Investor Story - Mrs Griffiths

In 1999, a High Street estate agent in Oxford was approached by John & Sylvia Griffiths, who wished to build up a significant portfolio of residential property in the city. Somewhat daunted by the task, the agent recommended that they speak to scottfraser.

For John & Sylvia, it was a case of meeting the right person at the right time. On their first meeting with Andrew Greenwood, they viewed an apartment and, deciding it was the right investment for them, made an offer then and there. Thus the journey began.

Building a strong relationship of trust over the coming months, Andrew sourced a further four flats in the city centre, as well as a pair of brand new houses. Lucy Taylor assessed all the properties as offers were made, and advised on what would be necessary to prepare all the properties for the lettings market. Lucy then went on to project manage the refurbishments, some of which included significant works such as replacement kitchens and bathrooms, as well as creating and sourcing full furnishing packages.

As each of the properties became ready to let, our lettings offices took over to ensure that they were all let as soon as possible and at premium rentals. Although the John & Sylvia were living in the UK, they did not want to be responsible for looking after their portfolio, and have always retained scottfraser to manage their whole portfolio, including dealing with service charges and management of the two blocks of flats. Ensuring that the properties were refurbished and presented to a high standard from the start has been worthwhile, as none have required any major works in all the years since.

In 2000, an opportunity arose to acquire a site with potential for residential development, and Andrew put the idea forward to John & Sylvia. Guided by Andrew’s knowledge and expertise, they viewed this as a new and exciting venture. Andrew then put together a team of professionals, seeing the project through to completion of a small block of five purpose-built flats. These were then sold off-plan to scottfraser acquisition clients, and all are still let and managed by scottfraser today.

Such was the success of this venture, John & Sylvia went on to build another development, this time of fourteen flats in the heart of Headington. They cherry-picked their favourite, which they retained. The remainder were again sold to scottfraser acquisition clients, hving been built with the buy-to-let market in mind.

In 2008, Sylvia returned to live in her home country of Switzerland and, once settled there permanently, made the decision to dispose of her whole portfolio. This has been a gradual process, with some flats being passed on through our acquisition department, and others sold to owner-occupiers by our own sales department. Using specialist solicitors and our network of contacts, scottfraser have also been able to guide Sylvia through the disposal of the freeholds of both developments.

John & Sylvia embody the very essence of scottfraser; a long-term relationship built on absolute trust. They have experienced every facet of our extensive services and we have been able to pass on our knowledge and expertise in the Oxford property market to ensure that their property experience has been a positive one. Working with them has been a pleasure.

“I can look back and say that it was a real success story. We were so happy with all the results and felt proud about the new flats, as they fitted into the neighbourhood and were generously built. scottfraser have managed our properties faultlessly over the years, always doing their best to give great care and dedication. A big thanks to Andrew and his whole team.”

Sylvia Griffiths (Switzerland)