Being a property developer could be described as a tricky task, with the emphasis on creating the perfect family home it must be hard not to imagine yourself living there.
Lisa Solley and her husband Ian saw Bourne Hall in Hastings as an opportunity to create spacious homes to sell.
“When we were finished I said to Ian about keeping one for ourselves,” she smiles.
“His condition was that after a year if we weren’t there much we would sell it.
“After the 12 months we were practically living there full time so decided to sell our family home in Tunbridge Wells.”
The couple bought Bourne Hall in 2011 and the building work was completed in 2013.
“We were looking for a project when we found somewhere in Hastings across the road which wasn’t quite right.
“When we left we saw Bourne Hall was for sale so decided to take a look.”
The former church was converted into three townhouses comprising of three bedrooms, all with master en-suite and utility rooms.
“There was initially plans for Bourne Hall to be turned into eight or nine flats, but we think more about the space than just putting loads in.
“We decided to create three houses and wanted to create something big and spacious with high ceilings.
“It needed a lot of work. It had previously been used as a theatre and was in real disrepair, so we have to strip everything out.
“There is a picture and the walls are basically being held up by scaffolding, we took the roof off at one stage and replaced it so we could put bedrooms up there.
“The building wasn’t meant to be residential so there was no insulation, we had to work with the conservation team as we are in a conservation area of the Old Town.”
One of the key attractions of the property was its location.
Right in the heart of the Old Town the atmosphere is buzzing and lively with something always going on.
“We love live music and where we live there is live music every night, there is just a fantastic atmosphere down here,” she smiles.
The property is split over three floors, the lower ground has a large open plan kitchen, dining area and living room. The ground floor is where you enter the building and has a glass mezzanine and one of the three roof terraces.
And on the first floor there is three bedrooms, a master with ensuite, a family bathroom and the remaining two roof terraces
“The views from the roof terraces are stunning,” she reveals.
“One has a view of Hastings castle, one of the country park and then glimpses of the sea. I’m too short but my husband can see it.”
Lisa admits she is an avid collector of Penguin classic books and made sure there was space for them in her new home.
“I have thousands of books so when we moved we added a 23 foot bookcase,” she smiles.
“But I still have books everywhere.
“We made sure we did the properties to a really high standard so there wasn’t much for us to do when we decided to move in.”
Lisa’s favourite place in the house is the glass mezzanine.
“I love to sit up there and read,” she says, “but I really love the entire space.
“When people walk through the door their initially reaction is ‘wow’ as they don’t expect it to be so light and airy.
“We have recently bought land with planning permission to build a house from scratch, but to be honest if we didn’t have that opportunity I wouldn’t want to move as I really love it here.”
Bourne Hall, Courthouse Street in Hastings is on the market for a guide price of £725,000 freehold with Knight and Knoxley, www.knightandknoxley.co.uk