Sunday, 17 November 2013

A foray into the 'property market'...

(A word of warning to those readers who do not care for the very few non-musical postings here: proceed no further. One reader actually once took me to task for having posted on something else, which seemed a little odd, since I should have thought I was entitled to write about whatever I liked, but anyway...)

I was a little surprised to receive, out of the blue, an e-mail message from one Jeff(rey) Chan of Direct Property Group, that organisation's purpose being a little obscure, it would seem. Mr Chan brought to my attention an important offer he had generously earmarked for me 'personally'. (I have removed his e-mail address and contact numbers, lest he be overwhelmed by enquiries as unsolicited as his initial proposal.)

From: Jeff Chan - Direct Property Group
Sent: 16 November 2013 05:04
To: Berry, Mark (Music)
Subject: GBP100K Discount - 2-Bedroom in Chelsea, SW3 with views across London


You may recall I sent you an email offering a renovated 2 bedroom property on Sloane Avenue, Chelsea, SW3 with a long lease.

The property is:

  • Beautifully refurbished
  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms (one en-suite)
  • Bay windows
  • 6th floor (with lift)
  • Bright South-facing aspect with open views across Chelsea
  • Elegant 1930’s mansion block with doorman, concierge and 24 hour porterage
  • Located on one of London’s most prestigious streets – Sloane Avenue, Chelsea, SW3
  • Full in-house management for short-lets including full maid service
  • Long Lease - 97 Years
  • Walking distance to Imperial College, Sloane Square, Kings Road and South Kensington
  • Link to Google Maps showing the property’s location: LINK

The property went under offer immediately at the asking price of £899,950 because it was cheap.

However 6 weeks later, the purchaser has not proceeded.

As you may be aware, the London market has
moved 10% last month alone (click link).

The Chelsea property now looks very very cheap at £899,950 and my Managing Director is going to increase the price next week to £999,950 to meet the market and sell the property in the UK.

However, he has agreed to allow me to send this offer to you and a handful of clients at the original price of £899,950 – subject to a reasonably quick decision.

This is equivalent to a £100,000 discount and the irony is that our stock is selling quicker in London than it is in Hong Kong and for more money.

There is an opportunity to purchase a cheap property with easy terms - a property that would sell in London for close to £1,000,000.

We’ve been dealing with some time – this has only gone to a few people and I thought that on a personal level it genuinely might be something for you.

Is there anything I can do to get you across the line for a relatively quick decision – I’ll make the cashflow work and I’ll fit in with your timing.

If there is some interest, send me a note back or call / SMS on [...] and I’ll send you a link to the website, which includes a walk through video, photographs, floor plans, and location of the property.

Kind Regards,
Jeffrey Chan
Our property consultants deal exclusively with overseas properties in Hong Kong. They are not required to be licensed under the Estate Agents Ordinance of the Hong Kong SAR and are not licensed to deal with any property situated in Hong Kong. Offers contained herein are not applicable to purchasers located in the United Kingdom, Australia or United States of America. All photographs, plans, models, promotional material, projections, estimates and working examples provided by members of the Direct Property Group, including London Direct Limited, Italy Direct Limited, New York Direct Limited, France Direct Limited, Spain Direct Limited, Greece Direct Limited, Switzerland Direct Limited and Germany Direct Limited ('the Companies') are intended for general information purposes only. No representation or warranty - either express or implied is provided by the Companies in relation to the accuracy of such information provided. They do not take into account any particular person’s needs, objectives or financial situations. The Companies, their employees and consultants do not provide any investment, taxation, legal or other advice. You should obtain independent professional advice prior to signing a Reservation Agreement or Sale Documentation and you must do your own due diligence with respect to any property purchase. Any translation of material (including but not limited to promotional material, projections, estimates, working examples, Reservation Agreement, Sale Documentation) into a language other than English is provided for general information purposes only and must not be relied upon by the Purchaser. No representation or warranty either express or implied is provided by the Companies, their employees or consultants in relation to the accuracy of any translation. In the event of any inconsistency between the English version and any translated version or in the event of any dispute, the English version (including any modifications or amendments thereto) shall prevail and its terms construed accordingly. The Companies take your privacy seriously and respects your rights under the laws of the Hong Kong SAR. By communicating with us you are agreeing to our use of your personal data that we hold or which you have provided to us in such communication. Personal data held by the Companies will only be used in accordance with the purpose for which it was collected and directly related purposes set out in our Privacy Policy Statement ("Policy"). You can review our Policy here. Consistent with our Policy, we will continue to send news and promotions to you; however if you no longer want this service, please send an email to privacy @ directpropertygroup . com and confirm all details you would like for the “opt-out”, and we will deal with your request in a timely manner. To read the full Direct Property Group Privacy Policy Statement, please follow THIS LINK. To unsubscribe:

Herewith my response, which I hasten to add I should never have dreamed of sending had it not been as a response, indeed a response to an entirely unsolicited and strangely misplaced offer:

Dear Mr Chan,

Thank you very much for your message: perhaps in the final reckoning a little peremptory, given the lack of either salutation or introduction, yet admirably anxious for my financial welfare. I confess to slight bemusement as to why you might have written to me concerning this property, ‘beautifully refurbished’, or otherwise; I certainly do not ‘recall’ your having written to me before, but better late than never, I suppose. Whilst it would, I am sure, be delightful in many respects – bar, perhaps the neighbours – to live in Chelsea, it is, alas, in good part on account of organisations such as yours and the people with whom you more generally deal that so few people actually in need of somewhere to live in London find themselves able so much as to find the meanest of pillows upon which to rest their weary heads. Being neither an intrepid ‘wealth creator’ nor the worthily well-born recipient of inherited wealth, I fear that you may find it simply too much of a challenge to ‘make the cashflow work for me’.

That said, I appreciate your concern, your desire to address things ‘on a personal level’, and indeed your selfless offer to help ‘get … [me] across the line’, something with which I have not been offered assistance since school sports day. I should like to respond in kind by asking you in turn a few questions, ‘on a personal level’. Do you and your colleagues ever trouble your heads with the consequences of the obscenely wealthy using housing as a parasitical ‘investment’, unproductively enriching themselves and thereby further impoverishing the rest of us? Do you consider such, and your aiding and abetting thereof, to be a morally acceptable practice? If so, upon what grounds? Do you so much as contemplate the implications of describing an £899,950 price for a two-bedroomed-flat – admittedly one more bedroom than I could ever hope to rent – as ‘very very cheap’? Do you worry about the contradictions of a late-capitalist society in which that might prove a remotely plausible statement, and the blood that may ultimately be spilled when those contradictions become still greater?
‘On a personal level’, I do hope so, and likewise hope that, if such a statement of housing ‘value’ should no longer surprise, then it will at least continue or even begin to shock. That I say for the sake not only of your immortal soul, but also for that of humanity as a whole. You may or may not ‘recall’ my reply in a few months’ time; however, if you do, I hope that it will be because you have decided to devote your working life to something more socially useful, or at the least less pernicious. It would not, I can assure you, be difficult to find something falling under such generous rubric.  Who knows? You might just feel liberated, grateful even, at the discovery of a social conscience.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Berry

I await in turn Mr Chan's response.


Lisa Hirsch said...

You rock!

I am a native New Yorker who remembers when you could buy a nice apartment on the upper west side for $40,000, which was well within the reach of middle- (and some working-) class New Yorkers. Those apartments are now going for prices similar to that Chelsea flat, okay, maybe a bit less, but in the $750,000 to $1 million range, way way out of the reach of even most upper-middle-class folks.

The Wagnerian said...

I would be most concerned that they thought you might want to become an SW3 resident.

Elizabeth said...

Go Mark Berry!