The property in Broadway, LS15, had been neglected and wasn’t in the best condition when it was purchased by husband and wife Ara and Amalya Mikailian.
The couple, who live in Sherburn in Elmet, took on the 1930s-built semi-detached as their first project for their new venture as property developers.
“It was in a bad state and not habitable at all”, Ara explained, “Speaking to neighbours, the owner had left the house in a derelict state so it held very little value.
“The person had basically lived in one of the bedrooms so the rest of the house was not cared for - the gas supply to the house was disconnected and water supply disconnected.
“Downstairs was not utilised whatsoever. It was dingy, dark, rotten, the brick work was kind of breaking up. There were cases of rodents in the house.
“It was a challenging project for us.“
The pair opted to transform the house into a three bedroom home and open up the downstairs living space.
A brand new kitchen was fitted with appliances while a small utility room and downstairs cloakroom toilet was added. The chimney breast was removed from the living room and a downstairs wall removed to create one large, open plan space.
French doors were installed leading out into the garden, which itself has been dug up and new turf laid, all the windows and doors were replaced and the front garden was laid with gravel and new fencing.
Upstairs marked the biggest transformation. The first floor was remodelled completely with the hallway being opened up and enlarged and three double bedrooms being created, alongside the family bathroom, which has been newly fitted.
The pair opted to decorate the house in very neutral colours such as white and grey, so that it was ready for a family to move into.
“We didn't want to do too much. What we wanted to do was give enough so that the house was ready to move into but was also a blank canvas for a person to build upon.
“We wanted a family to move into the house and put their own stamp on it.
“If they want to go the extra mile and make more luxurious, they can do that, depending on what they've got to spend on it, but for those with lower budgets too I think it's at a really good stage to put their creativity to the property now with what we've got.”
However, it wasn’t the easiest of projects, Ara explained, and cost more and took longer than expected.
Ara said: “As soon as we started breaking down walls and chipping away to take the fireplace out we found that the exposed walls were crumbling and we had to rebuild parts of it.
“There was slight cracking on the outside structurally, so we had to remediate all that stuff as well, and when we went to change the windows and doors we found there were no proper lintels in the window support so the brickwork above them would start to fall off as well.
“It was like a can of worms really.
“The cost started to pile up and the work took longer, so it took almost six months from starting right to getting it finished.”
He added: “I think the satisfaction really came once we restructured upstairs and it turned from a two bedroom to three double bedrooms.
“Once that transformation was done and it was painted, it looked amazing.
“Funnily enough, we are marketing the property with the estate agents we bought it from, so they saw it before and after. They were really shocked at the transformation.
"They said it literally was like a different house.”
The property is now on the market with Stoneacre Properties for £279,995.
Despite the challenges faced in the build, Ara and Amalya have not been put off and are already on with their next challenge - which is another property renovation on the same street.
They are also hoping to continue buying empty houses in Leeds and in the future hope to look into building their own new-build homes using modular housing.
Ara said: “A few years ago Leeds City Council said there is there's thousands of privately owned properties which were in an empty state.
“So we have set out now to pick up some of these properties that have been left empty and revamp them and bring them back to life, be it selling it on or be it to then rent out.
“I've really wanted to work in property development for a long, long time. I have a family in the South who have been doing property for about four years now, and it kind of got me thinking about how we could sort financing and get funding and investment to be able to proceed.
“Specifically, we are looking at opportunities in the marketplace where there is not enough housing around but there's loads of properties which are just not in a great state and left empty for whatever reason.
“However, there's also a lot of new builds going on in Leeds but all by the big developers so we're working on a plan now to try to see if we can actually go down that route as well, so buying some land where we can build on, but looking to target more affordable homes than the ones that get put on the market by the big developers.
“We're looking at something called modular homes. We know that there's one company that is manufacturing them based in Knaresborough and they have got some modular homes which I think HSBC and NatWest do mortgage so we're looking at them as options as well.
“We're trying to grow a branch out a little bit but we're obviously still starting out.
“We've got high aspirations moving the business forward, but also we're trying to put something back in the communities.”