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10 Jun 2009

Sarah Beeny's Property Snakes and Ladders

No longer do we have plain old Property Ladder, but as per market conditions, we now have the new and brutal Property Snakes and Ladders
As Sarah herself says, this series has issues which are "bigger and meaner and nastier than the first series. There's more money involved and you can’t tweak the figures – we’re talking about people losing hundreds of thousands of pounds."

I feel rather outdated!! As a contributor to the first (or was it second? not sure, anyway) series, my risk was far lower, on a Manchester property bought at £102k, with refurb and financing costs of £24k, and a resale of £180k. And Sarah gave me an absolute roasting. I really didn't like her for a while, you know, throwing stuff at the telly whenever she came on and making disparaging remarks about her in the press :-) Then we did a re-visit in 2005, and they were far nicer, so I stopped throwing stuff at the telly.

But this series, whoah!!! The bank of mum and dad.... have these people no shame? Risking their parents' savings and homes on a property dream, blimey, that takes some hard-faced single-mindedness. I feel quite proud that I only risked mine and the bank's money! 

I did howl at some of the figures quoted last night.... £176,000 and 8 months to do up a 4 bed terrace, was Rick Dickinson deranged??! You can build a three bed house for less than that. How come Sarah never questions the build costs - they are insane. I know it was Battersea, but still, it'd be cheaper to fly in a team of Polish builders from Gdasnk and have them live on site for 4 months, which is how long it should have taken. But at least he's got the coolest trainee electrician's bachelor pad in London, eh?

£105,000 for Natasha Durr's 3 bed bungalow with extension, still very expensive. I think I might have to put my quotes to clients up based on these figures. Triple them, in fact:-) She had a great can do attitude  and I liked the fact that she was constantly pushing the builders, but I wonder if she'd have been quite so gung ho if it wasn't her mum's money she was spending, but her own and the banks? You don't fear failure at 21, especially when the person doing the lending is as laid back as Natasha's lovely mum. I hope she doesn't give up on her dream of making her million in property and rides out these difficult years, then starts again with a better project and lower build costs. The Mirror calls her hoity-toity this morning - I think if we encouraged more go getters and determined young people like Natasha, instead of mocking them and willing them to fail, this pitiful excuse for an economy we have at the moment might have a better future. 

Whatever happens to them, I can guarantee they will have people quoting their Property Ladder quotes and appearances to them forever, as I've had, and the endless repeats on More 4 will ensure their local notoriety! In everything I do, people still ask me about my episode and that was in 2002 for goodness sake. Think I might post some archive pics in a bit.....

And Sarah!! After all the stick you gave me in 2001 about knocking through a pokey kitchen to make a fabulous open plan kitchen diner opening out onto the garden - under no circumstances knock that wall down you said, even getting in structural engineers and agents to tell me what a mistake it was..... and last night you were saying this idea was an absolute must as it's what every buyer wants. Hmmmmmm, glad I taught you something ;-)

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