As an estate agent in Pudsey and being a huge James Bond fan too, I thought that I would have a little fun with this blog. As a kid, my favourite part of a Bond movie (other than the cars) would be the villain’s lair. I have decided to choose my five favourite ones and see how difficult it might be as an estate agent to do a valuation on them. The James bond universe has had some memorable baddies with some amazing hideouts, Gold finger, Scaramanga, Blofeld and many more. Which estate agent would not want the opportunity to be called in to do a valuation? This is no reflection on any of the films, just some of the more memorable lairs. Any local estate agents reading this let us know what you think?
1. Piz Gloria, The Schilthorn. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is famous for George Lazenby's only outing as Bond. I would imagine as an estate agent the first thing you would have to mention is the fact that anybody with a fear of heights would probably want to give this property a miss. The property is 2970m above sea level, for us older folk that is 9,744ft. On the plus side, the property comes with an ariel cableway that takes 32 minutes to take you to the summit. Boasting spectacular views and a 400 seat, 360-degree revolving restaurant this Lair is one of a kind. Based in Switzerland, it would suit the keen skier. It’s also home to the world-famous allergy clinic run by Ernst Stavro Blofeld, a kindly man who is definitely not brainwashing young women to be his “angels of death” to carry out a plan to render all plants and livestock sterile. As for a valuation, I would assume a cost of 8966 Swiss francs per square meter for the property, you would also have to factor in the cost of the cableway and the fact that the property is based in a UNESCO world heritage site. I am not so sure that an estate agent in Pudsey could make a guess at this. Maybe a more local estate agent would have better luck?
2. Moonraker Space Station. The original Moonraker novel written by Ian Fleming was not based in space at all. The decision to use outer space as the backdrop to the movie was made by the filmmakers to capitalise on the popularity of Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Star Wars. So how would a local estate agent go about selling a space station? Well, first the view! Can you imagine waking up to the Big Blue Marble every day? Watching lightning storms over the ocean in the afternoon and the northern lights on an evening? Wow! An estate agent would have to describe the property as rural, no noisy neighbours. The negatives? Poor transport links, no access to local amenities and not a pub in sight. You do not lack for parking though, room for at least one space shuttle. The former owner was a very private man, Hugo Drax. A billionaire, the sale has been forced, due to a failed plot to destroy all life on earth with a revolutionary Black Orchid toxin. Do not let that put you off this one-off property though, there is no chain and the vendors are open to offers. The sale is being dealt with by the Drax Estate as unfortunately Hugo was “accidentally” ejected into outer space by a rogue British Intelligence operative. This local estate agent would value the property at about the same cost as the International Space Station, offers would be invited at around $150 billion.
3. Silva’s’ Island. Even an experienced estate agent would have had trouble selling Skyfall Lodge, the scene of Bonds showdown with Silva. The Lodge was just an exterior set made of plaster stone and plywood. Which estate agent would be tasked with selling the villains Island lair? I am not so sure it would be an estate agent in Pudsey. This property was once the most densely populated place on earth but following a leak at a chemical plant (now thought to be a fake report), it is abandoned. This lair is based just off the coast of Macau (apparently) and would be perfect for those of you who want to get away from it all. It sits upon an underwater coal mine so even though it would not be ecologically sound, it would-be self-sustaining energy-wise. There are over 2000 apartments on the island along with numerous commercial properties. As an estate agent, we believe this would be a very viable investment property. The island is owned by Raoul Silva, a cybersecurity expert with supposed links to British Intelligence. The property has only recently come on to the market following Mr Silva’s rather hasty exit via a fleet of Royal Naval helicopters. His whereabouts are unknown at the moment and we have been instructed to sell the property by Her Majesty’s Government under the proceeds of crime act. Mr Silva has reportedly been seen in London masquerading as a policeman and some people claim to have seen him as far away as Scotland. This property will not be on the market for long and we are looking for sealed bids from prospective super villains
4. Volcano Lair. You Only Live Twice featured the only two Toyota 2000Gt convertibles ever made. The reason for this? Sean Connery was just too tall to fit into the coupe version. The car was too small for anyone over the height of 5ft 8” tall, Connery was 6ft 2”. Well selling a volcano would be a tall order for any estate agent, especially an estate agent in Pudsey. Where to start? The ocean-bound property is situated inside a free-standing dormant volcano surrounded by beautiful beaches. It comes complete with an operational heliport, a monorail, and its’ own spacecraft Bird One, it is a must for any self-respecting Bond villain. Based in the Kirishnu national park and boasting a huge retractable roof this lair certainly boasts the wow factor. Previously owned by a mysterious organisation named SPECTRE, this property has some structural damage following a small explosion, thought to be a self-destruct attempt. The price will reflect this once the property comes to market. The new owners are looking for local estate agents to take this to market. Buyers, please be aware the volcano did erupt as recently as 2018.
5. Atlantis. The Spy Who Loved Me is reportedly the last movie that Elvis Presley ever watched, he died 6 days after watching it at a private viewing in Whitehaven, Tennessee. Any local estate agent would be happy to market, in what, in my personal opinion is one of the best Bond villain lairs ever. The structure is located off the coast of Sardinia, Italy. An imposing platform standing on four huge legs. The property consists of a dining room, a study, an aquarium, speed boat dock, 4 helipads (one on each leg of the superstructure) and a laboratory. Its’ quirkiest feature is the elevator which has a trapdoor by which troublesome visitors can be despatched to the properties other quirky feature, the shark tank. The property owner Karl Stromberg is famous not only as an entrepreneur but also for his webbed hands. It has everything the discerning owner would look for in a property that can sustain life both above and below water for any length of time. The property also boasts ocean views from every room and has a dining table that boasts an explosive harpoon that runs the length of it. A talking point at any dinner party. Estate agents in Pudsey do not come across this type of property that often so we would leave it to those with more maritime experience.