Agribusiness update December 2013
    The problems that purchasers often face

    The problems that purchasers often face

    "Regardless of the size of the property, the location, the price, or nationality of buyer, there are identical issues which all new owners have to deal with."



    Common themes

    Regardless of the size of the property, the location, the price or nationality of buyer, there are identical issues which all new owners have to deal with.  If owners can get these right first time, it will save a lot of trouble and expense and make for a much happier experience. Property is inherently expensive – it is a valuable asset class in its own right, but refurbishment and operating costs can be disproportionately expensive when mistakes are made.


    Once contracts have exchanged, preparation needs to be made for completion, the point at which the purchaser takes possession of the property.  If there are staff employed, quick decisions will be needed on who to retain, if security is an issue there may need to be an appraisal or house sitters may be needed – this is especially important if it is a sale that has been widely publicised.  At the very least, there needs to be clear instruction on how the technical systems operate, whether it’s central heating, air conditioning, IT and AV, lighting or security.  Nothing is worse than being locked out of your own house, being unable to watch TV or have a hot bath.  There will also be the bureaucracy of stopping accounts with the utility suppliers and then identifying the best suppliers to use in future.

    Restoration, strategy and design team

    Renovation costs are expensive, in addition to the construction costs, VAT is usually payable at 20%, and consultants fees add easily another 20%-30% to the overall cost.  Many consultants charge on the basis of a percentage of the overall cost, hence there is often upward pressure on budget.  Getting the right team is essential for achieving the best result, but equally putting the right team structure in place can make a profound difference to the overall length, cost and quality of a refurbishment project.

    Future operation

    Whilst the handover and restoration phases can be intense, what really matters is having success as a family home over the long term.  This means having the right people, high standards of maintenance and presentation but at a reasonable cost.  A well managed house will not only be a more pleasant environment in which to live, it will also protect and enhance the asset value.  Running costs will depend on lifestyle, but it is possible to benchmark costs, whether it is salaries, gardens, insurance or utility costs, to ensure that there is financial efficiency and value for money.

    What we do

    We are experts in helping new owners of substantial houses, both in the Country and in London.  We anticipate what decisions are needed, what the options are and the potential long term consequences.  We help clients navigate efficiently and cost effectively as well as making the whole process enjoyable.  In most cases we save significantly more than we cost, in some cases the savings have been substantial, sometimes six or even seven figures.


    Key contacts

    Philip Eddell

    Philip Eddell

    Country & London House Consultancy

    Savills Newbury

    +44 (0) 1635 277 709

    +44 (0) 1635 277 709