Who watched last night’s (28th July 2009) Property Snakes & Ladders (Series 7 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 usually don’t dedicate individual blog posts to episodes of Property Ladder, but fuck me sideways, it was total car crash TV, it deserves its own shrine.
It was horrible, it was hideous, truly sickening… and I loved it (in a morbidly fascinated way).
Throughout the episode I was waiting for Beeny to confess that the episode was one big sick joke.
It had all the signs of a hoax: the developers purchased an old sausage factory; they wanted to spend 10k on a fish tank for the bathroom; they wanted to incorporate a purple velvet and leopard skin theme.
Horrifyingly, it was never confirmed to be a joke, so I was left watching the darn thing in complete disbelief, with my jaw resting on the ground.
Who remembers this couple, Richard Chan and Isabelle Peno?
A few seasons ago I nominated Richard & Isabel as being the worst developers on the entire planet.
I literally never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would say the following words: Step aside Rich & Isa.
You’ve officially got some stiff competition. Meet “successful entrepreneurs Nigel Arrib and Sarah Donahue“…
As people, they seemed nice enough, but as developers, absolutely soul destroying individuals.
I mean, it’s not that they were stupid, it’s that they were blissfully stupid. Throughout the episode I was begging for mercy, begging for them to stop… talking, developing…moving. Just stop.
It was painful. So bloody painful.
They had this very specific vision of what they wanted from their development and had every intention of making it a reality. Sadly, their vision is what most sane people would describe as a bloody living nightmare.
They clearly didn’t understand the industry, and watching them shove over one million quid into their venture was tough watch.
I think my favourite part was when Beeny suggested splitting the property into 3 flats to minimise the inevitable losses. Of course, as per, it was a smart, sensible suggestion from the Beeny. Obviously that meant Nigel and Sarah were quick to flush the idea down the toilet, because, I quote, they wouldn’t “enjoy” developing flats.
I’m still amazed that people go on Property Ladder and brush aside Sarah’s sage advice so effortlessly. It makes me wonder if these people have ever watched an episode before. If I went onto Property Ladder it would be a pretty mundane episode:
“What do you think I should do, Sarah?”
“Yes, you’re right, let’s do that, Sarah”
Who’s the expect here? I know it’s not me.
But perhaps that’s why I wouldn’t get past the front gates, because a “yes-man” is poor for ratings.
Ordinarily I would have flicked this shit over and watched the Antiques Road Show, but it was like driving past a car accident, with a decapitated head on the floor. We should look away, but we don’t, it’s just too God damn morbidly fascinating.
Anyways, I’m not going to write a long essay on how terrible these clowns were because I’m more interested in your thoughts.
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 targeted 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
This is what they did HALF right…
Credit where credit due…
- they eventually managed to take on board Beeny’s advice about splitting the house into flats, but… 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, and it should be used as teaching material for years to come.
Ultimately, this episode was a prime example of how fools and their money are soon parted.
It’s not too late to watch it
Haven’t seen the episode? No probs, here you go. Enjoy hell.
Disclaimer: I'm just a landlord blogger; I'm 100% not qualified to give legal or financial advice. I'm a doofus. Any information I share is my unqualified opinion, and should never be construed as professional legal or financial advice. You should definitely get advice from a qualified professional for any legal or financial matters. For more information, please read my full disclaimer.