landlord of 21 Asheville Street, Tomas, a data scientist, and Eleanor Sherwen, an engineer, both 34, bought the property in 2012 for £121,000.
It was damp, dry, and its roof was leaking, so in the last decade they made changes so that it took less energy to heat it.
The couple said they were “constantly told” by surveyors that they would not be able to achieve this on their tight budget, however they proved them wrong, spending only £18,000.
The two-bedroom house is now on the market for £235,000, and the couple say they have upgraded the energy performance from a low D to a high B – just one point away from the top A rating.
Tomas said: “We had rented all over York before we bought this place, and they were all absolutely cold. So when we bought our first house we knew we wanted to do something different.
“We both work in research and development, so we are told that something hasn’t been done before – and a way of doing it is working.”
The couple raised the ground floor and laid it with a damp-proof membrane, followed by concrete, thermal insulation and then oak flooring on top.
Tomas said: “When people come around they often say ‘Oh wow, do you have underfloor heating,’ because it’s so warm.
“That’s what people don’t get about eco homes – it’s not really about super tech and sexy gadgets, a lot of the things that make a real difference are insulation and some of that can be quite affordable.”
To insulate the loft he added expanding foam and silicone sealant to block gaps, an insulated loft hatch, and controlled fans in the kitchen and bathrooms to ensure good ventilation.
They then installed solar panels, which cost a total of £6,700
He said: “It was our biggest outlay, but it took just seven years for them to pay themselves back through a combination of bill savings and selling energy back to the grid.
“Whoever buys this house will be given around £8,000 over the next ten years.
“They will still have around £4,000 to £4,000 in savings selling those panels back to the grid as energy and still under their 25-year warranty.”
Tomas said the retrofit was done for comfort, but the work now means they are moving out of York.
“I wouldn’t change a thing if I moved into it—it’s such a comfortable place to live.”
The property is a mile from the city walls.
On the ground floor, the front door opens into the lounge which leads to the dining room, and houses the kitchen, bathroom and rear patio.
The first floor has two double bedrooms, one with a fireplace.
Those interested can view the property Contact Hunters Estate agents here.