Couple Bought an Ancient Mansion by Mistake!
Cal & Claire had a year to spend together before Claire went to Medical School in Glasgow, Scotland. Looking forward to a new project and a challenge, they decided to purchase a house from a Scotland Auction and spend the year renovating and flipping the property. Claire trusted Cal to bid on the house and looked forward to hearing about their purchase when he got home. Unfortunately, things did not go as smoothly as the young couple imagined.
Too Eager To Bet
Due to the size of the property, before the one Cal originally wanted at the auction, it was spaced over three lots and three bids. That means Cal bid on a mystery property directly before the dream property they wanted. Cal opened his cell to call Claire and explain the mistake, but how would she react to losing a house she was already in love with?
A Property Catfish
Luckily, Claire was excited about Cal’s mistake and stood by him as they went to go investigate the property. The original auction images were misleading and the house was even worse then they thought. This was turning into an expensive mistake! Would the couple be able to make sacrifices and complete their goal?
It’s Time To Roll Up Your Sleeves!
What would crumble first, the house, or their relationship foundation? It was overwhelming how much work was in front of them! They made the journey to go look at the property in person and it was a tough decision in front of them. The local authorities were even encouraging them to start fresh, why bother with this old pile of wood & metal? This decision was turning out to be one of the biggest in both their lives.
Look On The Bright Side
After much debate, the couple decided they would go for the challenge, together and success was the only option. They needed a plan and they needed it quickly. Where did they want to live during the renovation and where would they even start! From the roof to the basement it was all crumbling in front of their eyes. Would they manage to keep a cheery disposition or would their relationship crumble before the house?
Location, Skill & Love
Cal & Claire focused on things that made them happy and look towards their bright future. Their new property is in stunning Sandbank, Dunoon, which is only an hour and a half west of the major city, Glasgow! Even better, Cal is a skilled carpenter and Claire is eager to learn. Would their love be enough for this next major chapter?
Sacrifices Were Coming
They knew they had to make sacrifices for this project to work and moved into a trailer on their new property grounds. They were about to eat, sleep, construct, repeat!! They needed all the helping hands their friends and family could spare. Would the house come with more surprises then they could count? What was going to be the biggest challenge of this new project?
Getting To Their Own Front Door Was Impossible
The first thing they had to figure out was clearing the property. When it had been vacated, all the furniture and appliances had been left behind meaning the rooms were full of moldy couches and mattresses. On top of that, the property was overgrown with weeds and trees, even some having their roots in the actual house! Cal & Claire began writing a blog to let others know their progress reports. It was a slow and steady journey that all began with one step.
It Was Time To Meet The Neighbours
After the trees and musty old furniture was cleared away, Cal & Claire began to meet the residents. As they were busy working, neighbors would stop on their walks to say ‘hello’ and find out how the young couple was coping. They began to have friends come to stay for a few weeks at a time and the extra hands made a big difference. The first months began to pass quickly, but what did the future hold?
In February 2019, Cal & Claire were able to lay down a driveway and stop getting their van stuck every day on trips to the local dump. Even more exciting they bought a 1990 two-berth caravan which is quickly becoming a sanctuary at the end of the day and a warm bed to crawl into. The couple like to count their blessings instead of hardship and continue to update their growing social media presence and friends and family back home. How much work did they complete the next month?
An Ownership Battle
When Cal & Claire first bought their property they didn’t realize it was being sold in four separate blocks. This was due to the house being divided into apartments while it was still functional. Each block had gone through an independent bid at the auction. To complete their dream, the couple knew they had to own all or nothing, but couldn’t track down the fourth owner. Can you believe this information was found through the rumor mill at the neighborhood local? What else was being whispered behind pints and chips?
Another Tragic Mistake
The other owner had bought the unit unseen through the same auction Cal & Claire fell for. They had no idea what they had just purchased and were happy to resell to Cal & Claire even though they made a loss. All four units and the entire building now belonged to this young and motivated couple. Before they were turning 30 they would be completing a massive renovation on a stone mansion dating back from the 1900s. What was their next step on the road to success?
Cal was an experienced carpenter but he had never done scaffolding for a restoration project. Setting this up needed to be handled properly and carefully considering how high he was going. The set up was a success and the couple was able to remove their crumbling chimney which had started dropping bricks in their house! They also began to repair the outside of their house choosing natural hydraulic lime to blend the old with the new. They still needed help but it was about to come from a very unexpected source!
Go Fund Our Dreams
The house was eating into these young couple's savings and they could only do so much with donations from friends and family. They decided to utilize their social media presence and went live with a GoFundme to help support their dream. It was a massive success and donations began pouring in just in time to fix their next big issue. This massive problem was caving in right over their heads, but would they be able to fix it?
19 Inches To Safety
The couple put on their gloves and boots and set their sights on tackling the caved in and bent roof. With a plan, they realized they would have to prop up different areas of the whole house and push it to land in the right place. Slowly but surely the roof began to level out and each inch made it more structurally sound. Again, the couple had friends that came from near and far to donate their time and help with this massive task. This couple is optimistic but keeps going with the many supportive friends and family from far and near.
An Ongoing Happy Ending
Using different teams of volunteers Cal & Claire has been able to host groups as large as ten to teach construction skills and continue working on Jameswood within the Dunoon community. They have been given a chance to learn skills like project and team management and a variety of marketing and communication soft skills. This massive mistake has turned into a learning opportunity neither of them expected but couldn’t leave if they tried!
Cal & Claire are using their amazing journey to educate others about the do’s and don’t at buying blind at auctions. They are still currently working to finish the project before Claire starts medical school in 2021. Even though the original purpose was a sheepish mistake they have done everything possible to continue forward and build their dream home. They are being tested every day but have each other for support and continue to keep an optimistic perspective! Share this heartwarming and inspiring story with others and let us know if you think you would be up for the Dunoon Challenge!