We don’t usually source properties for people to live in, as often it is more about emotion rather than the investment or the price. However, recently we managed to somehow make the two ends meet. There is a client of ours who came to this country at the age of 15, and started off work as a cleaner. He now has several retail businesses in the top hot spots of Central London, as well as property and several other businesses.
He had initially approached me for a mortgage, and then said he was looking at a repossession in a particular block. He wanted me to gather some intelligence on this block. I spoke to someone who has been in the area for a few decades, his advice was the communal parts were a dump and they always have been, in short the block is mismanaged – don’t touch it. The client nonetheless went to visit and then concurred with our conclusion.
He wanted a place to live in which was plush, and with a discount. We managed to tick all his boxes; the property we sourced was overlooking a lovely park, and a lake, it was in a central location, and a penthouse apartment.
The property was being sold on behalf of a charity, it required a complete refurbishment, and ideally a restructuring of walls. I say ‘ideally’ as within a Mansion block with a managing agent, it is no easy task; it will take a lot of time, money and faffing about to get anything done. Therefore, it would be better to refurbish the apartment as is, to a good standard, live in it and then apply for the internals to be adjusted, so that there is no pressure.
The property has high service charges in line with the location, but we managed to source the property at a 30% discount, which is very good given the attributes of the property; and it has a long lease.
This client knows a good deal when he sees one, and so we didn’t really need to sell the deal to him, we would be preaching to the converted if we had. The property sells itself. So, the same night he agreed to get the deal done and the machinery is now in motion.
There’s at least a £300K margin in this deal, and as its one of the best placed properties in the block it should sell itself when the time comes.
It is interesting to note that although there were many bidders on this property, and some bids were higher than ours, the charity was primarily concerned about the ability of the incoming buyer to execute the sale in a timely fashion, and therefore the agents advised the charity to proceed with us as we have a track record with them having purchased through them previously close to this location.