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Location, Location, Location viewers slam ‘pretentious’ first-time buyers

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Viewers branded it ‘karma’ after a couple missed out on their dream first property together after squabbling over paying an extra £5,000 to secure the final deal on Location, Location, Location – despite it being £30,000 under their £750,000 budget. 

In last night’s episode of the Channel 4 show, professional dancer Georgie and insurance underwriter Pete, who moved into a one-room studio flat in Kent three days before lockdown, were on the search for more space and their first property together.

The newly engaged couple had a £750,000 budget to do so – and it wasn’t long before they fell in love with a five-bedroom property in their dream location of Bexley, which had a guide price of £700,000 – £725,000.

However, with the knowledge that a previous offer had been rejected at £700,00, the couple went in at £710,000 only to get turned down – before being told the seller would only accept £720,000. 

After arguing over spending an extra £5,000, Pete was insistent that he initially only wanted to go to £715,000, which was rejected – leaving viewers questioning whether the young couple could afford such a high-end budget in the first place.

‘Why the hell does a childless couple need a 5 bed house? I’ve got three kids and don’t need that many. Pretentious much?’ wrote one, while a second joked: ‘Seriously… who are these people that can just throw £750k down on a first property – I debate spending £2 on a sandwich in Lidl on a lunchtime.’

In last night's episode of Channel 4's Location, Location, Location, Georgie and Pete (pictured) spent a staggering £720,000 on their first property together - but argued when it came to paying an additional £5,000 to secure the deal

In last night’s episode of Channel 4’s Location, Location, Location, Georgie and Pete (pictured) spent a staggering £720,000 on their first property together – but argued when it came to paying an additional £5,000 to secure the deal

The newly engaged couple fell in love with a five-bedroom property in their dream location of Bexley, which had a guide price of £700,000 - £725,000. Pictured, the living room

The newly engaged couple fell in love with a five-bedroom property in their dream location of Bexley, which had a guide price of £700,000 – £725,000. Pictured, the living room

The couple told how they were on the search for an open plan, kitchen-diner, and a living area that had a 'really nice flow to it.' Pictured, the living room the lead into the garden

The couple told how they were on the search for an open plan, kitchen-diner, and a living area that had a ‘really nice flow to it.’ Pictured, the living room the lead into the garden

The Victorian house features five good-sized bedrooms overs two floors - including a master with an en-suite. Pictured, one of the five neutral-coloured rooms

The Victorian house features five good-sized bedrooms overs two floors – including a master with an en-suite. Pictured, one of the five neutral-coloured rooms

The couple admitted the house was a lot bigger in the inside than it looked on the outside - and was delighted it was in their dream location of Bexley. Pictured, the garden

The couple admitted the house was a lot bigger in the inside than it looked on the outside – and was delighted it was in their dream location of Bexley. Pictured, the garden

A third added: ‘I do laugh at these couples ‘starting out’ in life and looking at getting on the property ladder with a three quarters of a million pound four bed house,’ while a fourth wrote: ‘Arguing over £5k? This couple cannot afford this house.’ 

During the episode, the couple knew exactly what sort of property and location they were after.

‘We’re looking for a four-bed house, within a ten minute walk of the station because we both commute into London every day,’ explained Pete. ‘We want a really open plan, kitchen-diner, and a living area that’s got a really nice flow to it.’

Georgie added: ‘All we really want to do is get out of London, have more space, and potential to grow.’ 

And estate agent Phil Spencer hit the jackpot when he took the couple to see a five-bed Victorian property located just off the pretty high street of Bexley village.

The property featured a large lounge with charming fireplace, good size kitchen-diner area and a generous garden, while upstairs, over two floors, boasted five good-sized bedrooms – including a master with an en-suite.

Phil took the newly engaged couple to see the five-bed Victorian property located just off the pretty high street of Bexley village. Pictured, the exterior

Phil took the newly engaged couple to see the five-bed Victorian property located just off the pretty high street of Bexley village. Pictured, the exterior

Taking to Twitter during the episode, one viewer penned: 'Arguing over £5k? This couple cannot afford this house' (pictured)

Another viewer penned: 'Why do you need 5 bedrooms when you don't have kids?'

Viewers were quick to take to Twitter following the episode, with many venting their frustration at the couple (pictured) 

‘It’s beautiful – high ceilings, coving, fire place,’ enthused Georgie. ‘It feels lovely and fresh and new but still characterful and charming and lovely. I really, really, really like it.’

‘Certainly the area for me as well, Bexley is our number one – we’re both in agreement with that.’  

Pete added: ‘I’m excited about this one. I like it a lot.’ 

The other property’s that the couple saw failed to compare to the Bexley house – and the couple agreed to put in an offer.  

However, when their first price of £710,000 was rejected, the seller informed them he’d only accept £720,000.

‘So we’re going to have to go £720,000 or nothing,’ said Georgie, to which Pete replied: ‘For me, if you’re going £7,000-£725,000, then £715,000 is the fair middle-ground.’

With tensions rising, Georgie added: ‘Yeah I know, but does it become about playing a game, or about buying a house because we can afford £750,000?’ 

One of the neutral-themed bedrooms in the five-property house located in the hot spot area of Bexley (pictured)

 One of the neutral-themed bedrooms in the five-property house located in the hot spot area of Bexley (pictured)

Georgie was delighted to see that many of the bedrooms boasted built-in storage (pictured) - something which the studio flat in Kent lacked

Georgie was delighted to see that many of the bedrooms boasted built-in storage (pictured) – something which the studio flat in Kent lacked

The couple were pleased to discover the master bedroom even came complete with its own en suite (pictured)

The couple were pleased to discover the master bedroom even came complete with its own en suite (pictured)

Phil Spencer chimed in: ‘I think Georgie’s point is valid. You’re trying to buy a home and actually the last few thousand pounds, it’s a great deal of money if you put it on the table, but actually the last few thousand pounds if that’s the home you want to buy, just bite the bullet and borrow it. 

But, equally, it’s my job to see you buy that house for as little as you can – and today;s price is £720,000.’

A concerned Georgie pointed out that she knew the value of £5,000 – but worried that her partner just wanted to feel like he’d ‘won.’ 

‘In my head, I think £715,000 is a fair comeback offer,’ replied Pete. ‘If we need to go to £720,000, we can go to it tomorrow or the next day.’ 

However, the offer was rejected once again and after Georgie broke down in tears, the next morning, the couple increased their offer to the asking price and was finally accepted.

But celebrations turned out to be premature because after a higher offer from another bidder, the couple were back to square one.  

But losing out didn’t mean giving up – because within two weeks they had an offer accepted on another five-bed house in Bexley for £740,000 – meaning they had to spend an extra £20,000 compared to the first property. 

‘It’s just around the corner from the one that we lost,’ said Georgie,’ to which Pete added: ‘You have to walk past it to walk to the train station! But we’ve actually got a better one.’ 

After their offer is rejected, Georgie (pictured) said to Pete: 'I know five grand is five grand, but I don't know if you just want to feel like you've won'

After their offer is rejected, Georgie (pictured) said to Pete: ‘I know five grand is five grand, but I don’t know if you just want to feel like you’ve won’

‘Wouldn’t pay 5k despite it being under budget. Had to cough up 20k more to get something similar. Karma,’ wrote one, while a second penned: ‘Gazumped so paid an extra 20k when he was stubborn over 5k.’

A third noted: ‘She is crying at a soulless over-developed house. I don’t get it,’ while a fourth commented: 

‘Can’t stand these huge open plan kitchen/dining/living room cold, white and grey spaces. They never look homely; surely the whole of the downstairs will reek of whatever has been cooked last?’

A fifth added: ‘A young couple wanting four bedrooms for their first home and complaining the rooms aren’t big enough in a perfectly ok house. Some of these people need to experience the real world.’

Meanwhile, a further penned: ‘Why do you need 5 bedrooms when you don’t have kids?! If they are planning kids she is going to have shock dealing with those steps, a pram and those ridiculous heels!’

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Madison International Realty invests in London Salesforce Tower (GB)

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Madison International Realty has acquired a minority stake in the Salesforce Tower, London EC2, through a Jersey Property Unit Trust (JPUT), joining other investors including Heron International.

 

The 230-metre tower, completed in 2011 at 110 Bishopsgate, is an island site in the City of London and provides 441,000ft² of office space over 37 floors. The property is over 93% let to a range of tenants, the largest of which is Salesforce. The Salesforce Tower also has an outstanding food and beverage offering with Duck and Waffle and Sushi Samba at the very top and the Drift on the ground floor. The building has a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating for design.

 

The asset’s central location in the core of the City of London means it benefits from excellent transport connectivity, with Liverpool Street and Bank within a short walking distance. Similarly, there are a large number of new world-class food, drink and entertainment options nearby including the new Pan Pacific hotel adjacent at Heron Plaza and Eataly in Broadgate. In January 2021, an ING-led syndicate of lenders completed a €465.2m (£400m), five-year refinancing of the Tower.

 

Alex Lukesch, Managing Director at Madison International Realty commented on the investment: “This acquisition has allowed us to secure a stake in a prominent London office building, which we believe delivers space that meets the demands of modern occupiers looking for world-class offices in one of the world’s leading financial centres. The investment reflects our conviction in the ongoing resilience of the office sector and the role we believe it will play post-pandemic. We have observed that demand for quality, well-located space remains robust, while companies are increasingly looking for properties that also have strong ESG credentials to help meet their own sustainability targets. In Heron, we believe we have an experienced and highly regarded partner and we look forward to working with them on this venture.”

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Britain’s blossoming love for Japanese design in the home

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The design has a red lid and a narrow neck which widens to form a base of sturdy hips. When poured, the contents flow in a singular, uninterrupted stream.

The Kikkoman bottle hasn’t changed since it was designed in 1961 by Kenji Ekuan for the world’s largest soy sauce producer.

Simplicity has made it ubiquitous. And crucially, it works — think of wrestling with glass Heinz ketchup bottles or constantly wiping lids on plastic iterations. Likely, Kikkoman’s bottle is the reason we’re so familiar with soy sauce.

Serene: A contemporary Japanese-style sitting room. The country's influence can be seen most clearly in the clean, elegant and functional everyday products we use in our homes

Serene: A contemporary Japanese-style sitting room. The country’s influence can be seen most clearly in the clean, elegant and functional everyday products we use in our homes

In the introduction to her book Japanese Design Since 1945 (£35, Thames & Hudson), Naomi Pollock writes: ‘In Japan, good design is everywhere. But most of all, it’s in the home.’

The trend for Japanese-inspired, UK-based brands, such as Wagamama, Superdry and Yo! Sushi, is well worn, but the country’s influence is likely seen most clearly in the clean, elegant and functional everyday products we use in our homes.

Inspired idea 

The Japanese approach to design is summed up well by a single product – Muji’s right angle sock (from £3.50, muji.eu). 

As the foot is perpendicular to the leg, the sock should follow the shape of the body: design centres on the user rather than the designer.

The word ‘Muji’ translates as ‘without brand’ and the company invites (often renowned) designers to create reasonably priced products anonymously. 

Design guru Naoto Fukasawa is an adviser to Muji, and his wall-mounted CD player for the company (£149) is in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Naoto Fukasawa's butterfly-inspired Grande Papilio Swivel Lounge Chair (£2,869, chaplins.co.uk)

Naoto Fukasawa’s butterfly-inspired Grande Papilio Swivel Lounge Chair (£2,869, chaplins.co.uk)

In the UK, Chaplins stocks a large selection of products from Japan, including some from the designer.

‘The idea is to create designs that appear to have been sculpted by the elements,’ says Ludovic Aublanc, creative director at Chaplins. ‘It’s the kind of minimalism that brims with emotion, that makes you grateful and happy to come home.’

The company stocks Fukasawa’s butterfly-inspired Papilio range – chairs and sofas sporting headset ‘wings’ to protect the user’s head (Grande Papilio Swivel Lounge Chair, £2,869, chaplins.co.uk).

Simple seating

Japanese designers have described the chair as the centre of design and an extension of the human form. It follows that these things should be easy on both the body and the eye.

Habitat’s Mori charcoal two-seater sofa (£716, habitat.co.uk) certainly fits the bill. It is compact, unfussy and elegant with its plush curved armrests and contrasting thin, wooden legs.

Simple unfinished woodwork is a key part of design in Japan, like the solid oak dining chairs from Oak Furnitureland (£140, oakfurnitureland.com) which would pair well with the Japanese oak Castor Table by Karimoku New Standard (£1,169, nest.co.uk).

Clutter free

Last year, decluttering guru Marie Kondo took the world by storm with her hit Netflix show. The programme has been talked of plenty, but we’re perhaps unaware of how key these principles are to Japanese design.

A large part of the focus on user-friendly products comes down to space. As ever, it’s important for Muji, with its storage bed (from £299) which has spacious drawers to banish clutter. Loaf has the Woody storage bed (from £995, loaf.com).

Simple boxy shelving units such as the Ikea Kallax range (from £15, ikea.com) are practical, but can also be used for displaying plants, books and records.

Or, for a modern twist, try the John Lewis Dice shelving unit bookcase (£450, johnlewis.com). The company also stocks Japanese brand Like-it’s clear storage products (from £8).

Crockery that rocks 

Japanese pottery has long been a feature of our homes, and a collection by John Lewis is a nod to this. Inspired by woodblock prints, the range includes glassware, plates, mugs and even Christmas decorations. 

It’s all delicate, bright patterns and the infuser mugs by Tokyo Design Studio (from £25) are a highlight.

But elegant motifs are only part of the story. The earthy charcoals, whites and beiges of Hasami Porcelain (hasami-porcelain.com) are a calming, elegant addition to any kitchen.

Hasami teapots start from £65 and mugs from £22 (la-gent.com) – also pick up a copy of Okakura Kakuzo’s The Book Of Tea, written in 1906, an insight into the Japanese ritual of tea-making. Elsewhere, an Oriental Hobnail tea set costs from £22.98 (wayfair.co.uk).

For eating, Denby Pottery has Japanese-inspired bowls from £58 for four in grey and white (denbypottery.com).

Finally, being able to serve Japan’s other favourite drink – the highball – is a must. Try LSA’s Mia Highball glasses (£27 for four, lsa-international.com) or, for something cheaper, a set of six Duralex Prisme highballs is £11.99 at rinkit.com.

Then grab a bottle of Akashi whisky (£28.50, waitrosecellar.com), add ice, stir clockwise 13 times, add soda water, stir again and appreciate another example of elegance and simplicity in Japanese design.

What your home really needs is… a Christmas throw

At this time of year, people fall into two groups: those who believe more is more, with bright lights and decorations aplenty; and others who keep things simple, with a few holly sprigs and a carefully adorned tree.

Yuletide luxury: You could use this Alpaca Fair Isle Throw, £99.50, all year round

Yuletide luxury: You could use this Alpaca Fair Isle Throw, £99.50, all year round

But whether you’re a maximalist or a minimalist, your home will need a Christmas throw because someone in your festive bubble is bound to complain about being cold.

If glitter is your thing, you’ll like the fleece star throw from Marks & Spencer (£25, marksand spencer.com). 

Or snuggle up under Dunelm’s red cable-knit design with a fleecey inside (£60, dunelm.com).

For something more fun, Redbubble has one that reads: ‘This is my Hallmark Christmas movie watching blanket’ (£34.73, redbubble.com).

Going low-key? How about a white and grey reindeer pattern with red pompoms (£40, barkerand stonehouse.com)? 

Or this Alpaca Fair Isle Throw , £99.50, notonthe highstreet.com), which you could use all year round.

Anne Ashworth 

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Extending grace period on checks in North would be ‘problematic’ – Taoiseach

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Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said it will be “very problematic” if the UK again extends unilaterally the grace period for Northern Ireland Protocol checks.

But speaking on the Trevor Phillips on Sunday programme on Sky News, Mr Martin also insisted a breakthrough between the EU and UK was still possible “if there’s a will there on both sides”.

His comments came after Boris Johnson escalated his dispute with the European Union by warning he will do whatever it takes to keep goods flowing from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

Following talks with the EU’s key figures on Saturday, the British prime minister said he would not hesitate to take unilateral action to protect the position of Northern Ireland in the increasingly bitter row over post-Brexit trading arrangements.

The row – dubbed the “sausage war” – could mean chilled meats will not be shipped across the Irish Sea because of EU rules after the end of the month.

The UK is considering extending the current grace period without the consent of Brussels to ensure that sausages and mince can continue to reach Northern Ireland’s shops.

But Mr Martin told Sky News that the “channels do exist to get this resolved”.

He added: “In particular, the Sefcovic/Frost process should be fully explored and optimised to get an agreement and I think the prospects, in my view, if there’s a will there on both sides, and there is a will there from the European Union side I know that, I detect from the British prime minister Boris Johnson that the British government is anxious to get a resolution of this, so I think we should work at it.”

Mr Martin said he believed an SPS agreement (on plant and animal health measures) could remove 80 per cent of protocol checks.

When asked about the possibility of the UK unilaterally extending the grace period for checks, Mr Martin said: “I think it will be very problematic because it’s not about sausages per se, it really is about the fact that an agreement had been entered into, not too long ago, signed off by the British government with the European Union.

“If there’s consistent, unilateral deviation from that agreement, that clearly undermines the broader relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom, which is in nobody’s interest and therefore that’s why the UK with the EU have to work very hard now in the coming weeks.

“I know the European Union are anxious to resolve this and want to resolve it but they need to see a similar reciprocity from the UK side.”

When asked if the protocol is undermining Northern Ireland’s place within the UK, Mr Martin said: “We’ve never seen the Protocol as a constitutional issue, it doesn’t in any way interfere with the constitutional status of Northern Ireland as defined and articulated in the Good Friday [Belfast] Agreement.

“We’re very clear from the Irish Government perspective on that, but we do believe in seamless trade on the island of Ireland, it makes sense. We believe in seamless trade insofar as we possibly can between the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.”

‘A bit of respect’

British foreign secretary Dominic Raab accused EU leaders of trying to undermine the status of Northern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom.

After talks at the G7 summit in Cornwall between Boris Johnson and key EU figures failed to achieve a breakthrough in the dispute over the implementation of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement in Northern Ireland, Mr Raab said the EU was showing a lack of respect.

“What we cannot have is the continuing disruption of trade and effectively try to change the status of Northern Ireland, contrary to the consent and wishes of the people, which is not just contrary to the Northern Ireland Protocol but also to the Belfast Agreement,” he told Mr Phillips on Sky News.

“We have serially seen senior EU figures talk about Northern Ireland as if it was some kind of different country to the UK. It is not only offensive, it has real-world effects on the communities in Northern Ireland, creates great concern, great consternation.

“Could you imagine if we talked about Catalonia, the Flemish part of Belgium, one of the lander in Germany, northern Italy, Corsica in France as different countries. We need a bit of respect here.– PA

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