Man Who Bought Tiny Abandoned House Racks In Millions
It Grew On Him
Growing up, he had always noticed that the building was old and worn down. He walked past the house every day on his way to school and back home, and on weekends, he and his friends would play just outside of the house.
But through the years, something odd happened. He had grown quite fond of the house, he knew that it was more than just a simple monument to walk by every passing day. This was why he decided to buy the property once he could afford it. His plan was to renovate it and preserve it for future generations to enjoy as much as he did.
George Dunnet, known by his friends and family as “Patchy”, had always been a unique guy. Everyone called him “Patchy” because of the small patch of white hair in his lush dark brown mane. What really set him apart from his peers was his need to do most things that others his age wouldn’t do.
He grew up in a humble village called ‘Cobbles’, which was about thirty miles north of Edinburgh, Scotland. In this village, he was always surrounded by rich history, which he loved. Cobbles might’ve been small, but it had so much to it that would put a smile on any history buff’s face.
They Stood Out To Him
Three of the buildings in his village stood out to him since he was a child. The first of the three was a bit mysterious to him. He didn’t really know who owned it or what it was used for.
The second of three was a village museum which was dedicated to a 1700s poet named Michael Bruce, and the very last building was a small cottage that appeared to be abandoned, at least, that’s what everyone thought. But they had no idea how wrong they all were.
The True Purpose
When Patchy was eight years old, he finally learned the truth behind the abandoned cottage. One warm, drummer afternoon, he was playing hide and seek with his best friend when they happened to spot a man unlock the building and step inside.
Curiosity bubbled within the two, young boys. They always wanted to know what was inside the mysterious cottage, which is why they decided to follow behind the man. Just then, they discovered the true purpose of the cottage.
“The house looked very old and tired, with no one living in it for more than fifty years,” Patchy spoke in a video on YouTube. That day, he and his friend discovered that the cottage was used to store the man’s old tools and a derelict car.
As Patchy got older, he slowly transformed into a focused young man, providing for himself by creating multiple sources of income as a video editor and streamer. But as years passed, his heart remained set on one thing: he needed to buy and renovate the cottage.
A Fanstasy World
Growing up, he had always had a vivid imagination. He loved fantasy stories such as Lord of the Rings, Narnia, Wheel of Time, and several Scottish sagas that would end up influencing who he became in his adulthood.
What he loved about these stories was that he got the chance to journey through mystical lands filled with fantastic creatures. He always hoped that he could live such a life. But when Patchy discovered that reality was a lot less explosive than the worlds in those stories, he knew that his only option would be to create his own fantasy in the real world.
It Was Time
“I thought it would be nice to turn it into a proper house, something to call mine,” Patchy told his subscribers. He knew that it was time to set his plan in motion once he had amassed more than $195,000 through his content creation career, loans, and family support.
The year was coming to an end when he decided to approach the owner of the cottage. He had already discussed buying the house from him and together, they had settled the business end of things. Now, all that was left to do was to renovate the place.
He Wasted No Time
He revealed that he spent about $67,000 on the purchase alone, before setting the rest of his money aside for the hardship that was about to follow. “After the previous owner took all his stuff out, what he left me with was a house whose floor needed sorting.
The walls were in very rough condition, and the house as a whole was damp. The ground floor was also mud and dirt, a testament to how old the place was, and the stairs and sliding door would need replacement.” Patchy wasted no time before getting to work.
The First Step
Patchy decided that the first step of the job was laying out a foundation for the cottage since it didn’t really have one. He got a builder in to help him and together, they got rid of the stairs and doors before they started working on the foundation.
Patchy decided that he would also install a brand-new fireplace, replace all of the bricks with cement, and add a new brick stack for the bedroom windows since they were in the process of collapsing. But this was just the beginning.
A Real Pain
“Similar work was done upstairs, including bolstering the health of the house’s internal walls, raising the ceiling a little bit, and pouring concrete onto the floor downstairs.” After this, Patchy started insulating the building.
But the next part of the project was a real pain for Patchy. This was a scientific inspection. The builder soon discovered that the roof was in pretty bad shape, which demanded more money. But there was more.
After sorting out the roof, including installing a new scaffolding, Patchy installed roof windows into the building, which blessed the house with natural light. His electrician had already completed the first round of wiring, and the insulation process was almost complete.
The stonework outside saw a complete overhaul before Patchy and his team installed plasterboards inside to make the place look cleaner. As time flew by, the house was slowly taking shape.
Patchy brought in a plumbing team to work on the bathroom and kitchen. He also bought a bespoke staircase that his team installed. With his mom, he painted the house as a way to hang out with her as they hadn’t been spending much time since he started the project.
He also installed external lights and brought a local blacksmith to give the house some final touches. Lastly, he invited his dad to help lay the outside of the house with cobblestones, which was an homage to his village’s name.
It Is Done
After more than a year of renovations, Patchy finally moved into his new house. As someone who was a part of each step of the renovations, he was more than happy with how everything turned out. The oak floors matched the bespoke staircase, with natural light firing through the house’s many windows.
Patchy also kept a few framed photos of the house before the renovations for any visitor who might wonder what it looked like. Although he’d built a wonderful home, what he decided to do with it is what shocked many in his village.
Patchy posted his story online, sharing each bit of the renovation process, the costs, and the before and after photos. Given how rich his locale is with history, many people looking to visit his village have asked if they can stay in his house while they spend time touring Cobbles.
Patchy has opened up his home to a few travelers, some from well-to-do backgrounds, who have paid huge sums to sleep under his roof, even if it’s for a night. So why not turn his home into a bed and breakfast?
Being Focused And Creative
As it turns out, Patchy loves what he’s done with the place, so much so that he’s made it his home. Although he may welcome a few fans from time to time, the tiny cottage is his everything, where he will make countless memories.
In the spirit of preserving history, our next protagonist accidentally bid on the wrong house, ending up with a century-old mansion that would change their lives.
Adventurers At Heart
Ken and Annie had been dating for five years before they decided to tie the knot and start a life together. Adventurers at heart, the two met on a ski trip in Northern Europe, culminating in a lovely friendship.
They would go on several trips together, backpacking across Asia and Europe. By the end of their journey, it was clear that they were meant to be with each other.
Ken asked Annie to marry him on a beautiful night under the famed Northern Lights in Northumberland, England. Annie was more than happy to say yes, seeing that Ken was the love of her life and soulmate.
But although the two were happy to be engaged, they feared what was to come next. They had always talked about raising a big family in a beautiful home that came with a front and backyard and a driveway.
Finding A Home
The prospect of starting a family was scary for Ken and Annie because although they were both employed, working in fields they loved, they didn’t have a house big enough to support a family.
They lived in a small apartment in Scotland, a studio apartment that they always talked about moving out of. Now that they were getting married, the two knew it was now or never.
Ken and Annie began their search for a place they could call home. They traveled all over the country, finding several houses that fit the exact description of their dream home.
But although these houses were very well made, with well-kept lawns as green as a football field, fruit-bearing fruits, and safe neighborhoods, there was one glaring problem.
The houses were expensive, more than Ken and Annie had saved up. Their wedding day was almost around the corner, and the two were finding it hard to divide their time between looking for a house and planning their wedding.
It was then that Annie had a brilliant idea. She shared it with her fiance, not knowing what kind of trouble they were about to step into.
A Better Alternative
Annie heard from a friend that houses were being sold at auction. Many people were buying, renovating, and selling them. What if she and Ken bought one of these places and turned it into their dream home?
Seeing how much resources they’d spent searching for houses, Ken agreed. He booked a place in the next auction and got ready to find his family a home. He had no idea what awaited him.
At The Auction
The auction date came as expected, and Ken attended the event. He went through the catalog of houses on sale, seeing one among the many that he and Annie would love.
The house was also salvageable, meaning the two wouldn’t spend a fortune renovating it. Ken waited patiently for the house to be mentioned. This was his chance to shine.
An Irreversible Mistake
The auctioneer began the process. As soon as he touched on the house, Ken shot his hand up with his bid. He’d placed ten thousand euros on the building, hoping no one would outbid him.
But as he held his price up, he realized something that made his stomach churn. It was then that he knew something was terribly wrong. The mistake would be irreversible.
You Want It. You Got It
No one else was bidding alongside Ken. That alone prompted him to look at the catalog. His eyes broadened as he realized his mistake.
He had just bid on the wrong house, a hundred-year-old derelict mansion in Dunoon instead of the intended house in picturesque Glasgow. He tried to cancel his bid. It was too late.
What Should We Do?
Ken walked out of the auction drenched in sweat. He called Annie even before he made it outside, telling her what had happened in detail. He couldn’t believe he’d just bid on the wrong house!
He told her the reverse process on the auction would likely interrupt their wedding plans and the ceremony itself. What did she want to do?
We’ll Make It Work
Sensing the distress in her fiance’s voice, Annie assured him everything was okay. If they had landed on a mansion instead of a house, then they would make it work. They had to.
“We’ll find a way to turn it into a home,” she said over the phone, urging Ken not to worry about it. If only she knew the mess that awaited them in Dunoon.
Seeing The Mansion
Ken and Annie got into their car the following morning and drove to Dunoon. The mansion in the picture didn’t look that bad, but when the two saw it, they almost shed tears.
The entire structure was rundown. It had been empty for close to forty years. But that was the least of Ken and Annie’s problem with the place.
The Issues Surrounding It
The first issue Ken and Annie had with the mansion was its location. Their jobs, friends, and family were miles away from Dunoon. The area around the mansion was also covered in marshes and bogs.
The couple also realized that the picture in the catalog was taken years before and from a flattering angle. But that wasn’t all.
Ken and Annie found out they’d only bought a third of the house, not the entire mansion. Not being the kind of couple to give up, they tracked down the other owners and bought the whole place. With the help of a professional, they took a tour of the mansion to map all the issues it had.
The property was so bad that even Annie’s dad, a retired architect, was quiet for weeks. Still, the two didn’t give up on it. They hunkered down and began the renovation process.
No Place Like Home
Ken and Annie began renovating the place. They discovered that the house had started sinking into the ground and had to redo the entire foundation to stabilize it.
By the end, they had spent a lot of money on the renovations. But the mansion was more than perfect, a large house with several rooms, a study, and a large courtyard – somewhere they could call home. It is a testament to what sacrifice, determination, and hard work can do.
Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.