A COUPLE have told how they sold their house and bought a motorhome instead.
Gem and Doug Beeston-Perry, both 36, decided to leave behind their three-bed cottage in Mobberley, Cheshire, to travel around Europe.
The pair sold the home just after their honeymoon last year for £580,000 – and picked up the motorhome for £90,000.
Gem told Manchester Evening News: "We'd been in our house for four years which is the longest we'd been in any house and to be honest we just had itchy feet," Gem said.
"We sat on our honeymoon and thought ‘what now?’ We were just ready to move on and do something else, and it was then when we decided to sell the house.
"We've always wanted to go travelling, but our dog is one of the main reasons we’re doing it in a motorhome – so that he can come with us."
After buying their Cheshire home for £295,000 four years ago, the couple sold it for £580,000 – making a large profit.
"When we knew what price we’d got for our house, we decided to use the money to buy a motorhome and then invest the rest of it into our property business," explained Gem.
“Finding a motorhome was really hard because there's not many around, they’re like hotcakes.
"To get a new one is really difficult; it can take years of waiting. We had a very specific layout in mind as we wanted a fixed bedroom rather than having a bed that we had to make up every night.
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"Once we'd identified what we wanted we looked round loads of dealerships. We then got really, really lucky and stumbled upon a new one that a dealer had been given last minute from the manufacturer because another dealership had closed.
"It was just a streak of luck and we were able to get it within two weeks."
The pair bought the brand new motorhome for £90,000, but have since added extra features onto it, spending around £100,000 in total.
"It was brand new so we haven't done anything to it in terms of renovating but we've just added things onto it like a water filter, outdoor gas BBQ point, an outdoor shower and a ceiling fan in our bedroom," Gem said.
“It’s what is called an A Class so it’s an American kind of RV style with a flat front. As you enter you've got a kitchen and lounge with sofas facing each other, and then the driver's seat is to the right.
"Then you go through a door and you've got a shower on your right and a bathroom on your left. Then there's another sliding door and you go into the bedroom at the back."
Buying a motorhome is something out of the ordinary for the couple, who had never been inside one before getting the idea to buy their own.
"We’d never stepped foot in a motorhome before, it was only when we sold the house we thought we'd better try it out," Gem said.
"We hired one in January and we went round Cornwall for 10 days. We had a great time, but we didn't really know what we were doing or anything.
"We then decided that if we could hack it and love it in Cornwall in January then we'd love it going around Europe in the summer.
"So then we just started to get the ball rolling and really trying to work out a plan and where to travel."
The couple are currently living at Gem's parents before heading off on their travels in their van in July.
"When we sold our house we sold a lot of our furniture because at that point we knew we weren't going to be buying a house," Gem said.
"Our personal items and anything we’ve wanted to keep we’ve put into storage and we're just going to keep it there until we decide what’s next really.
“We don’t really have a plan for how long we’ll be travelling, which is very unlike us as we’re serial planners and everything is normally planned down to the hour, but we learned really quickly in Cornwall that not everything goes to plan."
Gem and Doug are going to start their new venture in France with the hopes of travelling to several different parts of Europe.
"We've been given a long term visitor visa for France which allows us to stay out there longer than the standard 90 days," Gem explained.
"We need to be home for New Year's Eve because our friends are getting married so that’s our deadline, but in between then we don't really have a plan, we're just going with the flow.
"We want to do France, northern Spain, Italy, Greece and Croatia, and then back up through Austria, Switzerland and then probably back through France.
"That’s the aim but whether we cover all that we’ll see."
As they are now gearing up to leave on July 17, the couple say that their new van life still feels 'surreal'.
“We're just both really excited, it doesn't feel real, still. This time in three weeks will be our first day in France but it just feels like something we are talking about rather than it actually happening," Gem said.
“I would absolutely not believe it if someone told us we’d be doing this a couple of years ago. I am probably the least likely person to go camping or anything like that. I’m definitely a home comfort kind of girl."
"We've always really enjoyed our holidays, seeing new places and experiencing new things, so I always thought we'd go travelling, but the motorhome aspect – I would have thought you were off your rocker if you told me we were going to be doing that.
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"I think we've got most things sorted, there has been a massive to-do list but it is definitely more ticked off than not now.
"We don't really know what it's going to look like when we get home at the end of the year, we don't know if we're going to buy another house or whether we're going to love the travelling and stay on the road, we just don’t have any plans."
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