Sloane Terrace Mansions

The Challenge

Our Swiss client was looking for a London apartment for personal use. With children at school in the UK, they wanted a family apartment to use when visiting the city. Our client was not in a rush to buy and needed advice on the market, timing their transaction, and access to the best opportunities in their favoured areas of Chelsea, Knightsbridge & Belgravia.

The Perfect Conclusion

We sourced a grand and spacious second floor lateral apartment situated in a quiet position, but only a few steps from Sloane Square. The building consists of only 12 large apartments and the flat itself comes with a share of freehold, a rarity for the area. Through our negotiation we then agreed a huge £500,000 discount from the asking price. Beyond the negotiation, we also introduced our clients to tried and tested third parties such as a specialist structural surveyor and design & build contractor.

The Unfair Advantage

We know the market intimately. The property was listed through a single-office boutique estate agent we have transacted with in the past. As a result we were the first to be made aware of it. We negotiated strongly, taking advantage of the current lack of overseas buyers in London and achieved an impressive 12% discount from the asking price for a rare asset. We made sure our client had all the necessary comparable sales data and advice, in order for them to make an informed decision prior to submitting the offer.

Eaton Square

The Challenge

Our US client was looking for a London pied-a-terre. They had been looking at the market for a number of months and had conducted some viewings but had found the market difficult to navigate. They had concerns over pricing transparency and were unsure that they had gained access to the best opportunities in the Chelsea & Belgravia areas. 

 

The Perfect Conclusion

Eaton Square is widely considered one of the top three addresses in prime Central London due to the attractive period architecture and immaculately maintained private gardens, all closely managed by the Grosvenor Estate. The most desirable properties are often sold off market and gaining access without professional representation can be difficult. We sourced a rare and impressive first and second floor duplex in one of the ‘key’ mid-terrace buildings on Eaton Square. Through our negotiation we then agreed a huge £1,000,000 discount from the asking price. Beyond the negotiation we were also able to introduce the clients to experienced advisors, essential due to the complex nature of how property is held and managed on the square, this included a leasehold enfranchisement specialist and building project manager.

 

The Unfair Advantage

We know the market intimately. We provided our client with sales comparables that are not available in the public domain and as a result, we negotiated a 14% discount from the asking price for a rare and impressive apartment on one the best streets in London. We made sure the client had all the necessary information and advice, in order for them to make an informed decision prior to exchanging contracts. This is important on an address such as Eaton Square, where the leasehold structures and management policies are relatively complex and far more comprehensive than your average street in London.

 

One St Johns Wood

The Challenge

Our Indian client was looking for a family apartment in St John’s Wood that was not only close to where his family already owned, but it also had to meet with his complex Vastu requirements. Vastu shastra (vāstu śāstra) is a pseudoscience originating in India which literally translates to “science of architecture”. According to Vastu Shastra, the main entrance to a home is not only the entry point for the family, but also for energy. The main door should face the north, east or in the north-east direction. Trying to find an apartment that meets with Vastu requirements is incredibly challenging as most do not comply.

 

The Perfect Conclusion

Vastu requirements can sometimes be fulfilled in new build developments, particularly when buying off plan, as long as the developer is open to making changes to the layout. Our direct relationship with developers often means we gain access to opportunities early, allowing our clients to select the very best options, and make changes.

We identified a superb off market, new build development less than a two minute walk from where our client’s family live. One St John’s Wood is set to be one of the most luxurious new build developments in St John’s Wood. Amenities include a 20m swimming pool, gym, steam room, sauna, Jacuzzi and plunge pools, cinema room, private dining room, business lounge, club lounge, concierge and residents lobby, residents roof terrace and valet parking. Once completed it will be without doubt one the most compressively serviced buildings in St John’s Wood.

We analysed the block and its units and concluded that combining two smaller units would give our client the size of apartment that he needed and, just as importantly, a layout that could be re-organised to comply with Vastu. We were not only able to get the developer to agree to the amalgamation of the units and change in layout, but we were also able to save our client money from the asking price.

 

The Unfair Advantage

Our direct relationships with developers is unrivalled. Early access meant that we could cherry pick the best units for our client and negotiate layout changes which were vital to meeting our clients strict Vastu requirements.

 

Marlborough Road

The Challenge

Our British clients had been living in West London for over 20 years but had decided that they wanted to live somewhere with a stronger sense of community and also a location which would be more convenient for them to access their second home in Dorset. Their favourite area was Richmond Hill but they were concerned as to how little seemed to come onto the open market. They wanted a family home, with a minimum of four bedrooms, a good sized garden and preferably something which had been recently renovated.

 

The Perfect Conclusion

Through our strong relationships with the local agents in Richmond we were able to access a house which was available on the lettings market but not for sale. The house was located on the best road on Richmond Hill and matched the brief perfectly: it had four bedrooms, off street parking for two cars, a lovely garden and had been the subject of a ‘back to brick’ renovation only a few years ago. We managed to negotiate £100,000 from the asking price and contracts were exchanged within 4 weeks and just 5 days before Christmas. Crucially the house never came onto the open market.

 

The Unfair Advantage

With more and more sellers opting to sell ‘off market’ we have the network to make sure our clients have access to the very best opportunities.

 

Oceanic House

The Challenge

Our South American client was looking for a new London home. They were already renting in the area and had identified a property which they liked, but needed specialist advice on pricing and negotiation. We were instructed by the trustees who wanted peace of mind that the client was purchasing the right property on the best possible terms.

 

The Perfect Conclusion

Oceanic House was originally the London headquarters of the White Star Line from which tickets for the RMS Titanic were sold. The handsome Grade II listed building has now been re-developed into 7 luxury apartments. Before engaging Black Brick, our client had initially wanted to purchase the show apartment. Often developers will “dress” the weakest apartment. We identified an alternative, more attractive flat in the same building which was larger, with a better layout and improved position. Through our negotiation we then agreed a huge £800,000 discount from the asking price, equating to just over a 19% reduction. The property was newly refurbished with a number of new appliances and services, we therefore introduced a specialist M&E surveyor who put together an extensive list of items which we made sure the developers had fixed in order for the property to be handed over in fully working order. This can often be a problem with new build apartments but we ensured our client will move in without the hassle of any snagging issues. The entire process was managed and overseen by us in order to protect our clients best interests. 

 

The Unfair Advantage

Buyer beware. Buying new builds can be very tricky. We know the market intimately, can identify more attractive properties and negotiate huge discounts for our clients. We identified a better apartment, saved our client 19% from the asking price and made sure there was no snagging issues when our client moved in.

 

Trafalgar Gardens

The Challenge

Our Italian client was looking for a secure pied a terre in Kensington. They had already identified a property which they liked, but needed specialist advice on value and negotiation. Being based overseas they also wanted someone on the ground who could communicate more efficiently with the sellers, and who could subsequently provide ongoing management of works and a key holding once the purchase had completed.

 

The Perfect Conclusion

We successfully agreed the purchase at £150,000 less than the asking price. We have overseen the legal process and introduced best in class surveyors and building contractors to assist with advice on future works. The whole process has been managed and co-ordinated by us, reducing any risk of potential loss of time and escalating costs due to the client being busy and based overseas.

 

The Unfair Advantage

We have strong relationships built over decades. Our relationship with the estate agent meant we were able to save our clients 7% from the asking price.

Primrose Gardens

The Challenge

Our client’s instructed us to find them a three bedroom property with a large garden in a period building. They were very open to our advice as to differing neighbourhoods across the Capital, so initially we were looking from North West London to Richmond. However after several tours it became clear that Belsize Park, the area they were renting, was the preferred location. The main challenge was that their budget would not allow them to buy a house and most of the flats with gardens did not offer three double bedrooms.

 

The Perfect Conclusion

Having identified a wonderful two bedroom garden flat with planning permission granted to add another bedroom we found ourselves in a competitive bidding situation with another party. Despite putting forward the lower of the two bids our offer was accepted highlighting the strength of our relationships with estate agents and their preference to work with us over an unrepresented buyer.

We assisted our clients in obtaining detailed quotes from our extensive list of architects, builders and surveyors so they could accurately plan ahead and work out what would be possible, and importantly the costs to extend the property. This gave our clients the confidence to move ahead with the transaction knowing they would be able to create their ideal home by doing the work. 

 

The Unfair Advantage

We go the extra mile – our trusted network of architects, surveyors and builders added huge value to this transaction, giving our clients the confidence to move ahead. 

Cornford Grove

The Challenge

Our repeat British clients whom we had previously helped buy their son their first London property then came back to us again for assistance in helping their daughter. It was critical that the property be on a quiet residential street whilst still being close to shops and restaurants as well as being very close to the tube. It was also crucial that the property had a minimum of two roughly equal sized bedrooms and a garden. We showed them a number of options to help educate them on the market and what would work best. It became clear that we weren’t going to find what we were looking for on the open market. So thanks to our contacts and vision we ended up securing an off market, partially constructed, ground floor apartment with a large garden.

 

The Perfect Conclusion

Using our network of agents and our knowledge of the area we were able to preview an off market ground floor apartment before it was both officially launched to the market or completed. It matched our clients criteria perfectly. This gave our client an opportunity not only to see it before other buyers but also to have some input in the finishes. We were able to secure the flat £50,000 below the asking price at a highly competitive £752 per sq. foot. The going rate in the area for similar properties can be in excess of £875 per sq. foot.

 

The Unfair Advantage

Our contacts open doors. We were first in to see this apartment giving our clients first mover advantage in a highly competitive part of the market. 

Kensington Court Gardens

The Challenge

Our clients had been renting in London for more than 10 years but felt that the market conditions had changed so significantly that it was now the right time to buy their own home. They wanted a lateral apartment, in Kensington and Chelsea, of at least 2300 square foot within a mansion block that benefitted from a good sized lift. Their budget was circa £3.75m and they were happy to undertake a project if it made financial sense.

 

The Perfect Conclusion

The combination of our client’s exacting requirements and the lack of good quality options both on and off the open market meant that we undertook once of the longest searches in Black Brick’s history. 2 years after we started the search we identified a stunning apartment of more than 2700 square foot on the first floor of one of Kensington’s best mansion blocks. The property had not been modernised for 40 years and only had 11 years remaining on the lease. We used our extensive network to conduct an independent valuation as to the likely cost of extending the lease and sought advice as to whether our client’s proposed refurbishment would be permitted. On the basis of our research we put forward an offer and agreed terms with the seller at £1.35m which was £350,000 or 20.5% off the asking price.

 

The Unfair Advantage

We are patient – we work with our clients for as long as it takes to find the perfect property.

Mount Street

The Challenge

Our US client wanted to purchase a two bedroom apartment in Mayfair or Knightsbridge which would be let in the short term before being used by his family in the future. He was open to looking at both options in new build schemes as well as more traditional mansion block properties, and had a budget of up to £7,000,000. Before appointing Black Brick, our client had had a bad experience trying to acquire a property in a different part of London. It was at this point he decided that engaging a professional buying agent to assist with his search was the right approach.

 

The Perfect Conclusion

We undertook a forensic search of the significant number of new developments which had either recently completed or were available off plan whilst also looking at what was available in the more traditional mansion blocks. As a result of our analysis our client decided that he was not prepared to pay the premium being charged to be in a new build development, which in Mayfair can be as high as £5000-£6000 per sq. foot.  Through our network we were alerted to an off market two bedroom, two bathroom apartment on the second floor of a period block on Mount Street which is one of Mayfair’s most iconic and prestigious addresses. The ceiling heights and aspect over Mount Street and Berkeley Square made this flat highly desirable. The vendor was asking £6,950,000 however as a result of our negotiations we were able to save our client £325,000 or 4.6% from the asking price. Our “first in the door” advantage followed by an offer meant that the property never came onto the open market.

 

The Unfair Advantage

Our network is unrivalled – we gained access to this highly desirable apartment located on Mount Street before anyone else.