Woman, 35, spent two years and £60,000 transforming derelict house

My £1 dream home: Woman, 35, spent two years and £60,000 transforming derelict house into her perfect pad… after snapping it up for a bargain basement price

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

The chance to buy a house for just £1 was too good to turn down – but it came with a few catches.

The property snapped up by Maxine Sharples was part derelict, infested with rats and had holes in the roof, rotten windows and a tree growing inside.

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

Maxine Sharples transformed the Victorian terrace into her dream home for less than £60,000

The 35-year-old is the last resident to move into their £1 home as part of a regeneration project by Liverpool City Council.

Launched in 2013, it offered 130 derelict houses to locals for £1 on condition they renovated the properties and did not sell for at least five years.

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

Heavy lifting: Miss Sharples gets to work

Derelict: How house looked at start of two-year project

She had a vision of flipping the house upside down to create a light, plant-filled home. Internal walls and ceilings were taken out to create an open plan, double-height kitchen with living space upstairs.

Skylights were put in the roof and the two bedrooms and bathroom were shifted downstairs.

‘It is a really, really amazing transformation,’ said Miss Sharples. ‘It has been a long and arduous journey. There was a point last year when I was just fed up of cowboy builders and I had to take a break. There have certainly been a lot of tears, but it is definitely worth it now I am able to move in.’

Switch: The bathroom was moved to ground floor

Daunting: Inside the run-down property during renovation

To save money, she lived in a camper van or stayed with friends. Miss Sharples also took on some of the tasks herself during lockdown, stripping the house down to bare brick 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 transform it.

But money’s not everything. Miss Sharples said: ‘I can finally settle into a house that I brought back to life.’

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