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  • Holiday Lets

    Purchase of former Methodist chapel?

    We are considering a potential property investment in an former Methodist chapel, with a view to convert this to a holiday let.

    Anyone who's had experience in buying a similar property can you please share any dos and don's. Below is something we have not come across before and don't fully understand the implication of this. ...... the property is held by a charitable organisation and as such will need to comply with the Charities Act.

    Any inputs, insights recommendations by fellow PT members would be much appreciated. Best AR

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    AR

    I don't have any direct experience of this, but I know people who have, and I would say it is not for the faint-hearted, but for someone who has a great deal of experience.

    Secondly, converted chapels are a very niche market - something to take into consideration for both a holiday let and for when you wish to sell.

    Personally, I am struggling to imagine anyone wanting to stay in a chapel as a holiday let - unless it is in an area of outstanding beauty with lots of walks and hiking on the doorstep.

    Sorry I cannot be more positive, but, as I said, staying/living in converted chapels/churches is a very niche market imho.

    See my guide to sourcing, marketing and managing a holiday let - also my thoughts to what attributes a holiday let needs to attract above average occupancy:

    1.  Within two hours drive of a major city of population density - to benefit from the growing trend of the stay-cation/long weekend market.

    2.  Close to a great beach.  (Most important consideration for families).

    3.  A programme of year round events in the area. 

    4.  Fine dining options nearby.

    5.  Easy access via car and public transport.  Parking on site.  If apartment more than two floors up, must have a lift.

    6.  Nearby amenities for household essentials, groceries, local produce etc.

    Does it tick those six boxes?   If not, it might be time for a re-think .... 

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    Hey Vanessa, thanks for your valuable inputs.

    We are new to this and as a result before we jump in, we are talking to everyone who may have any experience in this area.

    The area we are looking at is full of great walks and in a beautiful part of the country.

    Where we see a problem is mainly seeking permission to convert and perhaps the caveats around having an existing charitable status in the purchase vehicle and that's what we are trying to find out.

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    AR

    If you require finance to purchase/convert, you may need to have secured any necessary change of use first. Lenders will typically not lend on religious buildings, so they will need to be very certain that you will secure change of use to an acceptable use class. 

    If you need finance to purchase, you will require bridging finance for this.

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    Nick, this is a cash buy for us. But the big question remains unanswered for us is the covenants that we may need to comply with since it's held by a charitable trust and will have to comply with Charities act. We're trying to figure out if that would have a bearing on change of use. thanks

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    AR

    I own an old methodist chapel in a nice little village named Alston that is near to loads of walks. 

    Not held by a charity and already on the town plan for conversion to resi with no covenants I am aware of. (please do your own DD though as I have given this very little attention) I have had this for years but never got around to doing anything with it. 

    If you are interested drop me an email and we can discuss further.  (*Moderator note:  Email address removed.  Please PM the person privately with your contact details so as not to expose your email address to spam bots*).

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    Just noticed my email removed.  Not sure why but I assume some sort of breach of conditions.  Am I not allowed to give my contact details?

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    Hi Paul - the moderator note explains why it was removed.

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    [Image: 4995468760_6be86655d4_t.jpg]
    general operations director, site owner and moderator - propertytribes.com

    Good afternoon,

    Over the last 40 years I have converted a few chapels - the good news is they are easier to do than churches but are still a real challenge .

    I always compare them to converting a barn normally because you have to put the first floor in and then you need to make sure that the the height of the ground floor to the Windows is acceptable so that when you’re sitting down you can see out the windows.  If you can’t, you need to put a false floor to lift up the floor so you’ve got the views of your garden. 

    That is just one of the many challenges.  I’ll be very cautious and add quite a lot more money to converting a chapel then I would another building into residential accommodation. 

    As it happens I’m currently converting a chapel at the moment!

    Good luck.
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    My mate who is an atheist  bought a chapel

    He had great plans to convert it but everything became too expensive and he lost the will

    Plus he was a procrastinator

    Lived in it inside a tent for a year or so to cut down on heating bills as the ceilings were so very high

    He then sold it on at a loss like all the other  strange things he buys on a whim

    He said it seemed like a  god ( sorry good) idea at the time

    I cant assist much on the detail I`m afraid as I`ve never owned one but I pray yours works out for you

    Good Luck

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    Jonathan Clarke. http://www.buytoletmk.com

    Covenants etc depend very much on who they are to, and which lot of Methodism is involved, and if you are buy8ng direct or not now owned by the church.

    One near me was actually given back to the property trust organisation when the congregation closed it. Then auctioned iirc.

    ML
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