Stand-up comedian Patrick Monahan, 43, has appeared on TV programmes including The One Show, was a contestant on diving series Splash and can be seen at the Edinburgh Fringe.
What was the first property you bought?
A flat with my brother and sister in Russell Square when I first moved to London in 2002. It worked out cheaper than renting. It was a small two bedroom flat — but we were used to it as we’re from an immigrant background. When we first moved to the UK from Iran we stayed in a three-bedroom house in Redcar with nine other relatives. We raised the immigration level in Redcar by 900 per cent when we moved in. In the flat I shared a room with my brother. We had bunk beds. It was ridiculous.
What was the place like?
It was a conversion in a Georgian house one of the universities used to own. It had been turned into flats by a developer. I eventually saved enough money to buy the place outright myself and then moved into a one-bed flat nearby.
What changes did you make to the second place?
It had a massive kitchen that I didn’t need so I turned that into a bedroom and then turned the front room into an open plan living room and kitchen. I still have that now and rent it out. I then bought a one-bed flat in Covent Garden which I used as an office. I’ve moved to Chiswick with my girlfriend and I’m living in a house for the first time in 30 years. It’s the first time I’ve had my own stairs.
Did you buy the flat in Covent Garden as an investment?
It was to use as an office. When you’re self employed you need somewhere to work from — and what’s the point of burning money on renting an office? The second reason was for my pension. I’m a self employed comedian. The whole thing could end tomorrow so I’ve put my money into property.
Any tips for getting on the property ladder?
We were immigrants from Iran during the Iran /Iraq war and we came here with nothing apart from a bag of clothes. It’s about learning to live within your means, save and have clear goals. A deposit is five to ten per cent. People say ‘I can’t afford a deposit’ but then they’ll say they’ve spent hundreds of pounds going out each month. Some nights I slept on the floor of someone’s house after a gig or sat at a train station overnight for six hours waiting for the first train because I didn’t want to spend money on hotels. I worked hard then so I can take it a bit easier in the future. My partner takes the mick out of me because I still look at the prices of everything I buy. But it was ingrained into me since I was a kid because we couldn’t afford stuff.
What changes have you made to your current home?
We moved in earlier this year. I work from home more often now we’ve got more space. I used to find working from home quite claustrophobic when I was in my old flat, which is why I bought the office. It’s a two-bedroom Victorian house. The place hadn’t been decorated for 50 years so it was proper old school. My partner wants to keep all the coving and original features but we’re going to put in a new bathroom and kitchen. Now I’ve got a garden we’re debating about what to do with it. I want to put a big shed out the back to use as another office but my partner wants a yoga studio instead. I had an image of being like Roald Dahl and shutting myself in a shed for eight hours and coming out with amazing work. The last time I had a garden was when I was a child and there was a caravan on it with people living in it.
■ Patrick’s show Started From The Bottom, Now I’m Here is at the Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, until August 25.