Lune Valley dream home to be raffled off in Â£1m competition
Dunstan Low bought Melling Manor in 2011 and set about returning it to its former glory in a year long refurbishment project.
But the 37-year-old father of two said that when his business began to slow down, he struggled to pay the mortgage, and the property became a hot potato.
He said he has since tried but failed to sell the house using traditional methods, and has now launched a unique competition which could net someone the property - valued at £845,000 - for just £2.
Mr Low said the property dates back to 1797, and is the East Wing of the former Melling Hall.
“We bought the house in 2011 and spent a year renovating it,” he said.
“I’ve had a slow down in business over the last five years and so we made the decision to sell the house.
“After talking to many estate agents and quick buy companies, we believe it is in our best interest to take the sale of our property into our own hands, whilst offering someone else the opportunity to own and enjoy the property as their own.”
Mr Low has set up a website called winacountryhouse.com, where you can enter the competition for £2 per ticket after answering a question about the house.
He aims to sell 500,000 tickets by August 1, which is the closing date for entries.
“I’d rather go out fighting than give it back to the banks”, said Mr Low, who used to run an internet marketing business.
“We’re not in arrears yet, but we’re bouncing along the bottom while I try to find work.
“It’s the mortgage payments and council tax that is costing so much.”
Originally from Kendal, Mr Low moved to Melling from Kirkby Lonsdale after spending a number of years in Bolton.
He said: “Having worked in internet marketing this is kind of my area, and what risk is there really?
It seems to make sense and it’s certainly a more democratic way of doing things. I’ve spoken to a lot of quick buy companies, and I’ve been offered pennies for it.
“At £2 per entry there’s potential for someone to make a go of the house. They wouldn’t be buying the mortgage, they could live in it, or rent it out, or make it a holiday let.
“You kind of get used to living here. My little one loves it, there’s enough room for him to be able to ride his bike round the house.”
Melling Hall was built in 1792 by ship owners the Gillison family. It has been a hospital during the war, and then a hotel until 2000.
Mr Low added: “We’ve certainly enjoyed the opportunity, and have put our touch on it by bringing it back to its original standards.”
“I took a risk, and it’s not paid off. It’s a lot of work, but it has been such a lot of fun.”