Homes From Hell – Northern Ireland

Seadna and Mairead Billings tell the series how they took out a 100 per cent mortgage of £175000 to buy their dream three-bedroom new-build home near Belfast. The couple moved in in 2008 and soon discovered the surrounding houses were all empty. The estate was meant to have 70 houses on it, but work had stopped due to the property crash, many homes were not finished and only a small amount had been sold. The estate became a ‘ghost-estate’, one of around 621 in existence in Ireland. Seadna and Mairead tell the programme how they were living alone in their street and the derelict houses around them were soon under-siege from vandals and rodents. As he peers through the windows on the abandoned estate, Seadna says: “Fireplaces are ripped off and skirting boards taken up and doors taken off and you can just see the vandalism and theft that’s gone on around the place…it just gradually got worse and worked it’s way down closer and closer to us…we were worried, if we were going to be sitting in the living room, if there was going to be a brick come through the window.” Eventually the couple decided to leave the property and move into a rented house. Now, after being left paying rent and a mortgage, they have decided to declare themselves bankrupt and have the house re-possessed. In emotional scenes Seadna and Mairead show Homes From Hell the home they had hoped to raise a family in which is now derelict and boarded up.
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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