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Christmas comes early

12th Nov 2016

This morning we are due to be exchanging on two freehold properties in NW1, the properties externally are two houses, but internally they have been converted into three flats.

There has been another buyer snooping around the deal at a higher price than us.  Only yesterday evening our lawyer was told by the seller’s lawyers to withdraw from the deal as they had been instructed to proceed with another party.

Luckily after several calls late last night the deal was kept intact, and the go ahead was given to exchange this morning.  It’s helpful our lawyer is an early bird, who rises early, does some work, and then goes off to the gym for his morning workout.  He lined everything up first, and then called us to report all the ducks were lined up ready for exchange.

The property had a few complications, of which the buyers were aware.  For example, the work which was authorised by the council was not what was actually done.  There had been some deviations from the proposed works.

It was important to firstly nail exactly what was done, and then decide the impact, if any, on the property, particularly from a lending and resale perspective.  This was a concern as the property was Grade 2 listed, going back to the year 1825.

It transpired the change in works were immaterial, one was the removal of a plasterboard wall, and the other was a door which was not supposed to be there.  Neither of which made any difference.  This was further validated by a planning consultant, just to make sure.  A survey was also conducted on the property, we managed to get it arranged on Friday eve, for it to take place first thing Monday morning and arranged the instruction so that we would be sent a summary email later on in the day.  All of which occurred like clockwork.

The property was purchased blind by the investors, therefore they were reliant upon the report by the surveyors, planner and the lawyers.

This property will benefit from the multiple dwelling relief which many lawyers are blissfully unaware of.  This will save a few hundred thousand off the stamp duty.

The property is actually not suited for rental, it was designed for an end user to purchase.  What I mean by this is the reception is grand, and the bedrooms are not of similar sizes.  For rentals more space of the property should be dedicated to the bedrooms, and they should ideally be of equivalent sizes.  Many tenants in central London want to rent by sharing the property with someone else, this makes living in London more affordable.

Whilst writing this article the call has come that we have exchanged on this deal!  This means more work not less, as we need to ensure it is funded and rented before Christmas.

Suresh Vagjiani

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