Katie Price sells Surrey home: A blessing or a curse?

This is a legacy post from the findaproperty.com blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

FindaProperty.com  is always thrilled to hear about a house sale – especially when  it relates to blog favourite  Katie Price and her decadent Surrey home.

You may remember that the ex-glamour model shelled out £2.5m for the home in 2008 with then hubby Peter Andre and lived in it with her three kids. Once the couple split, she stayed put, eventually moving in second husband and cage fighter Alex Reid, with whom she parted ways earlier this year.

Now, after trying to unload the property, which has been on the market for more than six months at £2.9m , Price reportedly knocked £250,000 off the asking price and  has now –  finally – exchanged contracts on the home.

All this is good news for the reality TV star formerly known as Jordan, who reportedly slashed the price because she was convinced  the Woldingham home was “cursed” and would jinx her relationship with new love Leandro, who as far as FindaProperty.com can tell, does not have a surname.

These days, Price and her Argentinian polo player love are settled in a £2 million country mansion in West Sussex, which they are in the process of renovating.

And if the interior of her former Surrey home is anything to go by, her West Sussex bolthole may be transformed into a glamour pad  set to rival the most blinged-up Hollywood homes.

Price reportedly spent  £500,000 sprucing up the eight bedroom Surrey mansion whose new owners will now be able to enjoy a sprawling  Gone With the Wind style staircase, plush purple lounge room, indoor pool, stables, gym and 1.3 acres of grounds.

She says: “Cursed”.  We say: “One ex-glamour model’s curse is another’s eight bedroom blessing”.

July 12, 2011 at 11:06 AM Leave a comment

First-time buyer blog: Catfood & stuffed toys won’t sell your home, says Emma

This is a legacy post from the findaproperty.com blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

We haven’t yet found “the one”, but after six intensive weekends of house-hunting we’ve decided to have a weekend off. So I thought I would make this blog about houses we have seen so far.

During our house-hunting I have been really interested in exactly what effort the vendors are going to in an attempt to sell their homes. Some of the places we’ve seen are being sold by developers so that’s pretty much a blank canvas you’re looking at. Easy to make your own. However, when you’re walking into someone’s actual home with an interest in buying it, you get a completely different perspective.

The very first house we viewed was a sweet little two bedroom Victorian terrace. These sellers had obviously put in a lot of effort to sell the house; it was immaculate and the garden was very pretty. They’d even printed off a list of “useful information” for potential buyers on improvements made to the house, approximate energy bill costings, and information on the area. I thought to myself “what a nice touch”.

The only problem I had was the actual home itself was COVERED in photographs of the happy couple. Literally everywhere I looked, even the bathroom wasn’t safe. As for the personalised calendar … I’m not intentionally being rude, but I felt like we’d be buying “their” home, and not thinking “wow, we could really make this our own”.

I now appreciate the importance and difference it makes to potential buyers to de-personalise your house a little. Although now we’ve been house-hunting for a while I no longer notice the photographs. But it’s still worth future vendors remembering that their house may just be one of the first properties a first-time buyer looks at.

Odd personal items can distract. I walked into one room and was so busy at looking at all the stuffed rabbit toys and paintings I literally can’t remember what the actual property was like. When we refer back to it, it’s known as the “rabbit house”. We have worse labels for some of the others.

Oh, and cat food left out really stinks.

July 4, 2011 at 8:53 AM 6 comments

Rental blog: Rental agreements and lawnmowing by Jeannie

This is a legacy post from the findaproperty.com blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

Summer’s here, which means long evenings and the smell of barbecues. Gazing at our garden, I see that summer has brought us something else: grass growth – the lawn is more than ankle-high. It has to be mown. Our rental agreement states we have to cut the grass every 10 days (?!) in the summer months.

The thing is, no one in our rented home has ever mown a lawn. Feeling up to the challenge, I pull out the lawnmower. It’s rusted, I’m sure it’s missing a blade and won’t turn on. I do the right thing and let the estate agent know it’s broken and he sends out a handyman who tells me it’s useless. I email the agent again and am instructed to buy a new lawnmower.

In the meantime, the grass gets a bit longer.

Being a grass cutting virgin, I Google lawnmower reviews to find the best one under £50 (my budget). No luck – apparently keeping the garden trim is expensive. Luckily, summer means sale time and I find one I can afford for half price. I’m in luck, so I think.

But how do you get a lawnmower home from the DIY shop on public transport in London? Clearly, you don’t.  Luckily my car club has a car available for rent from 5-7pm on Friday night. Perfect, I think, I’ll buy the lawnmower, cut the grass and have a drink outdoors before the sun sets.

Meanwhile, another inch is added to our meadow.

Friday rolls round, I dash off in my hired BMW (no less) to buy the lawnmower. I’m feeling wiser in the tricks of the garden trade, until I see the lawnmower comes in a box and needs to be assembled. I’ve built cupboards before, shouldn’t be too tricky, right? But there are too many screws and the instructions seem to be for another model entirely. Determined not to let the lawn get the better of me, I persevere. Once assembled, it’s time to conquer that grass.

I’ve been so absorbed in matching nut A to bolt B that I haven’t noticed the clouds roll in. Another sign of summer – rain.

As the downpour hits, I sigh and pack the lawnmower away while the grass continues to grow some more.

July 1, 2011 at 3:22 PM 2 comments

Brighton Pier for sale

This is a legacy post from the findaproperty.com blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

Findaproperty.com was instantly taken back to childhood seaside memories of helter skelters, rock candy and deck chairs when we heard that Grade II listed Brighton Pier was for sale for the first time in 25 years.

Other than boasting water views that put other seaside properties to shame, this English icon boasts rides, arcades and a winter garden. Oh, and Heston Blumenthal has called it ‘the spiritual home of fish and chips’.

Ewan McGregor, Grace Kelly and David Cameron are just a few of the famous faces who have been spotted walking its boards over the years, while the pier itself is regularly featured in books, films and most recently in Vogue’s cover shoot starring none other than  David Walliam’s squeeze Lara Stone.

As if that wasn’t enough, Brighton, aka ‘London on Sea’, has over eight million visitors a year and is bursting with trendy boutiques, contemporary hotels and bars. The city attracts a younger more affluent resident compared to other seaside towns, and whoever buys the pier will be in good company – broadcaster Zoë Ball, actor Denise Van Outen and rocker Nick Cave will all be among their neighbours.

Current owners the Noble Group bought the pier in 1984 and have since invested £35 million making it the UK’s largest privately funded conservation project. David Biesterfield, Noble’s development director, says, “we anticipate a great deal of interest in the sale of this world renowned asset”.

So far, everyone’s being silent on asking price although we can only guess they won’t be accepting payment in rock or ice cream. More fool them.

June 29, 2011 at 3:24 PM Leave a comment

Set sail to a home in Cyprus

This is a legacy post from the findaproperty.com blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.

The international property market on Cyprus suffered severe casualties in the recession with a serious case of boom followed by bust.  At its peak in 2007 11,281 homes in Cyprus were sold to non-Cypriots but by 2009 it dropped 84 per cent to 1,761. Last year it increased slightly to 2,030 sales but it’s a long way from the golden age of 2007.

At a time of uncertainty, why would a property developer begin work on a £350 million luxury development on the island, aimed at the international market? The developer, Cybarco, were in London last week and we went to the launch of luxury Limmassol Marina to find out more.

Limassol Marina is a new luxury resort in development in Cyprus“It’s the most exclusive marina project in the Mediterranean”, says CEO Michalis Hadjipanayiotou, “Well, that may be a little arrogant, but only maybe”, he concludes.  Hadjipanayiotou (let’s call him ‘Mich’) is Passionate about the new Cyprus property development and tells us about how fabulous it is going to be over a suitably luxury lunch.

What gets Mich most excited is the concept of living “on” the sea. While we indulge our salmon confit with black truffle sauce washed down with a chilled Sauvignon Blanc, he explains: “It’s not just a home with a sea view, or by the beach, it’s actually on the sea”. In a similar (but better) design to Dubai’s Palm, Cybarco are building out into the ocean.

Buy a property with a berth at Limassol Marina in CyprusThe selling power of Limassol Marina is the water and it’s aimed at wealthy sailing enthusiasts (also joining us at lunch were Motor Boat and Yachting magazine and Superyachts.com). All of the homes come with the option of a berth (or two) and with some of the villas you can “drive up to one door and sail away from another”.

If the target market is yacht owners, have they had any celebrity or high net worth individuals interested? Mich says that the international glitterati are interested and arrive in private jets to come and buy. Mainly Russians and Arabs have bought. One client arrived in the sales office and was so impressed with the multi-million-pound villas that he called a friend and told him about them. “My friend will have one as well please”, he said when he came off the phone.

Limassol Marina in Cyrus has properties for sale that are attracting wealthy yacht ownersSo will this brave development sink into the ocean it’s built on or glitter on the sea? Only time will tell but, for now, sales are doing well and the government and locals support it. And it has the potential to put the wind back into the sails of a struggling market and take the island of Cyprus to the next level in luxury living.

Limassol Marina has apartments for sale from £400,000 and villas for sale with either beach or a berth at the back door for sale from £1.4 million. The first show home is scheduled to be ready in autumn this year.

June 29, 2011 at 12:22 PM Leave a comment

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