Comment: St Albans? Expensive? Many say it's a price worth paying
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Another week, another story about St Albans being a very, very expensive place to live.
Last week it was named as one of the hardest areas of the UK in which to survive on the minimum wage, and this week it's appeared on a list of the least affordable UK cities when house prices are compared to average earnings.
Essentially two different ways of saying the same thing: owning a decent home in St Albans requires exceptionally deep pockets. No massive bombshell there, then!
But while this is nothing new, we do love reading about it – almost as much as we love moaning about it.
And as ever, hefty prices are doing nothing to dampen interest from buyers: one St Albans house, which only came to market last week, has had an interesting new image added to its online ad: a 'best and final' letter.
This is a curious turn of events, and one I haven't seen before. Usually talk of best and final would come via a direct conversation between the agent and potential buyers, rather than being out there for any old property porn enthusiast's viewing pleasure (guilty as charged).
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All up, it seems sensible: interested parties will have more of an understanding of what’s needed (lots of extra cash, probably) and those that are less motivated or more poorly placed (say, with complex chains), will be able to save themselves the stress by bowing out early.
The letter details an orderly process, in which "in view of the interest shown", best and final offers should be sent "by letter of fax" (or, it turns out, email – does anyone even have a fax machine anymore?) by noon on Friday.
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Our prior experience of best and final was quite different; our offer was made by phone, and we were told immediately that it wasn’t the highest, and given an opportunity to offer more. A very best and absolutely final...
This property isn't cheap, of course: it's on a sought after road in the catchment for a couple of very popular schools with potential to extend into a mega-mansion, should budget allow.
And as we all know, cashflow isn't always a problem in these parts.
For anyone bidding – and it sounds like there may be a few of you – I wish you luck.