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  • Sales Manager
    Dove & Hawk are looking for a Sales Manager to run an established Far East residential sales desk. Our boutique International client operate across 50+ countries, providing property services to an UHNW client base. The company specialise in providing their clients with access to high-quality off market new build schemes throughout London with a portfolio
  • Sales Director
    Dove & Hawk have been instructed by one of the leading global boutique property firms to recruit an experienced Sales Director for their office in Hong Kong. It is essential you are proficient in Mandarin and/or Cantonese and have had experience working for a developer or agent. You will be used to handling high-profile clients
  • Lettings Negotiator
    Chestertons is advertising a Lettings Negotiator job in South Kensington. Full details and how to apply here
  • Senior Researcher
    Savills is looking for a Senior Researcher to join the team. Full details and how to apply here  
  • Property Manager (Maternity Cover)
    A fantastic opportunity has arisen at a leading, upmarket independent estate agency with a large network of offices throughout London. Our client is currently looking for an experienced Property Manager to join their multi award-winning company at their primary located office based in Westminster. Full details and how to apply here
  • Lettings Manager
    We have an exciting opportunity available with this independent estate agency who have an in-depth knowledge of the local and surrounding market. The company Directors were born and bred in the local area, giving the company a distinct insight into the local property market. Full details and how to apply here
  • Lettings Negotiator
    An excellent opportunity has become available within the Lettings department at the Chelsea office of this well-established and well-respected Central London estate agency. Full details and how to apply here
  • Lettings Manager
    Strutt & Parker is advertising a Lettings Manager role in Notting Hill. Full details and how to apply here
  • Creative Director – Interior Design
    A Prime Central London based Interior Design firm are seeking a Creative Director, with a strong design background, to grow and drive the business forward. The Director should have a keen eye for design and will have full responsibility for the creative direction of the company whilst maintaining the day to day management of the
  • Sales Negotiator
    Carter Jonas’ Wandsworth office is now seeking an experienced Sales Negotiator. Full details and how to apply here

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Escape to the Country: The Doer Upper retreats to Somerset

Priced out and fed up of London’s “out of kilter” property scene, our resident doer upper Alan Page has retreated to Somerset for his development and renovation fix… Print PDFThese...

Priced out and fed up of London’s “out of kilter” property scene, our resident doer upper Alan Page has retreated to Somerset for his development and renovation fix…

I love doing up properties.

Seeing a tired, neglected and badly configured space transform into something desirable, comfortable and usable is immensely satisfying.

Of course there are always going to be problems – disputes with builders, unexpected expenses, inefficient suppliers, jobsworth planners, chippy tradesmen, unnecessary delays – but these bumps in the road are nothing to the pleasure of seeing a finished project.

I remember coming downstairs day after day at our Putney house and marvelling at the vast opened up space, the beautifully engineered Bulthaup kitchen and the sheer luxury of it (by my standards, anyway).

The same was true when we transformed a dull, dark beach-front apartment in St Tropez, a crumbling villa in the Var vineyards, a neglected semi in Fulham and a tiny garret in Paris. Each one has left a deep impression on me.

More recently, of course, there’s been the flat in Egerton Gardens (recently marketed as London’s most expensive studio flat) and the little house in Kensington.

I don’t think I can ever completely give up this part of my life. But whether it’s still a viable way to make some kind of a living is another question entirely.

Not only has the smug draper’s son, our friend Mr Osborne, turned into a modern-day Sheriff of Nottingham with his unwarranted tax raids, but prices across the board in London do seem out of kilter with real incomes.

[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] When very ordinary, small Fulham houses are over £2m and deeply unattractive flats south of the river are £1m, it’s not just me that’s priced out of the market. It’s most people. Even very successful people.   [/pullquote]

When very ordinary, small Fulham houses are over £2m and deeply unattractive flats south of the river are £1m, it’s not just me that’s priced out of the market. It’s most people. Even very successful people.

All things considered, therefore, I’m taking a bit of step back. Still looking at the market. Still keeping an eye on what’s out there. But rushing into nothing. And focussing instead on the work we need to do at our house in Somerset.

IMG_0661We have a lot to do. Both inside and out.

The house is currently very top heavy. All bedrooms and little living space. So we need to knock through a couple of walls. Take out one of the staircases. Put in some new windows. Fit a new kitchen. Revamp a boot room, guest loo and a bathroom. And completely rethink a small lower ground floor room that’s destined eventually to be my “study”.

Outside we need to move a 2000 litre oil tank, scrap a second tank, dig trenches for new oil pipes, complete a new ‘mediterranean’ garden on a terrace, manage a 3/4 acre walled garden we now rent and lay about 50 metres of brick paved paths.

All of this needs to be done while thinking up ways in which I can earn some money to be able to afford it all.

And on that note, I think I need a little lie down….

Catch up on all the Doer Upper’s antics at his blog here, or follow him on Twitter @beachcomberpage 

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