Sir Ferrers-Vyvyan operates a timeshare scheme in Cornwall but not the type of timeshare that you would come across in Tenerife whilst out strolling. This timeshare scheme allows you to buy your own piece of history, but at a price. He is the 13th baronet of Trelowarren and owns the Grade I listed 1,000 acre estate there. The estate is so old that it gets recognition in the Doomsday book and its location is on the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall. Ferrers, as he likes to be called, has had the estate in his family for over 600 years but after the Second World War the house and the woodland surrounding it fell into disrepair. Houses of this size, it has 20 bedrooms, need constant repair and lots of money lavished on them. As a result his parents set up a camp site in the grounds of the estate to try and boost the income. Times have changed now and so Ferrers needed something more substantial to keep the manor from falling apart and came up with the novel timeshare idea.
Ferrers calls his plan an equity-release scheme which he is very happy with. His estate was cash strapped but bricks and mortar rich and so this scheme allowed him the funds to keep it going. It works by offering people one weeks use on a 30 year lease and prices vary depending on which property on the estate you opt for and what time of year you choose. £2,500 will buy you a two bedroom house in January whilst £35,000 will buy you a five bedroom house with a large garden overlooking the valley in summertime. There are seven different properties dotted around the woods in the grounds, such as Georgian barns and pretty ivy-clad thatched cottages. There are also 17 eco houses which are powered by a huge wood chip boiler which Ferrers is extremely pleased with. He aims to build up to 45 properties such as these throughout the estate.
He has sold shares in his estate and out of the available 600 he has already sold 400. The positives of the timeshare are the rural setting but ultimately that it is located near some of Cornwall’s finest beaches. However there is also an award winning restaurant on the estate, a spa and an ozone pool, this year a bakery and deli will be opened.
Some investors question the concept of a timeshare but a new law last week now safeguards the schemes. They also question why anyone would want to invest a large share of money into a property on a 30 year lease which they will not own in the long term. But Ferrers feels that he does not have to defend the scheme but simply explain the concept. The scheme is not a typical timeshare scheme and because it is part of the Group RCI’s property portfolio you can swap weeks with other resorts around the world. Ferrers also argues that it makes sound economic sense to invest as property rentals around the area are very expensive and if you multiply it by thirty, the length of the lease, then you would pay more in the end. The three bedroom Doctor’s Cottage on the estate is valued at £500,000 with a peak week at a cost of £30,000 in the scheme. Rental income is £2,200 per week so this equates to £66,000 over 30 years. Take away the £21,300 for the service charges and commission and you are left with a profit of £14,700. You can let one of your shares for a large amount if you choose, making money on it.
Ferrers feels though that Trelowarren is more about conservation than commercial gain and feels that he is there to stay. Like his family which have lived there for 600 years.