Before I bought my house I had been very interested in another property, it was an old converted church that I remembered from my childhood called St. Aidans, the church had been divided up into flats some 2 bed apartment and 3 bed houses. The finish in each of the properties was immaculate, all modern fittings, open plan layouts, superb bathroom designs and clean lines making for an airy and sunny vista in almost every room.
The thing about a building such as a church, is the sheer size of it and the positive such as space and negative aspects such as dangerous lofted roofing. Even those that are considered small local church buildings have vast roof space and additional land for any extensions. In fact the only downside to this property in my eyes was the lack of private outside space, as the cost just over £100,000 and added benefit of 30% shared equity made the property more than affordable.
Lets take a look at some magnificent church renovations and restorations to get you in the house buying bug.
1 – Saint Jakobus Church, located in Utrecht
Built in 1870 at the request of the Catholic Parish, Saint Jakobus was the focal point of the community for some 19 years, until that is that the front of the church had to be demolished in 1889 due to it being too heavy for the foundations. Saint Jakobus was the only church in Utrecht to maintain the Gothic style and this was paid homage to when the church was lovingly converted into a family home.
2 – Church Hillegerberg Rotterdam
This 1930’s church in Rotterdam ended it’s religious uses years ago and was being used as a garage. Then a family bought the building and had Dutch studio Ruud Visser Architects convert it into a beautiful open plan home. A brand new structure was added to the original building and the churches vaulted ceilings are now wonderfully finished in wooden beams.
3 – Dolores Park Church in San Francisco
This giant Gothic church gave the new owners a lot to work with and has been transformed into a magnificent period building that is now worth in region of 7.5 million dollars. Inside the new home has revamped wooden floors, new stained glass in all the windows and even a 6 car garage.
4 – Church House, Kyloe, England
Amid the rolling countryside of Northumbria lies the little village of Kyloe, and it was in this village that a couple saw the potential of an old church that was needed some tender loving care. Instead of just a renovation the couple spent more time and money doing a restoration and saving the churches natural features. Just look at this bathroom, i would love to see the plan for a shower room in the pulpit.
5 – Vancouver’s East End church
This little wooden church in Vancouver’s East End had been used as everything from a restaurant to a pool hall, and all the while it was becoming more and more rundown. The lady that finally bought the church remembered it as both a place of worship and the grungy old restaurant, and bought it on a whim whilst looking for cheap property. She since regretted her purchase, as in her words “the roof almost bankrupt me”, but she persevered and now has a beautiful open plan and light living space that she adores.