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19 May 2017

Case Study - Teeing up a high-end opportunity in Warwickshire

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"Masthaven provide a fast, reliable service with a personal touch, and they’re keen to develop a long-term relationship. There’s nothing between the lines, you just tell them how it is and they say if they can do it or not."
Paul Sura - Managing Director at Blossom Homes

Blossom Homes is a family run business specialising in bespoke low volume, high value property. Winners of LABC’s Best in Quality Small Housing and LABC Best New Housing Development awards in 2015, MD Paul Sura and his father fell in love with a property in a sought-after location near Stratford-upon-Avon.The duo were convinced the site had potential beyond the existing planning permission for renovation of the existing property plus one new dwelling. But with the property due to go to auction, could they raise the necessary funds to purchase the two lots before other developers got wind of the opportunity?

Arden Grange is an exclusive, high end development overlooking a golf course in the highly desirable village of Tanworth-in-Arden. Boasting excellent transport links to the M42, NEC in Birmingham and the M40, the area is reputed to have the most millionaires per square mile in Warwickshire. Blossom Homes spotted the site when it came onto the market for the first time since the 1920s.

With the property due to go to auction time was of the essence. Having viewed the site, Paul contacted Masthaven that same morning. A quick decision meant Blossom Homes were able to close a deal for the property 48 hours before bidding was due to start.Paul feels Masthaven’s straightforward, solution-focused approach aligned perfectly with what Blossom Homes were looking for: “The way Masthaven works is the way we work. If they see a deal on the table and they want to get it done, it gets done”.

Having bought the site with planning permission for renovation plus an additional dwelling, Paul and his father set their sights on maximising its potential. In what he recognises could have appeared to introduce an element of risk to the project, they sought permission to demolish the existing house and build three new units. A strong relationship with his lender was key to this decision, because Paul knew Masthaven would take a bespoke approach and consider the individual factors involved. “We knew there was a team that understood our intentions and would aim to support our ambitions if possible, which is very, very important when you’re a growing company”,says Paul.

With planning permission for the three properties secured, Blossom Homes went on to add a third floor to the existing designs, which promised to increase the GDV of the plots even further. However, adapting the plans meant costs and timescales for the project increased while waiting for revised plans to be approved.

“We had to submit a full planning application again, just for that amendment,” says Paul. A less flexible lender might have pulled in the reins at this point, but Paul found his close relationship with Masthaven paid dividends. “We explained the situation, and assured them we were confident of getting the green light. They looked at both scenarios, worked closely with us and the surveyors, and they made a decision – yes.

With planning permission secured, groundworks for the project are well under way. Paul continues to keep Masthaven updated on progress and we look forward to seeing the finished build.

With two newbuild developments under their belt and the third progressing towards completion, Paul and his father are keeping a weather eye out for the next opportunity. “Because of our relationship with Masthaven we’re quite confident,” says Paul. “When the right site comes along we’ll be able to make the most of it, because we know we’ve got good people keen to back us.”

 

1. Relationships matter: 

Because Paul could speak directly to decision makers he was able to discuss the details of his situation, and Masthaven had access to all the facts

2. Flexibility is crucial:

Masthaven’s ability to see the bigger picture helped Blossom Homes maximise the opportunity.

3. The importance of transparency:

Paul appreciated Masthaven’s open, straightforward approach to decision making.
 

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