Latest Posts

NAPPY VALLEY EXCLUSIVE ENDS 6PMSun May 09, 2021 2:53:35 pm -
NEW
Shared Ownership Of A Holiday HomeSat May 08, 2021 10:45:59 am -
1 Replies
Is It Ok For Me To Give A 15 Year Old A Beer To Have With Friends?Wed May 05, 2021 1:36:34 pm -
8 Replies
What DO We Want On Northcote Road???Wed May 05, 2021 12:37:11 pm -
552 Replies
Clapham Junction Letting Agents RecommendationsWed May 05, 2021 11:16:20 am -
RECENT
Recommendation Needed: Fertility Clinic In London AND SpecialistTue May 04, 2021 6:44:33 pm -
43 Replies
Labour Options - Chelsea And Westminster Or St Thomas’s?Tue May 04, 2021 4:56:28 pm -
2 Replies
Is A New Iphone Too Much For A 10 Year Old For Xmas?Tue May 04, 2021 12:56:50 pm -
22 Replies
What Colour Should I Paint My House?Tue May 04, 2021 11:47:53 am -
9 Replies
IVF With ICSI, Which Hospital Is Best ?Tue May 04, 2021 9:38:05 am -
8 Replies
Looking For Occasional Babysitter - ClaphamTue May 04, 2021 7:14:05 am -
2 Replies
Long Lease Portfolio ManagementTue May 04, 2021 6:41:02 am -
2 Replies
Anyone Need A Nanny From April Or May ?Mon May 03, 2021 9:41:23 am -
5 Replies
Decorating ServicesSat May 01, 2021 5:15:53 pm -
2 Replies
Mobile Coverage Between The CommonsSat May 01, 2021 3:23:22 pm -
1 Replies
Laminate Flooring - Supplier Recommendations Please!Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:56:22 pm -
4 Replies
Cleaner Refuses To Wear MaskFri Apr 30, 2021 3:03:30 pm -
25 Replies
Husband Has Taken The Kids Away Without Consent After An ArgumentFri Apr 30, 2021 2:56:11 pm -
15 Replies
Looking For NannyWed Apr 28, 2021 12:25:36 pm -
RECENT
Join Us Online For A Business Networking Meeting, 8pm - Small Business Network, Tooting BecWed Apr 28, 2021 12:02:55 pm -
RECENT
Tax AccountantWed Apr 28, 2021 11:54:41 am -
5 Replies
Any SPGS Parents Out There?Tue Apr 27, 2021 9:09:55 pm -
4 Replies
Can Anyone Recommend A Good VFM Plumber In SW11?Tue Apr 27, 2021 7:49:55 am -
3 Replies
Areas In BatterseaMon Apr 26, 2021 9:19:48 pm -
2 Replies
Speech And Language TherapistMon Apr 26, 2021 9:13:47 pm -
7 Replies
Children’s HairdresserMon Apr 26, 2021 4:56:57 pm -
2 Replies
Recommendations For Repair To Mosaic Tile Path.Mon Apr 26, 2021 11:54:22 am -
RECENT
Clapham Manor Primary SchoolMon Apr 26, 2021 11:42:15 am -
2 Replies
Can I Gazump A Friend?Mon Apr 26, 2021 8:39:03 am -
12 Replies
Garden Design/installationMon Apr 26, 2021 7:54:49 am -
1 Replies
Violin LessonsSun Apr 25, 2021 8:27:05 am -
1 Replies
Milia RemovalFri Apr 23, 2021 5:20:09 pm -
2 Replies
Potential Foreign Job Offer For Husband, Seeking AdviceThu Apr 22, 2021 4:06:36 pm -
13 Replies
Verbal And Non-Verbal Reasoning Summer Revision Course - Early Bird DiscountThu Apr 22, 2021 10:31:54 am -
RECENT
Dyslexia Screening RecommendationsThu Apr 22, 2021 9:12:35 am -
1 Replies
Borrow My DoggyThu Apr 22, 2021 6:19:44 am -
5 Replies
Has Anyone Held A Kids Birthday Party On Wandsworth Common?Wed Apr 21, 2021 4:38:37 pm -
2 Replies
Everyone's InvitedWed Apr 21, 2021 12:56:09 pm -
19 Replies
Finance Director Flexible WorkingTue Apr 20, 2021 3:25:05 pm -
RECENT
Unwanted Pre-loved Mulberry HandbagsMon Apr 19, 2021 1:18:20 pm -
4 Replies
Kids French LessonsMon Apr 19, 2021 10:49:55 am -
2 Replies
Marriage Counselling - WandsworthMon Apr 19, 2021 10:39:53 am -
3 Replies
Solar Together And Solar Panel ExperiencesMon Apr 19, 2021 7:16:13 am -
1 Replies
How To Deal With Neighbours Children SmokingMon Apr 19, 2021 5:19:07 am -
3 Replies
Belleville PrimarySun Apr 18, 2021 8:15:02 pm -
RECENT
Gardener For Flat Tidy Pre Sale SW12Sun Apr 18, 2021 7:20:39 pm -
1 Replies
Help Incredibly Noisy Kids Behind Me And To The Side Of MeSat Apr 17, 2021 1:38:05 pm -
20 Replies
Plane Noise Around Clapham SouthSat Apr 17, 2021 11:44:13 am -
14 Replies
Ceiling And Cornicing ReplacementFri Apr 16, 2021 9:27:52 am -
RECENT
Kensington WingWed Apr 14, 2021 1:27:53 pm -
3 Replies

Where have all the doer-uppers gone?

Last Updated on : 29th April 2021

I’m not talking about a short supply of places that have scope for development or to use the estate agents’ vernacular, properties “in need of cosmetic improvement”. I’m talking about the people that want to buy this stuff. The adventurous, creative and entrepreneurial owner/occupier seems to have become an endangered species. When I ponder the habits of the buying public it appears that this kind of group behaviour comes in waves and right now the waters are calm.

For me the first phase happened in 1998 when, as a fresh-faced 19-year-old, I was selling property on Lavender Hill. This was a time when nine in every ten of my buyers wanted something unmodernised or at least scruffy, in the hope that they could make a fast quid or two. Everyone, it seemed, was a property developer. Slap down a bit of seagrass or maybe laminate flooring, splosh a bit of magnolia on the walls and Robert’s your mother’s brother; a property worth 20% more than it was last week. Unsurprisingly, this period was short-lived as the herd mentality of the amateur developers made that market super-competitive. The remaining buyers, who were out there picking up these slop-and-tosh refurbs, became all too suspicious, often with good cause, of the poor-quality offerings of the make-a-quick-buck merchants.

The next phase, lasting through the Noughties and much of the last decade, was really the domain of the owner/occupier; however, unlike their predecessors, they all harboured ambitions to be interior designers and were happy to spend oodles of cash to showcase their homes. It was less about making a profit and more about showing off one’s immaculate taste to one’s immaculate guests. If I had a penny for each time a buyer specifically said that they didn’t want to purchase a property at an over-inflated price in order to pay for somebody else’s taste, I would be a very wealthy chap and I certainly wouldn’t be sitting here right now. I would be giving Jeff Bezos a run for his money down at the super-yacht shop. This breed would be happy to overspend in the pursuit of perfection.

Now we have moved into another cycle of change where the larger proportion of buyers seem to want a different kind of thing – turnkey perfection. Arrive on completion day with your bags, hang up your beautiful clothes in the beautifully crafted fitted wardrobes, pour a G&T and chillax in your new crib.

Why have the part-time developers and part-time interior designers become a rare breed? The reasons for this are complicated as the health and diversity of the buying population must rely on a number of factors, but here is my guess: firstly, we have to look at build costs. Without question the whole Brexit thing has brought about a shortage of European labour which seems to have had a knock-on effect on wages at home, whilst material costs have soared driven by the pandemic. Secondly, there is lending. The thinking seems to be money has never been cheaper so why bother with the hassle? Just increase the mortgage and steam in and buy something where somebody else has already had the headache and expense of a building project. The third factor may be something to do with instant gratification/satisfaction. Busy young people don’t want to wait six months or longer to enjoy a sparkling home with indoor/outdoor living space, open-plan kitchens and luxurious en-suite bathrooms. It’s possible this last aspect is a generational thing. I am from a generation that was brought up on ‘Changing Rooms’ and ‘Handy Andy’. I would fall asleep in my mid-twenties dreaming of Sarah Beeny. Still do if I am honest…Should it be any surprise then that the Instagram generation wants things instantly?

The shift towards the turnkey property can be likened to buying a tailor-made jacket (where you can choose you own lining) versus an off-the-peg Paul Smith. If you’re not that fussed about the lining and there is such quality out there in the ready-to-wear market, why wait? But there is a catch; you have to be prepared to pay for it, as the quality recently refurbished kit is going for top dollar. And while waiting, there are some amazing properties to be had that aren’t being given a second glance. Some are not overtly obvious as a doer-upper, but nonetheless offer the opportunity to make real cash. Here is an example. My favourite buy at the moment is this superb house on Broomwood Road with a 60-foot garden. Yes, 60 foot BETWEEN THE COMMONS! It’s almost unheard of. The previous owners have already gone through the hell of digging a basement and the rooms upstairs are all in the right place, but the kitchen doesn’t have doors opening across the back of the ground floor, it simply has a more old-fashioned pair of doors in the side return. This is an absolute no-no for many buyers. So, I am just waiting for the sensible person that realises that a few pounds spent here will pay out dividends in terms of the resale value. Whack on a ground floor extension with a nice bit of Crittall and there are literally hundreds of thousands to be made. That’s without taking into consideration the saving on stamp duty for buying in at a lower level. Somebody will buy this house and they will profit from it, but it will take real persuasion on our part and that is what we are here for.

At some point, the wheel will turn again and there will be a different set of buying habits in vogue. In the meantime, I will continue to see my mate Jimmy the Tailor for my jackets and take my home improvement tips from Sarah Beeny.

By Joel Baseley
Rampton Baseley
To find Jimmy the Tailor (not far from here) visit dress2kill.com

You Might Also Like

Earlsfield Piece

Earlsfield, over more recent years, has become the Borough of Wandsworth’s up and coming neighbourhood. With a history of being overlooked by its more ... Read Feature

Sainsbury’s, Balham

Sainsbury’s, Balham, is a key service for the people of Balham and nearby. Due to how large the store is, its proximity to the ... Read Feature

Use colour psychology to decorate your child’s room

Thinking of updating your child’s room? As children are extra sensitive to colours, having a basic understanding of the principles of colour psychology can ... Read Feature

Join the Discussion