Making Money Tristan on 10 Jul 2008 10:00 am
I went to Devon and Cornwall a couple of weeks ago and stayed with a friend who has built up a very nice holiday cottage business for himself. As I’m always interested in how people have made themselves, we were soon chatting about how he got to where he is now.
He told me that he bought the first property, which was an old farm barn back in the late 1980’s, and decided to “extend” the property into what it currently is. It took him about five years, during which time he mainly lived in a caravan on the site, and did most of the work during his spare time when he wasn’t working on various building sites in Dorset.
By the time he actually finished the project, the boom of the late 1980’s had turned into the recession of the early 1990’s and the interest rate on his mortgage had gone up to 15.5%, needless to say that he could now no longer afford to live in what had become his dream home.
What did he do? He let the property as a holiday let, and has been doing so ever since. He even let my wife and I use it for the weekend and I can confirm that it is well worth the money that people pay - over £1,000 a week if all ten beds are used in high season.
As a business, it’s great, they have the place busy all year round thanks to the fact that, unlike many other holiday homes, they have an indoor swimming pool in the grounds of the property which means it’s an all weather holiday home, useful in Cornwall where the weather tends to be quite wet during the winter.
He even managed to buy the farm house next door when the owner moved on, and now has two very lovely holiday cottages which he rents out all year round.
I really admire this guy for what he’s done with his life. He’s not been reckless with his money, always watched the pennies. I doubt he’s ever earned large amounts of money, but through wise decisions and hard work, on paper he owns property worth over £1million pounds, which generate a very comfortable, almost passive income through the holiday business.
If you would like to know more about the holiday cottages mentioned, please check out www.cornwall-holidays.com.