Live-work’s a win­ner as more of us say ‘be my guest’

If you’re look­ing for a ca­reer and life­style change, a B&B could be the per­fect prop­erty for you. Sharon Dale re­ports

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

SUM­MER hol­i­days can spark dreams of a life­style change and for more of us than ever that means giv­ing up the nine-to-five to run a B&B.

Buyer en­quiries peak at this time of year thanks to those suf­fer­ing the back-to-work blues.

“We are re­ceiv­ing in­quiries from in­creas­ing num­bers of peo­ple look­ing at run­ning a B&B and the aver­age age of own­ers is com­ing down.

“Hav­ing a B&B in a beau­ti­ful part of the coun­try is in­creas­ingly seen as a pos­i­tive change of ca­reer,” says Si­mon Wells, of com­mer­cial prop­erty com­pany Col­liers In­ter­na­tional.

“It usu­ally of­fers a home and an in­come, fre­quently in a lovely part of the world, and it is an op­por­tu­nity to carry on work­ing un­til it is time to re­tire or be­come a ca­reer hote­lier.”

Own­ing a guest house is es­pe­cially ap­peal­ing to mid-lif­ers, ac­cord­ing to Si­mon, and the lure has in­ten­si­fied since the advent of fash­ion­able bou­tique B&Bs.

This move up­mar­ket has opened up op­por­tu­ni­ties to re­vamp tired properties and turn them into more lu­cra­tive busi­nesses.

“We are see­ing a much greater em­pha­sis on qual­ity ac­com­mo­da­tion and the bou­tique B&B is fast be­com­ing the norm,” says Si­mon.

“The op­por­tu­nity to im­prove and up­grade the ac­com­mo­da­tion at an un­der-per­form­ing busi­ness is a ma­jor draw to peo­ple look­ing to take on a new chal­lenge.”

Be­fore in­vest­ing in high thread count sheets, Molton Brown toi­letries and gal­lons of Far­row and Ball, you must con­sider lo­ca­tion and fund­ing.

While coun­try and sea­side set­tings are most se­duc­tive, they also of­fer stiff com­pe­ti­tion. You may want to widen your search to cities and towns that will also at­tract busi­ness clien­tèle.

Get­ting a mort­gage through a high street bank may also be an is­sue, though lenders who spe­cialise in the ho­tel trade are more amenable if the profit mar­gin is high enough.

You should also ask es­tab­lished own­ers about the pros and cons.

Tom and Terri Camp­bell, who bought their seven-bed­room guest house in Whitby 11 years ago, will take many happy mem­o­ries with them when they re­tire. “We en­joy it but it can be ty­ing, es­pe­cially in sum­mer. Whitby is a tremen­dous lo­ca­tion and the trade is year-round but we tend to take most of De­cem­ber, Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary off for a break to see fam­ily and friends and re­lax,” says Tom.

Haven Crest is on the mar­ket for £375,00 and in­cludes sep­a­rate owner ac­com­mo­da­tion.

“It would suit some­one who likes to cook and en­ter­tain and who likes meet­ing peo­ple, or maybe some­one who has had a busy ca­reer and wants to slow down a lit­tle and live some­where won­der­ful like Whitby,” says Tom. Al­though there is some hard work in­volved it should pay off in re­peat busi­ness.

Tom says: “We at­tract some re­ally nice peo­ple and a lot of them come back here once or twice a year. Some of them have be­come friends and we look for­ward to see­ing them. That’s some­thing we will re­ally miss when we leave.”

COUN­TRY RE­TREAT: High Dalby House, Dalby,is a bou­tique B&B with hol­i­day cot­tages, £1.495m. Con­tact Carter Jonas, tel: 01904 211084

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