Hello! Grandpa Roland here.
Now, I know you might think it a little silly that I am standing in what looks like a giant’s house, but it is now part of Jean’s and my portfolio of property. You see, we don’t need to buy houses for ourselves or to make lots of money. We buy with a range of tenants, who quickly become friends, in mind.
Scale is not always important. We are more interested in whether we can make a nice home for someone else and keep the rent low enough for those who really need a place to lay their heads. We have been luckier in life than we expected and retired with a house of our own and a small nest egg, which we used to buy two cheap but rundown cottages to repair and sell on. That gave us the funds to buy, let out and use the rent to buy again. It means we don’t need to make a profit, just take in a little rent in order to buy our next house and give another person a home they will like. It is a wonderful and rewarding hobby.
I believe the JB let you into the story of how new tenants/friends have just arrived at Haberdasher House in the last post here? See the post below, if you haven’t heard the news of their arrival. We’re leaving them to think for a while about what they would like the JB to do to the general layout. They might as well make the decisions for themselves as they needed to move in straight away, before we could do anything to the place.
Here are some photos I took of it as soon as we took possession.
The exterior render needs a little work and, as it is no longer a haberdasher’s shop, the signs need to come down. There are quite a few tiles missing too.
Jean and I really like the dimensions of the entrance hall and that sturdy banister is a bonus – so often the stairs and banisters in old buildings are a little suspect. But the decor is not to our taste at all. It is rather more suited to a pub or a small theatre with delusions of grandeur, don’t you think?
This was the shop area. We are sure it could be put to good use as a large living space now, but will discuss that with Alice and Arthur so they can help in the decision making. I looked up information about Tudor buildings at the Mayhem library and discovered that the blacking of beams and doors and insistence on white was very much a Victorian fantasy. Though lime wash was used in earlier times, much of it was tinted with natural pigments to bring a little colour into homes and the same was true for paint house exteriors between the mainly natural wood coloured beams. Beams inside and out were left as natural wood which would looked bleached outside and become ingrained with smoke on the inside, but Victorian people who bought one as a country retreat tended to blacken them with paint as they thought it better than them looking rough and ready. Something to be considered there, maybe plain wood would look lighter? And a little colour to the plaster would be nice.
The sitting room is at the top of the red staircase. It is a light room with windows to the back and the front. It will look very cheery with nice curtains and Jean thinks a change of wallpaper might be in order. Perhaps Arthur and Alice might decide what they would like?
Now, I do like this kitchen. It brings back memories of my old Granny C cooking and baking on her own open fire range with the side ovens, many years ago. Apparently, Alice is very used to this type of cookery too and even prefers it to an electric or gas stove. The only fault with the kitchen is that it is rather small for any socializing, or even to hold a proper table. But Alice may prefer that. We must consult her.
Of course, it is the stairs leading up to the bedrooms on the top floor that take up space and make the usable kitchen space seem so small. That’s one of the minor drawbacks of a very old house, I suppose, stairs in strange places!
And finally, the attic bedrooms. It could be lovely sleeping under the eaves, but there is a lot of work to do to make these rooms comfortable. They seem to have been very neglected. Perhaps the previous tenant slept in the sitting room and used this for storage? It’s hard to tell, but we intend to give Alice and Arthur a proper home with a real bedroom.
Well, I’ll be off back to spend the evening with my lovely Jean. Bye for now!