Me and my boys!

Newsletter 3 – my 60th birthday and my first month in business

This week I celebrated my 60th birthday, and what a memorable year it will be! One of the highlights of my birthday was a card from one of my sons, “I just want to say how hugely proud I am of you starting your own business.”

Looking back on 2020, I was terribly busy doing nothing and going nowhere. I had several absorbing hobbies, including genealogy and my canalside property website, but everything I did seemed to be sedentary and time consuming, yet incapable of providing any income. I could not help wondering… could I turn my canalside property website into a business?

On New Year’s Eve, I took the plunge and contacted eXp and Century21, two of the self employed estate agency models I was considering. I didn’t have a lot of confidence in myself back then. I was overweight (over 16 stone), and to be honest I was fairly miserable, thinking that I was on a slow and steady downward slide towards retirement. Of course, the pandemic and enforced isolation wasn’t helping my mood, either. I’m sure most of us have felt the same. Although I don’t miss large groups, small talk, and parties, I am gregarious in my own way. I like meeting people socially and professionally, especially if I can help, inspire, or encourage them.

I opened my doors, virtually speaking, on April 1st, and took on three properties in quick succession: Kings Lock Cottage, Dunsley Rock Cottage, and Crofton Lock House. Within a few weeks I’ve managed to achieve offers over the asking price for two of them. It has been a lot of hard work, not all plain sailing, but immensely rewarding. I have also found the willpower to start losing weight. So far I have lost over a stone – hooray! – which has hugely boosted my confidence and energy levels.

My first month in business has focussed heavily on building secure partnerships as an investment in the future of Canalside Homes. I have created some amazing relationships, particularly with Nichecom my professional photographers, Gazeal who provide reservation agreements to give confidence to my buyers and sellers, and Michela at Emotihome, my first property stylist. Yesterday, I set up a partnership with Yellow Brick Mortgages, who will be my in-house mortgage brokers. They have a 100% 5 star rating on TrustPilot and I’m sure they will be a huge asset to Canalside Homes. Of course I can’t leave this paragraph without mentioning my most important partnership – the one with my lovely husband Mike. My path in life would be considerably rockier without his unswerving support.

With two cottages under offer, I only have one property to feature today: Kings Lock Cottage on the Grand Union’s Leicester Line. It has had soooo much love since it went on the market, and many enquiries, but with high deposits and interest rates stifling the availability of commercial mortgages, even the keenest of buyers have been unable to proceed. We’re ideally looking for someone with at least 45% deposit for this gorgeous, peaceful property. If you are interested and would like more details, please give me a call on 07891 718211, or drop me an email at

I would love to have some more properties to show you, and I’m not alone. Unfortunately stock levels are low for estate agents right across the country. Sellers seem to be cautious about moving until the pandemic is over. Some of my energies will doubtless be concentrated on property hunting over the rest of this week and next. Do say hello if you spot me out ‘canvassing’ on the cut! And if you’re thinking of selling, please contact me. I’ll take on any property within easy walking distance of a canal or a navigable river. I’d be more than happy to help!