Lottery winners splurge on Georgian estate: is this wise?


BayfordsSean Dempsey/PA Wire

Adrian and Gillian Bayford, the Euromillions winners who scooped an astonishing £148 million jackpot, said at the time they were considering upgrading their three-bed home in Haverhill, Suffolk. Now they have splurged £6 million on an estate in East Anglia.

But is this a wise move?

Why not?

On the one hand, why wouldn't they?

Their first instinct on winning the cash was that they would be house-hunting at the first available opportunity. They have plenty of cash to spare, and given their immense wealth, this mansion and grounds in East Anglia is a relatively modest purchase.

According to newspaper reports, the seven bedroom house is a Grade II-listed Georgian mansion, and it comes along with 100 acres of wood and farmland. Aside from the house - which also has four bathrooms and four reception rooms, there's plenty of other accommodation - including an annex, a lodge, a farmhouse and four cottages.

The extra land and properties were listed separately, but the couple decided to go the whole hog.

Too much change?

The experts tend to advise lottery winners to take a break before making any changes in their life. Deloitte advises UK lottery winners, and says above all else they need to avoid rushing into any major life-changing decisions.

Clearly this is a complete change, but the Bayfords have followed advice, and taken their time. Adrian has continued at work - selling second-hand records - and the couple have taken three months to find a home.

The question is whether the change in location, along with an inevitable change in lifestyle - from record seller to lord and lady of the manor - is something they have fully prepared for. And that's something which cannot easily be answered.

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So what about the financial sense in two people with no experience buying an estate?

Clearly there will be a major outlay in terms of upkeep, but they have the money in the bank.

There is the issue of the fact that a complex property like this will not sell quickly again - and took a while to sell this time round. However, as long as they negotiated a good deal and don't sell again in a hurry, they shouldn't lose too much on the transaction.

Whether or not the purchase turns out to be financially astute, therefore, depends largely on having the right people around to manage it. With the right thought, planing and experience, the couple could use the income from the additional properties to cover the overheads of managing an estate of this size.

... leaving them another £142 million to spend...

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