'Nothing's insurmountable if you have a dream'
I WAS born in Bootle in Liverpool and grew up in Warrington in Cheshire.
I headed South in 2001 in search of better weather and purchased The Grand Hotel on the seafront in Torquay.
I've always had a passion for Victorian architecture which originally drew me to Torquay.
Buying this magnificent building was a dream fulfilled.
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I will never tire of the expansive sea view, now visible from all the communal areas of the Grand Hotel, thanks to raised floors that I have had put in.
I have got big plans for The Grosvenor, which I have just bought, because underneath all the superficiality, there are two beautiful Victorian villas, replete with all the trimmings, just itching to get out.
Gradually we are in the process of stripping it back to its former glory.
When we first looked for a house down here, our priority was a sea view.
We purchased one that was featured on the front cover of the Herald Express as the most expensive in Torquay.
We lived there for four years and then decided it was time to move on.
By this time, the helicopter had become a member of the family and level land became a determining factor in the search.
Having just looked at a property with gorgeous sea views but built onto the side of a hill – rotten news for the helicopter – we spotted a boarded up house with a For Sale sign.
We had a nose around and within the first few minutes decided that this was the one.
I've always relied on my gut instinct when buying property and so far in my career it's paid off handsomely.
The house itself was originally a 1950's bungalow which the previous owner converted into a seven bedroom house.
You have to have vision to be a property guru.
Though it was a plain house, I could see the potential immediately.
We've done a lot of work to add character including the recent installation of a magnificent Victorian replica staircase.
I am a strong believer that all properties should be a work in progress.
They should never be 'finished' because there's always room for improvement.
Fulfords of Newton Abbot
Because the property was a mortgage repossession, it was owned by two building societies and this made the transaction slightly complicated.
But we were determined and it all worked out in the end.
As a hotel owner, I'm used to the challenges that come with buying a property.
Nothing's insurmountable if you have a dream.