Totland Pier, Isle of Wight, development for Sale.

Roll up, roll up, ladeez and gen-tel-men …

It has oodles of history, fantastic sea views, plenty of privacy and no real neighbours to speak of. And if you live here you’re unlikely to be bothered by door-stopping salesmen.

Totland Pier on the Isle of Wight, a slightly dilapidated Victorian charmer that rolls up its trouser legs and wades 88ft out into the ocean, is up for auction with a guide price of £100,000.

The building perched on the end (13ft x 34ft) includes a separate bunkroom/kitchen with water and electricity, a mooring and a landing stage.

In the past it’s been used as an artist’s studio, and the auctioneer reckons it would also make a cool holiday retreat.

I agree but want to live there permanently. I’ll grow a Captain Bird’s Eye beard, learn to play the concertina, and keep a parrot who swears fluently in five languages. It’ll be grand.

You, however, may have different plans, in which case get yourself down to the Barnard Marcus auction in the New Connaught Rooms on Dec 8th and start nodding, winking and tapping your nose …

December 3, 2008 at 4:07 PM 3 comments

Blog Review: Agents Diary

“First, I’d like to get the confession out of the way. I’m an estate agent. As the rain lashes against the office window and the phones remain mute I can almost feel the waves of antipathy rolling my way …”

So begins an amusingly downbeat piece in last Sunday’s Observer by an unnamed estate agent who also writes a sharp, literate and very engaging blog called Agents Diary.

The anonymous author pitches himself as a put upon forty-something bloke hassled by a wife and kids at home, and “plagued by the cretinous idiots who I work with and for” – if it ever hits the screens Jack Dee is a shoe-in.

The SA has a nice line in self-deprecation and a sharp eye for human folly. His pen portraits of the people he works with are unflinching and often hilarious … if his cover is ever blown I fear they may drive a sharpened For Sale sign through his weary heart.

Let’s hope not – here at Winging It we’d miss his angsty reflections on life, work and the vagaries of the housing market:

Have you looked at your crotch recently?” asks my wife disconcertingly, over the dusty bran flakes. The choice of possible retorts is virtually endless and with my mind racing out of control, I only end up spluttering out a milky request for clarification.

“The material’s gone again,” she enlightens, as youngest son shudders in horror and scuttles to the bathroom, while I inspect my threadbare nether regions.

“That’s hardly going to help win you any business,” she says with a shake of her head as she scoops up the breakfast bowls, “showing people the colour of your underpants.’

“You’d be surprised,” I tell her defensively and totally erroneously, as I grumble my way upstairs to change my suit.”

As a metaphor for the current state of the market and one man’s mid-life crisis, this could hardly be bettered.

Secret Agent: we salute you!

November 25, 2008 at 11:00 AM 1 comment

Forget a Yacht, Its about having a sub.

Are you a financier who raked in a multi-million dollar fortune during the boom?

Bored with your world class art collection, your international portfolio of prime properties, your string of thoroughbred Polo ponies?

Looking for an interesting way to spend some of the $350m you amassed during the wonder years?

Well step forward, my much misunderstood Master of the Universe, and allow me to introduce you to the mighty Phoenix 1000 Luxury Submarine, a 213-foot extravaganza that runs to 5,000 square feet of turbo-charged underwater excess.

The price tag is a suitably insane $78m, and the specifications – across all four floors – are so decadently outrageous that they’d put Caligula to shame (“rich fabrics, beautiful woods and replete with the finest leathers.”)

Of course, for a man such as yourself, an investment of this magnitude is not be entered into rashly and without due diligence (as if!)

So to help you make a decision, here are some points to mull over:

The pros:

  • Yachts? Pah! In the mega rich game of one-upmanship the largest private undersea vehicle ever built trumps the lot!
  • Dive below the waves when the weather turns choppy; leave the paparazzi floundering in your wake as you sink without trace
  • Laugh in the face of Somali pirates, who’ll need a bloody big oxygen tank and frankly enormous flippers to chase you in this.

The cons:

  • Das Boot, The Hunt for Red October, K-19: The Widowmaker
  • Kinda makes you look like a Bond villain
  • Giant octopus! Giant octopus!

Personally, I think you should go for it – and not just because the the folks over at US Submarines pay $50,000 to anyone who refers a suitable buyer (honest!)

November 21, 2008 at 3:49 PM 1 comment

Sting In The Tale

A recent photo-feature in the NY Daily News focused on 15 Central Park West, an extremely exclusive residential block overlooking the park.

It does look quite magnificent, in that ultra-swanky, elegant way that New York skyscrapers possess despite their magnitude.

But I’m more captivated by the residents of 15 CPW.  Well, one current resident, one wannabe, and a neighbour.

Sting has an apartment there.  Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, better known as A-Rod, is looking to buy one.  And Madonna has a place a couple of doors down the road.

You’ll recall that it was Sting and his Wife Trudie Styler (to use her full title) who engineered the meeting of Madonna and Guy Ritchie.

Well, it turns out that Sting was also responsible for introducing Mads and A-Rod. Both of whom have subsequently separated from their spouses – amid many rumours that Madonna was cited in his divorce.

And now, apparently, they both just happen to share an appreciation of the same New York neighbourhood.  Hmmm…all very suspicious…

November 20, 2008 at 3:50 PM 4 comments

Quick Poll: 2009 – Are We All Doooomed?

doomedThe housing market has had a torrid time of it this year, but how will it fare in 2009?

Will prices keep falling? And how long for? Will rate cuts boost transaction levels?

Click the link below to let us know your housing market predictions for 2009:

What Will Happen To The Housing Market In 2009?

November 18, 2008 at 2:27 PM 9 comments

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