Update, 5th October 2017
For the background to the Building Fund, please see below.
We are pleased to be able to let you know that we have had an offer accepted on a property in Chadderton Close, pictured above. It is just down the hill from where we are at the moment, and is a modern detached house with a substantial extension. It was on the market for £310,000, and the vendor has accepted an offer of £295,000. Financially, it is just within our reach.
The house is in a good quiet location, and has two large downstairs rooms (8m x 5m and 5.4m x 3.3m), together with a good sized kitchen and a downstairs toilet/shower room. It has four bedrooms, and the garage looks like it has potential to be converted to, for example, a downstairs accessible bedroom and a utility-type room. The garden is smallish: the length is not that different to what we have at the moment, but it tapers to almost a point, with a nice shed at the end.
At the moment the stairs and kitchen are accessed from the main room, which is not ideal. We can see a number of possible ways of reconfiguring things, but it also seems like it would be perfectly usable just as it is, certainly in the short term.
So we are planning to go ahead with this property. It will of course be several months before it is all arranged, but we will be starting to commit to it financially fairly soon, appointing a surveyor and solicitors. So if you have any thoughts, comments or reservations about the property do please let Rev. Aiden know.
Although we are just about able to purchase the property with our current funds, we would need to use the maximum mortgage amount that is available to us, and would not have any funds left over for alterations etc. So any additional support would be most welcome.
If you feel able to offer any financial assistance to help us purchase the property, that would be greatly appreciated. There are a number of ways in which you could help, and these are described below. We are very grateful for all your support.
How you can help
We would like to hold out our alms bowl, and invite you to help us reach our target to provide a long-term home for the temple. There are a number of ways in which you could help.
A lump sum donation to the Building Fund.
Reaching the target for a deposit on a property is our main goal, and a donation of any amount towards reaching that would be very gratefully received.
If you would like to make a donation via online banking, our bank account details are:
Bank: The Co-operative Bank plc Account Name: Turning Wheel Buddhist Temple Sort Code: 00-00-00 Account No. 00000000
► Show details for international transfers
Or you can make a donation by cheque, payable to: "Turning Wheel Buddhist Temple".
We can also reclaim Gift Aid on donations to the Building Fund.
A long term loan to the Building Fund.
We would be very grateful for loans over a period of ten years or more. An interest-free loan would be ideal, but we would also consider interest-bearing loans. We would draw up a loan contract that would include the possibility that at any time you could have the loan repaid to you, in an emergency, with three months notice. Please contact Rev. Aiden if you would like more details.
A regular donation to the temple by Standing Order.
Regular donations through standing orders will be of great benefit in covering our mortgage repayments. Any amount is welcome, large or small. If you would like to help in this way, you can either fill in a Standing Order form (click here to download) and return it to us, or you can set it up yourself via internet banking etc., using the bank details given above. You can cancel your Standing Order at any time.
Donations placed in the alms bowl at the temple.
We are grateful for support in whatever form it comes, and any and all donations placed in the alms bowl will help us in the running of the temple.
Some small print
The purpose of the Building Fund is to accumulate funds towards the purchase of a property to give the temple a long-term home. It is the trustees' intention to pursue this aim, and we hope that it will be a matter of "when" rather than "if". However, if for any reason the project is not able to be completed, or if there are surplus funds after a property is bought, any remaining funds will be used for the general purposes of the charity.
Although we have tried to describe the sort of property that we are looking for, we can't guarantee that we will be able to purchase a house that exactly fits our preferred criteria, or that is in a particular location.
Update, 18th July 2017
We have made some significant progress since launching the Building Fund in late May. In mid-June we received a cheque from the Inlight Trust for £25,000, which was very generous of them. We have also received a number of other very kind donations, and at the moment the Building Fund has a balance of about £28,400. The Triodos Bank has also approved our mortgage, for up to £200,000. This means that we would now have sufficient resources (including personal loans of £55,000 that have been offered) to manage a purchase price of about £285,000. Thank you for all your support in helping us to reach this point.
In the meantime, the property on Kingsmead Road is "sold subject to contract". The sale isn't definite until contracts have been exchanged, but if the offer is anywhere near the asking price of £300,000 then we don't yet have enough to make a counter-offer anyway.
There are a few other properties that look like they have potential, and hopefully there will be more coming on the market. Two that we are interested in at the moment are on Pendlebury Drive and Aylestone Lane.
We would still be grateful for any further support for the Building Fund. The more resources that we have, the more likely we are to be able to afford a property that would both work well as a temple, and also be in a convenient area for Sangha members to reach it. We would like to find somewhere that is both on or near a bus route, and also not too far from the railway station.
We may just need to bide our time until the right opportunity comes along. House prices continue to fall slightly, and the market doesn't seem all that strong, so from that point of view we don't need to feel too hurried to find somewhere. Although of course it would also be nice to find somewhere suitable before too long.
The Background to the Building Fund: Towards a long-term home for the temple
The house we have been renting for the last couple of years has been a great start for the temple but has a number of drawbacks, including the fact that we could be asked to move with just two months notice. It seems important to provide a stable long-term basis for the temple, and our goal is to buy a property which we could then adapt to function better as a temple.
The main features we are looking for are a large room that isn't on a party wall, a downstairs toilet, and another reception room or sizeable kitchen. We would like to be in roughly the same area of Leicester as we are now, and ideally close to a bus route from the railway station.
What is available?
We initially started looking for a commercial property, but there is really nothing suitable in the area that we are looking. In the domestic housing market it seems that we would probably need to spend about £200,000 - £300,000 in order to get a property that would work well for the temple.
After several months of searching we have now found a property that would suit us very well that is about half a mile from our present location. The house is in Kingsmead Road, Knighton, and is a 1950s three-bedroom detached house. It's basic layout is similar to the current temple building, but the rooms are all a bit more spacious, in particular the kitchen and bathroom. It doesn't have a through-lounge downstairs, but this could be done fairly easily once funds allowed. In the meantime the front room is large enough to accommodate all but our largest meetings.
The back reception room would make a very good downstairs common room, which would help with the accessibility of the temple, especially as there is also a downstairs toilet. There is also a sizeable garden, with a carport, a garage and a greenhouse.
The property needs quite a lot of work doing to it, although nothing very major. Water is getting in around both chimneys, and generally the house has not been maintained or upgraded for some time. All of the internal and external paintwork needs redoing, and the garage and carport probably both need taking down and replacing. However, the property would be perfectly habitable straight away, and most of the repairs and upgrades could be done over time as funds allow.
How much would it cost?
The property is on the market at £325,000. Because of the work that is needed on it we have made an offer of £275,000. However, it has only recently come onto the market, and the agent has suggested that at the moment the vendor is holding out for a price of £300,000.
In the meantime, we are making applications to two possible mortgage providers with whom we have been in contact, and we are also applying for a possible grant from a grant-giving charity. Once we have our finances in place, we could then see whether the vendor was willing to accept a lower offer at that point.
Can we afford it?
Even if they accept a lower offer, there will also be expenses involved in making the purchase, and some of the renovations will need carrying out immediately, so we probably need to have at least £300,000 available to us.
In order to buy a property we would need to have a large enough deposit and also be able to make the repayments on a mortgage. With our current level of income we should be able to manage repayments on a mortgage of about £200,000. If we were able to get a mortgage for this amount, that would leave us needing a deposit of up to £100,000.
Please see the top of the page for recent updates on the Building Fund.