LIFE

Couple Turns $400 Derelict Houses Into One $2.5 Million Home Over The Course Of 40 Years

by Emerald Pellot
Emerald Pellot graduated summa cum laude from New York University with a degree in Writing & Popular Culture. She worked as Senior Editor of College Candy for 2 years, covering feminism, popular culture, and college life before joining LittleThings in 2015. Based in New York City, Emerald covers a wide range of topics from human interest pieces to celebrity news.

In 1977, Jane Alexander and her husband, Gus, bought two derelict cottages in east London for £300 ($405).

The houses were considered too expensive to repair by the local government.

To resolve the issue, people in the neighborhood were allowed to bid on the homes if they were chosen by lottery. Jane and Gus won and put up the small amount for the Georgian homes.

It cost the couple £30,000 ($40,500) to renovate the homes over the course of 40 years. They merged the two cottages and are now able to sell the property as a dream home for £1.9 million ($2.5 million).

With four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a mezzanine-level kitchen, garden, and a reception room, the home has been completely transformed into a modern oasis.

It’s hard to believe that the dirty, neglected properties now house stunning bedrooms with lots of light and space.

“We were on honeymoon in Ireland when we found out that we had won. We got a letter saying that we had to pay £300 — £150 for each house — and the condition was that we had to turn these two houses into one,” Jane recalls.

Fortunately, Gus was an architect and understood the amount of work needed to renovate the homes.

“The area now is completely different to when we won the lottery in 1977, it has been through amazing changes,” she said.

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