Saturday, 23 April 2011

House Viewing: Igor-To-Sell

Another quick house viewing post, and I promise it's not an exciting one. In the period of gloom between giving up on Mould Mansion and the auction, Sven spotted Igor-To-Sell on Rightmove. It turns out Lotte had seen it before, but we'd not been keen to see it as it was over our budget and doesn't have much garden to speak of. Still, we needed cheering up and you never know what lies behind the front door of a property, so we decided to give it a look. The estate agent described the vendor as "eager to sell". This bit is important later.

Bless the man showing it to us (the eponymous Igor), he was a very good guide around the property, and to be fair, it was quite nice (in places). It's actually owned by a company of some sort, who currently let it out (and please bear in mind that it's a 6 bedroom house and one bedroom flat) to one woman, because it doesn't meet the HMO regulations. They currently use the downstairs flat to store more tea towels than I've ever seen in my life. That bit never got explained. Neither did the fact that the estate agent hadn't mentioned the attached double garage which doesn't come with the property, even though they share a flat roof.


Size-wise it was fine, but it had no garden and was too expensive for us. On top of that, it's not for sale.

Say what?

Yep. On the way out Igor told us that, bemusing though he found it, his mad scientist masters had put the house on the market to "test the water". They're actually in the process of getting quotes to turn it into either a HMO or self-contained flats. It was only put on the market (and at what seems to us an over-inflated price) to see if they could get silly money for it.

Eager to sell, indeed.

This seems to me to highlight, rather neatly, yet more of the foibles of property as a speculative commodity. In order to see if they could squeeze unreasonable money out of someone, on their way to squeezing a lovely rental profit out of some other people, this company has told the current tenant that they might have to leave at any time. Her housing situation is insecure in either case because some distant company, apparently against the advice of their local Igor, wants to make as much money as possible. Because of their unwillingness to spend money to upgrade the property, a 7 bedroom property in a popular (and expensive to rent in) area has been occupied by only one tenant. Something is wrong here.

I cannot wait until we have a co-op house, and can hopefully inspire there to be another housing co-op in Swansea. And another. And another, ad infinitum.

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