A woman has transformed her parent’s barn into a home because she couldn’t afford to buy on her £40,000 a year salary.
Isobel Perl, 28, was told by a mortgage advisor that she wouldn’t be able to afford anything beyond a one-bedroom flat with her salary after attempting to get on the housing ladder.
After Isobel left London to move back in with her parents, she decided to save money by converting the barn next to her parents’ house.
So far, Isobel has spent around £10,000 on the work and will spend a total of £25,000 on the conversion.
However, Isobel said when she is finished, her property will be a one-bedroom home worth £450,000.
Speaking about the project, entrepreneur Isobel explained the logic behind the idea.
She said: “Mortgages just aren’t set up for single people – I had this crazy idea about converting our barn, and my parents gave it a hard yes.
“If you’re single, it’s so hard. If I had a partner, we’d automatically have double and we’d be more likely to find somewhere.”
While Isobel did not have to pay for the barn, her journey hasn’t been easy.
After losing her job as a project manager at KPMG in 2020, she moved home to live with her parents.
In June 2020, she set up Perl Cosmetics and can now afford to pay herself £40,000 a year.
She said her parents, Ruth, 58, and David, 64, used the barn she converted as an office whilst they worked as therapists.
However, the pair decided to cut down to 16 hours a week meaning they were only using half of their downstairs to work.
Isobel said she decided to get “the best of both worlds” by converting her parent’s barn into her own home.
She said: “I was out walking the dog with my mum, and I asked – ‘how would you feel about a barn conversion?’ – she thought it was actually quite a good idea.
“We agreed it just didn’t make sense to use that space when we convert it into somewhere to live. I did think it would be a no – but it was a hard yes.”
Discussing the progress of the property, she said: “We’ve pretty much converted the entirety of the downstairs into a kitchen-and-living area – but upstairs is taking a lot longer with all the plumbing needed. I’m hoping to turn the upstairs into an en-suite bedroom and walk-in wardrobe.
”My dad’s in his sixties and he’s doing it all himself. He’s a machine! He loves it so much. I caught him the other day, up at four o’clock in the morning and Googling plug sockets.
“But, I do struggle with my lack of independence. My mum does my washing and the big food shop… I’m excited to do all of that for myself again.
“I’m really looking forward to taking control over my life and not having to let people know where I’m going 24/7.”