Saturday, 2 Mar 2024

TikToker who bought cottage aged 26 is employed by millionaire parents

EXCLUSIVE Revealed: TikToker who went viral for saying she’d bought charming country cottage aged just 26 while working part-time in a shop is employed by her millionaire parents

  • Amy Neil gained almost 2 million views on TikTok under the name @prunetown 

A young woman who went viral on TikTok for revealing how she’d been able to afford to buy a charming country cottage at just 26 while working part time in a shop is employed by her millionaire parents, MailOnline can reveal.

Posting as @prunetown on the video platform she racked up almost 2 million views for revealing ‘I bought my first house at 26’ – and suggesting that she had been able to afford this by contrasting her £220,000 cottage with what she could have afforded in London.

‘Prunetown’ has amassed almost 40,000 followers – most of whom are thought to be fellow ‘Gen Z’ young people desperate to know her homeowner tips.

Today we can reveal she is Amy Neil, who comes from a family based in a stunning nearby £2 million mansion which has an indoor swimming pool.

Amy Neil, 26, comes from a family based in a stunning nearby £2 million mansion which has an indoor swimming pool and she is pictured here with her mother Jaci, 53 

Amy posted as @prunetown on the video platform TikTok where she racked up almost 2 million views for revealing ‘I bought my first house at 26’ – and suggesting that she had been able to afford this by contrasting her £220,000 cottage with what she could have afforded in London

She works as General Manager and Social Media manager for a high-end antiques business near Colchester, Essex, which is owned by her multi-millionaire parents.

Amy, 26, who has a first-class degree in Psychology and a masters in Health Psychology from St Andrew’s University, manages the business, which has been featured on the BBC’s Antiques Road Trip, alongside her brother Sam, 23.

The business is owned by her wealthy father Jonathan, 55, and mother Jaci, 53, who set it up in 2020, when they bought the 700-year-old former pub and turned it into an antiques and collectables centre.

In the viral video, Amy compared the properties she would have been able to afford in the capital.

Amy paid £215,000 for the cottage, in a desirable quarter of rural Essex, in April after taking out a mortgage with Halifax, according to Land Registry records

In the viral video, Amy compared the properties she would have been able to afford in the capital

Amy’s mother Jaci and Jonathan, 55, set up their business in 2020 when they bought a 700-year-old former pub

A selection of her options in London included garages and parking spaces, some of which were listed as having offers in excess of £25,000.

However, she was able to buy a stunning ‘witchy 14th century cottage’ for ‘less than £220,000’ after leaving.

We can reveal she paid £215,000 for the cottage, in a desirable quarter of rural Essex, in April after taking out a mortgage with Halifax, according to Land Registry records.

An ordinary buyer trying to finance such a deal would need a £20-30,000 lump sum as a deposit as well as an income of over £40,000. Ordinary part time shop workers would struggle to earn anything like enough to afford such a home.

Her father’s wealth was accrued after he set up a successful gym installation and maintenance business in 1997, which was turning over around £6 million a year and employed 90 people, when it was sold for an undisclosed sum to a major French company in 2017.

Amy pictured with her mother Jaci 

Amy told her followers how she made the move to the pretty cottage six months ago after quitting her City job

He remained as CEO and a director until 2019 when he and wife Jaci set up JS Lewis Antiques Limited and they bought an old pub for £420,000 and turned it into an antiques centre.

Jonathan has also set up a new sports business carrying out sports gear management and checks for schools.

In 2016 the Jonathan and Jaci bought their stunning farmhouse set in four acres, for £1m and were later given permission to upgrade it with an 11 metre indoor swimming pool and a home office and gym. The six bedroom home with a large private driveway, even has stables and a separate barn and is now thought to be worth nearer £2m.

Social media star Amy told her followers how she made the move to her pretty cottage six months ago after quitting her City job.

Replying to the comments, the creator – whose real name is Amy – also revealed that upkeep for the property doesn’t cost a lot either; with gas coming to £35-40 per month, and electric costing £40 per month.

She added she’s had ‘zero damp or leaking issues’ – but admits these factors ‘depend on the house itself’.

Amy’s father Jonathan and mother Jaci pictured in front of a Las Vegas sign

Videos of the one-bedroom cottage – which also features a spacious loft – show the wholesome countryside aesthetic the creator has adopted for her home.

A living room area with a toasty fireplace is decorated with rustic wooden furniture, comfy sofas and cushions.

Meanwhile, the bedroom is adorned with cosy printed fabrics and blankets.

Amy also set up maximalist aesthetics when it comes to the bathroom, which is surrounded by candles for ultimate relaxation.

Meanwhile, a small and cute kitchen exudes a cheerful atmosphere with canary yellow walls and paintings.

She has transformed the loft space into a spare bedroom to host guests and loved ones, as shown in one video on the account.

A small garden area looks out at the picturesque greenery outside, where she plays with her pets – an adorable white puppy and a cute black rescue kitten.

Jaci and Jonathan pictured in a kayak

The old cottage features all the trademark charms of a vintage cottage – including exposed rafters, low ceilings and thick walls.

In another recent video from last month, the social media star opened up about what made her want to move away from London.

‘Hello I’m Amy,’ she told viewers. ‘I’m 26 years old and chronically ill. And six months ago I bought a little cottage in the countryside.

Earlier this year Amy hosted an antiques fair at the venue and in an Instagram post said: “Also just want to take a quick moment to thank my wonderful family (including Charlotte and Nanny – not pictured ) for always generously giving their time and being incredibly gracious in doing so.”

She added: “I’m sorry Dad, I promise I will let you retire eventually….just not anytime soon.”

Amy pictured with her father Jonathan eating churros

Jonathan and Jaci bought their stunning farmhouse set in four acres, for £1m, in 2016

Amy pictured with her mother Jaci

The six bedroom home where the family is based. It has a large private driveway, stables and a separate barn and is now thought to be worth nearer £2m

It’s just me, my little dog and my black cat.

‘We go for walks in the forest every single day. Sometimes with friends, sometimes alone.

‘And for work I run an antique shop with my brother so we have lots of interesting customers and I’ve got lots of really interesting friends as well.’

In other clips, Amy admitted that living in the city left her feeling burnt out, while she’s able to enjoy a higher quality of life after moving out.

She also furnished her cottage using only second hand furniture – which included a patio table and chairs which she found for free by the side of the road.

Before and after photos of the property in one TikTok show how much Amy’s decorating skills have done to curate the home’s ethereal atmosphere.

Snaps of the bedroom before the transformation show a simple bed and side-table, badly painted wooden beams and a bright red rug as making up most of the aesthetic.

However, afterwards, it’s visible that the influencer has given the walls a darker, more sophisticated finish, opted for a more ornate bedframe, and put in a bigger chest of drawers.

She also covered the wooden floors with plush carpets to create a softer feel.

After buying the property, the family were later given planning permission to upgrade it with an 11 metre indoor swimming pool, a home office and a gym

Jonathan’s wealth was accrued after he set up a successful gym installation and maintenance business in 1997, which was turning over around £6 million a year

Jonathan remained as CEO and a director until 2019 when he and wife Jaci set up JS Lewis Antiques Limited

Other snippets of the room show that Amy seemingly added a golden-framed mirror, wicker chair and vintage suitcase to the room to spruce up the otherwise barren space in the room.

Her maximalist style can also be seen in the busy and cheerful trinkets she opts to adorn the house with – from original French oil paintings to ornate stained glass lamps and handmade Yule decorations.

The influencer has even created more space by moving the washing machine out of the kitchen and into a outhouse – for a separate laundry room.

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