35-year-old woman spent two years and £60,000 turning an abandoned house into her perfect pad

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My £1 dream house: A 35-year-old woman spent two years and £60,000 turning an abandoned house into her perfect home… after buying it at a bargain price

  • Maxine Sharples, 35, bought a Victorian terrace for just £1 but needed work
  • She spent two years and £60,000 transforming it and has now moved in
  • Miss Sharples said: ‘It’s been a long journey’ but an ‘incredible transformation’

The chance to buy a house for just £1 was too good to turn down – but it had some pitfalls.

The property Maxine Sharples reclaimed was partly abandoned, infested with rats and had holes in the roof, rotting windows and a tree growing inside.

But after two years of blood, sweat and tears, she turned the Victorian terrace into her dream home for under £60,000 – and finally moved in.

Maxine Sharples has transformed the Victorian terrace into her dream home for under £60,000

The 35-year-old is the latest resident to move into his £1 home as part of a Liverpool City Council regeneration scheme.

Launched in 2013, it offered 130 derelict homes to residents for £1 on the condition that they renovate the properties and not sell for at least five years.

Thousands of people applied, including Miss Sharples, a university project manager and yoga teacher.

Heavy lifting: Miss Sharples gets to work

Heavy lifting: Miss Sharples gets to work

Derelict: what the house looked like at the start of the two-year project

Derelict: what the house looked like at the start of the two-year project

Bright idea: The renovated Victorian terrace

Bright idea: The renovated Victorian terrace

She had a vision to turn the house upside down to create a bright, plant-filled house. Interior walls and ceilings have been removed to create a double height open plan kitchen with upstairs living space.

Dormers were placed in the roof and the two bedrooms and the bathroom were moved to the ground floor.

“It’s a really, really amazing transformation,” Miss Sharples said. “It was a long and arduous journey. There was a time last year when I got fed up with cowboy builders and had to take a break. There have certainly been a lot of tears, but it’s totally worth it now that I can move in.

Switch: the bathroom has been moved to the ground floor

Switch: the bathroom has been moved to the ground floor

Intimidating: Inside the dilapidated property during renovation

Intimidating: Inside the dilapidated property during renovation

To save money, she lived in an RV or stayed with friends. Miss Sharples also took on some of the chores herself during lockdown, stripping the bare brick home and using YouTube to learn how to mix concrete and lay bricks and underfloor heating.

Her home in the Wavertree area is now worth more than double what she paid to remodel it.

But money isn’t everything. Miss Sharples said: “I can finally settle into a home that I brought back to life.”

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