The Worst Developers To Ever Appear On Property Ladder, And Possibly The Entire Planet

Who watched last night’s (28th July 2099) Property Snakes & Ladders (Series 6 Episode 8)?

Successful entrepreneurs Nigel and Sarah have a romantic notion that they can make a quarter of a million pounds by creating a swanky LA pad in the heart of a run down bit of Rotherhithe, East London.

I don’t usually dedicate individual blog posts to episodes of Property Ladder, but fuck me, it was car crash TV, so keeping my big mouth shut over this shit required too much effort.

It was horrible, it was hideous, truly sickening….and I loved it. Throughout the episode I was waiting for Sarah Beeny to say the entire episode was a sick joke while taking her off top and calling my name. Sorry, what? Anyways..

It had all the signs of a joke- the developers purchased an old sausage factory. They wanted to spend 10k on a fish tank for the bathroom. They wanted to cover the place in purple velvet and leopard skin. Come on, surely, it’s a joke?

Unfortunately, it was never confirmed to be a joke, so I was left watching the darn thing in entire disbelief, with my jaw resting on the ground.

Who remembers this couple, Richard Chan and Isabelle Peno?

Richard & Isabel on property Ladder

A few seasons ago I nominated Richard & Isabel as being the worst developers on the entire planet. Well, they’re now being joined by another set of chuckle brothers’, Nigel and Sarah.

Nigel And Sarah, Property Ladder

As people, they seemed nice enough, but as developers, they were soul destroying individuals. I mean, it’s not that they were completely stupid, they were just completely ignorant. The fact they thought they were all-knowing was beyond cringe worthy. I was on the floor shaking like I had a snake bite, begging for them to stop talking, developing…moving.

They had this very bizarre specific idea of what they wanted from the development. Sadly, I fail to believe the ideas floating around in their heads’ were generated by sane minds. They clearly didn’t understand the industry, and to invest over £1m into something you don’t understand is financial suicide. It was like watching children trying to decorate a doll’s house.

I think my favourite bit was when Beeny suggested splitting the property into 3 flats to minimize loss. Of course, as per, it was a smart, sensible suggestion from the Beeny. Nigel and Sarah went against the idea because apparently, they wouldn’t “enjoy” developing flats over a house. Right, that’s a great reason to defy good business advice…*slaps forehead*

I’m still amazed that people go on Property Ladder and brush Sarah’s advice aside so easily. It makes me wonder if these people have ever watched an episode. A scarier thought would be that these people have watch Property Ladder religiously, but failed to learn a damn thing. If I went onto Property Ladder it would be a pretty mundane episode; I would just say, “What do you think, Sarah? Yes, you’re right, let’s do that, Sarah”, the entire time. Who’s the expect here? I know it’s not me.

Ordinarily I would have flicked that shit over and watched the Antiques Road Show, but there was something unusually intoxicating about watching these two cheese-dildos in action.

Anyways, I’m not going to write a long essay on how terrible these clowns were because I’m more interested on your thoughts about the episode. I rarely remember the specifics of many Property Ladder developments, but I’m pretty sure this one will haunt me for a few good years.

This is what they did wrong:

  • 1] They didn’t listen to Beeny
  • 2] They set an unrealistic budget
  • 3] They bought an overpriced property
  • 4] They bought at the peak of the property boom
  • 5] They targetted the wrong market
  • 6] They stopped development for months
  • 7] They catered for their own taste
  • 8] They spent money on unnecessary shit, which wouldn’t have added any value
  • 9] They got emotionally involved with the development
  • 10] They purchased a property which was on the market for 4 years without any hesitation

This is what they did HALF right…

  • listened to Beeny about splitting the house into flats, when it was too late (so they only get half a point here)

On a more positive note, it’s a perfect example of how NOT TO develop property. In fact, Sarah Beeny should release the episode as a DVD and title it, “The Developer’s Bible on how to develop shit property”

I’m sure she’d make a killing.

It’s not too late to watch it

For those that missed it, I urge you to watch it. It’s not too late. Catch it on Channel 4’s website, over here. It’s brilliant!!

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16 Comments- Join The Conversation...

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GillsMan 30th July, 2009 @ 07:51

I saw your Twitter comments about this program, but I was too late to watch the program - thanks for providing the link! I'm off to watch it now!

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 30th July, 2009 @ 08:15

Excellent. Can't wait to hear everyones thoughts on it :)

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vincent hayz 31st July, 2009 @ 08:19

Thanks for link, i just watched it.

Man you wasn't kidding. That was terrible. I was thinking OMG the whole through it.

I don't have anything wity or clever to say. But I advice them never to develop again they got all the key principles wrong, even something simple like targeting the wrong market in the wrong area.

I hope they don't give up their day jobs. I suspect they can't afford to now even if they wanted to lol

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Feefee 31st July, 2009 @ 12:51

The pair did slightly remind me of Pamela Anderson and David im so cheesy Hasselhoff. Putting that aside they seemed ok people and im sure they are good at what they do! But jesus them ideas! I didnt think people like this existed. I mean who wouldnt love a mosiac of nelsons head watching you while you relax in your salt water bath... It was all VERY bizarre but made great tv.

It however seemed that they finally woke up to the idea of 3 flats when they where in the shit.... They got the flat done looking nice but secretly they still totally over spent! I mean who buys corian worktops and furniture from Harrods when you know you'll be thousands in debt! It seems utter madness. But atleast it kept to its theme.... I really hope Sarah does a re-visit to see how the other flats turned out.

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GillsMan 31st July, 2009 @ 15:25

Deary me. That really was car crash TV. Zebra print worktops? Green shagpile carpets? A poster of Nelson's face staring at you while you take a crap? Christ, how many mistakes can one couple make?

While they did seem nice, they were very Peter Andre & Jordan (before the split) and they had as much a clue about property development as Prince Charles does about Gangsta Rap.

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Ben Mangle 2nd August, 2009 @ 06:48

Nice people? I'm not wanting to write an essay bad mouthing anybody but really, were any of you watching the same programme as me? Anybody ever see the Steve Coogan programme where he played a failed, incompetent salesman who motivated hiself by looking in the mirror and shouting "I'm a tiger!! Roar!"? That was this couple. They've clearly spent the last few years watching numerous self help dvd's and believe positive belief is the sole prerequisite for success. It's possible during the boom years that they've done very well for themselves 'selling' what ever they sell to like minded gullibles but those days are gone and property development requires a lot whole lot more genuine ability. Everything they said and did, the way they dressed to their choice of design accessories showed that they were vacuous, shallow and ultimately intellectually stunted puff balls. Harsh but very, very fair. Great TV though as my wife and I willed them on to ever greater financial losses. Clearly this is going to be unpopular but it's utterly honest.

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Dave 2nd August, 2009 @ 15:04

The good folk at HPC have been disecting this one for a week. It seemed odd to me, the hammy 'reactions' the almost spoof like idiocy of the developers, the lack of relationship between the developers etc.

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?s=&showtopic=117429&view=findpost&p=2042850

There is a reasonable chance it was staged. The sausage factory was registered to a 'media loactions company', its use is for commercial purposes.

Have a read of the thread, I think Beeney may have sold us a lemon :(

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Darren Singleton 3rd August, 2009 @ 14:47

An interesting episode. One thing I noticed was that Sarah was also on this weeks 'Come Dine With Me'. Much like Dave, I'm beginning to think this was staged, take a look at her personal website: http://www.sarahdonohue.com/index.html
She lists herself as having worked for Granada for 7 years.

I hope you don't mind me placing links in this comment, but here was her menu from this weeks Come Dine With Me (for reference):
http://www.channel4.com/entertainment/tv/microsites/C/come_dine/four_3.html

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Court of Justice 5th August, 2009 @ 15:23

What happened to 2 books that suppose to be prizes?

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 5th August, 2009 @ 16:00

Court of Justice: This competition is still running...
The competition before this is over, and I sent the book to the winner.

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Newbie09 7th August, 2009 @ 15:55

Good episode for all the wrond reasons.

They got it wrong by;
Not taking the advice of experts (Beeny),
getting too personal,
buying ridiculour toys for the penthouse,
aimed the property at the wrong market,
developed the property to enjoy the experience rather than make money...etc etc.

But most importantly, they went against one the golden rules of development by trying to build the best house in the worst area rather the buying the worst house in the best area and improving it.

I'm sure i could think of more.

Long live Property Ladder.

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Roberta Ward 8th August, 2009 @ 09:59

Hi folks
what surprised me about this whole new series is that having watched most of the previous ones that I didnt recognise or remember hardly any of the people they have featured so far-with the one exception of the guy from Brighton last week-who they left dangling with no resolution.(aaarggh!)

The trouble with telly is that a good success story is never as good as a mighty disaster.

Ive always considered developing property as the thick end of the wedge in property investing-because its where those who are serious about property earn a living.BTL is all very well but quite dull really and not very high on the job satisfaction barometer.

Dealing with moaning tenants and interest rates on a daily basis(YAWN).Whereas, renovations are way more interesting and rewarding.More of a roller coaster ride; fascinating tiring, fun, makes you want to scream (!)and then you want to go do it all over again.(Its a form of madness Im sure).

The trouble with DIY/ property programs is that we tend to forget that it is 'entertainment' and largely fiction-its also cut together to make it look however THEY want.So basically its someones opinion ( producer)-who-probably knows nothing about property.

I was recently considering going on BBC working lunch-a topical 'news' program-or so I thought. It was a couple of months ago when the media got wind of the fact that you can claim back cash on cards and loans-which Im doing personally and have promoted at my networking club.

We went through our IFA to do this and taught people how to do it properly.However, Working lunch were only interested in the negative aspect-the disasters of when it went wrong. Even though I know people who have been brought back from bankruptcy with this-and some who have claimed millions back-yes millions.True.

When I voiced my opinion the producer got all stroppy with me!

That's TV folks- la la land.

Roberta

PS: #landlord- yesterdays Tweets -very amusing.

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Mark 12th August, 2009 @ 11:16

I've been (un?)lucky enough to have lived in Rotherhithe over the past decade. I know that development well as it was next-door to the tube station there - currently boarded up but due to re-open next year. It's certainly an interesting property and not in itself too good for the area. There are plenty of amazing riverside properties nearby on the peninsula and in Bermondsey. However this one ticked all the wrong boxes as has been mentioned. It overlooks the Rotherhithe road tunnel too, as well as the tube line. It has no other view and the front entrance looks unfinished, there's either no thought given to the entrance or someone else owns a derelict plot adjacent to it.

A very amusing show. I figure that the extreme developers make good TV but we never see the happy and successful ones as they're too boring.

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Adam 19th October, 2009 @ 11:08

Greetings from Australia....

Just watched the episode that aired here tonight....to be honest I don't like to see hard working people getting bent over and entered BUT I haven't laughed so much in ages. With Barbie or whatever her name was talking about zebra skins interspersed with shots of her flexing her - possibly - newly aquired chest in the gym; Ken who obvioulsly knows about health food supplements but fuck all about property developing!!! Admitting he was 'boring' but wanted fish tanks, a 3 tonne spa bath and a beautiful deck overlooking....errrrr....the tube line ??? I have to agree I think when someone is interviewed for the programme I think the producers want people who 'know better', lets face it Sarah would be on commission if everyone agreed with her all of the time.....but in this instance I wish Ken and Barbie had listened for their sake but I'm glad they didn't at first anyway !!!

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Aidan 29th August, 2013 @ 23:39

Late to the party i know but i just caught a repeat of this episode and am dying to know what eventually happened? did they manage to sell all the apartments, including the pent house suite or are they still living in it, and how much money did they loose in total and the end....????
Anyone?

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Richard Chan 10th June, 2015 @ 06:06

Hi,

We sold a number of years ago and am now in Australia. Unfortunately the programme was heavily edited. The series became more about the people than the development, I appreciate that this is fundamentally for entertainment rather than information.

Richard

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