Confessions of a valuer, chapter 9: no limits to nature’s gifts – The Property Chronicle
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Confessions of a valuer, chapter 9: no limits to nature’s gifts

Investor's Notebook

In this very special series of exclusive articles for the Property Chronicle, Australian property legend Norman Harker reflects on his extraordinary 50-year life in real estate. He will pull no punches partly because, as he freely admits, Norman has a limited life expectancy of five years from December 2018 due to a diagnosed terminal blood cancer, which he has cheerfully accepted in preference to (in his words) “kicking the bucket without notice”. We are honoured he has chosen us to publish these brilliant, funny and incisive reflections of a lifetime in property.

Chapter 9: No limit to nature’s gifts or not, as the case may be

At the end of the last sleep-inducing episode, I’d established myself as nature’s gift to valuation. This didn’t last!

Turning to my private life, I’d married while still a student. It was a church wedding – and counted as being very posh because the unlucky girl wasn’t even pregnant.

I’ve had too many partners – I was once described as a ‘serial marriager’! If you think I’m going to criticise or make the partners the butt of my humour, then you’ll be disappointed. They were unfortunate, to say the least, and I was always the one at fault.

We married on Easter Saturday on the last day of the UK financial year – but I don’t think there was any tax advantage to me; it was just a coincidence.

Like most men, I used to forget my wedding anniversary. That must have been why I wrote the definitive Easter formula and VBA function in Excel in 2000. It’s all based on the moon and the vernal equinox. That tells me my wedding day must have been 5 April 1969.

When is my wedding anniversary? Auspicious moon = EASTER(YEAR(A6),0)

Investor's Notebook

About Norman Harker

Norman Harker

Norman Harker FRICS FAPI, the Principal of Sydney-based consultant Norman Harker & Associates, is a specialist Excel property consultant, with expertise in developing, validating, and securing the robustness of Excel DCF and CF analyses for analysing transactions, valuations, investment analysis and feasibility studies. He was an elected New South Wales divisional board member of the Australian Property Institute in 2013-2015 and for many years was a senior lecturer at the University of Western Sydney, where he specialised in developing applications for the use of practising valuers; before that he lectured at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. He began his career at Conrad Ritblat & Co in London, where he rose from trainee valuer to associate partner. He was diagnosed with incurable multiple myeloma in 2018 and given a life expectancy of five years, and also suffers from an incurable and often inappropriate sense of humour.

Articles by Norman Harker

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