Guiseley property: Plans to transform old Netherfield Road bungalow into modern, contemporary home
It wasn’t the ideal start for Alex Graves when he started his property investment company just months before the pandemic hit.
Alex, a former online marketer, had established Vie Investment Properties Limited, after years of wanting to move into the housing market.
His work involved sourcing properties for investors, handling the buying process and charging them a fee.
However, after a quiet first few months of trading, he noticed a niche in the market and joined forces with two other construction companies, Northedge Installations and HBD Builders, to found a development arm of the business called Vie Homes.
This new venture means that as well as helping people find investment properties, the company is also now able to offer property development too.
Alex, 35, said: “Traditionally, the way that a Sourcer works is to find a property, make an offer on it, find somebody to buy it, and pass it off as soon as they've bought it.
“However, with us being able to bring in partners who were at the height of their game, it meant that we could offer something that other companies in our industry don't offer.
“We now joint venture into the property with our investors so they'll put the money forward and we will complete all of the work.
“We offer everything internally so from planning, right through to completion and the sale of the property, we handle it all.”
One of the current projects the company is working on is renovating a three-bedroom bungalow in Netherfield Road in Guiseley.
Construction work is underway to turn the bungalow into a modern four double bedroom house, with a large open plan kitchen/living space complete with a new roof, new electrics, boiler and central heating system.
It will also remain a 'true' bungalow with no dormer bedrooms added, but contemporary additions such as a large sky lantern and bi-folding doors will make the home feel spacious while allowing in plenty of natural light.
Rather than renovating the home just to a living standard and putting it back on the market, Alex says that the company’s ethos is more about making a high-quality home for someone to fall in love with.
Alex, from Bradford, said: “We play at the highest level of purchasing and profit so we bought the house in Guiseley for over £300,000 and the refurb is going to be the best part of the £100,000.
“We bought the property just before the market took an upward swing so we could have sat on it for three months, relisted and made a profit but we want to take things to the next step and make it a luxury finish rather than it being the basic, white walls, grey carpet, that sort of situation.
“Traditionally what people do with bungalows is instantly think to go up into the roof and make it like a dormer bungalow but we've stayed with a true bungalow and reconfigured the layout.
“We have taken off the back end of the property to create a one large wraparound extension.
“We have created a natural flow from walking into the property so you've got the sleeping quarters at the front end of the house, and the entertaining side backing onto the south-facing garden with bi-folding doors which open onto the patio.
“It's about bringing the house into the modern era and way of living."
Alex and the Vie Homes team are now looking for other homes across Yorkshire to develop, and have a particular interest in neighbourhoods such as Cookridge.
He says the developments are not just about making a profit, but also making a home for someone to buy.
Alex said: “Moving house is one of the most stressful things to do in life.
“We pride ourselves in being able to create homes rather than houses so when you walk into the house, you're walking into a house that is ready-made for you.
“We want to create something unique, where somebody will walk into it, and instantly be able to get back into their everyday life.
“We feel that if we put the luxury in, that when we put the home on market, anybody that truly likes that house will not even consider offering lower than what we're asking for.”
“Our ethos is when the right person walks in, they will know instantly if that is their home.”
The property is expected to be on the market in the next nine weeks.