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OPULENCE & SPLENDOUR

Luxury and the artsFrom houses to cars and from Hockney to van Dyck, a profile of the best and the worst

Rowling on

J.K. Rowling sells the home where she first moved after the initial success of her “Harry Potter” series

 

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is a lady said to be worth some $1 billion. Her path from “rags to riches” is well documented but the announcement of the sale of the Edinburgh home she first bought after the initial success of the books gives an insight into how she is also financially shrewd when it comes to property investment.

 

Joanne “Jo” Rowling OBE, FRSL, pen name J.K. Rowling

Having paid £425,000 for a first floor flat in a 2-storey Victorian house at 1 Abbotsford Park in Edinburgh’s Merchiston neighbourhood, 2 miles from the city in 1999, Rowling bought the other half of the building in 2003 for £375,000. In turn, the property was converted back into an 8 bedroomed single family residence and became one of several residences the author lived in with her second husband, Dr. Neil Murray, and their children.

The front elevation of 1 Abbotsford Park
Security at the house was ramped up as Harry Potter sales soared due to the volume of fans appearing outside the property

As well as extensively refurbishing and extending the property, in a submission to Edinburgh Council in December 2003, in the names of Mr. and Mrs Murray, the couple sought permission to install five CCTV cameras inside mock lamps at 1 Abbotsford Park. Though a neighbor objected on the grounds of invasion of privacy, the application was approved.

 

The house’s 35ft sitting-dining room
J.K. Rowling’s kitchen features free standing units, a Lacanche
range cooker and a mural of tiles that, from a distance, could even be a scene from a Harry Potter novel
The garden of 1 Abbotsford Park

J.K. Rowling also built a detached 656 square foot office complex in the grounds of the 3,240 square foot house during her occupation. Additionally, as well as a library, she fitted out a study where she wrote many of the series of books that have now sold more than 400 million copies.

 

An external shot of the garden office said to have been used by Rowling’s staff
An internal shot of the office building

Though Rowling permanently moved into another Edinburgh home she purchased for £2 million in December 2009 last year, whoever purchases 1 Abbotsford Park will have other authors to call neighbours. Ian Rankin and Alexander McCall Smith both live locally.

 

Rettie and Co. seek £2,250,000 on behalf of Dr. Murray and J.K. Rowling. Even allowing for their extensive renovations, the author’s initial £800,000 investment appears to have certainly paid off if this price is achieved.

 

For more information on 1 Abbotsford Park, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH10 5DX, contact James Whitson of Rettie & Co. at 11 Wemyss Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6DH or telephone: +44 (0) 131 624 9068. View full details including a PDF brochure at: http://www.rettie.co.uk/sales/EDI121294

 

J.K. Rowling’s official website can be viewed at: http://www.jkrowling.com. Her first adult book, The Casual Vacancy, is published by Little Brown on 27th September 2012.

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