Exeter Airbnb owned by a young first-time buyer is hidden from view
Buying your first property is no better than having the chance to acquire a unique property, renovate it, and unexpectedly turn it into a successful Airbnb business.
Theo Hill climbed the property ladder after making an offer for a charismatic home in historic Stepcote Hill, by famed Exeter’s The House That Moved, about 18 months ago.
Since then, the 25-year-old has brought back to life what used to be a one-bedroom property, doing much of the work himself while living there at the same time.
Theo remembers: “I was renting in Exeter when it came on the market. I knew that from The House That Moved, and I was lucky enough to have it.
“It was really run down. I think an old lady had lived there, so it had been kinda abandoned.
“When I saw it for the first time, I knew it was the right project for my first renovation.
“I went a whole year without a shower and only had an old cast-iron tub to wash.”
One of the biggest challenges was the garden, but luckily for Theo his father is a landscape gardener.
Despite its central location in the city center, it has a good-sized garden in which Theo has created an outdoor dining area with a pizza oven.
One of the biggest internal changes was to create a second bedroom by reducing the size of the bathroom and using a large closet that housed a large, outdated boiler.
In the new rooms, the original masonry has been exposed.
It cost £ 20,000 to carry out the work, which was less than what Theo had originally expected.
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Theo said: “I tried to do all the work myself. There were some weird setbacks along the way, like drilling into a water pipe, but it all ended at the end and just before the start of last year.
“Then obviously the lockdown hit, so I couldn’t put it as Airbnb until recently. Living there has been good as it’s on a pedestrian walkway and you see tourists going up and down every day to take pictures of The House That Moved.
“I live there most of the time, but I surf a lot, so I decided to advertise it as Airbnb when I’m not around, but now I’m doing it full time because there are a lot of reservations.
“This is the perfect place for one person because it is so central in town. I entered Airbnb quite blindly, but it seems to be going well.
“It only lasts a few weeks, so it’s still very early. It gradually fills up throughout the summer.
“It definitely sounds like a vacation and a city vacation.
“Because of the interest, I’ll praise it more and just chat with my parents or friends.”
Theo has since had the house revalued for £ 65,000 more than he paid for, but has no plans to sell it yet.
He said: “I know other people who have Airbnbs and they do pretty well, but it’s so unique. There isn’t a house like that anywhere else.
The cost of staying in the property is £ 135 per night, plus an additional cleaning and service charge.
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