PUBLISHED: 13:40 21 July 2015 | UPDATED: 13:04 30 August 2017



Making a living from your home. Get expert advice on how to make a living renting out holiday homes in Cornwall

Buying a home in Cornwall often comes with a little extra - the potential to make a living from a spare room, annex or even lovingly converted outbuildings. CAROL BURNS discovers the secrets of success for one home-slash-business

The first rule of property buying, we know, is location. The second, location, the third? Well, you get the idea. For Amanda Fearon her home Ballaminers House in Little Petherick has all three. With eight beaches within a few minute’s drive, the popular foodie Mecca town of Padstow just two miles down the road and endless nearby attractions from the coastal path to Crealy’s, riding stables to rock climbing. And that’s all before we enter the pretty 18th century farmhouse covered in climbing roses surrounded by almost an acre of stunning and well-planted garden.

I came for a recce 15 years ago - the property market was very buoyant then,’ says Amanda. I dropped in to an estate agent in Padstow to see what they had and they said there was a property that wasn’t due to come on the market until the weekend - I requested a viewing and I saw what I liked and went from there - the previous owner liked the idea it would be a family home.’

But although the house was structurally sound, there was a surprise in store for the new owners. Before I bought it, it was called Ballaminers Farm - after we had completed, the dear old chap I bought it from moved into the round house across the lane and said he had retained the name because he had 75 acres and told me “You can call it Ballaminers House!”.’

Amanda immediately set about redecorating the house to suit her tastes and the period of the house. Farrow & Ball paint colours are used throughout and the most is made of the original slate floor throughout the ground floor, probably from Delabole,’ adds Amanda.

Alongside wonderful features - there’s an AGA in the kitchen, and real fire in one of the reception rooms - it is abound with period features. Practically every window boasts a view and she has made the most of the dream period feature triptych of sash windows, shutters and window seats which allows visitors to get the most from the stunning vistas of open countryside, the village church and gardens.

And where there weren’t features - Amanda sought them out. The stunning roll-top bath with gilt scroll feet was sourced from a former mine captain’s house in St Agnes. It took four men to get it up the stairs,’ remembers Amanda. But their efforts were worth it. It’s a lovely bath to relax in.’

Within a year she had opened the farmhouse as a bed and breakfast - getting listings with premier holiday agents such as Alistair Sawday. Two former farm outbuildings were transformed in to successful holiday lets, each one sleeping four - both are rarely empty. Today she also rents out the farmhouse as a holiday home sleeping eight.

The holiday cottages were up and running and were very successful and the bed and breakfast was getting too demanding and I thought, actually why don’t we try letting the farm house.’

The three holiday properties now bring in around £70,000 a year - they are available all year round and unusually welcome dogs at no extra cost (although they ask that dogs are confined to downstairs rooms.

So what’s the secret of the success of Ballaminers as a home and business? It’s back to location. The location is brilliant - it’s very important to ask why are people going to choose this area? It’s very beautiful, we have the beaches, and it’s close to Padstow, which is a mecca for food lovers, and there are some rather nice shops.

In this area people are looking for things to do - not everyone wants to go to the beach every day. It’s quite family oriented here and there are lots of places that are dog friendly.’

For Amanda and her family the adventure in Little Petherick is drawing to a close. Ballaminers House and its cottages are now up for sale, for £950,000. Holiday bookings are also being taken through

Fancy having a go at a holiday let business? Jack Johnson from has a few words of advice

Where to buy:

· Always do your research into the property and the rental market.

· If you’re buying-to-let you want to invest in an area which is popular, but where demand outweighs supply.

· Beach resorts, city centres, marina properties and holiday homes near golf resorts tend to be in constant demand.

· Try and find out if there are any future developments planned for the area you’re hoping to purchase – these may have a negative or positive effect.

· If you’re thinking of buying somewhere with one definite season, it’s always a good idea to visit out of season before to see if there’s anything to attract holiday makers.

What type to buy:

· Look at the property from your potential guests’ perspective and go for a property with mass appeal. If you want to rent it out when you’re not there yourself, you want to avoid anything too’ individual.

· Look for unique selling points – from stunning views to luxurious balconies, every home has them and they’ll give your property immediate marketing value .

· Think about what kind of holidaymakers you want to attract. If you want to appeal to families, then a spacious villa is better than a studio apartment.

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