Escape the rat race with a live-work home

This six bedroom home in Fylingthorpe, near Whitby, operates as a B&B. It is for sale at �495,000, www.hendersons-online.co.uk
This six bedroom home in Fylingthorpe, near Whitby, operates as a B&B. It is for sale at �495,000, www.hendersons-online.co.uk

Buyers are looking for live/work properties thanks to the post-summertime blues.

When Dolly Parton belts out the chorus of one of her greatest hits, we all join in with heartfelt abandon: “Workin’ 9 to 5, what a way to make a livin’; barely getting’ by, it’s all takin’ and no givin.’”

The Gift Shop, Reeth, comes with owners' accommodation and is �350,000, www.jrhopper.com

The Gift Shop, Reeth, comes with owners' accommodation and is �350,000, www.jrhopper.com

Whip-smart Dolly knows how to tap into emotions and escaping the daily grind is something many of us are desperate to do, especially at this time of year. The post-summer holiday and post-Christmas periods are peak times for making plans to escape the rat race. Those suffering from the back to work blues often look at live-work properties as a way of keeping a roof over their head while becoming self-employed. Businesses in the most beautiful parts of Yorkshire are top of the hit list.

“We’ve seen a rise in sales year on year and a lot of them are to first-time buyers who have never run a business before,” says Stuart Moorhouse, of Yorkshire-based business agent Ernest Wilson. “We get a lot of people in their late 30s, 40s and 50s looking for a lifestyle change. They want a home with an income and tend to go for cafes, tearooms, guest houses, kennels and catteries.”

At the lower end of the market, there is a cafe/gift shop with two-bedroom accommodation above in Saltburn-by-Sea for £149,950 with Hilton Smythe, hiltonsmythe.com. It also has a newsagent service and makes bespoke cakes. The turnover is £125,000 with a gross profit of 35 per cent.

Guest houses are popular with older buyers who want a lifestyle change. Nick Henderson, of Hendersons estate agency in Whitby, says: “We’ve just sold a nine- bedroom guest house to a man in his mid-50s. He is turning it into four luxury suites with the upper floors as owner accommodation. His plan is to run it for ten or 15 years until he retires.”

Northside Stores and apartments, Scarborough, �275, 000, www.ernest-wilson.co.uk

Northside Stores and apartments, Scarborough, �275, 000, www.ernest-wilson.co.uk

There is a lot of scope for refurbishing guest houses, according to Nick, who adds that novices often underestimate the amount of work involved in running them. “It is demanding but I know owners who get work-life balance by shutting in September and taking three or four months off.”

Other live-work options include shops with accommodation. Yorkshire Dales estate agent JR Hopper is marketing a gift shop in Reeth for £350,000. It comes with four bedrooms and scope to extend the business.

If you are semi-retiring and don’t need a large income then properties with ancillary accommodation are useful. Letting an adjoining annexe via Airbnb has become popular as it allows tax-free earnings of up to £7,500 thanks to the government’s rent-a-room scheme. However, the government is consulting on removing this tax break for short stays and it could soon only apply to “long-term lodgings”.

Whatever you choose be aware that getting a mortgage may not be straightforward as most live-work properties are classed as commercial. “A lot of people don’t realise that they need a commercial mortgage and that they usually need at least a 40 per cent deposit,” says Nick Henderson. It helps to get advice from a specialist. Ernest Wilson offers this service.

Millgate, Richmond, �550,000, comes with two, one-bedroom cottages to let. www.nickcarver.com

Millgate, Richmond, �550,000, comes with two, one-bedroom cottages to let. www.nickcarver.com

You should also check out the internet connections in your preferred location. Broadband speeds are often lower in rural and coastal communities. Ofcom has a website that allows you to check average internet speeds, though the data isn’t always reliable. It’s far better to visit local shops, pubs/restaurants and ask them.

Willow Tree Cattery, Spinkhill, �450,000, comes with a four-bedroom house, www.ernest-wilson.co.uk

Willow Tree Cattery, Spinkhill, �450,000, comes with a four-bedroom house, www.ernest-wilson.co.uk