You’ll instantly recognise Laura as the host of Channel 4’s ‘A Place in The Sun’. She’s well placed here, holding years of hands-on experience in renovating properties, and beginning her journey on the property ladder at just 19. But Laura has many more strings to her bow – most recently opening and running a coffee shop, deli and Post Office. It’s a very busy life for Laura – but that’s just the way she likes it. We sat down with Laura to talk property, travel and just how she manages to stay on top of it all.
You began renovating properties when you were just 19, and have an impressive number under your belt. How did you start getting into this?
It all happened by accident really! I knew from an early age I wanted to get on the property ladder and I’ve always had an old head on young shoulders! I saved £5000 by the time I was 19 and managed to get a 95% mortgage on a 1 bedroom flat that needed updating. Most of my friends was going to uni taking out student loans but I took out a mortgage. After three months of owning the property, the channel I was working for went bust as I was made redundant – pretty scary, so I decided to move back home and rent it out. It was the best thing that actually happened as I started to save another deposit and that is how I fell in to buying and selling properties.
Do you have any tips for people looking to get on the property ladder?
I know it’s really hard to get on the property ladder now but it’s worth looking in to the ‘help to buy’ schemes out there. I had never bought a property with anyone until I met my now husband (when I was 26), however I probably wouldn’t be opposed to investing with a friend to get on the property ladder. I would just make sure I had a contract drawn up.
What about some tips for successful property renovation?
Be prepared to go over your budget by at least 20%. I always keep a detailed spreadsheet of my renovations. No matter how many times I have renovated property it is always stressful. Each time you face different problems but that is what I love about it – rules and regulations constantly change and you learn each time. I have. Try to build a good relationship with your builder and each of the trades.
It’s extremely useful if you plan on doing future renovations.
We can see that you love to travel – what has been your favourite destination you’ve visited so far?
It’s so hard to choose as it depends on what I am wanting out of a trip.Winter sun, summer sun, city break or ski trip? I find it pretty hard to switch off and relax so for a relaxing break away I would have to say the Maldives. I’ve been 5 times. For a family destination I love Mallorca, it has some beautiful beaches and the city of Palma is beautiful.
Are there any destinations you’d love to visit that you haven’t travelled to yet?
I’d love to visit Canada. My Dancing on Ice partner Colin Ratushniak lives in Toronto and we still speak so I would love to go and see him
sometime soon. New Zealand is on the list too. I travelled to Australia but unfortunately never made it to New Zealand!
You have travelled around the world with your children from when they were as young as 4 weeks! Do you have any tips for travelling with young children?
Where do I start… I have so many tips and I think travelling with children is amazing. I’ve managed to find travel products that have
made life travelling with children much easier. Car seats that turn in to pushchairs, the best travel cots out there, luggage with scooters
incorporated…you name it, I’ve tried it. In the first 11 months of my daughter’s life she had been on 23 flights! Rocco and Tahlia are so
used to flying now. They are starting to learn Spanish and they are both amazing little swimmers. Travel is so educational.
You’ve wowed audiences on both Dancing on Ice and The Jump, and also launched your own fitness app. Do you have any tips for people struggling to stay active through busy day to day life?
Life is a constant juggle and I make lists on my phone to ensure I never forget anything. I think running around after two children is a
good way to keep active. I love taking them to David Lloyd Gym where we can all swim together and also play tennis. They even offer classes for kids as part of our membership.
Do you have any tips for people who’d like to follow in your career footsteps?
I am a big believer in positive thinking and working hard. Nothing has ever been handed to me on a plate and I love the fact I have had to work for everything I have. I never take anything for granted. A lot of success in the entertainment industry does come about from being in the right place at the right time. My advice would be work hard and dream big. I’m still doing it!!
What’s can we expect from Laura Hamilton in 2018?
I’m loving being part of A Place in The Sun and I’m kept busy with my two beautiful children, wonderful husband and our business; our Coffee Shop and Deli with 27 employees, Lord Roberts on the Green. Life is busy but that’s the way I like it.
Laura Hamilton presents A Place in The Sun on Channel 4, alongside running her local coffee shop, deli and Post Office ‘Lord Roberts on The Green’(www.lordrobertsonthegreen.com). For more information visit www.laurahamiltonofficial.com.