Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 23 November 2014

Bargain dream home as young couple clinch restored flour factory for £240,000

01.05.13. PICTURE BY DAVID FITZGERALD
FIRST TIME BUYER...Andrew Norris aged 26 pictured with Fiance Fiona Rankin who bought this 5 Bed Detached House, 34 Lusky Road, Killinchy. The house was originally worth ?525,000 and the young couple ended up buying the house at BRG Gibson Property Auction at the Stormont Hotel, Belfast for ?239,500 on Tuesday night. The couple plan to live in the house after refurbishing, The reserve price on the house was ?130,000. The couple pictured in their Dining Room looking into the Sun Room
01.05.13. PICTURE BY DAVID FITZGERALD FIRST TIME BUYER...Andrew Norris aged 26 pictured with Fiance Fiona Rankin who bought this 5 Bed Detached House, 34 Lusky Road, Killinchy.
01.05.13. PICTURE BY DAVID FITZGERALD FIRST TIME BUYER...Andrew Norris aged 26 pictured with Fiance Fiona Rankin who bought this 5 Bed Detached House, 34 Lusky Road, Killinchy.

Like every young couple planning to get married, Andrew Norris and Fiona Rankin were looking for a special first home.

Now the pair are popping Champagne corks after snapping up a restored mill at a bargain price to settle down in together.

IT consultant Andrew (26), from Ballynahinch, and his law student fiancée Fiona (23) , from Newtownards, were among hundreds of hopeful buyers who turned up at BRG Auctions on Tuesday night to buy up properties at knock-down prices.

The couple, who currently live in Belfast and are getting married in six months, had their sights set on the restored mill in Comber which had a minimum price tag of £100,000. The property had previously changed hands for £600,000.

When the hammer came down, though, a successful bid of £239,500 from Andrew and Fiona meant they were the proud owners of their first home. The unusual abode is a restored original stone mill which had been abandoned halfway through the project. Neither Andrew nor Fiona had ever bought a house prior to the auction and are both living in rented accommodation.

The couple did their homework, however, working out their budget and researching any legal issues with regard to the Comber mill.

Andrew explained: "We had been looking at property for a long time. We wanted something a bit different, something with character, and then we saw this." The couple knew it would be a project as, although it is finished outside, everything else needs to be added from electricity and plumbing to new kitchen, bathroom and internal doors.

"We were always looking for either an unfinished property or something that needed upgrading as we wanted to put our own stamp on the place. This will be our family home for many years to come," he said.

Andrew and Fiona have had family help raising the deposit and it will be all hands on deck when they start finishing out the house. "I can do most of the simple things myself, but I'll get the experts in to do the electrics, plumbing and heating," added Andrew. "We will do one room at a time, we are in no rush."

And the canny pair had a secret weapon at auction to make sure they got their dream home – Andrew's mum Valerie.

"She has been to many auctions before buying different things. It is a very exciting atmosphere at auction, and I was worried that I might panic and do something wrong," Andrew said.

But Valerie kept a cool head after discussing with the couple what their budget was, and snapping up the Comber home amid frenzied bidding.

The couple plan to move in as soon as they can.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife Galleries

More

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz