January 2014 Back To The Future / Brikolage Funding For Lending Ending Water Everywhere / Pretty Little Things Buyerâ€™s Guide: Q&A / Property Gallery
PLOUM sofa. Design: Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec
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PROPERTY MARKET BACK TO THE FUTURE?
ISSUE 16 BRIK MAGAZINE JANUARY 2014
MORTGAGE MARKET FUNDING FOR LENDING ENDING
SELLER’S GUIDE FAMOUS FIVE
by Alistair Hargreaves (John Charcol)
NEWS & INTERESTS BRIKOLAGE
HOME TECHNOLOGY WATER EVERYWHERE by Matt Hill (T3 Magazine)
INTERIORS & DESIGN GOING UNDERGROUND by Nick Wood (How About studio)
BUYER’S GUIDE Q&A
LANDLORD GUIDE REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
INTERIORS HOME OFFICE
by Magenta Pink Interiors
WORLD ECONOMICS EASTERN PROMISE Alex Rayner (Journalist)
12 INSPIRATION TRANSMISSION
22 PRETTY LITTLE THINGS
36 PROPERTY GALLERY
Brik Magazine is published by Brik Property Ltd (Brik) and the opinions expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect those of Brik, the editor, publishers or their agents. Articles and other information in this magazine are as up-to-date and accurate as possible, at the time of publication, but no responsibility can be taken by Brik for any errors or omissions contained herein. Responsibility for any losses, damages or distress resulting from adherence to any information made available through this magazine is not the responsibility of Brik or their agents. All property descriptions and photographs contained within are for guidance only and are not necessarily accurate or comprehensive. All content Copyright © 2013 Brik Property Ltd. All rights reserved.
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BACK TO THE FUTURE? The start of a new year is a time to take stock and look for ways to improve and learn from past mistakes. And this applies not only to your personal life, but also to the property market. It is an organic, fluid beast, subject to far reaching influences, both societal and economical. Yet we can look into the future and make accurate predictions about the way the market might move. There is enough date for us to create a model that enables a bit of foresight when looking at the market, which is hugely valuable whether you’re buying, selling or renting. So after a tumultuous 2013, it’s time to take our learning’s and apply them to the market in 2014.
Then there’s the influx of foreign buyers. According to the Financial Times, in 2010, 79% of sales in Fulham were to domestic buyers, but in the first quarter of 2012, this fell to 52% as buyers from Western Europe and The Middle East bought property in SW6.
Fulham’s headline news from 2013 was an unprecedented rise in house prices. While this can be a mixed blessing depending on your position in the housing market, overall, and in the long term, it is a good thing for SW6, so read on. London’s prime property – the top end of the housing market by price – in South West London increased by a whopping 11.8% in the year between Sep 2012 and 13. A report from Savills calculates that £1m invested in a Fulham property would have gained £2,500 per week over the past year, against central London’s £845-a-week. The city centre still claims the strongest recovery following the recession, with prices up 27.8%, SW6 is slipstreaming behind with 27.5%.
They like Fulham’s amenities and green spaces. Families are attracted to the educational options that are available in SW6, with places at nursery Pippa Pop-ins as sought after as a spot at Hill House and Fulham Prep. Most wanted, amongst these groups are the ‘Lion Houses’ of the Peterborough Estate. These sprawling Victorian terraces are big, with plenty of potential to get bigger if the previous occupants haven’t burrowed into the basement or climbed into the attic already. Previously selling for around £750 to £850 per sq ft in 2007, these behemoths have now climbed to around £1000 per sq ft, which puts a £2m price tag on entry level properties on the estate, rising to around £4m for a six bed. When people realise they can buy a freehold house in SW6 for the price of a two bed in Chelsea, things tend to be decided quite quickly. Help line So if business is good in the upper end of the market, it’s positively electric at the entry level, and much of this can be put down to the government’s recent introduction of the Help To Buy scheme.
So business is good in the upper end of the market. Buyers from Chelsea and Kensington have spent the last year coveting the size, quality, location and value of properties at the far end of the King’s Road. Perceptions have changed radically amongst great swathes of West London’s residents. Fulham’s no longer the naff neighbour; it’s exciting, intriguing and, if you’re looking to upgrade to a larger, family friendly home, extremely tempting.
These buyers have been in London for sometime, and know the city well, having lived in Chelsea and Kensington before. Now looking for something a little leafier, they’re flocking to Fulham and the nearby areas as it has the connection to the centre of the city that Wimbledon, Chiswick and Richmond lack.
Fuelled by the government help-to-buy scheme and access to easy finance, buyers at the bottom end of the market have rushed in pushing smaller 1-2 bed flats in Fulham up over the £500k mark for the first time. The impact will be felt across
HELP TO BUY SCHEME
the market hiking prices higher still as it filters up the ladder, until the help-to-buy tap closes leaving a potentially crumpled market, un-reachable by those at the bottom and un-achievable to those at the top.
This, for anyone lucky enough to not have to concern them selves with assisted buying, is the Conservatives fairly revolutionary new plan that offers equity loans to both first-time buyers and home movers on new-build homes worth up to £600,000. It enables buyers to contribute just 5% of the property price as a deposit, while the government gives you a loan of 20% of the price, meaning you then need a mortgage of up to 75% to cover the rest.
Help to Buy is driving a massive increase in demand in the sub £500k market. Prices in this “bottom” part of the market in London are therefore going through the roof, with many properties selling in sealed bids within days of hitting the market – for context a recent seller asking £375k had 55 viewings in the first day, 120 viewings within 48 hours and sold for over £450k after 3 days, while another came on at £375k and sold for over £400k. And at the moment, that’s the norm.
You won’t be charged any loan fees for the first 5 years, and then following that, you’ll be charged 1.75% of the loan’s value. So far so intriguing, and that’s certainly been the case since the schemes opened for application in October. The government recently said that: ‘more than 2,000 people have put in offers on homes under the Help to Buy scheme, totalling £365 million of new mortgage lending.’ Applicants will face average monthly repayments of around £900 on an annual household income of around £45,000. This means a Help to Buy mortgage represents 24 per cent of borrowers’ gross income. So what does all this mean for the fair suburb of Fulham? Change.
“Help to Buy is heating up the property market from bottom,” says Brik co-founder, Chris Littlewood. “The scheme is handing extra cash to people selling sub £500k houses, meaning they can now pay more for the next rung up (large flats or small houses around £750-£1m). This will filter all the way up the ladder as the new year progresses. Only an increase in sub £500k stock could dampen this extremely overheated section of the market in Jan/ Feb.” Looking forward All this might sound quite stressful, and sadly it will mean the dream of becoming a Fulham homeowner remains an up hill struggle for some,
FIRST TIME BUYERS 1-2 BED FLAT UNEXTENDED
2 BED FLAT / MAISONETTE EXTENDED
“THIS INCREASE IN SUPPLY COULD COUNTERBALANCE THE INCREASE IN DEMAND CAUSED BY HELP TO BUY,” Says Littlewood. “This could then lead to a slower year in 2014 than 2013 in terms of capital growth possibly only 5-10% increase. At the moment, the market is very hot, it’s time to step back and take stock.”
5+ BED HOUSE EXTENDED
So 2014 is shaping up to be another interesting year. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) estimates prices will increase by 5 per cent, and the Telegraph recently reported that forecasters are suggesting a property price rise of around 20-30 percent. Industry forecasters are predicting an increase in property sales as sellers gain confidence and return to the market, with Hamptons predicting a 9% increase in sales while Savills posits an even higher 15% increase in 2014. Looking even further ahead, 2015 could see interest rate increases and policy changes following the general election (with Help to Buy looking like a strong candidate for the chop), this could lead to a sluggish 2015 market, and perhaps even a mini property slump. Many of the statements above are based on fairly long-term forecasts, but as stated previously, there is enough data to make accurate predictions. But even so, no one will get everything right, except for one thing that is: What ever happens over the next two years, Fulham is going to continue to be one of the most desirable and exciting post-codes in London.
but for others, this is an exciting, if uncertain time. Another effect of the Help to Buy scheme is that it could reduce rental demand as those people who have been renting for sometime, begin making serious moves towards buying. This, in turn, could reduce rental yield – which is calculated by dividing the gross annual rental income by the purchase price (or the current valuation) – making buy to let landlords think again. Low and falling rental yields and extremely high capital values could precipitate a large amount of stock hitting the market in 2014 as landlords and owners cash in on their investments.
3-4 BED HOUSE UNEXTENDED
CHRISTMAS MADE EASY Skip the high street hassle and give the gift of great design this year. Our unique and award-winning concept cuts out the middlemen and passes the savings on to you. So whether itâ€™s exclusive art, a cosy cushion or a voucher towards something theyâ€™ll love, you can get high-end design without the high street mark up.
News & Interests
BRIKOLAGE ONLY IN ENGLAND EXHIBITION
Fascinated by the eccentricities of English social customs, Tony Ray-Jones traveled through England in the late 1960’s and photographed -what he thought of asthe typical English way of life. Influenced by Jones, Martin Parr also documented English life in the 1970’s. An interesting difference a single decade made in English daily life, of normal people in their everyday environment.
GOING ON WITHOUT MOM PHOTOGRAPHY
A touching story, executed in a beautiful photo series of a young man with his happy-go-lucky daughter in a wonderful setting. To see all the photos of the series, google ‘Ben Nunery’ and you can’t miss it.
CEREAL MAGAZINE READING
Cereal, a magazine about food, traveling and books. A pleasure to read not only by good content, but also due to its beautiful minimalistic design and amazing photography, while keeping their feet on the ground. A magazine made with passion, for passionate people.
“BE A YARDSTICK OF QUALITY. SOME PEOPLE AREN’T USED TO AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE EXCELLENCE IS EXPECTED.” Steve Jobs
Four years ago, Ben and Ali got married and took wonderful wedding-photos in their freshly bought (at the time empty) house to start their family in. In 2008, they had a daughter, Olivia. One year later, Ali died of cancer. In 2013, four years after their wedding, Ben and Olivia are ready to move out of the house, but not before paying a final tribute to their first family-home and in memory of their wife and mother, by recreating Ben and Ali’s wedding photo in the yet again empty house.
A humorously odd and slightly melancholic exhibition definitely worth a visit. Until March 16th, 2014.
News & Interests
INTRODUCING 4D PRINTING TED VIDEO: SKYLAR TIBBITS
3D printing only just broke into our way of manufacturing and even the DIY consumer market, but architect, computer scientist and director of MIT’s Self Assembly Lab Skylar Tibbits is more ambitious than that. In the video he briefly explains the experimental practices of the Self Assembly Lab.
The lab adds the fourth dimension - time - to new methods of manufacturing, while stepping away from traditional electric or mechanic energy. The Lab researches the way alternative static energy can effect materials shape or behaviour, such as gravity, water or heat, and uses it
to change its shape. “We focus on self assembly and programmable matter, specifically focused on industrial application” .
“TRADITIONALLY, SMART MATERIALS ARE PROGRAMMABLE, SO THEY’RE CAPABLE OF HAVING A MEMORY OR CHANGE SHAPE.” The combination of 3D printing and smart materials can result in products, which assemble themselves on the assembly line, by adding static energy. Shown in the video, a impressive example of materials changing their shapes,
for example a flat-plan box assembling itself by putting it into a tank of water. A truly fascinating introduction to 4D printing, currently in a experimental phase but perhaps soon to revolutionise and simplify manufacturing lines. Find the video, and more on the practices of MIT’s Self Assembly Lab on ted.com
LONDON CYCLING BRIDGE ARCHITECTURE
In response to the amount of bicycle accidents happening in London, Norman Foster has unveiled a concept of elevated bike-roads following the routes of existing train lines, to promote London ‘cycling utopia’. If approved, the route will exceed 220 kilometers, and would be finished by 2024.
News & Interests
SANDWICH BIKE GEAR
PedalFactory, and it is as easy as making a sandwich (hence its name). Additionally, the bike was beautifully designed, made from weatherproofed beech plywood panels held together with milled
aluminum cylinders. The bicycle sits on 26 inch wheels and weighs 17 kilograms. All packed in a box of no more than 94 x 70 x 24 cm. Available online for €799 / £670 at sandwichbikes.com.
COVER As the new year started with extreme weather throughout the U.K., causing flooding and record temperatures in North America of -37C. (colder than it is on Mars), this new year is a time for change, so it seems. We predict the property market will slow a little, resting on the significant gains of 2013. It’s also been 100 years
since the start of the First World War (expect plenty of memorial events to pop up soon) and London just won the title of ‘the most expensive city to live in world wide’. So it’s all change. However as far as we at Brik are concerned, our new year’s resolutions are to keep doing what we do best, and perhaps do a little better.
Introduced seven years ago, the flat-pack Sandwich-bike has gone into production in December after being praised by designers world wide. 45 minutes is all it takes to put together this bike, says
INSPIRATION TRANSMISSION FLOWER HOUSE PORTO, PORTUGAL
Designed by Portuguese studio Ezzo, this surprising combination of concrete and light woods cleverly interacts with the small space. The seating area and the kitchen is sunken into the floor, and the kitchen worktop doubles up as the dining room floor. A unusual combination round and straight lines and hard and soft materials.
Based on the traditional Japanese Minka, this structure of three separate building form this suburban family-home. Architect Tomohiro Hata combines brilliantly the contemporary lines and minimalist details with traditional stone and wood. Additionally, the warm grey and fresh greens give it a warm homey feel.
GREAT JAMES STREET LONDON, UK
Emrys Architects created an copper-bronze alloy covered office extension, connecting two houses. The contrast between the classic Georgian architecture and contemporary geometry creates a dramatic transition from old to new. The triangular shapes compliments the terrace dimensions as well as the bronze and brown brick.
HOMEMADE LONDON, UK
Designed by Bureau de Change, these two neighboring Victorian Houses are merged into one massive family home. The combination of exposed materials and clean white lines evoke a warm and contemporary feel, and emphasizes the original separate structures. Making everything as open plan as possible, the family home is a unique creation of space in the busy city-centre of London.
WATER, WATER, EVERYWHERE YOUR BATHROOM MAY BE HOME TO VAST QUANTITIES OF WATER AND, IF YOUR BUILDER’S DONE HIS JOB RIGHT, A COMPLETE LACK OF PLUG SOCKETS, BUT THE WORLD’S DESIGN MINDS HAVE ADVANCED ENOUGH THAT THIS DOESN’T MEAN YOUR WETROOM PARADISE HAS TO BE A TECHNOLOGY VACUUM.
Words Matt Hill, Deputy Editor of T3
In fact, the pursuit of grooming gadgetry to help get you looking your best and feeling suitably relaxed in the most convenient way possible is escalating, making the jump from gimmickry to borderline essential.
For those who like to keep their cleansing sanctuaries fairly au naturel, there are several easy ways to simply dip your toe in to tech, and Philips is pretty much a go-to brand, from shavers to teeth polishers. Its Sonicare electric toothbrushes get dentists’ approval for their variety of timed brushing modes and all-round pearler performance first and foremost, but the likes of the DiamondClean also boast both conductive glass and mini-USB charging. The handy travel carry case acts like a dock, while the multiple heads extends access to the whole family, and they can be parachuted into any washroom setup. While still on a tiny tech tip, Philips also does a mean line in Hue light bulbs, its innovative illumination system controlled from your smartphone. It’s the easiest way to get a dimmer in your bathroom – we’d personally steer clear of the ‘strobe’ option, mind – with up to 50 long-lasting bulbs being linked up and directed remotely in simple plug-and-play fashion (if your bathroom is warehouse-sized), while the 80 per cent less energy use swells the do-good-o-meter as well as the tech count. Likewise, you can update the old-school bathroom scales with the sleek-looking Aria, part of US firm Fitbit’s attempt to take on the ever-expanding global fitness market, which adds smartphone and PC connectivity, syncing weight details digitally
Left Kohler’s Moxie shower-head speaker Crosswater Solo water control Bottom Fitbit Aria scale Philips DiamondClean toothbrush Philips app-controlled Hue light
Indeed, the US is home to many a connected bathroom-tech find worth an import, from Kohler’s Moxie K-9245-CP speaker-enabled shower head, which streams music and news into the shower from Bluetooth compatible devices, to the Inax Satis G-Type toilet, a Japan-inspired throne of auto seat openings, remote-controlled flushes and bidet flourishes. Thanks to Plasmacluster tech, odours are eradicated, too. But if you’re wanting to truly overhaul your bathroom with cutting-edge yet integrated tech, Crosswater is the UK king and a name to become friendly with if you’re keen to go all out. As well as boasting a line from interior designer Kelly Hoppen,
its stylishly minimalist digital shower and bath options come with wireless control on the Solo, Duo and Elite ranges, meaning you can run your bath from the comfort of your duvet while checking water temperature in colour codes. That still not enough gadgetry for you? Keep your eyes on the Seraku Smart Wash Basin, an in-development mirror setup powered by Google’s Android operating system that overlays a smartphone-style menu system on to your reflection and lets you control it with your hand. Breaking news, weather, even your weight – sent over from your Fitbit Aria, of course – can be viewed while you prepare for the day, with an IR sensor meaning you can waft the info around without having to get the semi-transparent glass smudgy, like a moisturiser-flecked Microsoft Kinect. It feels like the future to us.
to your computers over your wireless network. Different profiles can be set up for family members, charting daily fluctuations just by stepping on and off.
EASTERN PROMISE Words Alex Rayner, London Based Journalist China now has the second biggest economy in the world. But what does that mean for London? An influx of ambitious, exciting and wealthy new residents, says journalist and serial property buyer, Alex Rayner. Towards the end of the last century, I knew a young agent who covered Soho. Sales were good, as he had this one, incredible client. This serial purchaser, called Larry, would buy almost anything from my friend, pay the asking price, and never needed a loan.
Today, China’s economic might is a commonplace fact of life, and the practice of the world’s wealthy putting their wealth into bricks and mortar many thousands of miles away is quite normal. In July and October of last year, China’s Insurance Regulatory Commission lifted regulations on the amount of international property its insurers could have in their portfolios, allowing the firm Ping An to buy London’s iconic Lloyd’s Building. The Commission also listed the places where these investments could be made, which not only included major cities in 25 ‘developed markets’,
Closer to home, investors are reconsidering central and eastern Europe, in relatively stable countries such as Poland. There, levels of transactions have almost returned to pre2007 peaks. And, if quality of life were more important to Larry than climbing prices, he might buy in Melbourne, which topped Economist’s Intelligent Life liveability scale earlier this year, or Copenhagen, which Monocle magazine decided was the best city to live in. And yet, London, it appears, is still calling. With slackening growth in the Chinese economy, domestic investment returns aren’t as attractive as they once were. What’s more, a rising Chinese Rembini and a falling pound, it is becoming ever cheaper for Chinese investors to buy in Britain. China’s state-owned Global Times paper reports that China’s offshore real estate investment has exceeded $5 billion so far this year, and that it isn’t all massive insurers buying office blocks. “Most of our Chinese private clients prefer properties sold at around £500,000 per unit in London,” Paul Bennett, international business development director at UK development firm Berkeley Group, told the paper. £500,000 doesn’t buy you a landmark block in The City, but it would get you a pleasant flat off the Fulham road. And that is as attractive an option when viewed from Shanghai’s Bund as it is from the streets of SW6.
Larry wasn’t a Soho habitué. He crossed Shaftesbury Avenue to view places. Larry was based in Chinatown, was a Chinese national, and was investing Chinese capital. Back then, in the go-go nineties, when China’s annual growth rate was climbing towards 10%, a huge amount of spare money was coming Larry’s way. My friend couldn’t quite believe how much of it was being passed onto him, by this ambitious, international investor.
but also 20 emerging economies such as Brazil and India too. So, while the Larrys of this world are welcome in our capital, they’ve also options elsewhere too. The Brazilian market, where residential property prices in big cities like Rio and São Paulo have risen annually a little over 7% (or a little over 14% if you include the country’s strong inflation rate), looks likely to bubble higher, thanks to recent regulation changes, allowing workers to tap into their state-run unemployment insurance fund to buy homes worth up to about £200,000.
FUNDING FOR LENDING ENDING Words Alistair Hargreaves, Mortgage Consultant If you listen really carefully you might be able to hear it...its pretty quiet so just be alert...no? Well, it’s the sound of the tap being turned off for Funding for Lending for mortgages.
the base rate increases before the middle of 2015. No sooner had Mark Carney announced that he was pegging the base rate to an unemployment rate of 7% he was backtracking, saying that once employment has hit this level the base rate will be reviewed as opposed to increased. I think he is still concerned about a housing bubble and a debt based recovery, but also concerned about squeezing the life out of the growth by rates increasing too quickly.
After 18 months the Bank of England have decided that to try and slow down the housing market they are pulling the plug on the industry subsidy. I am both pleased and disappointed by this. Pleased because the market is overheating, and Help to Buy I and II are stoking it further. The good residents of Fulham and Notting Hill may have felt that a 1015% increase in house prices is business as usual, but for the rest of the country and it is a hike that is making home ownership more of a dream for thousands of first time buyers. I am also pleased as, honestly, the financial services have had enough of the tax payers’ money over the last six years. I am disappointed as rates are going to start to rise now – not immediately, but over the next three to six months. We have had some staggeringly good fixed rates over the last year or so; sub 3% on a five year fixed, sub 2% on a two year fixed – its almost free money. And the market has responded accordingly, with a mass of applications, both purchase and remortgage.
So what does this mean for home buyers and home owners? Well if you are remortgaging then I recommend that you do this as quickly as possible, as rates are not getting any lower, and if you are on a standard rate of 2.5% or higher then really you should be moving onto a five year fixed to secure your ongoing payments. If you are buying, then, well it takes as long as it takes, (ask my friends at Brik about that) but as long as you are progressing in quarters one and two this year then you should still be able to access a great rate.
“RATES ARE STILL GOING TO BE HISTORICALLY EXCELLENT OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF YEARS”
So make hay whilst the sun shines (metaphorically at least, as I write a force 9 gale is battering my office), get yourself the best rate you can at the moment, and batten down your hatches against a choppy outlook in 2015.
Rates are still going to be historically excellent over the next couple of years, and I would be surprised if
But, let me reassure you, rates are not going to jump up and I think mortgages will still be readily available with reasonable criteria over the next year or so. Come 2015 though, that is when we might start to see the perfect storm of increasing rates, stricter criteria (due to the Mortgage Market Review – a series of regulatory changes affecting the UK mortgage market coming into play) and prices begin to flatten out.
MARYLEBONE TOTE •
0845 052 6900
Interiors & Design
GOING UNDERGROUND Words Nick Wood, Architect and founder of How About Studio
ALREADY BUILT UP, BUT CAN’T BUILD OUT? THEN YOU’LL HAVE TO BUILD DOWN. ARCHITECT AND FOUNDER OF HOW ABOUT STUDIO, NICK WOOD, DIGS INTO THE WORLD OF BASEMENT CONVERSIONS
Basement developments are undergoing a revival in the capital due to rising land costs. It’s really that simple. Unable to build from scratch, developers and homeowners alike are seeking to maximise the space they’ve already got. And, when the cost of a basement conversion is considered against the costs associated with moving into an entirely new home, the saying “dont move, improve” begins to make a lot of sense. Basements have traditionally been nothing more than dark undercroft spaces that offer plenty of additional storage, but little in the way of home comforts. Well not any more. Modern building technology has literally opened up a new world in terms of what a basement can mean for your family, and do for the value of your property. Developing a basement offers numerous benefits, first and foremost being an increase in living space, whether this is new or as part of improvements to existing ground floor spaces through the insertion of a double-height connection.
Basement developments can avoid the retrofitted feel of other home improvements. While the nature of their construction offers opportunity beyond the new internal spaces they provide. A development that continues out into the property’s garden, for example, can be naturally lit using lightwells, these extruded rooftlights can offer a delightful sculptural addition to an existing landscape. The level of excavation required can also provide the opportunity to include ground source heat pumps to passively generate heating or hot water for your property through harnessing natural heat from underground. Yet despite the numerous benefits, developing the basement might not be the most cost efficient way of adding space to your home. A modern conversion might average about £3200/m2 to get a plumbed and wired shell ready for decoration and finishes – but if improvements to the existing property are substantial you could make money back on the value it adds.
Interiors & Design
GLASS BRIDGE BEDROOMS
CENTRAL LIVING SPACE
SECOND LIVING SPACE LIGHTWELL
DIGGING DOWN Adding a basement to a Victorian terrace home
An architect can help you extend your property to provide the additional spaces your require, as well as making suggestions on how to improve and reorganize your current living spaces. They will also be able to navigate you through the initial steps of understanding what kind of development is possible – as well as how to approach negotiations with your existing neighbours. Expert consultants will need to investigate the existing soil condition in order to establish the relevant soil properties for the foundation and retaining wall design. They will also be able to advise you on potential environmental
systems you could install during the works, like the ground source heat pumps. Most importantly, however, a builder must also be employed to cost and build the design. The construction will require quite specialist techniques, so it is important to approach a company with relevant experience in basement development. The process of building under your home is both complex and technically exciting. It requires more preparation and detailed design than other types of development to minimize the obvious risk – but the results will often make it all worthwhile.
Interiors & Design
Interiors & Design
PRETTY LITTLE THINGS B&O BEOPLAY A9
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A stylish talking piece for any dining table is the MulT8 candleholder by De Vecchi Milano, a 21st century interpretation of silversmith Piero De Vecchi’s 1947 classic T8 creation. Available in black, white and several colours.
Designed like a piece of furniture with great attention to detail and materials, the Beoplay A9 speaker becomes a stylish part of any contemporary interior, ending the days of hiding your bulky stereos and speakers.
Crosley Manchester Stand, midcentury-inspired media stand makes a perfect side table for just about any room. Featuring two round-cornered shelves, on tapered legs for holding record players, laptops and accessories.
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Ziiiro’s unconventional approach to time telling, Eclipse utilises a patented Swiss Super-LumiNova pigment on the ring around the dial. In white, black and grey.
Meaning ‘to bloom’ Kukkia Japan crafts stylish toys for little ones that inspire interaction, re-invention, and imagination through play.
A unique wall bookcase with a contemporary feel to showcase your favorite books. Bookcase comes in flamed walnut or lacquered white.
ACACIA TRAY SET
LIFTA DESK ORGANISER
£45 | redenvelope.com
£80 | madebycardinal.com
£50 | celluon.com
Ideal for serving everything from cheeses and dips to bread, the Acacia Wood Entertaining Tray Set includes a mid-century inspired acacia wooden tray, two ceramic bowls and chic wooden serving utensils.
A simple jet stylish desk organiser, design with three simple goals in mind: lift your computer to the proper ergonomic height, offer a place to store peripherals, and keep your desk tidy. Available in Plywood, Ash and Oak.
Clever and cute, the EvoMouse is an alternative computer mouse reading the movements of your hand instead of pushing an object. Available in several bright colours, it’s not only clever but also a playful feature to your desktop.
AVANI SLIM BURNER
£35 | waamindustries.com
£310 | brasa.com
£269 | made.com
Mother nature’s very own production of a iPhone acoustic amplifier. Whether it is the ocean or your music you want to listen to, the Shellphone is a nice feature for every room and a great conversation piece.
Modern and compact, a ceramic and stainless steel way to add warmth and intimacy to any room or setting. Use it as a stand alone, or place it in your existing masonry hearth as a replacement for a traditional log or gas fire.
Made from wood and antique gun metal, the Humphrey factory-style coffee table is updated with a little contemporary attitude, maintaining its vintage feel with an antique finish. A statement piece, with a naturally aged wood surface.
+SEGMENTO The simplest appearance often belies the most complex thinking. +SEGMENTO‘s exquisite and simple design hides decades of thought and experience. Thin worktops, handle-less surfaces and a purity of lines combine to refine the visual experience.
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Q&A BUYING YOUR FIRST HOME IS AN INVIGORATING, EXCITING, FRUSTRATING AND TERRIFYING EXPERIENCE. BUT IF YOU COME ARMED WITH THE RIGHT KNOWLEDGE AND THE RIGHT QUESTIONS, THE WHOLE THING CAN RUN SURPRISINGLY SMOOTHLY. HERE’S EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ENTERING THE PROPERTY MARKET.
Words Josh Woodfin Buyers Guide (James Sims / MIke Horne)
An open letter to first time buyers… Dear new buyer,
Of course there’s no point in sugaring the pill. Whether you’ve acquired a mortgage or you’re a cash buyer, getting your very own, legally owned home is not for the faint of heart. It will test your nerve, your bank balance and your relationship. But it’s worth it. We promise. To walk into your very own home, is a wonderful feeling. With that in mind, it’s time to ask yourself some tough questions and gather as much information as possible, so you’re confident when you enter the market. How much you can afford? Sounds a bit like we’re telling you how to suck eggs, but the reality is that too many people underestimate the amount of hidden costs involved in buying a home. Whether you’re a cash buyer or
Please ignore the horror stories. Forget the tales of corrupt estate agents, endless chains, unscrupulous solicitors and sinister sellers. These are in the minority, we promise. For every tale of woe you read in the newspaper, and every picture of a heartbroken couple standing outside what they thought would be their dream home, there is literally thousands – a recent report from HM Revenue & Customs, UK Property Transaction Statistics, reports a provisional seasonally adjusted UK property transaction count for October 2013 of 94,950 for residential, and 8,650 non-residential transactions – of happy first time home owners who made successful purchases.
PUTTING IN AN OFFER
have a mortgage, you need to be aware of what it’s going to cost you to buy your dream home. One-off expenses from agents, to solicitor’s fees, to moving costs can add up to anywhere between £2000 - £5000 pounds, according Home.co.uk. And then there’s the dreaded stamp duty. Put simply, stamp duty is a tax. More specifically, if you buy a property in the UK over a certain price, you have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). This is charged on all purchases of houses, flats and other land and buildings. If you’re buying a home in Fulham, which we’ll assume you are, it won’t be under £500,000, which means that stamp duty will be between 3-4% of the house price. Not small change, and it might even go up.
Choose a home You have the image of what you want from a home in your head. It’s likely been forming there for years. From the size and shape to the ambiance and location. Well, time for another nasty home truth: get ready for that image to change. There are very few people in a position to buy or build the literal home of their dreams, so for the rest of us, it’s about making a detailed list of your requirements and then finding a property that ticks as many of them as possible. They are obvious but hugely important questions. The estate agent The vast majority of buyers, first time or not, will purchase their homes through estate agents. There
27 are of course other ways to own a home, from inheritance to a private sale, but the lion’s share overwhelmingly take place through an agent. After all, they have the details on the area, and, of course, the details on the homes. So what will happen when you enter the office and take a seat in the stylishly understated chairs across from the agent? Questions. You’ll have them, and the agent will certainly have them, because the first thing they’ll do is gather as much information as possible so they can assess your position in the market. It’s worth remembering that the agent is looking to sell houses, they get most of their money from the seller (or vendor as you’ll likely hear them referred to), so they’re looking for the best possible buyer at the best possible price. This might sound mercenary to some people, but it’s simply business. This isn’t to say you should be treated with any disdain by an agent. If you feel for a second that you’re not being treated as you wish to be, turn on your heel and try down the road.
The Telegraph reported in December that: “The average home in the capital now costs £434,000, according to the ONS (Office for National Statistics). Using the Government’s own national forecasts updated in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement - this figure will rise to £513,000 by 2016, pushing the transaction up from the 3% bracket (which applies on transactions priced at £250,001 to £500,000) into the 4% bracket (£500,001 to £1m). The duty liable would go from £13,020 to £20,520, an increase of £7,500 or 58%.” So if you want to buy a home but you only have the bare minimum to cover the cost of the property, the brutal truth, is that you’re not ready.
Ask yourself: • Where do you want to be? • Do you want a house or flat? • Do you need public transport? • How many rooms do you want? • How many rooms do you need? • Do you have children? • Are you planning to? • Is your work secure? • How long are you planning to stay there? • Will the property increase in value? • Does it need any renovation? • How much will it cost? • Is there any potential to expand ? • Is the property leasehold or freehold? • What council tax band will you be in? • Is there parking? • Are there good schools nearby? • What are other houses like in the street?
When you do find an agent you’re comfortable with, who knows about the area you want to move into, and, most importantly, has the stock, it’s time to start tackling those questions. The agent will need to know several things, including your budget, whether you’re a cash buyer or have a mortgage in principal, are you in the process of selling a property or caught in a chain? What’s your timescale? These are all questions you should have the answers too.
Get a solicitor You will need some legal backup to handle the conveyancing, which is the blanket term for all of the legal and administrative work surrounding the transferring of the ownership of land or buildings, from one owner to another. You are completely within your rights to carry out the conveyancing yourself, but unless you are a solicitor, this isn’t advisable. It is a complex process that makes filing a tax return look like a simple word search. And if you’re buying in London, get a London based solicitor. Forget the feelings of the trusted family practice, if they’re not savvy with the machinations of the city you want to buy in, you’re missing out on a valuable asset.
IF BUYING A HOME IS A COMPETITIVE SPORT, THEN BUYING IN SW6 IS LIKE PLAYING IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE Making an offer Make no mistake. If buying a home is a competitive sport, then buying in SW6 is like playing in the Premier League. An average property for sale in Fulham will have a minimum of four to five seriously interested buyers. So you, your finances and your information need to be in perfect condition if you’re ever going to compete. You need to reassure the seller that you are serious, secure and ready to move – if you’re in a chain but a rival party isn’t, you’re going to loose out unless you make a fairly radical offer. That’s not to say that you have no ammunition at all, because you do. Always remember, these people need to sell their house. The opening offer on a home is usually about 5-10% lower than the asking price, and the two
parties should take this as the starting point for further negotiations. The number of people who’re interested in the property obviously affects your position. If you are the only people making serious enquiries, that’s good, but it would also be worth asking yourself, and your agent, why that is. And take the time of year into account, too. Sales, and prices, are traditionally higher in spring and summer, so if you’re buying in the autumn or winter, there’s a chance the seller is looking for a quick sale, which means more flexibility. Exchange contracts The Homeowners Alliance spells this part of the process out in black and white: “When you exchange contracts with the seller you become legally committed to buying the property – and they are legally committed to selling it do you.” More poetically put, this is the point of no return. If you pull out at this point without good reason, you are liable to loose your 10% deposit, which will have been paid when your offer was accepted. Contracts should only be exchanged after a detailed sales memorandum has been circulated between buyer, seller, and both party’s solicitors and estate agents. This will detail timescales for completion date – usually about four weeks, but it can be as little as ten days if it’s a cash purchase – deposits, whether white goods will be included and even the blinds! From the big to the small, everything needs to be put in writing and documented so that there is no way anyone can claim to have been left out of the loop. Contracts should only ever be exchanged once you and your solicitor have received the surveyor’s report on the property you are buying, and all parties are satisfied. And a small, but important note to remember, is that you make sure you have insurance in place for the property from the date of completion, because even if you’re not quite moved in, it’s now your responsibility. It’s your new home. It’s yours.
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No matter what your square footage is, selling a home of any size, for whatever reason, is guaranteed to give you a few sleepless nights. But a bit of preparation can go a long way. So with that in mind, here are the five (it wouldn’t be fair to say easy) steps of selling a home.
Anger You will feel it. That’s a stone cold fact. But the trick is not letting it take over. Any number of incidents could trigger it – an unaccepted bid, a complex chain will form that stalls negotiations, or a surveyor will tell you that the dream house you’re sure you’ve just found has more subsistence than the Torre did Pisa – but you can’t, and yes it is easier said than done, lose your temper unless you have good reason. Along with bereavement and divorce, moving house is one of the most stressful events you can experience, but if you can keep your cool, from the moment you make the big decision to the second you pay the removal men at the door of your new home, you’ll make better decisions and find the whole thing runs a lot more smoothly.
“DESPITE WHAT YOU MAY HAVE BEEN TOLD OR WHAT YOU’VE SEEN ON TELEVISION, HAGGLING IS STILL VERY MUCH A PART OF BUYING AND SELLING HOMES ” Doubt So it’s all going according to plan. You’ve found the right house, in the right place and it’s the right size. In short, it’s your dream home. So why are insidious doubts creeping into your head when you turn the lights out? Well, it’s because you’re about to enter into a large, costly, legally binding agreement. If you weren’t having any doubts, that, ironically, would be something to really worry about. Success At some point in the process, traditionally towards the end when everyone’s been paid, someone will put a key in your hand and you’ll breathe an enormous, earth-shattering sigh of relief. First you need to make up your bedroom so you can have a well-earned, unbroken sleep. It might sound stupid, and not a little patronising, but it pays dividends when you’ve spent two days packing and unpacking your life. And the second, and most important, thing is to clear the kitchen as much as you can and cook (or order) your favourite meal. Start living in your new home as soon as possible.
Denial You’ve known it’s been time to move for a while, but procrastination has become your bedfellow. Excuses have been far too easy to come by and it’s kept you from making important decisions. Of course there are endless reasons to put a move off – a new child, uncertainty at work, low stock or simply a lack of funds are just a few of the more than valid arguments – but it’s important to remember, and if possible, prioritise, the arguments for a move, otherwise you’ll continue to put things off and miss out on great opportunities.
Bargaining Despite what you may have been told or what you’ve seen on television, haggling is still very much a part of buying and selling homes. Find out what the going rate is for similar homes, and not just in the immediate surrounding area, look further afield in your second or even third choice locations. In short, have a complete understanding of the market you’re entering. If you find a house you love, take as many viewings as you can – you’re about to make a fairly sizable investment, it’s important that you like the place.
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL AN UNSETTLED MARKET IN 2013 HAS LEFT MANY LANDLORDS WITH LOW RENTAL YIELDS AND QUESTIONS ABOUT THE FUTURE. BUT FOR ANY LANDLORDS LOOKING FOR REASSURANCE, WE HAVE GOOD NEWS.
One of the key learnings that landlords can take away from 2013, is that rental yield is not set in stone. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. This might sound like a strange thing to say, but it’s this movement that keeps the market alive and competitive, especially if the yield is going up. However, that wasn’t the case last year in Fulham, or the year before that, for that matter. But first, a quick reminder on rental yield. At it’s most simple, this is the rental income for landlords and developers, divided by the property value. In the last two years, Fulham’s had an average rental yield of about 4.5% - a positive result when you consider that large areas of Greater London are currently returning an average yield of less than 4% - and on top of that, in 2013 specifically, we’re beginning to see some rents actually coming down, both in yield and absolute terms.
This in turn means that the rental market is becoming more competitive as the numbers of people seeking properties goes down. Conversely, those who are renting, appear to be staying for longer as they aim to capitalise on cheaper rents. A prime example is the influx of foreign nationals to SW6, who may be working on 2-3 year contracts in the city, so are unwilling to buy, but still want the Fulham lifestyle. With this in mind, landlords are being forced to be more flexible in everything from prices, to the furniture and white good they contractually provide. The two groups of people – those who have suddenly found themselves in a position to climb onto the property ladder, and those who aren’t quite there yet, but are savvy enough to spot the changes in the market and take the lead on rental negotiations – are now defining the rental market, not the landlords. But that doesn’t need to be a negative. If you’re flexible, smart, and willing to negotiate, you can land yourself the dream ticket: A long term, high-earning, professional tenant.
The is a public service announcement: Do not feel bad. Banish those January blues and forget about the grey skies, because 2014 is looking like a vintage year. Of course the property market will continue to be an unpredictable beast, which changes daily with the ebb and flow of global and local markets. But one thing is certain; whether you’re a landlord or a tenant, it’s never dull.
This is perfectly normal for this time of year – the market goes into a nominal slump across the board from the end of November through to the end of January, as everything is swallowed up by Christmas and New Year plans – but on a wider scale, in Hammersmith and Fulham, a buoyant buyers market means that people who would otherwise rent, are actually buying. In the rental market, the fact that there is more mortgage finance available, some from the governments Help to Buy scheme, will mean that there will be some degree of switching from renting to ownership.
Interiors & Design
GEORGE NELSON HOME
£279 | made.com
£3514 | conranshop.co.uk
£750 | theoldcinema.co.uk
A inpactful mid-century design, in bold retro style. In classic walnut or in a vibrant flamingo pink desk will give your workspace a bold, playful and unique look. Also available in white and turquoise.
This desk is designed by George Nelson the iconic American modernist. It has a refined, elegant base and understated colours in the pigeon holes. He designed it as a ladies’ desk but would make a great work station.
This stunning upcycled 1950’s desk by the designer Kate Noakes would make a great addition to any room. It’s compact size 94cm width by 46cm depth make it ideal in small work spaces or a children’s bedroom.
POLISHED STEEL DESK
THE BOND DESK
WILLIAM PEDESTAL DESK
£550 | theoldcinema.co.uk
£2800 | jonathanadler.com
£2150 | Okadirect.com
These polished, steel retro desks are having a moment. Available with pedestal drawers or single drawer they are an easy way to update the office.
A very glamorous desk made from burled maple wood and Lucite with stainless steel accents. There’s also a cocktail table available to complete the bond-feel.
This is a classic desk, but made from weathered oak which gives a more contemporary feel. It would work in both a modern interior and more classic setting.
RETRO COLOURED DESKS
£4036 | wharfside.co.uk
£595 | grahamandgreen.co.uk
£379 | Made.com
Retro, yet timeless these highly durable these metal classic retro desks are available in any RAL colour and a selection of sizes to totally complete your workspace at home or your office interior.
This writing desk is based on a 1940s Italian design, and its stunning good looks make it irresistible. It has a central drawer, handy for paper and pens, but it’s the rich oak finish, curvy shape and roomy top that give it diva status.
Designed by Steuart Padwick for Made.com this is a great, compact desk. It’s made from solid oak with engineered wooden legs. 2 handy drawers and a central compartment, for clever interior in limited spaces.
THE JEAN MARC DESK
THE ILLUSTRIOUS DESK
£2254 | julianchichester.com
£7200 | anthropologie.eu
£315 | ikea.com
This striking desk has an elegant contoured frame with an inset desk top, three Sycamore veneer lined drawers and matching handles. Vellum is a natural product and each piece is unique with natural variations in colour and texture.
Once an artist’s workspace, this one-off 1970s desk lives up to its name. Its made from richly aged pine and would work in any contemporary or traditional (creative) work area. Similar from Anthropogie.
The Hemnes desk comes in grey/ brown, black/brown or white and is a great budget desk if you need lots of storage in simplistic design. Made from solid wood , it has a cable outlet and adjustable shelving.
Compiled by Magenta Pink Interiors, magentapink.co.uk
Interiors & Design
VICTORIAN PERFECTION An extremely stylish, Victorian family home offering nearly 1,550 sq. ft. of living space.
The stylish family home includes a master bedroom with en suite, three further bedrooms and a family bathroom, finished to a high standard throughout with particular thought being taken in the layout of the extended kitchen breakfast room with bi-folding doors on to the garden.
SHERBROOKE ROAD ÂŁ1,450,000 (For Sale) 4 beds | House | Freehold
ONE OF A KIND
This historic building, built in 1893 is now a freehold house, laid out over two floors with two bedrooms extending to 764 sq. ft (71 Sq. m). This unique and stylish property has undergone a thorough refurbishment, and has been finished to a high specification throughout.
PERRYMEAD STREET ÂŁ895,000 (For Sale) 2 beds | House | Freehold
An exceptional, fully detached Victorian family home with a double garage very cose to Bishops Park
This extremely rare property features 5 double bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 2 reception rooms, 2 dining rooms, a utility room and a gym with sauna and shower room. Located on one of the most sought after roads in Bishops Park.
DONERAILE STREET ÂŁ3,950,000 (Under Offer) 5 Beds | House | Freehold
WARDO AVENUE A two bedroom ground floor maisonette with its own private garden located on Wardo Avenue, one of the most popular roads in ‘Munster Village’. The property can be substantially extended owing to a larger than average side return. Currently the property is arranged with a separate reception room and kitchen which could benefit from being restructured (if required). There’s also two good sized bedrooms a family bathroom and separate WC.
WARDO AVENUE £725,000 (For Sale) 2 Beds | Maisonette | Share of Freehold
DANEHURST STREET A substantial two double bedroom split level flat with a private garden and its own front door, located a few minutes walk from Parsons Green. The flat is arranged over the ground and first floor of an impressive Victorian house extending to 915 square feet. The ground floor comprises a good sized double reception room which leads on to the garden and a separate kitchen with plenty of storage. The first floor has two spacious double bedrooms and a family bathroom.
DANEHURST STREET ÂŁ950,000 (Under Offer) 2 Beds | Flat | Share of Freehold
KINGS ROAD A bright two double bedroom, split level flat, located in a prime spot on the famous Kings Road, close to green spaces of Eel Brook common. The property has its own private entrance with a large hallway on the ground floor. Stairs lead up to a modern bathroom, separate W.C, large reception room and stylish kitchen/breakfast room. On the top floor are two good sized double bedrooms and a great private roof terrace.
KINGS ROAD ÂŁ879,950 (Under Offer) 4 Beds | House | Freehold
STUDDRIDGE STREET A beautiful four bedroom ‘Lion’ house in the heart of the Peterborough Estate, one of Fulham’s most desirable areas. Studdridge Street is a pretty tree lined residential road in one of the very best locations Fulham has to offer. There are a variety of local shops, cafes and restaurants close to hand, both on Parsons Green Lane and along New Kings Road, and the nearest underground station is only a short walk away across the green.
STUDDRIDGE STREET £1,995,000 (Under Offer) 4 Beds | House | Freehold
A beautifully finished maisonette right on Parsons Green.
A new and immaculately finished three bedroom, three bathroom maisonette on the ground and raised ground floors of a unique, architecturally restructured property right on Parsons Green, the most desirable and sought after location in Fulham. The property has been cleverly thought out, with a spectacular double height reception room with commanding views right out over the green itself.
PARSONS GREEN ÂŁ1,150 per week 3 beds | Maisonette | Available Now
A very well located four bedroom family home in the â€˜Villesâ€™, an extremely popular area close to Parsons Green. The house has a spacious reception room with wooden floors leading to a large, modern, open plan kitchen/dining area on the ground floor, and a luscious south facing, landscaped garden with outdoor furniture beyond.
PARKVILLE ROAD ÂŁ1,100 per week 4 beds | House | Available Now
WOODLAWN ROAD A two bedroom apartment in the desirable Bishops Park area of Fulham. The property is finished to a good standard and consists of a reception room to the front, two double bedrooms and a bathroom. The flat also has a good size open plan kitchen/dining area, which leads on to a private garden.
WOODLAWN ROAD ÂŁ430 per week 2 beds | Flat | Available Now
SHORROLDS ROAD This well located, one bedroom garden flat is only a short walk from both Parsons Green and Fulham Broadway (the economic centre of Fulham). The property consists of a large reception room with wooden floors, a well equipped kitchen, modern bathroom and double bedroom, plenty of built in storage and good size rear garden. Shorrolds Road is an extremely convenient place to live being only a five minute walk from the nearest underground station, and close to a large Waitrose and numerous cafes and restaurants.
SHORROLDS ROAD ÂŁ350 per week 1 bed | Flat | Available Now
BISHOPS ROAD A rare double fronted five bedroom Victorian family house on a prime Fulham Road. Perfectly suited for a family, this house has a large double aspect reception room, eat-in kitchen (including guest cloakroom) and separate study/office room on the ground floor with access to a private south facing garden. On the first floor there are four bedrooms (including the master bedroom which includes fitted storage) and a large family bathroom with separate shower and bath.
BISHOPS ROAD ÂŁ1,150 per week 5 beds | House | Available Now
ST. DIONIS ROAD A fantastic four bedroom family home, located on St. Dionis Road, one of the prettiest and well positioned streets in Parsons Green. This house offers excellent entertaining space on the ground floor with a double reception room, separate W.C. and extended kitchen breakfast room, leading out to a private south facing garden.
ST. DIONIS ROAD ÂŁ800 per week 4 beds | House | Available Now
NOVELLO STREET A restructured two bedroom Victorian cottage with a large reception room, a good size eating area and a fitted kitchen with access to a rear patio garden. On the first floor is a family bathroom and two good size double bedrooms, one has a large ensuite bathroom. The property also features a very impressive, and spacious, roof terrace with views across Fulham.
NOVELLO STREET ÂŁ650 per week 2 beds | House | Available Now
GET IN TOUCH Contact 020 7384 6790 HELLO@BRIK.CO.UK BRIK 77 Parsons Green Lane Fulham, SW6 4JA
11 Colville Mews Notting Hill, W11 2DA
Opposite the White Horse pub
Near the Design Museum
MEET BRIK Mike Horne Co-founder NFOPP qualified
Chris Littlewood Co-founder NFOPP qualified
Ben Littlewood Co-founder NFOPP qualified
Emma Wrake Lettings Manager ARLA qualified
Alex Weldon Sales NFOPP qualified
Cecci Robertson Front Desk
Call us for a free valuation: 020 7384 6790
James Sims Sales Manager NFOPP qualified
Like many people we believe estate agency is in need of improvement. We started Brik to challenge the status quo and our reputation has grown by delivering record breaking prices and quick sales with minimum fuss. Our formula is simple, sound advice plus friendly approach equals good result.