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The house hunter
The ability to speak several languages is a business bonus for entrepreneur Sarka Naivertova. As founder of Oxford-based property search company Pure Relocation, most of her clients are from outside the UK, making her knowledge of Italian, Russian, Polish, Slovak and her native Czech invaluable.
Ms Naivertova, 35, says many of those she finds properties for are moving to Oxfordshire for work or academic reasons but others see the county as a good investment location.
Most of the properties she finds for house hunters who intend to live in the property are in the £500,000-plus bracket.
She said: “They are usually people who are very busy and cannot do the work themselves.
“People who are willing to pay me to do that for them have bigger incomes and often have a family, so are looking to spend more on a home.”
Conversely, investors look for cheaper properties on which the rental yield will be higher.
Ms Naivertova, whose experience includes working as UK operations manager for an Italian menswear label, said she aims to give the client a rental yield of nine per cent.
She explained: “You cannot achieve that on more expensive properties so we search for those below £100,000, which may be in another, cheaper area like Birmingham.”
Home buyers favour village locations, while investors prefer towns or cities with plenty of local amenities such as shops and bus stops.
Ms Naivertova, who bought her first property in the Czech Republic 15 years ago, said outsiders tend not to think of Oxfordshire as a county, only of the city of Oxford.
She added: “Most people know about Oxford but nothing else. I have to explain that Oxfordshire is a county, not just a city because they do not realise that there are many other good-sized towns in the county.”
She plans to expand her Cornmarket Street-based enterprise by opening an office in London later this year to take advantage of buyers based in the capital.
But she has no plans to move from her village home near Banbury or Oxford business base.
She said: “I love London. It is a great place to work and go out but you get better value for money here.
“Oxfordshire has it all and offers a better quality lifestyle and has a good community spirit.
“There are lots of people and businesses in London that consider Oxfordshire a very attractive place to be.”
* Contact: 01865 600005 Web: www.purerelocation.co.uk