Thursday, March 26, 2009

Village For Sale

Sheep dot green hills. Pheasants hop across country lanes. Quaint cottages sit next to a tiny stone church. Neighbours who have known each other since birth greet strangers warmly.

And for at least 23 million pounds (about $32 million), this leafy, nostalgic slice of England could be yours.

The village of Linkenholt's 21 cottages, grand manor house, lush green cricket pitch and accompanying pavilion are part of an estate that also encompasses 1,500 acres (600 hectares) of farmland and another 425 acres (170 hectares) of woods. The only piece of property not for sale is St. Peter's, built on the site of a 12th century church. According to the estate agent – "that is owned by God."

The 40 or so residents, many of whom have lived here all their lives, hope any new owner will keep the estate together and resist the urge to parcel off the land located in Hampshire only 75 miles (120 kilometers) southwest of London.

It's not the first time the estate has gone up for sale. It was bought for 2,000 pounds in 1629 and sold about 60 years later for 12,000 pounds - a kingly sum in those times.

The estate remained in the same hands until the 19th century. Roland Dudley bought it in the 1920s. Herbert Blagrave took ownership in the 1960s - and after he died without heirs, his charitable trust became the owner. The trust is trying to diversify its interests, which is why it has chosen to sell. Despite the challenging economy, Linkenholt is expected to generate interests. It is a unique purchase as there isn't really anything like this on the market.

I am definitely interested as the other instruments like FD, unit trust and shares are not sexy at the moment. However the asking price was way too steep. Like it or not have to give it a pass.

Perhaps the political frogs can retire happily ever after over there. Perhaps the few high profile missing individuals can be found there. Turn it into a Malaysia village. Dot it with pomelo, durian and angsana trees. The cricket pitch is useless because chances are the only cricket the new owners know is the insect, so just tear it up and build condominiums!

If the condominiums are not selling well, run to the authorities for bailout. Then make another round of money by selling the land to the authorities for 200%. The authorities need the land to build a sports academy to produce world beaters. They have discovered that our sportsmen were constantly ‘frozen’ on big stage tournaments because they did not acclimatize well with the weather!

That’s not the end. Get the contracts to build the academy, to supply materials and services, to maintain the infrastructure and the list goes on and on…..

Majulah Sukan Untuk Negara.

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