Thursday, 11 January 2018

Feeling a bit rusty.

Have to admit I am feeling a bit rusty.
Just like any other brain activity -or any kind of activity for that matter- unless trained, used and exercised on a regular basis......

Nevermind, it's been a while I had not applied my grey cells to some 3 dimensional puzzle games like how to fit a bathroom into a niche half above the stairs and half into the butterfly roof loft space in order to be able to fit a decent sized second bedroom within the rest of the floorplan.

On top of the spatial constraints, come the financial and regulatory puzzle pieces.... As soon as we open the loft space, new insulation becomes a requirement for building control.... The new support for the load bearing wall, and the extra costs that follow suit.... How much value is added by this second bedroom? Does it cover the necessary additional expenses?

These are the questions on the top floor. But in the lower ground, it seems that the only two options to have two bedrooms to fit is to either knock off the wall that supports the entire staircase across the 4 floors above, or maybe skew the corridor to some "funky angle" in order to knock the wall off but at least keep the pretty much predetermined place for pillars to support it!

I could go on but you get the picture.  It's like playing with a 3 dimensional puzzle.... Maybe 6 dimensional once you take financials, timeframe s and regulations into the equation?

That's just the "straightforward" phase 1 where we are taking the existing 4 flats and just refurbish them for resale later in the spring, but am already looking forward to walking around the finished product!

Plenty of obstacles still to go but it's a labour of love... Can't deny it. Just wish I had more time to exercise that part of the brain a bit more often.

Literally "watch this space"


Thursday, 26 October 2017

Pictures say more then a 1000 words




























































Basically gives a flavour of the state of affairs AFTER the basic clear up of vegetation and rubbish so that one can "walk" or "climb" through the spaces.... (2 days X 2 people) Should be noted that this is all the office and backyard depicted here.
The main house is far from great, but liveable.... Update on that some other time.

Today we are getting the full house measured and surveyed so we get plans and sections in hand. That should help making sense of the nooks and crooks, basements, yards, levels... Etc.

Have to say have never seen something quite as bad....


Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Voila.... Lets get started.

Keys in hand.... Have to say there is some satisfaction that comes from dealing with "brick and mortar". A satisfaction that is not available when dealing with stocks and shares, options, CDO's etc.

Call me old fashioned maybe, and having said that I will also admit that placing bets on the stock market  avoids the "fun" (inverted commas are for the slight cynical undertone) of the planning stages, the inevitable structural "surprises" and the rest of it.

But in the end I will quote Warren Buffet:
“Never invest in a business you cannot understand.”
So I think I will mostly stick to brick and mortar for the time being...


Monday, 25 September 2017

Sadomasochistic purchase (but at a good price)

Happy to announce that a new project has been on-boarded! (At the border of a pretty good corner of south West London)

2126 sq ft residential and 717 sq ft commercial as well as a large yard with an amazing amount of upside. We believe we can add create up to 3500 sq ft of residential space.

Now I have to explain why the title of this post makes sense.
Well, the project is in Lambeth, which is the same council as the one we dealt with last time, and with all due respect.... It was a real hard battle we had to on our hands to get the plans through pre-planning stage successfully. To have gone in for more feels slightly masochistic frankly.

But on the other hand, based on the numbers we had crunched, it is the first time we bought what we believe to be a real good deal.

Obviously times are different and the climate not as bullish as pre-brexit but as Warren Buffet says "sell when everybody buys and buy when everybody sells" 

20 days to exchange, but for tonight a good celebratory drink should do it.

... A whole new adventure is starting.


Friday, 22 September 2017

Sleepless nights, will she be the one? (Warning derelict content)

The last auction was a fail. Undervalued the top bid by quite a bit with my maths.

Whatever it was, that the other parties took into account, I did not see it in such bullish light.
Approx 350k above the top bid I had in mind... That's quite a miss.

But maybe it's all for the best... Because there is another auction on Monday and there is quite a beauty awaiting!

Will this be the one? Will I be enough for her to let me wisk her away?

How much will the planners let you get away in the large yard? What will the building costs be? And what realistic resale values can be expected after turnaround? What are the VAT and tax implications for the company if we decide to rent units rather then sell (in case the resale market is weak)?

Too many questions for me to sleep properly.

Below what my dreams are made of ( I know not everyone's cup of tea - warning derelict content!)


Saturday, 2 September 2017

Getting serious again.

Despite not much sucess at sourcing the next project since the sale of the warehouse (now few months already), the scouting is on.

The subdued market post brexit means the buy needs to be particularly good value to ensure that little bit of extra margin buffer.

The last one we looked at (old printing works in north east london did not meet the reserve price and the planning risk felt a little too much for our apettite anyway...

But a new round of auctions is now few weeks away and one in particular has caught my eye.

So crunching numbers again and checking planning history (the basics)....

This one may be a mix of rental potential as well as planning upside and flip.

More soon. 

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Before handing over the keys...

We just had to have a warehouse party!
In numbers:
- approx100 guests
- 4am end
- 1 entire iberico ham leg
- 8kg Comte cheese
- 2 DJ's
- 1 security guard (being Brixton, Had to keep gate crashers out) 
- can't remember specs of soundsystem, (but loud enough to trouble the neighbours across the road!)
- no's of cocktails served... Sorry did not count! 

I think it was wise not do this earlier, could easily become addictive... But now keys need to be handed over in couple of weeks for completion.

And the hunt for new properties is gaining traction again.
More on that soon.