TBS in The Sunday Times – How to choose a front door

A front door creates the first impression. Choosing a style that suits a home and reflects the owner’s personality can be a delicate balance. Wood, uPVC or Fibreglass are the three main materials and each suit varying different styles of properties. Wood for example traditionally complements Victorian homes whereas uPVC or Fibreglass work with more modern styles. According to Cheshire based Spitfire Doors aluminium can perhaps work best in a modern setting.  A simple paint job can do wonders for a front door, it’s a great way to make it stand out from the crowd especially if you’re trying to sell it. Violet, primrose yellow, cobalt and flamingo pink have been dubbed the ‘on trend’ shades this year. If you’re looking for a traditional shade Farrow & Ball Lichen or Dix Blue can both be impactful.

Thea gives her thoughts on how a knocker can help lift the look of a front door. “It was the 1800s when switching up your door knockers became fashionable. The more traditional cast iron made way for bronze or brass cast, something that’s carried on through to today. They can be statement pieces, but be wary to err on the side of caution, so that sophisticated and/or whimsical doesn’t make way for gauche and/or kitsch. While it used to be that lions were seen as a sign of patronage, strength and wealth, nowadays the styles and animals aren’t quite so prescriptive in the story they tell. While you can buy everything from dragonflies to doughnuts, it’s best when considering the resale of your home to choose something that is in keeping and widely palatable. It’s worth a nod to the history or local features of your area, like a fish door knocker if you’re near the river perhaps, or a squirrel if you’re near a park. There is certainly something to be said for the classic shape and a good quality metal and finish will always stand you in good stead for years to come.”

To read the full article click here; https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/how-to-choose-a-front-door-bc3z0v8l3

TBS in The Times – Glitzy new developments on the rise in Fitzrovia

An article in this weekend’s FT House & Home supplement looks at the rise of glitzy new developments in Fitzrovia, but notes that it’s bohemian charm remains.

Thea Carroll is quoted discussing the new development prices have dropped and says buyers today can expect to negotiate a further 10 to 15 percent discount.

Statistics from Savills how some 56 per cent of buyers in Fitzrovia are from overseas. The largest group of foreign buyers are Indian, followed by Chinese, many of whom have children studying in the area. The proximity of institutions such as University College London are a key attraction, say agents. Thea is quoted noting interest from parents of recent LSE graduates. “They like to think their children are… in Fitzrovia with quick access to the City and Canary Wharf,” she says.

The lovely part is that despite the glitzy new developments, Fitzrovia’s appeal has not changed for decades. “You can go and make a noise down in Soho and then you can come back to Fitzrovia and get a good night’s sleep,” says Mike Pentelow, editor of the local website Fitzrovia News and a resident since 1972.

Read full article here: https://www.ft.com/content/4930cc26-2b9b-11e9-9222-7024d72222bc

TBS in The Sunday Times – The great brexit bargain hunt

The Sunday Times reports how both buyers and sellers are hoping to make an uncertain market work for them. Estate agents across the country say viewings are up compared with the start of last year — in the Savills offices in rural Surrey and east Hampshire, requests to see £2m-plus homes increased by 61% in January compared with 2018. In places such as the Midlands and parts of Scotland and Wales, the markets are (relatively) flying, especially at the lower end.

In regions that are otherwise stagnant, however, the jump in buyers is down to opportunism. Some are sick of waiting and want to move on with their lives; others are taking advantage of jittery sellers by adopting a scattergun approach, viewing large numbers of properties and making multiple lowball offers. Many are sent packing, but some are enjoying success with vendors who need to move and want to get a deal sealed before the UK’s scheduled exit from the EU on March 29 — whatever happens that day.

When negotiating a pre-Brexit bargain in London, Senior Buying Consultant, Thea Carroll advises that ‘diplomacy is key’, saying: “Be wary of sounding too clinical. No one wants to think their prized asset is being acquired like a used car sold for parts.”

Read the full article here: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/home/the-pre-brexit-property-bargain-hunt-3k7f3dbvx

TBS in The Hollywood Reporter

The Bafta’s are coming up in London this weekend (February 10th) and our very own Thea Carroll has spoken to The Hollywood Reporter about what Tinsel Towners should consider when buying a second home in London.

Thea says; “There’s a huge amount of volatility and opportunity for intrepid buyers. Sterling just before Christmas had a 20 month low so buying dollar to pound you’re looking up to a 20 to 30 per cent discount on an already softened market.”

Thea works with around six to eight clients at a time and is currently working with a few Hollywood film producers who are looking to purchase in Notting Hill specifically to ensure easy access out West to the studios such as Pinewood and Shepperton.

With one USA purchaser Ken Griffin buying a £95million townhouse (3 Carlton Gardens) and a £100 million apartment (Peninsula London) over the past few months it looks like the Americans really are capitalising on the weak pound and making some impressive purchases.

TBS in The Times – Tips on how to negotiate a new-build discount

Do you want to snap-up a new-build flat at a discount as the market struggles? You had better join the queue. The head of Investec, a private bank, says some of the world’s richest investors are lining up to add new-builds with reduced prices to their portfolios.

Thea Carroll, Senior Buying Consultant at The Buying Solution is quoted in The Times offering tips and insights. The smaller the developer the more likely the discount. “Larger developers tend not to have cashflow issues,” she says.

Thea also adds that you should check how well the development is selling. “Knowing how many properties have sold may indicate if a developer is desperate to sell. The more unsold properties the more likely it is that the developer will be open to a discount. It’s worth asking an estate agent what the property would have been worth in 2014-15, when the market was at its peak. “If the numbers are roughly 10-15 per cent higher than what it is valued at, you know you are in the right ballpark.”

The Buying Solution advises that you can be more hard nosed about it. Unlike buying a resale property, which involves negotiating with someone who may have an emotional attachment to it, new-builds don’t, so you won’t offend anyone. She says: “When buying a new-build you are negotiating with a company, which has targets and multiple units to sell. Remind yourself, it’s not personal, it’s business.”

Link to online article here: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/how-to-negotiate-a-newbuild-discount-zvrk298cr