They claim that we are the sum of the choices we make. Though things work out for some of us, others do not get quite as lucky. The bad and good both define, at any rate, the person we end up becoming. Talk is cheap, so make your actions count! If you don’t know who you are yet and what you want to be, don’t worry, because you’re sure to find out soon enough. The smallest decisions may seem inconsequential at the time, but they can have healthy and long-lasting impacts on our lives. We might be able to convince you of this when you read about this young couple who ended up accidentally buying a Scottish manor.
Claire Segeren and Cal Hunter are young people who are in love with each other. When Claire decided to give up med school for one year, they had a whole year together. The two decided to buy a house at an auction, but they conducted some research first and paid a visit to the sites. The two eventually reached a decision. Cal then went on to place a bid on the property they wanted. He ended up winning that auction and got a 120-year-old manor instead!
Even though neither of the two was Scottish, they were looking to buy an apartment in Pollokshields, Glasgow. The property had been damaged by fire, so they already knew it would require a lot of work. They thought it was going to take them six months to fix it, but it was worth it. Claire went home for a visit as Cal dropped by the auction house.
After offering £ 30,000 for it, he placed the offer on the property and was pleased that he won. However, when he realized that in not one lot, but three, the house he placed the bid on was sold, his joy then turned to panic! He’s got another property. It turns out. It was a 120-year-old mansion in Dunoon, Scotland.
Taking It Well
After hearing “all sales are final.” Cal knew he messed up big time. He swallowed hard, then called his girlfriend, who had been in Canada visiting her family. Can you just imagine letting your girlfriend know that you were paying $39,400 for a house you didn’t want? She didn’t get too angry about it, surprisingly.
It Could Be Worse
They decided to renovate the house they bought, given that the amount of money for a property was not too large. She told him this wasn’t going to be a problem. Her father was right next to her when Cal called, and he agreed with her. He told them, What’s the worst that could happen?” Just like that, they were about to find out what their new property had in store for them.
Cal learned at the auction that the manor was called Jameswood Villa. It was described as requiring “full upgrading throughout.” Dating back to 2010, he saw a Google Streetview image. These two, although the place was no longer in its prime, were ready for a challenge.
Ideal, But Not Ideal
They had to look up Dunoon on the map, so Claire was Canadian, and Cal was English, to find out where their new property was located. They were happy to find out that it wasn’t that far from Glasgow. Claire was planning to attend med school at Glasgow University, so this was ideal for them. The shock had worn off already, and the young couple felt quite optimistic about the situation at hand.
Both of them were cautiously optimistic regarding their new effort. Cal went over to Dunoon to check out the property that they got from the auction. They were met with disappointment as soon as they got to the area as they learned that the photo was extremely outdated.
Rotten To The Core
Meanwhile, the roof arrived, with gaping holes. It was easy to see that nobody had lived in the manor for the past twenty years, as most of the timber had rotted out. Aside from that, they knew that it would also be necessary to replace plumbing and electrics. It was not anticipated that their new “derelict house” would be this dangerous and run down.
Not only that but the “leaning, crumbling front wall” was angled to hide it in such a way that it showed that there were significant structural problems. Later, they discovered the house was sinking into the ground. There was no doubt that this location would be a challenge.
Optimistic and Determined
Despite all these challenges, Cal and Claire were not about to give up. They have traveled all over England and have seen abandoned buildings everywhere. They were ready to turn it into a beautiful home. Although Jameswood looked like flipping would be harder than they wanted, the challenge did not deter them. They felt thrilled with it! Quite the adventurous pair these two of them are!
A Wake-Up Call
However, when they realized they did not have the cash to carry out the project, they had a wake-up call. They knew that to afford this venture, they would have to get crafty. Not only would they have to do the renovations on their own, but their lifestyle would also have to be modified. Besides doing all the work, they would also have to stop paying rent or mortgage.
The Caravan Life
If they wanted to do this, they had to sacrifice lots of stuff and go all-in. And so they did. The two of them rolled up their sleeves and started to work. They planned to become homeless for the project’s duration, so they rented a caravan and then parked it in the garden of the property.
The caravan would be their home as long as the issue has not yet ended, even though it does not have electricity or running water, as the problem still persists. However, they managed to get by with candles and ask their neighbors if their oven and shower could be used.
These two young individuals described themselves as a couple “determined to make life an adventure.” It sure looks like they have exactly what they want! They were more than willing to take a chance on the hand with which they were dealing. After all, fate was the one to bring them together as well.
How They Met
We’re sure you want to know how, for the first time, this Englishman and this Canadian met. Apparently, their first meeting occurred in the French Alps. They met and got along really well during the ski season. Then, on a road trip, they became an item, crossed Europe, and spent a summer in Canada. As the saying goes, the remainder is history!
Their Own Blog
The couple decided to set up a blog as well as an Instagram page to record the progress they were making on the renovation. It was quite a difficult renovation, and documenting their journey made it more fun for the pair.
What Have We Done?
The two of them decided to use the witty title, “What Have We Dunoon?” “as a joke, “What have we done?” This is a clever spin on how the project began and the city where their property was located. A hilarious play on words, right?
They post regularly so that their followers and fans get to join them when they celebrate the little things like installing the electrical grid or taking care of the plumbing. Oh, and, of course, tea breaks! They are in the UK, after all. The couple recently posted this photo on their Instagram, thanking followers as they recently hit the 100th mark!
Like we have mentioned earlier, the couple had no choice but to put themselves into the work, making sure that they gave it all they got. This is why they went ahead and got help from some of their friends. For instance, they got help in clearing out the dirt on the sidewalk.
Making It Work
A lot of things had to be done, so they kept taking this task for granted. That their friend was willing to help out was a nice thing. Claire has been working on the project full-time, while Cal also takes on carpentry jobs whenever he can to help them make ends meet.
Setbacks Left and Right
There was no doubt that the task they are taking on is a big one because of how much work needed to be done. The two of them have faced different issues since they started the project in November 2018. Cal went on to explain, “Finding a new problem seems to be a daily occurrence.”
When the work van kept getting stuck in the mud, the two of them took it upon themselves to install a driveway. They also had to dig it up, which was more elusive than they thought, in order to find the water supply. Searching for a cable that would allow them to power the grid even took five months!
Like A Paradox
The two had one more issue that would interest writer Joseph Heller. A new roof was required for the manor, as it currently has enough holes to pass for a Swiss cheese slice. Unbeknownst to them, however, there was a problem.
It was a good thing that they were never really alone in the project. Their friends not only dropped by to assist them. The local community in town also has Cal and Claire’s support! We spoke about neighbors who thought the young couple would share their showers and ovens with them. Other ways they would help out, though, were there.
Stuck In A Rut
The walls did not seem strong enough to support a new roof because they were far too rickety. The walls had to be fixed, but only rain would come down and ruin them again because there was no roof. “It’s like a huge catch-22 jigsaw puzzle,” Cal described the situation.
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the kindness of the people of Dunoon,” said Cal. The residents were always encouraging and supportive, although some thought that they were insane to do so. What a wonderful community they are surrounded by! In order to get extra help for their project, where family, friends, and even strangers can donate, Claire and Cal set up a GoFundMe page.
Support From Near And Far
Many other individuals have reached out to Claire and Cal via their blog. Their followers, from technical advice to places to buy materials, were always there for these two. If that’s not wonderful enough, many people who lent a hand during their renovation were also met by the outgoing couple. On a daily basis, 4-5 friends show up to help where they can.
Cal and Claire wanted to make this renovation project as environmentally friendly as they could possibly be, in addition to their practical funding concerns. In that sense, they have opted to use reclaimed building materials. They are willing to recycle timber, floorboards, kitchen units, you Whatever they can get their hands on, they’ll use it!
The fixer-upper at Jameswoods Villa was going to do more than just teach these lovebirds some valuable skills. Claire thought that it was also a way of testing their relationship on top of that. What, after all, could they not survive if, in a caravan, they managed to live on the construction site? This was her line of reasoning. She was an optimist who, all the time, saw the bright side of things. “It’s a long way off,” Claire admitted, “but it is there.”
Their End Goal
Whenever you start a project of this scale, everything, especially the end goal, should be meticulously planned. After all, you have to finalize what you’re going to be working on to make sure that no job is wasted. Fortunately, this was not an issue for the young couple.
Big Future Plans
They were hoping that the property would be completely renovated for both of them when they put down the tools. Furthermore, they want to turn it into three individual apartments. They intend to sell two of them, use their profits to repay their debts, and, after that, live in the spare unit.
A Happy Accident
As you can see here, perspective is critical. It would have been easy to lose hope right away when they learned that they had paid for the wrong home. It was, we can all say, a big mistake to make. However, Cal and Claire decided to think of this incident instead as a “happy accident.” It’s impossible to reverse time, so why not make the most of it, right?
No Need To Dwell
They knew that life, even though it was what they had in mind, was one big adventure. They handled it that way, and we’re happy to hear that. They did not want to remain and despair when they could still turn things around. We’re not sure we can do what these two young adults have done, and we bet that a lot of people are feeling the same way! Both Cal and Claire take on everything in life with a smile and a determined mind!
One needs to weigh the risk and the reward, like everything else we do in life. From the very beginning, the risks were clearly evident in the project. Who knows, it might be that they lost their hard-earned money when they bought it. In addition, they could lose even more with the renovation. It was a big gamble, to say the least.
However, they felt that the positives outweighed the negatives in this scenario. They would not only learn so much along the way, but they would also become so much closer as a couple. Not just that, but they would also get to call themselves homeowners when they were still in their twenties. It wouldn’t even require them to pay a mortgage! It would be such a major achievement.
No Gray Areas
When we call Theodore Roosevelt the greatest president the United States ever had, we bet you will agree with us. You should know if you don’t, that we’re ready to fight you for it. There were several things about conquering challenges that he knew. He suffered from asthma as a child and became a hero throughout the Spanish-American War. If that doesn’t speak for itself, then we don’t know anymore.
He would just have known what to tell Cal and Claire. It is better, he said, to dare to do mighty things, even if you fail at times than to live in power. “gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” Whoa. We’re pretty sure these two go-getters will live by the wise words of the former POTUS. When faced with setbacks during the process, they have never given up.
There may not be a direct line to fate, but we are sure that it would pay off big time for their huge gamble if there were justice in this world. Fate had a part in uniting these two lovers from different parts of the world. They are now in a third country, hoping to begin a new chapter of their life together, even though it has taken a very different turn than they had expected.
Nothing Is In Their Way
We’re just going to keep our fingers crossed for them while the work is still ongoing, which will last for quite a while. We hope that they will never lose their optimism and work hard to cope with their “happy accident.” But we have to admit that we’re not too worried about these two. They appear to know what they want and when they are determined, nothing stops them!
We do not doubt that they’ve had many frustrating moments over the course. It is probably very tiring as well. We hope they, at any rate, keep their spirits up. Fortunately, they have been very optimistic so far and do not allow any setbacks to keep them down!
Things Will Get Better
It could be a lot of hard work with more than a fair share of challenges. The truck bottomed out at one point, for one thing, from the weight of the bricks. However, we are sure they can make it through this challenge. Their plans, slowly but surely, will come along.
The house is falling apart, as it is so old. They needed to get rid of a large amount of junk, too. They took many trips to the dump in order to discard various dirty, gross, and moldy items. The couple needed to refill the truck to its full capacity before they drove over to the dump. No matter how much they tried to rescue them, they could no longer use most of the items they found in the house.
It is always important to remember that your safety should always be the utmost priority when you are working on a project of this scale (or any project in general). Especially when it comes to renovations, there are a lot of things that could pose a danger or any form of harm.
This is why you have to make sure that you wear the right attire and gear before you get to work. You might breathe in soot, dust, mold, and chemicals when you are at a construction site. Because of this, you need to keep your facial mask on.
Down and Dirty
On top of that, it is also important for the couple to be aware that they will have to get down and dirty if they want to guarantee that the renovation project will succeed. It is a good thing that they can purchase work gloves to ensure that their hands are safe from dirt and wounds.
To Social Media
In fact, with their new pair of gloves, they were so ecstatic that they went to Instagram and made a post about how lovely they were with their new pair of gloves. However, the couple mentioned that, unfortunately, the new pair of gloves would not last longer than an hour.
Breaks They Deserve
Although the couple had a huge task ahead of them, they were determined to see it come to fruition and not give up their dreams of turning the rotting old manor into the home of their dreams. It is a good sign that they have lost no hope whatsoever, regardless of what they have been going through.
A Bit Of Zen
We are also pleased to hear that they make sure they take as many breaks as they need from the two of them. They also go out and have fun with their buddies sometimes. They also make sure that some fun is put into their schedule! At the moment, they are still working on the project.