Property Consultant. Phone +44 20 7328 1533 or +44 7957 191 518 & look at www.moroccoproperty1.com. I am American, and have lived in the UK for over 15 years. Before that, I lived in New York, Connecticut, and France, and was brought up in the state of Ohio -- the state that this time around voted for Barack Obama. Funny thing, is that one of my closest friends from university is good friends with Shelley who went to Occidental College in California with Barack Obama. During one the primaries in 2008, Shelley shouted out 'Barry' and Barack jumped through the police protection and hugged her. I have seen the photo on Diane's laptop in May 2008 when I visited her in Arizona. When Barack was at Occidental College in California, he called himself Barry. Barack came later. In addition to working, I play tennis. I am looking to start to play golf and any advice as to where I could play and with whom would be much appreciated. My father played golf up until his death in 2006. In fact, he grew up down the street from Jack Nicholas, and gave Jack a ride to the golf course (Scioto Country Club) in Upper Arlington, Ohio, a few times. However, I can't claim that he knew Jack Nicholas very well. Jack's family owned two pharmacies in Columbus, one in Worthington and one in Upper Arlington, to be exact. As a child, I was infused with the values of making a difference and contribution. I recall, as a 10 year old handing out leaflets with my mother for Democratic Party candidates in the US. By aged 14, I was on the phones getting out the vote on polling days in downtown Columbus, Ohio, right next to the Civil War era state capital building. I believed very much in making the world a better place. When I lived in New York, I was a member of the Upper West Side Democratic Party Club. The meetings were a bit of a comedy, particularly certain members who were card carrying communists in the 1940s. There was banter, argument and lots of passion. Scott Stringer, who was our state representative, was a member and I was friends with his younger brother David. (In fact, I had a short lived relationship with David Stringer. He moved into my apartment on Amsterdam Ave and 85th as he said he needed a place to stay. He was not keen on me really, he just needed a place to stay. And then I found out he had not broken off his relationship with his long standing girlfriend Fran!) Scott Stringer is now the Manhattan Borough President and probably the second most powerful man in New York City, after Mayor Bloomberg. In fact, Scott was kind enough to write my references to business school. Another anecdote, I remember when my parents had two members of the Black Panthers come to dinner. I was quite young, and I remember I thought it was really cool. It was my mother's initiative, not my father's as my father was a businessmen and many of his clients were very conservative politically. Actually, my father ended up doing business with one of the Black Panthers. But then it turned out that this Black Panther had done something really dodgy, I think bribing a Columbus municipal government official. So my father and his brother pulled out of this joint venture. Family is important to me, although I have no children myself. I do have lots of nephews and nieces. I am also close to my cousins. I have been engaged twice, but never been married. Right now two of my friends are getting a divorce. I am up for socialising to meet new friends. I would welcome anyone introducing me to an 'available' man. It could be really fun to go out on a blind date. I am always up for the adventure. I believe very much in what Penny and Thomas Power talked about being open, random and suppportive. And my commitment is to practice that everywhere in my life. Additonally, this year I joined BNI, Clerkenwell, which is near Farringdon station. I am finding the group to be very support. Ivan Misner is a Black Star in ecademy and is the founder of BNI. I encourage you to hook up with him. Feel free to ring me if you want to visit my BNI and make some business contacts and get more business. Getting back to work, after 20 years in the media business both in New York and London, I had enough. Although I liked it, I did not love it any more, and it was no longer a self expression. I had been interested in property for several years, and was told my good friend John Sullivan, an Aussie and a cinema developer, that I would be a 'natural' in property. And actually, it was a natural career progression as my family has been in the property business in the US since the 1940s, specifically, Columbus, Ohio, USA, the home of Jack Nicholas. Getting back to my family, my grandfather was a pioneer in the property finance business, lending money to mainly large businesses to build properties including skyscrapers, mostly commercial. His business was a booming success, but sadly his career was cut short as he was killed in a car crash at the young age of 46. My father and uncle carried on the family tradition founding Liggett Brothers Construction Company. But instead of lending money, they built 5 star quality upmarket houses in Columbus, Ohio, USA. One of their biggest accolades was having a few of their homes designed by the nationally renowned architect W. Byron Ireland, who according to the American Institute of Architects was "bold and innovative in his approach." They late went on to erect apartments and office buildings. And for a number of years my father and uncle built and owned and operated a racquet ball club. Sadly my father unexpectedly died in July 2006, and one of the things I learnt was that my father and uncle's houses were so loved by their owners that many of them asked them to build another house for them. Not only did people who worked for my father attend his memorial service as far back as 1960, but also many of his tenants and classmates from high school and university came as well, all saying what an honest and generous man he was. I shall always remember my father's energy, drive, 'go for it' way of being, precision, decisiveness, and organisation. Not only was he talented in terms of having a real creative flair which he applied to the buildings he built, but he was also a very good athlete and had this poise and dynamism. I just hope I can be half as good as he was. So here I am in my second career carrying on the Liggett family tradition. I love to find things, and I have this knack to spot fantastic properties. One of my qualities is to be decisive, and if I see something that is great, I just go for it, acting immediately and with the intention of getting it. Nothing gets in my way. I also have been told that I am intuitive, and have a feel for what will be the next thing. Via my friend Dianne Brabham, a Power Networker, I started to sell some properties in Granada, Spain, in autumn 2006, and loved it. She introduced me to Morocco as a country with enormous potential on the international property market. I had already heard it was up and coming, and that it was the next Spain without the downsides. Also, I had been to Morocco and speak French. The more I looked into it, the more convinced I became. I also helped some friends find properties for them in London. None of the properties they bought have decreased in value, and they were all bought at the top of the market in 2007. Until very recently I was focussing solely on properties abroad. I am now sourcing properties both residential and commercial in central London -- for developers, in end users, and agents. Getting back to international properties,I have a great deal of expertise in international property. What makes me different from other international property consultants is: 1. I have access to properties in many countries to offer buyers. So I don't have to sell a property or development or a particular country v. other agents who for example just specialise in Caribbean off plan developments or in Cyprus. 2. I meet up or speak on the telephone with the buyer to understand his/her needs and objectives and also as or more importantly is get to know the buyer. That way I can offer the right property. 3. I am very fussy about the properties I offer and the developers I work with and unless I am confident that they are a good investment for the buyer, I will not recommend them. 4. As I have many properties and developments around the world, I am not tied to I assert that good careful planning at the start helps to reduce risk for the buyer. In my initial meeting with a buyer, I find out about their attitude to risk in an investment. How conservative or adventurous are they as a buyer? I also work to the simple format of the 4 Ps: 1. Price (Budget - how much can you invest?) 2. Product (House, Villa, Land, etc) 3. Position (Location - Beach front, City, Country) 4. Purpose (are you a pension investor, holiday home, buy to let, capital growth, retirement) I also enquire about the buyer's goals, not just in terms of property, but for their whole life. For a property investment is not an isolated transaction; it exists in the context of a person's life - his/her hopes, dreams, aspirations I also find out specifically about what the investment needs to do for them -- eg, produce capital growth, provide income or just break even. For example, I have an investor who has been on holiday to St Lucia with his wife, and loved it. He wants a property in St Lucia that he can stay at for a few weeks of the year, and produces income for him when he is not at the property. I am an agent for a 5 star development in St Lucia that fulfils his criteria - Marquis Estate: 4 weeks use per annum; it will produce an incremental income; and allows him to leverage the equity in his house to buy the property without him having to make the loan payments during the build. I also believe that for a property investment it is important to have an exit strategy, and I always discuss a recommended exit strategy with the investor. Because of the credit crunch and the dramatic downturns in Spain and Dubai, I find that many people are afraid of overseas property investments, and think that they are all 'risky.' There is always some risk in an investment. If you are risk averse, then you could just leave your money in a savings account at your bank or building society. On the other hand, you are incurring a risk as your savings will decrease in value in your bank account as the interest earned on it is lower than inflation. You could also buy a 'buy to let' property in the UK. However, the property values are flat, and many experts including Savills are predicting that prices will fall in 2010. Furthermore, with buying a 'buy to let' in the UK in today's low interest mortgage market could land you in trouble in future when interest rates rise again, wiping out your profit from the property. I am not recommending not buying a property in the UK or your home country, what I am stressing is that by diversifying your property portfolio to another country, you can reduce your risk and increase your profit (via capital growth and income). That is where I can help you, your friends, family and colleagues. I can recommend the countries, regions, developments and types of property to investment in outside the UK that provide maximum return given your resources, objectives and your attitude to risk. Just imagine yourself two years on, in 2012, and you had the opportunity to invest in a 5 star seaside boutique development in Greece, Halcyon Hills. The build is being heavily subsidised by the EU as part of the programme to bring upmarket tourism to the Greek islands. Prices 50% below current market value in 2010, yielding you a profit at the end of the build of £110,000 - £345,000 with a net monthly profit of £500 - £2,000, and you did nothing. Additionally, the developer heavily subsidised your loan payments during the build. You had the equity in your property to make the 30% deposit or the cash for the deposit, which the developer was willing to pay you 5% AER. You are lucky to get 2% AER on your savings from the bank. How would you feel in 2012 having done nothing in 2010 when this opportunity was presented to you? I think it is always important to start with the end in mind. Where do you want to be in 2 years, 5 years time? What do you want your life to look like? That makes it much easier to evaluate investment decisions from how they fit into your fulfilling on your goals. I could go on and on with lots of sales spiel about the best developments, countries but I won't! I am tired myself at so many people trying to sell to me. I will only recommend properties that I would buy myself. I also know that if I can't look a buyer straight in the eye when I am talking about a property, I won't recommend it. For buying a property is serious business and the sums must add up. The investment needs to make sense according to what the criteria of the buyer is. I would never want a buyer ending up with a situation where he/she could not make his mortgage payments because he/she could not rent the property out, or the build was not finished and he/she lots his/her deposit. If you would like to have a further chat, then give me a bell or email me. It does not have to be about property either. I am also happy to speak about collaborating: introducers, property partners, developments. And some more stuff about myself Career CV: * Media Consultant - clients included the Mirror, Readers Digest, EMAP plc, Capital Radio, IPC Media (part of Time Warner) ,Hachette Filipaachi and CNBC. * Publisher at H. Bauer - TV Quick - TV listings magazine * Head of Planning & Development at H. Bauer - headed publishing teams to launch magazines. Portfolio included TV Choice, Real, Bella, Take a Break, and Win & Go. * Brand Planner Bell Cable Media (now Virgin Media) * Head of Research & Development - EMAP Consumer Magazines. Also was chair of research committee for magazine industry, and on the National Readership Survey (NRS) Board, the research currency for buying and selling press media. * Account handler and media planner - Ogilvy & Mather, New York * Newspaper Report - Litchfield Times, Connecticut, USA. QUALIFICATIONS B.A. History, Kenyon College, USA, one year of which was spent at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana MBA Cass Business School (formerly City University Business School), London SPORTS/RECREATION Tennis (I play at the Paddington Sports Club in Maida Vale) Yoga (Iyengar Yoga Centre, Maida Vale) Member 'Democrats Abroad' Swimming (anywhere -- the Ponds Hampstead Heath, the Hamptons, Lido Parliament Hill, Lake Erie, Tyrrhenian Sea, on the beaches of Isola Elba. European type films, watching BBC 3 & 4, and popular dramas on ITV, theatre, cooking, current events, parties, self development. Going to weddings abroad, the best one was in Milan with the reception on Lake Como, 2 years' ago.
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