This is going to be an interesting one. First joint venture, first listed building, first one that’s been offered to me as a project rather than me trawling through property listings.
Those of you who have read this blog back when I was doing Ethel’s and the start of Tor Aluinn will have seen me mention Pete the Roofer. As we came to the end of doing Tor Aluinn, he was over giving Mick a hand with re-laying the slabs at the back (translation: showing him how to do it properly!) and casually mentioned that if I was interested, he’d be interested in working on a project with me as a joint venture. He owns a Grade A listed (Scottish equivalent to Grade 1) tiny terraced cottage, which is just a bare shell inside, and wondered if I fancied helping turn it into a holiday let.
So I pottered over one afternoon to have a look at it. It’s gorgeous. A tiny fisherman’s cottage on the edge of a tiny harbour, very private (five buildings down there, only two of which are currently lived in) and a totally blank canvas inside, which means hopefully the listed buildings officer will be relatively generous in what we’re allowed to do with it, as long as we remain sympathetic to its origins. Yes, there are a couple of areas where I think we’re going to struggle with the layout and I suspect we’re going to have to spend a bit of money on getting an architect experienced with working with listed buildings to help us get approval, but it should end up being a little gem of a romantic hideaway for two.
Pete had the building valued and the surveyor came up with £60,000, which I think is fair. The idea is that we create a limited company, he will put the building into it and I need to come up with £60,000 in cash to put in to pay for the renovation work. This may be slightly problematic, as it’s not the easiest time to go to lenders and say, ‘Hi, I renovate old buildings into lovely holiday cottages, please give me a lot of money unsecured against anything.’ Ethel’s is due for remortgage in May next year and I’ll be able to take about half of it out of that, but I’d rather get cracking before then.
Anyway, there aren’t going to be too many photos of this just yet, because there’s still a small chance it may not happen, but just to whet your appetite, this is what you see when you stand outside the front door.