Tag Archives: london property

Feel the Fear (and don’t do it anyway) in Hackney!

8 Aug

Today I went to see an EX-LEA flat in Homerton. I was keen to take a look as the numbers were enticing (£125k guide against a value of c. £170k).  I had already looked on google streetview and knew the area was a large council estate area – but it was close to the tube.  So I convinced myself to go take a look.

As soon as I arrived and parked I felt uncomfortable – anywhere where you have so many bars over the windows and doors just doesn’t feel right….

Inside the flat was great – it was split level and spacious. The kitchen and bathroom needed some work, but it was just cosmetic:

Next door to the flat there was a group of guys smoking drugs

(No image here – didn’t think they’d appreciate it!)

And as I looked around I just got a sense of bars everywhere…it felt like I was in jail!

And I thought – I just don’t feel safe here – so no matter the money – I’m not going to buy it!

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The Illegal Flat In Streatham!

3 Aug

Today I went to see a 2 bed flat in Streatham which was just a few minutes walk from the common. It was a lovely road – well more like an avenue – it was wide and tree lined. Residential and felt good. The flat was a victorian conversion and I saw the house from the road. It looked in OK condition – a bit tired around the edges.

I let myself in the back gate so that I could check out the rear and work out which flat was for sale (it wasn’t a viewing day but as I was in the area thought I would do a rece). Having just let myself in I was confronted by a young lady holding a baby who was just a few days old. I apologised profusely that I had let myself in the back garden and explained that I had seen the flat up for auction and that I was coming to take a look. Well she was lovely – she told me all about the area, the building and the reasons for sale…the extension which the flat had been built in had been built illegally and now the owner had been served an enforcement notice!

Turns out the flat was actually a 3 bed (though it had been listed as a 2 bed) and the enforcement officers had said it had to be part demolished as it contravened planning and building regs. As the extension was also built on the neighbouring property (where that flat was also for sale) I knew then that I would have to buy both to make the project viable…but I didn’t have the money for both. So I called my friend Nick who’s a fellow property developer.

Nick came along 20 mins later surveyed the building and agreed with me that we had to buy both – and there may be an opportunity.

So we agreed that we would read the legal pack the next day and bash heads…well 60 pages of legal and council jargon later I realised the project was a non starter. Basically the only way of making the project viable was to demolish the lot (which was only about 5 years old) and to start again! Which means all you were buying was a plot with planning issues – and at the guide price made no sense!

Oh well it was a nice day out in sunny Streatham all the same!