Man Buys Tiny Abandoned House, Turns It Into A Million Dollars

The Old House

The old, broken-down house stood tall on their block. He passed it every day on his way to and from school, sometimes, he and his friends would even play around outside of it over the weekends. 

He never thought that one day he would realize that this house was more than a simple monument on their street. Someday, he would own the property and renovate it in an attempt to preserve it long enough for future generations to enjoy it as much as he did. But what did he see in this house?

A Unique Lad

George “Patchy” Dunnet had always been a unique lad. Named Patchy because of a patch of white hair in his lush dark brown mane, he always set himself apart from his peers, seeking to do most things people his age didn’t do.

Living in a humble village named Cobbles thirty miles north of Edinburgh, Scotland, Patchy had always been surrounded by rich history. As small as it was, Cobbles boasted a few things that would put a smile on any history buff worldwide.

Three Buildings

The village had three buildings that stood out since Patchy was a kid. The first, he couldn't quite place in terms of who owned it and what they used it for. 

The second was a village museum dedicated to a 1700s poet named Michael Bruce, and the third building was a tiny cottage that most around the village believed had been abandoned. They didn’t know how wrong they were.

Hide And Seek

Patchy was about eight years old when he discovered the truth behind the abandoned cottage. He’d been playing hide and seek with his best friends when they happened to see a man unlock the building’s door and step inside. 

Curious to know what the mysterious cottage housed, Patchy and his friends trailed the man. It was then that they discovered the true purpose of the cottage. 

Old And Tired

“The house looked very old and tired, with no one living in it for more than fifty years,” Patchy shared on YouTube. The owner was using it as storage for some old tools and a derelict car.

Patchy would grow into a focused young man, creating multiple sources of income as a video editor and streamer. But as the years passed, one thing remained in his heart: the need to buy and renovate the cottage. 

Vivid Sense Of Imagination

Patchy had always had a vivid sense of imagination. He grew up on fantasy stories like Lord of the Rings, Narnia, Wheel of Time, and several Scottish sagas that influenced who he became as an adult.

In these stories, he always journeyed through mystical lands filled with fantastic creatures, hoping he would someday live such a life. But since reality was less explosive than the worlds in those stories, Patchy knew he’d have to create his own fantasy in the real world.

Saving Up

“I thought it would be nice to turn it into a proper house, something to call mine,” Patchy said. With that thought in mind, he set his plan in motion, amassing well over $195,000 through his content creation career, loans, and family support. 

As the year neared a close, he approached the owner of the cottage, who he’d already discussed buying the building from, and settled the business end of things. Now he only had to renovate it. 

Spending The Money

Patchy spent $67,000 on the purchase alone, setting aside the rest of his cash for all the hardship that was to follow. “After the previous owner took all his stuff out, what he left me with was a house whose floor needed sorting. 

The walls were in very rough condition, and the house as a whole was damp. The ground floor was also mud and dirt, a testament to how old the place was, and the stairs and sliding door would need replacement.” Without wasting any time, Patchy got to work.  

The Foundation 

The first part of the job was laying a foundation for the cottage since it didn’t have one. With the help of a builder, Patchy got rid of the stairs and doors and began work on the foundation. 

He also installed a new fireplace, replaced the brick and cement, and added a new brick stack for the bedroom windows, which were almost collapsing. But that was just the beginning. 

The Scientific Inspection 

“Similar work was done upstairs, including bolstering the health of the house’s internal walls, raising the ceiling a little bit, and pouring concrete onto the floor downstairs.” Afterward, Patchy began insulating the building. 

The next part of the project, which Patchy described as real pain, was scientific inspection. The builder discovered the roof wasn’t in the best condition, demanding more cash. But that wasn’t the end of it.

The Roof

After sorting out the roof, including installing a new scaffolding, Patchy installed roof windows into the building, which blessed the house with natural light. His electrician had already completed the first round of wiring, and the insulation process was almost complete.

The stonework outside saw a complete overhaul before Patchy and his team installed plasterboards inside to make the place look cleaner. As time flew by, the house was slowly taking shape. 

Final Touches 

Patchy brought in a plumbing team to work on the bathroom and kitchen. He also bought a bespoke staircase that his team installed. With his mom, he painted the house as a way to hang out with her as they hadn’t been spending much time since he started the project.   

He also installed external lights and brought a local blacksmith to give the house some final touches. Lastly, he invited his dad to help lay the outside of the house with cobblestones, which was an homage to his village’s name.

It Is Done

After more than a year of renovations, Patchy finally moved into his new house. As someone who was a part of each step of the renovations, he was more than happy with how everything turned out. The oak floors matched the bespoke staircase, with natural light firing through the house’s many windows. 

Patchy also kept a few framed photos of the house before the renovations for any visitor who might wonder what it looked like. Although he’d built a wonderful home, what he decided to do with it is what shocked many in his village.

Sharing Everything

Patchy posted his story online, sharing each bit of the renovation process, the costs, and the before and after photos. Given how rich his locale is with history, many people looking to visit his village have asked if they can stay in his house while they spend time touring Cobbles. 

Patchy has opened up his home to a few travelers, some from well-to-do backgrounds, who have paid huge sums to sleep under his roof, even if it’s for a night. So why not turn his home into a bed and breakfast?

Being Focused And Creative

As it turns out, Patchy loves what he’s done with the place, so much so that he’s made it his home. Although he may welcome a few fans from time to time, the tiny cottage is his everything, where he will make countless memories. 

In the spirit of preserving history, our next protagonist accidentally bid on the wrong house, ending up with a century-old mansion that would change their lives. 

Adventurers At Heart 

Ken and Annie had been dating for five years before they decided to tie the knot and start a life together. Adventurers at heart, the two met on a ski trip in Northern Europe, culminating in a lovely friendship. 

They would go on several trips together, backpacking across Asia and Europe. By the end of their journey, it was clear that they were meant to be with each other. 

Their Engagement 

Ken asked Annie to marry him on a beautiful night under the famed Northern Lights in Northumberland, England. Annie was more than happy to say yes, seeing that Ken was the love of her life and soulmate. 

But although the two were happy to be engaged, they feared what was to come next. They had always talked about raising a big family in a beautiful home that came with a front and backyard and a driveway.

Finding A Home 

The prospect of starting a family was scary for Ken and Annie because although they were both employed, working in fields they loved, they didn’t have a house big enough to support a family. 

They lived in a small apartment in Scotland, a studio apartment that they always talked about moving out of. Now that they were getting married, the two knew it was now or never. 

The Search

Ken and Annie began their search for a place they could call home. They traveled all over the country, finding several houses that fit the exact description of their dream home. 

But although these houses were very well made, with well-kept lawns as green as a football field, fruit-bearing fruits, and safe neighborhoods, there was one glaring problem. 

Too Costly 

The houses were expensive, more than Ken and Annie had saved up. Their wedding day was almost around the corner, and the two were finding it hard to divide their time between looking for a house and planning their wedding. 

It was then that Annie had a brilliant idea. She shared it with her fiance, not knowing what kind of trouble they were about to step into. 

A Better Alternative

Annie heard from a friend that houses were being sold at auction. Many people were buying, renovating, and selling them. What if she and Ken bought one of these places and turned it into their dream home?

Seeing how much resources they’d spent searching for houses, Ken agreed. He booked a place in the next auction and got ready to find his family a home. He had no idea what awaited him.

At The Auction 

The auction date came as expected, and Ken attended the event. He went through the catalog of houses on sale, seeing one among the many that he and Annie would love. 

The house was also salvageable, meaning the two wouldn’t spend a fortune renovating it. Ken waited patiently for the house to be mentioned. This was his chance to shine. 

An Irreversible Mistake 

The auctioneer began the process. As soon as he touched on the house, Ken shot his hand up with his bid. He’d placed ten thousand euros on the building, hoping no one would outbid him.

But as he held his price up, he realized something that made his stomach churn. It was then that he knew something was terribly wrong. The mistake would be irreversible.  

You Want It. You Got It 

No one else was bidding alongside Ken. That alone prompted him to look at the catalog. His eyes broadened as he realized his mistake. 

He had just bid on the wrong house, a hundred-year-old derelict mansion in Dunoon instead of the intended house in picturesque Glasgow. He tried to cancel his bid. It was too late.

What Should We Do?

Ken walked out of the auction drenched in sweat. He called Annie even before he made it outside, telling her what had happened in detail. He couldn’t believe he’d just bid on the wrong house! 

He told her the reverse process on the auction would likely interrupt their wedding plans and the ceremony itself. What did she want to do?

We’ll Make It Work

Sensing the distress in her fiance’s voice, Annie assured him everything was okay. If they had landed on a mansion instead of a house, then they would make it work. They had to.

“We’ll find a way to turn it into a home,” she said over the phone, urging Ken not to worry about it. If only she knew the mess that awaited them in Dunoon. 

Seeing The Mansion 

Ken and Annie got into their car the following morning and drove to Dunoon. The mansion in the picture didn’t look that bad, but when the two saw it, they almost shed tears.

The entire structure was rundown. It had been empty for close to forty years. But that was the least of Ken and Annie’s problem with the place. 

The Issues Surrounding It 

The first issue Ken and Annie had with the mansion was its location. Their jobs, friends, and family were miles away from Dunoon. The area around the mansion was also covered in marshes and bogs.  

The couple also realized that the picture in the catalog was taken years before and from a flattering angle. But that wasn’t all.

More Problems

Ken and Annie found out they’d only bought a third of the house, not the entire mansion. Not being the kind of couple to give up, they tracked down the other owners and bought the whole place. With the help of a professional, they took a tour of the mansion to map all the issues it had.

The property was so bad that even Annie’s dad, a retired architect, was quiet for weeks. Still, the two didn’t give up on it. They hunkered down and began the renovation process. 

No Place Like Home 

Ken and Annie began renovating the place. They discovered that the house had started sinking into the ground and had to redo the entire foundation to stabilize it. 

By the end, they had spent a lot of money on the renovations. But the mansion was more than perfect, a large house with several rooms, a study, and a large courtyard - somewhere they could call home. It is a testament to what sacrifice, determination, and hard work can do. Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author's imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.