RADIO personality Stef Burgon and her husband Simon Hunt bought a 16th century Scottish castle for £331,780 after spotting a picture of the old ruin on a Facebook advert.
The couple spent seven months transforming the Highlands property into a dream home and Kilmartin Castle is now a massive hit on Air B&B.
In 1550 John Carswell became the first caretaker of Kilmartin Castle[/caption]
Simon and Stef celebrated their wedding at Kilmartin Castle in 2016[/caption]
Although they expected to spend £150,000 on renovations they ended up going £70,000 over budget.
But now Stef, 40, and Simon, 37, have back-to-back Air B&B bookings on their five bedroom property which sits two hours outside of Glasgow in Argyll And Bute.
Stef, who is originally from Newcastle, told The Mirror: “We’re about to go back and set it up as a B&B, living there full-time.
“Simon is going to bake bread every morning.
“We are going to sleep in our favourite room with the shower in the turret, and rent out the other four rooms.
“They are priced from £140 and bookings have been pouring in.
“This is going to be our full-time job now, we’re so excited.”
The cosy castle sits in the west coast of Scotland, in Argyll & Bute[/caption]
The gorgeous en-suite bathrooms all have walk-in rain shower[/caption]
When they arrived the place was run-down and smelt of damp[/caption]
Stef, who worked as a radio presenter in Dubai and Simon, who worked in advertising, started renovating the castle in January this year.
But they ran into many problems, for example they had to pull up all the flagstones and break through concrete to get rid of the damp under the floor.
PAYING FOR THE DREAM
Because everything was delayed they had to cancel their first month of Air B&B bookings and lost £7,000.
Stef said: “We were quoted £150,000 and the builders told us work would be completed by June, so we began to take bookings.
“I shouldn’t have believed them.
“Living in our van, we began demolishing the stud walls ourselves while the builders finished work nearby.
“It was hard graft and Simon and I both lost weight.
“With no running water, we couldn’t shower and we ended up wearing the same clothes for days at a time.
“It was freezing in the van, and often the highlight of our day was a trip to the tip.”
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Stef and Simon spent seven months working on a full restoration[/caption]
The original stone walls and barrel-vaulted ceiling make dining an exquisite experience[/caption]
Stef spotted the castle on a Facebook ad and it was on the market for £375,000 and convinced Simon, who is originally from Australia to join her in buying the property.
Stef said: “There were a few people interested and we worried whether we were bidding high enough.
“As we walked out of the cafe a bird pooed on Simon, taking it as a sign, we bid at £331,780 – and won!”
Lenders refused to offer the couple of mortgage on the 500-year-old building so they got an offshore company to give them 50% of the money.
They took out a loan in Dubai, where they were living at the time, and applied for multiple credit cards.
Stef and Simon have have ensured the rustic magic remains[/caption]
Kilmartin village has a welcoming café and a pub with a great atmosphere[/caption]
The Grand Hall is relaxed, cosy, and informal[/caption]
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