X Factor’s Sam Bailey on staying in her first home even after fame

Sam Bailey still lives in the first home she bought in 1999 (Picture: Sam Bailey/Metro.co.uk)

When Sam Bailey found fame after winning The X Factor in 2013, she could have chosen to spend her new-found wealth on moving to a bigger home, instead, she decided to remain in the semi-detached house her husband, Craig, purchased in 1999.

Now with extensions and renovations made to the property, it’s a much bigger home for Sam, Craig and their three children Brooke, 16, Tommy, 12, and Miley, six.

The most fun and recent change to the home was made during lockdown last year, when, with all pubs shut, Sam and Craig built a bar in their back garden.

Tell me about your first home

It’s in a cul-de-sac full of houses and had one bathroom and three bedrooms when we first bought it, but now after an extension, it’s a five-bedroom house and has another bathroom.

Why did you choose to buy the house?

Well, my husband chose it because of the location. We live in Leicester Forest East, a really sought-after area, where house prices are quite high and houses up for sale are sold within a very short period.

What do you like about the area?

It’s quite a laid-back place with a really diverse community and a real sense of inclusion, as well. When all the different festivals are on, such as Diwali, it’s absolutely brilliant round here. You could walk down the road when the festivals are happening, and people feed you — there’s just free food everywhere.

Sam Bailey

Sam won X Factor in 2013 (Picture: Sam Bailey)

Why have you chosen to stay there instead of moving?

Because there’s never been a reason to move. I feel protected here.

After I won The X Factor, my neighbours could have quite easily said: ‘Oh, Sam Bailey lives on this street’, but they didn’t, they protected me, which is so nice.

If I moved, I’d just be moving to conform to everybody’s expectations, but that’s not me.

What changes have you made to your home?

We had a wraparound extension, with a garage and a utility room put on the side of the house.

We also installed a downstairs bathroom, two extra bedrooms upstairs, in the loft, a new kitchen and big bi-folding doors that lead to the back garden.

Tell me about the bar you built in your back garden

It’s great. We built it last year, just before summer. It gets used for everything — GCSE revision, movie nights, football nights, curry nights, pub nights and Sunday lunches. When life goes back to normal, we’re going to host poker nights.

When lockdown rules have allowed, we’ve had 14 people in there, but you could probably fit in about 20 people.

What advice would you give to people who aspire to own their own home?

Find out what you want first and always look at the floor plan, because if you’re looking for a property and you look at the floor plan, there could be ways of knocking down walls to make the house how you want it.

Do you see yourself living in the home in five to ten years’ time?

Yes, I do. It’s not the right time to move because just the mere mention of moving is like the world has ended to my 12-year-old autistic son. I don’t think he’d be able to handle us moving because he doesn’t like change.

I would like to buy another house but rent this one out. It would be hard to let go of this house completely by selling it because there is too much love and many great memories here. But I won’t move until we find something that makes me go, ‘oh my gosh, that’s my dream home!’

My dream is to have a back garden that’s like the size of a little park and hang on to it so that when my children have kids, they’ll always want to come over to nanny’s house because she’s got a cool garden.

Do you have a holiday home?

At the minute, our ‘pub’ is our holiday home because that’s where we go to get away from the house. But as for a real holiday home, I don’t know if I would get one, because I really do quite like the home I’ve got to be honest.

For more on Sam, visit champions-speakers.co.uk/speaker-agent/sam-bailey

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