Welcome back to What I Own.
Last week we spoke to Alex in Hampshire, but this time we have something a little different.
We are chatting to Vicky who bought a property in Cambridgeshire, using money she inherited, and now rents out on Airbnb.
She purchased the property straight out – with no mortgage. Here’s what she had to say about it…
Tell us about yourself.
I’m Vicky, 44, originally from St Albans, Hertfordshire, but moved to St Neots in Cambridgeshire 15 years ago.
I am a mum of three boys and I own a business called CBD Angel.
Where is your property? What do you think of the area?
For years I wanted to own an Airbnb property and I always wanted it to be something quite unique and quirky.
I’d seen this particular property come up for sale about three years before I purchased it and I considered buying it at that point, on a buy to let mortgage, but was slightly unsure and hesitated.
Then it came back onto the market just as I inherited money from my grandmother, so I took the plunge. The property is in my local town and it’s only five minutes away from where I live, which I felt was really important to be able to manage it correctly myself.
What made you decide to buy this property to rent out?
I spent many years coming to St Neots with my grandparents as they had a boat here and it was an area that I loved – so it’s why I initially moved our whole family here in the first place.
Having the Airbnb allows me to now share our beautiful town with the rest of the world.
There is so much history within St Neots that you just don’t realise – along with the river, it’s a very beautiful place to live.
How much does your property cost?
So we have the usual running costs of council tax and utilities but they are quite minimal as it is a one-bedroom flat.
I’m very lucky that we don’t have a mortgage on this property as I feel that had we taken out a buy to let mortgage – which would have now been affected by interest rates – things would be very different for me right now.
How much does your property cost?
The property cost me £168,000 outright.
At the time I had considered the buy to let option leaving me more money to invest in further properties but in hindsight I am glad that I have done things the way I have. Should interest rates come back down in the future I may consider pulling equity from the property to invest in another Airbnb locally.
I had been looking for many years and wanted something that was different. I feel that the property offers a real unique experience looking back into history as well as being in the centre of the town with parking and a stone’s throw from the river. I fell in love with this property years before I actually purchased it. As a child I would walk through the Cross Keys Mews with my grandparents and I always admired it.
How did you find this property? What made you choose it?
The property was found in the old-fashion way of stalking Rightmove.
Do you own your own property that you live in?
I live in St Neots – just five minutes drive away from the Airbnb property – in a four-bed house that I have a small mortgage left on.
Do you have plans to change the property?
I have absolutely no intention of changing the property, we love the authenticity of it and wouldn’t want it to be anything other than what it is and what it has always been.
Are there any problems with the property that you have to deal with?
So far, fingers crossed, the property has been a dream and we have not experienced any problems out of the ordinary.
What do you want people to know about buying a home?
I think the most important thing when buying a property is to budget. And then add 25%.
No matter how much you try to work out exactly what things will cost you there will always be a bump in the road. Even though we were cash buyers on this property and we were involved in no chain whatsoever it took us over seven months to finalise and complete due to minor issues. Going backwards and forwards between solicitors is never an easy task.
Also we purchased a leasehold whereas every other property I have owned or lived in has been freehold. Leasehold will always take longer as solicitors have a lot of ‘stuff’ to read and get through.
Go into buying your property with eyes wide open!
Do you plan to buy any more properties to rent out?
If we could find another property that matched the uniqueness of the one we currently own I would certainly consider a second Airbnb locally.
For me Airbnb is an experience and the property needs to reflect that.
What are your plans for the future, in terms of housing?
At the moment, the Airbnb is bringing in a nice amount of interest on the original investment and will carry on doing so for the foreseeable future.
While I should probably live in a bigger house than I do already, I really like where I live and I like my home so we have no intentions of moving even though financially it is viable. A home is much more important than a house.
Do you want to feature in What I Own?
What I Own is a Metro.co.uk series that takes you inside people’s properties, to take an honest look at what it’s like to buy a home in the UK. If you own your home and would be up for sharing your story, please email [email protected]
You’ll also need to be okay with sharing how much you’ve paid to live there and how you afforded the deposit, as that’s pretty important.
Shall we take a look around…
Vicky’s property can be found on Airbnb as ‘airbnbstneots’.
Do you have a story to share?
Get in touch by emailing [email protected]
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