaking hands

Would I sell Pieds Dans L’eau?

Given the issues that I have pointed out in this article, it would be very tempting to just sell the Cornwall II house as soon as possible. However, I cannot stop thinking about why such a fabulous house in such an awesome position is being offered via Omaze in a competition, when it could have been sold via traditional means, for probably more money.

There must be a reason why this amazing house has not been sold already, and the fact that it hasn’t concerns me.

I don’t know if there are some structural issues with the property, as they would need to be identified by a surveyor, or if there are some unforeseen legal issues that have cropped up. It might simply be the issues that I have identified that might be preventing buyers from investing the £4,500,000 that Omaze state as the value of the property.

I also wonder about that £4,500,000 valuation. One way of ascertaining property valuations is to look for comparable properties that have either been sold recently, or are currently on the market. There is currently only one property available in Fowey at that price level and that is this five bed house for £2,750,00. It’s not as big, or as impressive as Pieds Dans L’eau, but has a much more convenient location.

Incidentally, should you have £4,000,000 to spare and want to be on the Cornwall coast, then this very impressive, and to my mind, superior house is available with awesome sea views. It is also quite near St Austell and it’s mainline station.

There is no question that substantial and impressive houses with awesome waterside positions command very high prices in this part of Cornwall. So, even if Pieds Dans L’eau isn’t worth what Omaze states, it is certainly worth £millions, even in that isolated position.

So the fact that the winner will not be paying for such a valuable property and will have £100,000 to pay for two or more years of running and maintenance costs, I think that selling, rather than living in, or renting, the Cornwall II house would be a good solution.

I don’t think it would be easy to sell, though. It’s location limitations would only be attractive to a small number of buyers who value the house for what it is, and where it is, and are prepared to pay £millions for it, when there are plenty of other properties in awesome locations in that area. Should the winner want to sell it, and pocket a huge amount of cash, then they will have to be prepared to wait possibly years for the right buyer, and it will need considerable care and attention in the meantime. Maybe that is why it is available on Omaze!

Be careful of the implications of winning the Cornwall II house

The proposition that Omaze are offering sounds really attractive – spend £50 on some tickets and have the chance to win a house worth £millions, plus £100,000 for the running costs and all the furniture that it contains, which is worth an estimated £180,000 too.

It sounds really great, however there is one very important point to bear in mind. If you win, you will become the owner of the Cornwall II, with all that it entails. That means that you will have to look after it and make difficult decisions about what to do with it and how it will fit into, or change, your life. However you look at it, suddenly owing this house comes with enormous responsibilities.

There are reasons why the recent owners have divested themselves of the Cornwall II house via the Omaze competition process, and it is not clear what they are. They bought an older house on that plot of land, knocked it down, employed architects to design a tremendous new house and then went through all the hassle and costs of building their new home. Five years later, it is now the prize in a competition. That is food for thought.

What are your thoughts? It would be interesting to hear your views in the comments below.


  1. Sorry Chris my mistake this is the next Cotswold house in Chipping Campden. It is all there on google earth and in public records (Companies House) and the Council website.

    • Thanks for clarifying about the Cotswold House in Chipping Camden. I had discovered the location of that house too, but hadn’t found out about the quarry. You have dug deep into the online information and discovered some valuable facts.

  2. The next Cornish draw seems a wonderful house but right next to a quarry. There seems to have been planning permission granted for a £130,000 ton bio mass plant and the owner of the quarry (Westington Quarry) seems to have sold out to another company and the house (The Retreat) for £525,000 in June 2021 presumably to Omaze. On the Council complaints site there appears to be a lot of complaints about out of hours working. There appears to have been enforcement notices about noise levels in 2019. Just food for thought about entering for this house. How would anyone ever sell it?

    • Great research – thank you. I’m intrigued that you found about the next Cornish draw as I can’t find any information about it on the Omaze website.

  3. What about living in it and have equity release on it? that way you could say draw out up to 60% of its value and still live in it until you pass away, by that time the value would no doubt increase again so its a win win so even if the valuation came out at 3.5 million you could draw out about 1.5 to 1.75 million with no mortgage you could live quite well on that for a good few years and still have the benefit of living there

    • That’s a great idea and definitely worth the winner thinking about! The prize winner will be announced today (5th May 2023) so good luck to all those who have bought a ticket.

  4. Most people would surely buy themselves a little boat to go over to Fowey and back. A nice little fold up electric bicycle on board. Perfect.

  5. Interesting,,it seems at least some of their properties they raffle off have issues,,the Cotswold house a couple of years ago had flooding issues…

    • I believe the Cotswold house was sold by the winner, even with those flooding issues. It would be interesting to see how much Omaze actually paid for the Cornwall II house. I looked at the Land Registry records, but there was nothing recorded for that purchase. Either it is too recent to be added to their records, or Omaze may have opted to keep that transaction private. I bet it won’t have been £4,500,000 though!

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