Join us to discuss divorce and navigating property rentals and purchases as a complete beginner. Muriel shares with us her recommendations for first time property renters and buyers and her experience working with experts from the London Property forum.
We chat about finding the right agent and whether or not you should listen to people who recommend not getting an agent. The current shortage of stock in prime Central London and a few tricks on how to get in front of the market by getting the first viewing appointment and making a decision there and then. And Muriel shares her experience with gazumping and how not to take that personally!
If you find yourself in the position of being a first time buyer, we are here to help you. Our podcasts are aimed at being informative and we interview various different people from all sectors of the property industry. All our experts are handpicked and vetted to ensure that we only work with the top professionals in the market.
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Hello, and welcome to London Property, home of super prime. I'm your host Farnaz Fazaipour. And today we're in conversation with Muriel Abecasis, who finds herself navigating the complicated world of property in super prime London after getting divorced. Welcome to our show.
Thank you, Farnaz. Good morning.
So you really weren't expecting to find yourself in this situation to navigate this by yourself while you're trying to deal with all the other emotions that come with starting all over again. So your first first challenge was trying to find a house to rent that right?
Actually, my first challenge was to find an agent that I could trust and would help me understand the market and navigate through the process. Because I think it's all come through somebody like me who didn't have any knowledge. I wanted to have advice, and I wanted to have the right advice from somebody who knew my lifestyle, and what I would like and not like. So I think that will be really, really the initial step. And I was, for me it was a life lifesaver, finding the right or two right persons?
And was that just challenge or was it quite easy?
Well, I wasn't sure I was lucky enough to need to know somebody and to be introduced by somebody, I think it's all about word of mouth. It's all about recommendation. And it's like everything else. If somebody has been working for somebody, and you knew that they were happy with the result, then you have you know, you have validation and you have trust, it was very, very useful. Because some other people were telling me you don't need search agents, you don't need help, you know, you grown up woman while I was supposed to, and, and then but it's so time consuming. You know, on the website, you go on the website, I mean, you see so many things. And you go and see things, which I think is really, really key in my experience is you go and see things which are on the market. And if you have a search agent, or a good a good real estate company that will show you things before they are on the market. Because I came to the conclusion that it's all about timing. And if the they are very few good products at a certain level. And if you want to have a good product at a good price, they go instantly. So you want to be not on time you want to be ahead of the game. And what I found out by experience is you really make very good good deal when you get properties that are not on the market, because the price haven't escalated.
Right. So there is a so although people say you don't need anybody to help you, because all the information is available, you actually need someone to go through all this information and then get you access before before other people.
Yeah, and you need a little bit more from those people, you need them to have network and privilege network. So they will probably have contact with either other agency or with some direct owner. So you, you will be able to see the property before they are distributed to everybody.
So that was that that was that would be your biggest advice to somebody else in your position is make sure you're recommended to somebody who has these qualities.
And then you trust them, you test them. Because it's all about you know, when you bref somebody, they have to understand the what you like, what you're gonna like and not like and you don't want to spend your days seeing property, whatever is for rental buying that don't suit your needs don't suit your style. And what I found very, very useful is when those agent or property agents, they they relate to your lifestyle, you know.
Ao they live in a similar area they understand.
They have probably experience your your, your expectation and your your style and what you're going to be looking for into a property because at the end of the day, it's a very personal, you know,
Yeah. So talking about so you started obviously with the rental before you you you bought a property. So what are your kind of top tips with the rentals apart from finding the right agent? Did you feel that you ended up renting something that was price rightly I mean, you know, what, what, what are your do's and don'ts? What do you wish you knew before you went into that contract?
I think it all depends if you're under pressure or not. You know, and it's depends on timing. Because if you need to find something very, very quickly, you know, you have less leadway. I will say one other tip if you see something, take it instantly. You know, right? No, no, because it's like buying a flat, there are few few property that are top, you know, top premium. And you don't you just don't have time to think about it. And even be proactive, you know, try to know if somebody else is interested and maybe offer a little bit higher, so you don't lose the property.
Should competition is quite fierce then for availability.
Yes, very fierce. And I was trying even to, you know, I was asking, there's one tip actually, I was asking to have appointment, they after eight o'clock in the morning. And if they were saying, Well, this thought that 10 Can you ask exceptionally for them to to make me see the flood before and I wanted to make sure if I knew it was a good flood to be the first first one. And I was I will try to lock it down immediately. I mean, you have to be quite, quite productive.
So don't underestimate that you're in a race. Yeah. Okay. All right. And so you you found your property to rent? And was it easy going through the paperwork? Yeah, that was quite straightforward.
I mean, I was lucky. It was, it was quite the first one was very highly priced. You know, I was a little bit in a rush I was I was coming out of the, you know, the divorce. I mean, it was a big, big transition. And the property I took was that the thing about renting is, if you want furnish, it's very hard to find property with my furniture, because some of them are just made to rent. So it's quite rundown. So I paid quite a lot on this property, but I thought you know what I'm going to settle. And the paperwork was very easy, because the management agent was amazing. Amazing, okay. It's all about actually, that's a really good point, actually, is when you rent, you should check who manage the building. And you know, if you have problem with the heater and the electricity or the water, do they have somebody to be able to help you. And this property, they had like a 24 hour service, which was amazing. I remember even like, during Christmas, I couldn't put off the five piece. And I wouldn't want to put the building on fire. And there was a number and the gentleman had called me like a midnight, you know, so they were very, very useful.
Right? Okay, so knowing who the landlord is, before you go into something,
it's not the noun, it's the management, the person if they have a team, yeah, we use a management company. That's, that provides you a service?
Yes, no, I understand that. But because when I say knowing who the landlord is, is that when you're dealing with landlord multiple units, they're set up as much likely more likely to be a professional service set up to look after all of their properties. So you're more likely to get what you're what you're referring to. Whereas if it's an individual who owns one property, because you know, they accidentally became a landlord, they inherited it, or they moved on from their single life to their married life, or what have you, then they might not have as much experience in providing you that, that backup. So once you were settled in your rentals, then you have to start the search all over again, to try and find something to buy.
Yeah, but also, at the same time, try to search a cheaper rental, because you see the price fluctuates. And when I was renting the first time, I think he was just like around covered. So there was very, very few properties. And one of the tip for renting before we move into buying is I feel this is really, really expensive. I mean, it was almost two or three times the price, you know, of similar property, just a few roads away. And I think it's about don't give up and be persistent. So I decided that because I was going to buy I wanted to move to something cheaper. And I couldn't find something. So I took I took a property which was a thing was like a muse that I didn't like much, but I thought I want to save the you know, the the money. But I still looked and then I found something else. So sometimes it's like really, really, really last minute. So you know you have to be you have to keep keep on going and don't give up and and still look.
Don't settle for something that you're not that happy with, especially when you're going through all those changes in your personal life. The last thing you want to do is go home and be depressed. Yeah. So you've now moved into your second rental and all of this has happened in how much what period of time?
Like a year and a half.
In a year and a half. You move twice in rentals. Yes. While still looking. Yeah. So there's a lot of pressure on you whilst you're trying to adjust with everything else that's going on.
So I was very lucky because the second property I rented was in the same street of my ex husband.
Pleased to hear that. Yes.
I mean, I was really happy because he was you know, my street and you know the neighbourhood and for the children, and the flat is amazing. And the agent was so good. And then you know, talking about the agent. I got this flood through London property. And whenever there was a question I can call them and they've been really, really helpful.
So this was one of our experts who helped you. Fantastic was good to know we do handpick them. So I hope they perform. So you've now moved in close to your ex husband, which you're very happy about. And then you've carried a blessing in disguise. And then you carry on looking to find something to buy. And talk us through that. How did that differ from the rental experience?
So that was it's a little bit more complex, because I had to understand, you know, I mean, when I divorced, my challenge was like the washing machine, the three holes where I put the liquid, and then I had to buy, you know, on my own property, so there was a lot to learn. But but it's a little bit more complicated, because I had to understand the lease system. You know, I knew if I wanted to buy short lease or long lease, if I wanted the mortgage or not, and how will that work? The area that I knew more or less, and then there were technical things like I have to read my notes. I can't remember the name, what was it? Something you have to pay extra? Oh, yeah, the fees, the service charge and the ground rent, okay? Like, for example, you have to know, have they done the building, if not, when will it do it, because that will be on you based on the time you're going to buy it. So there was I had to understand the price structure, you know, the different elements. So but you know, little by little, if you have a good day you search advisor or your property advisor will be your advisor in general, and they will advise you on everything, you know, if you need a mortgage, they will provide you with mortgage specialists, they will provide you with lawyer, they will provide you with anything. So I think it's better to have as rental if you have one good person, you know, they will introduce you and explain you to all the process and all the all the person you have to interact with.
Okay, which you can now also find on our experts directory, because this is exactly what we do. For the entire real estate experience. We will have handpick experts who can help along the way. And also our podcasts because with our podcasts, what we do is we actually have technical discussions with these individuals. So if you wanted to find out what does it mean, about the leasehold? And, you know, how do I go about getting a mortgage? And what are the tax implications? Or what I do? Yeah, then we can we can give you podcasts for that to listen to.
And also some like some of the podcasts or listen was gazumping or something? Yes, yeah. Yeah, you know, it happened to me, right. And it was really interesting. Because sometimes when things happen to you, and you're not aware of the market, and the dynamics, you can take it personal, right. And then you realise, you know what, it's actually part of the business, and it's part of the market. So I find it's all about learning, it's about getting educated, you know, if it's a new market and your industry, so any knowledge, especially from people with experience and similar, you want to have knowledge that it it's in your category you can relate to. Yeah, you know,
Yeah, and I mean, honestly, after 30 years in the industry, I can tell you that not a single day is the same. Every day is different. And every situation is different. So completely hear you when you say that, you know, you've got to get the knowledge to be within the category that you require. So you happen to have bought a flat and you needed to know about service charges and ground rules, you'd have a whole set of new things if you're buying a house, for example. Yeah. So so it's done and dusted. Now you're done with property.
Done with property, I got the I got the keys. And now I'm going into second stage where I'm going to renovate my purchase property.
Right? So we're gonna have to have you back after you finish with that experience, because we want to hear all about those challenges. But this time, we can guide you. And you can go to, as I say to our experts, and find help every step of the way. Thank you very much for talking to us today.
Thank you very much and see you soon.
Thank you. It's always a pleasure to hear that people can make use of our experts in our directory that are handpicked for super prime Londoners that find yourselves in a situation where they need a friend of a friend to tell them what to do. So head over to our experts directory or if you have any questions then please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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