There’s something very appealing about dropping everything to go off and run your own little business.
It’s the kind of lifestyle change that tends to beckon at this time of year – when the summer’s a distant memory and dark, dank days make the working week seem all too uninspiring.
Career changes like that used to be quite rare, but nowadays middle-aged wage-slaves are abandoning their posts in droves, looking for adventure by running pubs, guesthouses and artisan coffee shops, or setting up micro-breweries, jam factories and yoga schools.
The drawbacks of striking out on your own are obvious: long hours, a lack of support structure and, potentially, a low income until the venture gets off the ground. But the rewards can be priceless: flexibility, freedom and a degree of independence you’ll only ever know by being your own boss.
The trend has been boosted by the internet – almost anyone can sell almost anything to almost anybody online – and yet some of the career-change options with the most appeal are the old-style, real-world ones.
The following three properties are all currently for sale and they all combine living accommodation with a business – or the promise of one.
Dale Stores in Birstwith owes its success to owners Matthew and Andrea Walwyn, who moved here in 2006 in pursuit of their own career-change dream.
Matthew said: “Both Andrea and I were living in Harrogate and working for employers in the food industry. We both decided it was time to quit the ratrace and buy a shop where we could put into practice our philosophy of buying good-quality, local food, helping to sustain the local economy while making some money.”
Six years later, Dale Stores was judged Best Yorkshire Village Store with a Post Office in the Countryside Alliance Awards.
The business comes with a four-bedroom cottage which has two reception rooms, cellar storerooms, and a private enclosed courtyard garden to the rear.
In Boston Spa, the post office on the High Street also comes with its own accommodation, which includes three bedrooms, downstairs shower room, dining kitchen and lounge diner. Outside there’s also an enclosed courtyard and off-street parking.
Finally, in Knaresborough, the Old Flax Mill in Green Dragon Yard comes with the adjacent Grade II-listed house at 30 Cheapside. The mill, believed to date from 1808, is a distinctive building just off Knaresborough’s Market Place.
Its 1,400 sq ft of flexible business accommodation covers three floors and has been used as an art and craft gallery, but could be suitable for a variety of uses, subject to necessary consents.
The house, which dates from around 1800, is separated from the mill by an enclosed, private courtyard, and has three bedrooms, lounge and cellars.
The Old Flax Mill has vehicular rights of access over Green Dragon Yard to the workshop, which was formerly a single garage.