Swapping the classroom for the building site, teacher-turned-property developer Sarah Corrie-Pearce has put her passion for property and people at the forefront of her first major development.
Her successful conversion of 119 Columbus Ravine, a large old guesthouse in Scarborough into three high-spec two-bedroom apartments has required the new developer to overcome many challenges.
Sarah said: "It's been continuous crisis management where even the best laid plans have struggled to fall into place. It's really been one thing after another to get the job done."
With the expertise of her team - Immerse Kitchens and Bathrooms, Egan Quantity Surveying, Your Investment Our Priority and Infiniti Construction & Roofing - Sarah has adapted the redevelopment as it took shape.
In the second floor apartment her team had to think on their feet as Sarah decided to create a larger living space for the kitchen and living-room, which meant the unplanned removal of an old bedroom wall.
One of the biggest obstacles to fully realising Sarah's vision has been overcoming the tired old look of the building from the outside.
Numerous waste pipes from old guest rooms were removed and the three apartments have been rendered a buttermilk colour.
Sarah said: "It's been a lot of perseverance for us to get this far but it's helped us to create a really prominent detached block. Let's face it, if I wouldn't live in it why should anyone else have to?
"I've always just gone with the flow but you need the hide of a rhino to succeed in this!"
She added: "You know what, we've done all this together in the time of Covid, in the middle of a pandemic - taking a run down, tired, lovely old Scarborough property six months ago and turning it into something for the 21st Century
"It does actually feel like a Cinderella story"
Professionalism and ambition is at at the heart of Sarah's Sourced Scarborough business, which covers an area from Whitby to Hull.
With all three refurbished apartments now sold to a single investor Sarah is looking for her next projects.
"I’m attracted to tired, unloved buildings that I can breathe a new lease of life into," she said, "I expect to find similar types of property in the Scarborough area where properties are relatively undervalued compared to the capital growth that has distinguished buildings in nearby Whitby and York. I’d love to do a barn, old church or another guesthouse conversion.
"I love Scarborough, I grew up here and despite moving away, it’s the place I’ve always called home. I’m excited to be part of the regeneration.”
Property development has been a dramatic but welcome career change for the former English and Drama teacher who was on staff at what is now Ebor Academy Filey for ten years and who also taught in Egypt and Spain.
"I love to throw myself into new challenges and being part of Sourced gave me the opportunity to work in an industry I am passionate about. Property for me isn’t about bricks and mortar, it’s about people. I love helping people achieve financial freedom through property."
The team Sarah built for this project has proved vital, including Chris Hill, current England International and Warrington Wolves rugby league player, and owner of Immerse Kitchens and Bathrooms, Stewart Egan of Egan Quantity Surveying and Marcus of Infiniti Construction and Roofing.
She added: “Finding the right team, building those relationships and being able to trust the people around me is paramount in this business. I have been very fortunate in working with some incredible people like Marcus, Stewart, Chris and Neil Street-Bailey, my project manager, and I know all these partnerships will continue on my future projects.”