Samuel Leeds


I’m a property investor as I’ve been investing in properties for the past 12 years now.

I’m visiting the most amazing building I’ve ever seen and as it happens, I own the building which is my castle ribs ford house. A lot of people are really interested in this building in terms of the figures, challenges and the overall progress as to what’s happening.

Right now, it’s a 6.35 million project and of course, it’s come with a lot of big challenges but luckily, we’ve overcome many of them while we are yet to overcome others.

In this article, I’ll talk you through the figures and the current challenges we’ve been facing.

When we bought the mansion from an auction, the biggest problem with it was the roof because it was falling apart it but we have now fixed the majority of the roof while some of it is still off.

The windows were mostly smashed but we’ve also changed majority of them. This is a grade two star listed building and if we’re replacing a broken window, we have to put a new window that fits with the character of the building which of course is really expensive.

The biggest thing with this project is the conservation officers, the council, English heritage have all built really good relationships with us as they’ve been really supportive and they understand what the vision is and how we want to restore the history to this building.

You can google the mansion as it’s got its own Wikipedia page and you can see that the three French soldiers trained here, Winston Churchill visited regularly, Charles de Gaulle used to be here regularly and in fact, one of the three French soldiers actually came down from France to Mayfair and took me out for dinner which was amazing.

The interest from a historical point of view on this building is just absolutely immense. We’re going to keep the mansions character but also the sentimental thing intact.

There were over 200 French soldiers that trained here during world war ii and two-thirds of them lost their lives in the war and therefore, I’ve got a lot of sentimental feelings about this building as well.

The profits are going to be really good as I’ll make seven figure profit on this project assuming it all goes ahead to plan of which I think it will once it’s finished. I absolutely love it.

At the front, it is all going to be apartments as we’ve currently got planning permission for 10 massive luxury apartments along here and these apartments by the way aren’t going to be small as they are going to be big.

To be luxurious, they’re going to be done to a really high standard as everything has currently been approved.

The pandemic has hit me negatively but I believe as an entrepreneur, there’s always positives and one of the positives is that Boris Johnson has scrapped or is in the process of scrapping some of the rigid regulations around planning and so it’s likely to happen.

ribbersford houseWe’re in conversations right now that we’re going to be able to use all this space to build extra houses as we’ve currently got planning permission for the houses. We didn’t think we’re going to be able to do anything with this but now, the plan is to build a lot more houses along here and there’s also, I mean bear in mind we’ve got eight acres of land and so we’re in conversations for this big vision.

I don’t want to say too much but what I will say is that the scopes have got bigger as the vision has got bigger.

I bought this for eight hundred thousand pounds and I mean in this area around ribs ford, you can buy a four-bedroomed house for 800,000 pounds but this is like a 20-bedroom castle which we bought for 800 000 pounds and one of the reasons was because it had things like Japanese knot weed all around it but we’ve now fixed that.

The end valuation based on what we’ve currently got planning for is 6.35 million and I mean, when I bought this house, I didn’t expect that!

When I bought it, I was thinking maybe the end valuation could be about 5 million best case scenario but it’s now at 6.35 million and we’re also probably going to get scoped to further the development and add more value,

I wouldn’t be surprised if this building ends up being worth 8 million by the time we finish with it.

I’m grateful to the builders for just working with me through this difficult times of coronavirus and the pandemic as I know there’s been a lot of builders that haven’t had stock and haven’t had material and i’m just really grateful because I know doing any project of this size comes with its serious challenges and this has had pretty much every problem you could have but i’m really pleased to say that every problem has either been rectified or has been identified and we’ve got a clear plan on how to overcome it.

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