'We bought an abandoned mansion at an auction by mistake - now we've brought it back to life'
A couple who bid for an old mansion by accident at an auction have since transformed it into a lovely home, and are now taking bookings for people to stay in it. Cal Hunter and Claire Segeren have spent the last four years transforming the derelict property into a habitable state after a mishap at an auction.
In 2019, the couple placed a bid on the huge 120-year-old mansion in the Scottish countryside by mistake after the auctioneer's accent confused them. Cal and Claire thought they had snapped up a bargain apartment in Glasgow for £30,000, but instead they walked away as the new owners of a £200,000 crumbling dwelling.
And because auction bids in Scotland are legally binding, the pair had no choice but to go through with the purchase of the six-bedroom house named 'Jameswood Villa' in Dunoon. Despite their slip-up, Cal and Claire have spent the last four years bringing the property back to life, turning it into both their own dream home and a holiday rental.
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The couple, who were in their mid-20s at the time of buying, rolled up their sleeves to restore the old mansion back to its former glory – while living in a caravan in the grounds. The mansion, which had been abandoned for 20 years, had mouldy furniture, graffiti on the walls and "the ceilings were falling down".
The water and electricity had been switched off and to make things even more complicated, the couple had bought just half of the building at auction. This meant they had to spend six months buying two more derelict units.
Now, their grand project is finally finished and the mansion has been