Let me take you back a few months...in March I was browsing the internet and stumbled across a property in Vernham Dean, the beautiful village where I grew up. It had five acres and stables, with an additional four acres available. We came to look around, knowing the house would need updating, and walked away thinking it was a project beyond our means. By the way - if they it needs general updating throughout, they actually mean it's basically derelict and will require demolition or complete renovation - fact. And then I had some time on my hands on the train to London for work and did some sums. Maybe it wasn’t impossible after all?
Fast forward five months, and here we are with an enormous mortgage, a detached bungalow, an annexe, nine acres and some stables in the most beautiful location. I can pop outside to feed my horses, or nip out for a quick ride which is entirely remarkable and I’m not sure the novelty will ever wear off. On the flip side, we left our perfect little two bedroom luxury home to come to a house which was nothing less than filthy, has no central heating, no mod cons, no hot water, we’ve lived on microwave meals for a month, and a whole shed load of work to be done. Seriously – we invested over £0.5m on this?! How scary is that?!
I’ve been encouraged to write this blog so you can see the good, the bad and the ugly of the project, and what it takes for an ordinary person to achieve the ultimate equestrian dream – so here it is. It’s not about the romantic end point, but about all the decisions and the journey along the way to achieving it.
Next steps? Paddocks, troughs, roof, building work, windows and doors, kitchens bathrooms, stables and an arena. Interested? Follow my journey...