image [email protected] captionJameswood villa was in a sorry state when Cal and Claire first saw it
Cal Hunter went to an auction to buy a flat in Glasgow but instead accidentally ended up with one quarter of a derelict, eyesore property 35 miles away in Dunoon.
Cal, 28, from Hull, and his 26-year-old Canadian girlfriend Claire Segeren wanted to start a new life in Scotland.
The pair first met on a ski trip in the French Alps and, after backpacking across Europe and Canada, decided they wanted to live in the "vibrant city of Glasgow".
While Claire was back home in Canada, Cal was set the task of buying a flat in the city at a house auction.
But matters did not go as planned.
image [email protected] captionThe couple live in a caravan while renovating the villa
Cal said: "I was struggling with the auctioneer's Glaswegian accent."
He tried working out what was going on from the auction brochure, but said some lots had been added that were not in the magazine.
A property came up Cal liked the look of. He put his hand up to bid – no-one else did.
Outside the auction, Cal frantically called Claire to ask if she wanted to go ahead with the sale.
The battery on Cal's phone was dying, so a decision had to be made quickly and they agreed to proceed with the £30,000 purchase.
image [email protected]noonimage captionClaire said the project to restore the has been empowering
Claire said: "At the time I was excited that we had managed to get a property. It was only when we got to the house that it really shocked me."
"I accidently bought the wrong house," said Cal.
"It was a little further than we were planning to be commuting. It's about an hour, an hour and a half out of Glasgow, if you take the ferry."
image [email protected] captionThe couple thank friends and local community for help in saving the tumbledown property
But it was not only the location that was wrong for them, the couple soon realised they had bought just one quarter of the rundown Victorian villa.
"It was completely derelict, and it had been for 20-30 years," added Cal, who believes the picture used at the auction was taken from a flattering angle several years ago.
The roof was falling in, one of the walls was on the verge of collapse and all the timbers were rotten.
The property was in such a bad way Claire said her dad was silent for two days after seeing the extent of its dereliction while on a visit from Canada.
But Claire and Cal were determined to make a home for themselves in the historic villa called Jameswood.
image [email protected] captionClaire likens fixing Jameswood to playing a giant game of Jenga
They tracked down the owners of the three other parts of the house, eventually managing to buy the whole property.
One of the three other owners was even willing to lose money on the sale after seeing the state of the 120-year-old property.
Next up is what Cal describes as the "colossal task" of fixing it up.
The couple moved into a little caravan in the property's garden and started work on it, carrying out repairs a bit at a time and when they could afford it.
"Claire always likens it to playing a game of Jenga with the massive stones that make up the house," said Cal.
About two years after they made their purchase they have still to move in.
image [email protected] captionCelebrating fixing the roof
Cal, who was trained in carpentry by his dad, and self-described "apprentice and labourer" Claire have had help from friends and the "incredible" local community in the restoration work.
The villa had been a well-known eyesore and many residents of Dunoon were happy to see new life being breathed into it.
Cal said: "It's on the main road so everyone has been watching it crumble and disappear."
Claire said for her the project has been "empowering".
She added: "We have made incredible friends and strengthened amazing relationships with people."
Visiting friends have lived in tents "on a dirty building site" and then later sat around a campfire having fun.
Claire said: "It has made this such an amazing experience."
To hear more about Claire and Cal's story go to Our Lives with Michelle McManus on BBC Sounds.