Peter Pickering - Words and Worlds Interwoven

Double Dealings

The Intricacies of Real Estate and Automotive Barter

The air was ripe with opportunity, the property market was booming, and my life was playing out like a well-scripted drama of success. My real estate ventures in Australia were flourishing. As a real estate salesman, I wasn't just making deals for clients; I was also flipping homes on my personal account. And let me tell you, it was more than just a profitable venture—it was a high-stakes thrill ride, and I was on a winning streak.

The dance of property trading wasn't new to me; it was starting to become a rhythm I moved to with ease, orchestrating deals that blended the lines between passion and investment. My journey into this intricate ballet had begun with an orange Holden HR Panel Van, which I had adeptly traded as a deposit on a house in Kewdale, marking my inaugural foray into the world of real estate barter. This first transaction lit the spark for what would become a series of creatively structured deals, including the acquisition of a charming one-bedroom 'settler's cottage' in Beckenham. That particular deal saw me integrating a 3.8 Jaguar MkII into the negotiations, a move that not only sealed the deal but also paved the way for a handsome profit down the line.

So, when a potential buyer expressed interest in another Beckenham house I had recently acquired, I was well-versed in the art of negotiation. Our conversation quickly veered towards automobiles, a shared passion that would soon reveal an enticing opportunity. The buyer needed to sell his V12 E-Type Jaguar to finance the purchase of my property. The mention of the Jaguar immediately piqued my interest; here was a vehicle not just of mechanical prowess but of historic significance, a marvel of engineering wrapped in the allure of sleek, timeless design.

The offer laid out was straightforward, refreshingly so. The buyer proposed purchasing my Beckenham property at the price I had boldly set, with the E-Type Jaguar forming part of the transaction. There was an immediate mutual understanding, a recognition of the value both the property and the car held for each of us. This was not merely a transaction but a meeting of minds, a shared acknowledgment of the worth beyond the monetary.

Accepting the offer was both an emotional journey and a testament to practicality. The assets involved were straightforward, yet it was my enthusiasm for the Jaguar that truly made the decision clear. This car wasn't just another vehicle; it represented the tangible fruits of a shrewd investment—effectively, an E-Type acquired for free, a reward for my brief tenure with the house, my profit. More than a car, it was a piece of motoring heritage, a dream realised not just through its roaring V12 engine and elegant lines but as a symbol of a deal well made, where passion and profit aligned perfectly.

In keeping with my established approach to property dealings, we agreed to 'write-down' the value of both the house and the car by $10,000, a strategy that had served me well in the past to mitigate stamp duty costs for both parties. This pragmatic adjustment underscored the mutual respect and understanding that characterised the transaction, ensuring a smooth passage for what was, by any measure, an extraordinary exchange.

With each transaction, the process became increasingly straightforward, reflecting the clear, mutual benefits for both parties involved. To me, these deals were as clear as day, grounded in common sense rather than intricate negotiations. Throughout the many deals I engaged in, I never quibbled over a seller's asking price, expecting in return that my prices were equally respected. It was a testament to the power of shared interests and the unspoken bond between those who find common ground.

The E-Type Jaguar was not just a new acquisition; it was a continuation of a journey, a story of passion and pragmatism that had defined my approach to both cars and real estate. Yet, I found myself in a delightful dilemma—a brand-new Holden Statesman that I owned for mere weeks, and a classic E-Type Jaguar, both vying for my attention. I didn't need two cars. The Statesman served its purpose well , but the Jaguar? That was a new chapter waiting to unfold. So, the Statesman had to go. I listed it in the Sunday Times Readers Mart, which was the marketplace of choice back in the day. Along came Emil D’Aurizio, intrigued and ready to take over the lease. He seemed to fall in love with the Statesman just like I had, and it wasn't long before the deal was sealed.

In subsequent years I would occasionally spot the Holden on the streets, donned with Emil's custom plates, ‘EDA-001’. It always brought a smile to my face, not out of regret but a deep-seated satisfaction. The Holden had found a new home, and I had moved on to a different kind of love—a love for the classic, the timeless, the exquisite E-Type Jaguar.

That Beckenham-Jaguar deal did more than just swap keys; it solidified my "Eureka!" moment, a blueprint for an inventive approach to real estate that I'd replicate in many future transactions. The notion of trading valuable assets, like cars, boats, jewellery, businesses for houses, became a cornerstone of my strategy.

And let's just say, the tax laws at the time were rather accommodating—a wink and a nod to those of us savvy enough to see the loopholes. I was not merely selling houses; I was orchestrating deals, trades that sidestepped the taxman, legally of course, while compounding my profits.

In retrospect, these weren't just transactions; they were transitions, life-altering choices that mapped my journey. It's not every day you trade a house for a classic car and sell a status symbol for another man's dream. But sometimes, the universe aligns in such a way that you don't just make deals; you make history.

© Peter Pickering 2024