Today I was looking forward to having lunch al fresco with a few property chums. B, my property lawyer, appeared as usual except unusually – uniquely – he was on his bike! S appeared waving some strawberries and delicious yoghurt. So I bundled them in the car and took them off to Starbucks for the first part of our meeting.
We made it home for 12 noon and I set them to work preparing lunch for our special guest. We laughed as S hulled the strawberries and B chopped the salad that this is our work, making lunch for other property investing chums.
Our guest of honour turned up with a bottle of Piper Heidsieck, the ever-abundant Peter Stanley, and I realise as I write this I forgot to tell him I had toured the Piper Heidsieck champagne house in Rheims once. So we put the bottle on ice while we got ourselves organised for lunch.
We had a 3.5 hour catch up, discussing deals, swapping property ideas. S is thinking of selling/optioning her entire portfolio, as am I, and Peter is acquiring more. B was advising us all. Fabulous, even though we had to take evasive action from the rain, over coffee, and flee indoors. We toughed it out for as long as we could.
A second Peter W, my builder, appeared in time to join us for coffee and he and I drove over to Nunhead, dropping Peter S at Brixton tube station en route, to where E, my tenant for four years (FOUR YEARS!), was vacating today. E now has two babies and has qualified for council housing nearby at half the cost of my 1.5 bed flat. She is chuffed as she can keep her children in the same good local school and also with the same child-minder.
She’s spent the four years studying and is going to University to become a social worker. I really couldn’t be happier for her (and quite proud, if I’m honest) and at the same time I was also keen to get my hands on the flat as I know it needs some TLC.
Peter is now going to re-decorate it so a new tenant can move in. I had already spoken earlier to my third Peter of the day, Perky Pete, my keen-as-mustard estate agent, and he’s lining up a couple of people he thinks might like the flat once Peter has worked his magic on the place which was looking a bit sad, to be honest. E and I parted as chums; she has been a good and loyal tenant and she expressed that felt the same way about me as a landlady. Aah.
And then I shocked Peter by popping into the carpet shop on the way home at 5 p.m. and ordering a man to measure up on Tuesday with a view to laying a week on Monday just in time for a happy new tenant to enjoy a happy new home, all fresh and new. No point in letting the grass grow.
That’s one of the unexpected joys of being a landady and I know many won’t agree with me. But it’s making a lovely peaceful new home/sanctuary available to someone who needs one.
So, I have advanced £500 tonight online for building materials and a new era begins for my first ever BTL.