Investment Property: Overlooking Buckingham Palace

Our clients who are nearing retirement but with children about to leave university wanted an investment flat in London that they could rent out for a few years but then use when they retired. Again we were given a lot of flexibility in the area. Taking into account where our clients would like to be based when they came to use it, we searched Victoria, Pimlico, Holborn, and Covent Garden. After spending a lot of time together, it became clear that something with a little bit of ‘history’ floated this client’s boat. We found a rather wonderful fourth-floor flat that looked straight into Buckingham Palace’s back garden; in fact, you could even see the steps leading from the palace to the grounds, which was rather magical.

Unfortunately, half of London thought so too, so we had a bit of a fight getting it. But we did get it by promising to move faster than anyone else. We managed with the lawyers and the financiers to pull together a ten-day exchange of contracts.

We bought at £1.25m, but as my wily client and I knew it would easily have reached £1.4m if it had gone to best bids because it was/is a corker. We helped our clients to find a letting agent and a corporate let was found even prior to completion, which remains for the foreseeable so it has worked out very well indeed for them.


LA Law in Victorian London

Two Los Angeles lawyers with a love for London wanted to buy a pied de terre right in the bustling heart of Victoria. They had been based there some years before, so knew the area and liked it even more since the regeneration of the area. They wanted somewhere that was modern, needing no work, and with concierge services. With only four days available, we covered every possible property both on and off the market.

Priced at £1.4m, was a gem of an apartment, with a balcony, high spec fittings, and views across to Westminster Abbey; it was nearly perfect. Its only downside—the price. Our client’s budget was £1.2m.
However, our most important role in securing properties for our clients is our negotiating skills to get the lowest price possible. We were able to agree to the property at £1.175m, on the basis of moving quickly, even though this apartment was bought for £1.4m just the previous year.

Using tried and tested lawyers and working very closely with the agents, we were able to exchange contracts in two weeks, and within a month of their viewing, we were able to hand the keys over to two very happy lawyers.

Home Acquisition: Marylebone mansion flat

Our Italian client had decided to move lock, stock, and barrel to London. Unusually he knew exactly where he wanted to live, Marylebone.

With a budget of up to £4m, he quite rightly wanted something rather big. However, three to four-bedroom flats in Marylebone are quite hard to find. He also wanted to find and secure in a couple of days. Now we never promise this is doable, but we certainly pull out all the stops. We also showed him a selection of homes in Chelsea, just in case Marylebone wasn’t lighting his fire – and also as a good comparison of values.

To cut a short story short, we did find a fabulous and very spacious apartment in one of Marylebone’s finest portered blocks. An impeccably finished flat, ready to move into, furniture and all, which delighted our ‘very impatient to get on with his London life’ client. Yet again, we found ourselves up against other buyers; yet again, we found that speed was key in securing the property. Using one of our brilliant recommended lawyers, we did the deal and exchanged within a week and completed the next day. It wasn’t easy and was stressful for everyone, but the end goal was worth it. Asking £3.999m acquired for £3.9m.

Here’s more

Substantial apartment in prime central London
Our North of England client wanted a substantial pied a terre in prime Central London for a large family. We sourced an off-market and unmodernised gem of an apartment overlooking Kensington Gardens. Untouched since the 70s and with 17 Foot high ceilings, it was precisely the type of property that could showcase our client's extensive art collection. Purchased at just over £7m and now renovated, our client has seen an enormous increase in value. Within a year, it is estimated to be worth in the region of £12m. We like to match our clients' aesthetic needs, but we also aim to make sure it’s a great investment too.

Our lovely clients, the Laidler family talk to the Telegraph about our service. They put it better than we can… here.

Chelsea apartment
A three-bedroom beautifully refurbished on the market for £2.3m. In high demand from other Buying Agents but secured for overseas clients at £2.1m. Completed June 2011.

Windlesham house in 4 acres.
3000 sq ft character home in wonderful gardens. Came onto the market at £3.5m, reduced to £3.1m We secured at £2.85m despite four other bidders.

Richmond townhouse
Characterful conversion of commercial premises. Vendor keen to sell- bought at £500k from £550k asking price.

Notting Hill Townhouse
Modern town house in the midst of buzzing Westbourne Grove. Secured at £1.25m from £1.5m asking price.

Busy lawyer, first time buyer – Wanted to buy a property in a ‘nice’ location in London
Terrified and uncertain of the property market as a first time buyer, M thought she wanted to live in Islington but knew there were other options which she just didn’t have the time to investigate. Regularly working 18 hour days, M also did not know how she was going to find the time to spend on the whole purchase process. She wanted to buy a period property and that in itself brings its own time consuming issues. We were able to source the market and explore with M all possible locations, such as Chelsea, Pimlico, Notting Hill and South Kensington.

We found M a period property in Islington, but only after she had had the opportunity to do an informed sanity check that it was right for her. The super property she settled on had tricky issues from both listing stand point and its condition. We were able to take the strain on the legal side and provided complete project management for the refurbishment of the property.

Accountant and pregnant wife – Wanted to find a home in Banbury or Thames Valley.

As is often the case, Mr and Mrs had different ideas on where they wanted to live. Mr wanted to be based in the Thames Valley, particularly, South Oxfordshire, as, although working in Banbury he wanted to keep future job prospects at close quarters. Mrs, who was heavily pregnant wanted to be close to current work so that new family life would be easier.

Therefore, rather than be prescriptive our homefinders searched both areas at the same time, knowing that the right property would present itself and the decision would present itself.

As expected, a village just outside Banbury presented a dream stone cottage. We negotiated a fantastic 15% discount, getting rid of 5 other buyers nipping at our heels. We exchanged AND completed on Christmas Eve; and yes we were there to settle them in!

Doctor newly divorced – Looking to buy a home in Battersea or Chelsea
Busy senior Doctor stuck in a rather smelly Chelsea rental needed to spread his wings into a decent bachelor pad. We literally managed to pull this all together and found him a flat in just two weeks. Dr P. had so little time that we were literally pulling him out of surgery to look at properties! It was a pretty smooth property search however and a great flat with roof terrace (for the all important telescope), was purchased in the heart of Battersea. The flat was within cycling distance to the hospital and lots of shops. There’s also plenty of buzz around for the newly single Doctor.