Jaine & Dave Asbridge - Yorkshire

Jaine & Dave Asbridge share their experience as a homeowner with our local brand Ingrid Flute's Yorkshire Holiday Cottages. They own Penny Black Cottage in Inlgeton, Yorkshire Dales.

Here's Jaine & Dave's story.

1.Tell us a bit about you.

Jaine Asbridge – Self Employed Complementary Therapist. Dave Asbridge – Retired Police Officer. We have three grown up daughters, 6 dogs, 2 rabbits, 2 hens and we live in Preston, Lancashire.

2.Why did you buy your particular property and fall for its location?

We prefer to take holidays in Britain rather than travelling abroad because a) Britain is a beautiful island with a diverse backdrop, amazing landscape caused by interesting geographical movement which can dramatically change within just a few miles, historical towns and cities with awe-inspiring architecture, enchanting local customs, traditions and dialect. Majestic mountains and rolling hills, winding rivers and tremendous waterfalls, miles of stimulating coastline, ancient woodland and huge ever-changing skies. b) Although we do have traffic jams and other traffic holdups, there are places along the journey to stop off, no airport delays or missed flights. c) We are able to take our dogs with us.

We bought Penny Black Cottage because it is well located for both of our favourite holiday destinations – The Yorkshire Dales and The Lake District. We searched properties for a number of years before we decided on Ingleton. As dog owners, we enjoy walking outdoors but also needed somewhere that we could take our six dogs as most venues only allow two dogs so Penny Black Cottage was the perfect choice to suit our budget.

3.How much did the property cost and when did you buy it?

We bought Penny in 2015 and paid £105,000.

4.How much did you spend on renovations?

Approx £22,000

5.What’s your yearly return on investment?

Only just started so we don’t know yet.

6.Why or how did you come to do holiday lettings?

I worked in hospitality as a teenager and hoped to have my own holiday let one day. We bought the property primarily as a holiday home for ourselves but intended to let it out to help with the mortgage so when we renovated it, we made sure that we chose quality fixings and décor to appeal to people who wish to stay in a traditional styled cottage with modern facilities.

7.Why did you want to use an agency?

We decided to use an agency to professionally market our property and reach out to a wider demographic than we could with a simple website. We think of the fees paid to the agency as wages we would pay to staff if we had to employ people for marketing/reception. We spoke to large and small agencies and made our decision. After taking two years to complete renovation work, we approached the same agencies and after meeting with them again, we stuck with our initial decision to go with Ingrid Flute's Yorkshire Holiday Cottages.

The reason for this is that even though all of the agents were informative and enthusiastic about taking on our tiny cottage, the agent from Ingrid Flute's was personable, down to earth and made us (as people) feel just as important to the company as the potential earnings they would receive from our cottage. Ingrid Flute's are large enough to market the property well but small enough to care. Our agent personally knows each of the properties in her portfolio literally inside out.

8.What has been the most challenging aspect of letting?

As we have only just gone ‘live’ we can only comment on limited experience. Once we finished the refurbishment and saw the final ‘scene’ as we’d imagined it, we wondered if we really wanted ‘strangers’ staying in our special space. Then we decided that if we loved it, other people would do so too.  Along the way, we have tried to anticipate what potential guests would want from their holiday property and not just what we would like to experience. This has sometimes been challenging as we have had to bear in mind the durability and simplicity of the operation of facilities and equipment – as we are aware that not everyone will cherish the property as we do.

As we don’t live near to Penny Black Cottage, (we are approximately an hour away in good traffic conditions) and do our own changeover days, it will potentially be difficult to juggle cleaning/maintenance etc with customer requirements and our own working life. We have heard horror stories from other property owners which were enough to put the fainthearted off but we have taken a pragmatic approach and whilst their advice is useful, we have decided to learn by our own experiences.

9.What has been the most rewarding aspect of letting?

We are due our first customers this week so cannot answer this question just yet.

10.What piece of advice would you give to someone who is looking to let?

When looking for a property to buy for letting, take your time, do lots of research, ask yourself why people would want to visit the area and what attractions are available. Who are your target market? If you’re looking to buy a period property it is almost certain that you’ll have to make compromises with things such as parking, access including entering the property (can you get your chosen bedroom furniture through the door and then up those tiny narrow stairs?), outside space, wifi coverage etc. Older properties (as romantic as they seem) can be more difficult to maintain than modern buildings added to which, it can be almost impossible to find local trades people who don’t hack the price up when they know it’s a holiday let… that’s if they turn up at all.