A BRITISH retiree has transformed a rundown farm house in southern Spain into a stunning two-bedroom home.
Michelle Garrod, 58, bought the centuries’ old building in Fornes, Granada, for just €45,000.
The former Lloyds financial adviser, from Bristol but based on the Isle of Man, spent around the same on construction works over the past three years.
It was finally completed in August and is now worth at least €125,000 – equalling a profit of €35,000 if she decided to sell, although she’s in no rush.
“I’m absolutely in love with it, it’s like my baby,” she told the Olive Press.
“My sister calls me the armchair designer, I just sat at home looked at ideas and relayed them over to the English builders we use in Spain and they did an amazing job.
“We tried to keep as much of the building’s original character as possible.”
The building was used in past centuries as a simple shed to store hay for horses. It formed part of a quadrant of houses constructed some 200 years ago by local farmers.
Michelle added: “It was so horrible and damp at first and the smell was incredible.
“The builders were brilliant and they took out all the internal walls downstairs. It’s double fronted, but at the back it narrowed, so we put in bifold aluminium doors which slide right open and flood the interior with light.
“In the little alcove we put a kitchen, but it’s all open plan and we kept all the original beams that we could, made from local poplar trees.
“We took up the floor and re-concreted and in the back of the garden we replaced the septic tank with a plunge pool, which has seats built in.”
Michelle is hoping the property will accrue more value after plans were revealed this year for a new road connecting the town to the coast in just 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, Fornes is becoming somewhat of a tourist attraction thanks to its natural beauty.
Nearby is the Roman spa town of Alhama de Granada, featuring a stunning blue lake and free thermal baths.
Michelle adds: “The skies are also amazing here because there is such little light pollution.
“You can see the bats and swallows from the balcony, which overlooks the garden.”
Michelle used stones from the local riverbed to wall the garden, and also installed an outdoor shower.
This is not Michelle’s first foray into house design, having already been nominated for awards back in the UK – not bad considering she sees it as her ‘hobby’.
Her ‘House of Glass’ on the Isle of Man was nominated by the BBC Northwest for Best Architectural Design. It was also put up for Best Coastal House on Rightmove.
Michelle adds: “I would tell anyone thinking about flipping a house in Spain to just go for it, it can be done, just make sure you use builders you can trust.
“We got almost everything from Leroy Merlin, it doesn’t have to be as complicated as you might think.”