I am a home owner!! What on earth?? When did I grow up? When did I beat my fear of commitment? Well, I did and I am and it feels pretty amazing. It wasn’t all plain sailing though. It’s actually been a two year process, mainly filled with disappointments. If someone had told me how difficult buying a house would be before I started all this I wouldn’t have believed them. It all started just after I came out of The Apprentice. Some of you may remember I had been saving for a house since I was about 16 (it was mentioned in the show because Claude commented that I could be re-investing that money in my business). Anyway, after The Apprentice I felt it was time and I began looking, not in my home town of Aberystwyth but in London. The bright lights and fast pace of London I had grown accustomed to over the couple of months while filming in London were calling and I was obsessed! I had one problem though, where as I could afford a house in West Wales, I was looking at a cupboard in London.
I quickly realised London wasn’t the option for me and began looking at a house right In my home town of Aberystwyth. It was grand, quirky and most definitely a fixer upper. When I say fixer upper, I mean, it had no electric, no heating and a so called kitchen that looked like it was made before kitchens were even a thing… For some reason though, I was in love. I became so emotionally invested and put down an offer I could stretch to. To my shock I was accepted, it was the best feeling in the world. That day I put on Snapchat that I had a house, I told all my family and basically shouted it from the roof tops. I was so excited. Yes it was a fixer upper but it had huge potential and I really did love it. A week later I had a call from the estate agent, I had been gazumped! Some hot shot with more money than me had come along and offered more than me and, even though my offer was accepted, the house was no longer mine. Not to be deterred, I looked at my finances and was able to raise my offer, however alas, so did he and the house was gone. I was gutted! I was already there in my head, already had the furniture, already chosen the kitchen already picturing myself doing my work there in the open plan office we had planned from the top floor. I know it sounds a bit pathetic but it took me a while to get over that. I didn’t think it was something that could/would happen and it made me really dubious of house buying.
A long while past and another house caught my eye. This one was even nicer, currently being used by the University for Artists studios, it was huge. This one came with a whole load of problems of which I won’t go into but the long and short is, it didn’t yet have a kitchen and so no mortgage was an option. I set about looking for a bridging loan and was about to sign up to a loan with more interest that you would ever dream about. LUCKILY I was out bid. I say luckily because it most certainly would have been the wrong place for us. The pressure to get planning, get a kitchen put in all before I could get off crazy interest rates would have been too much alongside running the business. I got over this one much quicker. The trouble is; there wasn’t much on the market. All the while there was a house for sale that I kept looking at online. It was perfect in every way; it didn’t need much work at all and was, in my eyes, the perfect home. The only problem was it was WAAAAY out of budget. I mean, way out, a pipe dream. Time past and I continued to look at the house on Zoopla, during this time I kept saving and as I kept saving I got closer to being able to afford it. Then the best thing ever happed, Lord Sugar was happy we had made some profits and said we should take a dividend. Not a massive one, but enough. That coupled with my extreme saving skills meant I was able to go and view the property without feeling like I was leading them on. The second I walked through the door, I knew. It was the complete opposite to the other houses. It didn’t need electrics, or bridging loans or rot surveys. It wasn’t a fixer upper. It was a home. Whilst I thought a fixer upper was what I wanted, this is in fact far from the case, something I realise only now. Fixing a house up is something I do want to do one day, as is living in London but for now, this was perfect. I put in my offer, it was declined. I didn’t quite know what to do; I was back to square one, but I couldn’t lose this one! So yet again, I squeezed an extra bit and it was accepted. I didn’t want to get my hopes up though and so didn’t actually tell anyone. I couldn’t have a repeat of Snapchat fiasco. But I am typing this from my new front room, fully moved in and surrounded by boxes, so I do believe it’s OK to tell people now. Now this isn’t just a home for me; it’s the hub of Ridiculously Rich. Yes, the investment from Lord Sugar means I could rent a swanky office and yes we could rent a kitchen to film our ideas and do our recipe video creating. But that’s not how I believe business should be one. Maybe that’s my risk aversion or extreme tightness but actually, we have worked from home for so long, it just works. We have plans to turn the large third floor bedroom into an open plan office and the kitchen, well, I have so many plans for that! In fact the day after all the boxes were in I was already painting the walls.
This brings me to a little call for help, we are looking for a carpenter or kitchen specialist to come and help with my vision, get in touch if you can help! Anyway, it’s been a long old process but I am finally here. Feeling content and pretty proud of how this has all come together.
It was mentioned on the Apprentice that I should be re-investing the money I was saving, but I feel I did what was right for me; I have ticked off the goal that I was working towards. I maybe didn’t pay for the whole thing with savings (this was actually my goal, it was a pretty crazy one) but I did pay for just under half and for that I am quite chuffed. Now to find the next goal!! Remember; look after the pennies and the pounds look after themselves. I can’t wait to share the journey in making this the hub for Ridiculously Rich.