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Couple accidentally buy a mansion instead of 2 bedroom flat

HowTo Team

HowTo Team

This young couple mistakenly bought an old mansion at auction and now have an incredible DIY project on their hands.

Claire and Cal had been on the lookout for a 2 bedroom flat in Glasgow and had planned to snap one up at the auction based in Glasgow, UK.

Claire was on a trip to Canada at the time and was unable to make the auction, so Cal was left with the responsibility of securing the 2 bedroom flat however, mistakenly bid on a 120 year old derelict mansion and was liable for the property.


To make matters worse, the property was 35 miles away from their ideal location in a place called Dunoon, Scotland.

Rather than panic, they embraced their new purchase which has been dubbed ‘A beautiful mistake’ my the couple as they have fallen in love with the mansion called ‘Jameswood Villa’


They have been strongly advised by experts to tear the structure down and start from scratch but they have ignored the advice and have begun plans to renovate the whole building.

Claire, 25, from Canada, said: ‘Discovering we had bought a massive derelict house that had been abandoned for 20 years and not a two-bedroom apartment did come as a bit of a shock. It was in a state of partial collapse, it was subsiding, there were gaping holes in the roof and walls, the timbers were rotten and the land was waterlogged. Derelict was too mild a word.”


Despite their reservations Claire and Cal decided to take on the project and have bought a caravan as temporary accommodation which has been set up in the garden while they prepare for the mother of all DIY projects.

According to the Daily Record, their goal is to turn the property into 3 separate flats and sell 2 of them to pay off the existing debt.

Their initial plan was for Claire to study medicine however, she couldn’t afford the increased fees for international students so she and Cal, from Hull, UK, decided to buy a flat to do up and sell. Now, Claire works on the house full time while call works as a carpenter and spends his spare time working on the house.

The couple have had assistance from friends since starting the work in November, but some of the jobs are simply just too big.

‘Finding a new problem seems to be a daily occurrence here at Jameswood. It has taken us until now to find the electricity cable that will allow us to connect to the mains’ Said Cal.

Due to the Caravan getting continuously stuck in the mud, they had put down a driveway to cope, however, after struggling to find the water supply the realised they had built it over the pipes just a week later.

Cal said ‘The house needs a new roof but a civil engineer has told us the walls probably won’t be strong enough to hold it up so we will have to fix them first and risk the rain coming through the roof ruining them.’

They have set up a GoFundMe page to help fund the project and in return for donating, will include the names somewhere in the house!

At the time of writing, they have received over £5000 in donations by 192 people

Although these challenges would be enough for most to give up hope, they both remain positive and say the renovation is the perfect way to test their relationship.

If Cal and Claire manage to pull this off, they will be mortgage free in their twenties which is something they say will be a ‘Great Achievement’


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