Our bloodshot eyes and runny noses should tell us that the great British summer festival is in full bloom and we are on the eve of one of its iconic events, Wimbledon, which is the cherished tournament of the Sport and its top prize is elusive for most of the participants, save for a few extraordinary players.
Tennis, as anyone who is a fan would know, can be an irresistible sport. Its downside is that if you want to play it on your own private court, it is space consumptive, particularly if you live in London where, in fact, the value of the land it occupies can amount to a small fortune, particularly as it is also a building plot.
To illustrate this, a former tennis court in Hampstead Garden Suburb, N2, is being sold for approximately £4million and, in its place, a 10,000sq ft mansion will be built, which could be worth up to £15million when fully developed.
Whilst on the subject, not too long ago we sold, for a small fortune, the first private and grass tennis court in this country, as part of a garden.
Talking about extreme sporting enthusiasts, one of our international clients who emanated from a distant oasis in the World, was so keen on badminton that they bought a mansion in Winnington Road, Kenwood, next door to their own house, and hollowed out the entire property in order to create an exclusive, indoor, badminton court, with ceiling heights of up to 35 feet. Externally, it appeared just like any other property in the street…who would know.
Whilst on the subject, another client in Bishops Avenue, has applied for planning permission for an underground squash court and rifle range. We do not know if the targets will be live, so we are making sure that our relationship with the owner is as sycophantic as it can be! We are not idiots you know!
Demise of outside pools
It’s odd in the extreme, that whilst an outdoor pool can add to the exotic appearance of a beautifully designed garden theme, particularly at this time of the year, over the last decade or so, the appetite for this facility has been eclipsed by the desire for indoor pools and leisure complexes, such that the outdoor pools are now being refilled with earth, as if they hadn’t existed. Go figure!
Extreme leisure facilities
One of our uber mansions has a complete leisure complex with massive private indoor pool, massage and treatment rooms, hairdressing salon, obligatory sauna and steam rooms and, wait for it, a snow room. Yes, I did say snow room, which produces prolific amounts of ice and snow so that you ‘roll about in it ‘ after the sauna. There is a full CPR unit on stand by, just in case anyone finds the temperature variant a little too much to bear!
At the luxury end of the market, you would find it difficult to sell a property without these indoor sporting facilities, as they have become so integral to the requirements of discerning buyers in the market place today.
In fact it is no accident that buyers choose Hampstead or Kenwood as their preferred location, since not only will you pay a price, which is one fifth of that of Mayfair or Belgravia, but you can also live within walking distance of two golf courses and yet only be 15 minutes from the West End.
These are just a few reasons of many, why living in London is so extraordinarily unique and perhaps why it is rightly named ‘the greatest city on earth!’