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Jamie McLaughlin

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  • Location
    South Lanarkshire
  • Property investment interests
    Auction purchasing, buying for yield, retaining tenants on service quality, flipping, HMOs.
  • My goals
    I want to create an income stream capable of supporting me in my old age.
  • Interests outside property
    American sports (football, ice hockey, basketball), music, fitness, other sport, reading (primarily non-fiction), learning (languages and piano as it stands).

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  1. Hi Murray, Huge apologies - I usually get emails if my content or followed posts get nudged, but for some reason I didn't here when I got tagged! I was in Manchester with work and unable to attend the last meetup, but I will be there in January (4th I think?). This was something I found tricky, but mostly because of the sheer mass of BTL (buying a house to lease out) information out there and the difficulty in sifting through it for LTB (re-mortgaging to buy a new property) information. As such I'm quite keen to share on here. Some thoughts: Let to buy is not the same as buy to let. We had around 60% LTV at our old house and looked to switch mortgage product and remortgage to 75% (thus removing 15% equity - which I think is what caused most of the challenge). The process was very quick and easy with TSB, and with hindsight, I think my mortgage advisor was just quite slow moving things. Oddly, TSB did decline me for the mortgage, and I've never called back to ask why - it was odd considering I already held two mortgages and was approved for a mortgage four times larger with a higher LTV the following fortnight. My wife was approved though, so it didn't much matter. TSB are one of very few 'big name' suppliers who allow this activity - however I think there are more in the smaller ranks. Most will have some form of 'consent to lease', which is written approval to let on your normal mortgage for a year or set period, but that is only guaranteed for a year in some cases, if approved at all. I'm reasonably risk averse and wasn't willing to jeopardise insurances, legal rights, etc if I was unable to secure a long term mortgage and declined 'consent to lease' the following year. You can usually find out if they do allow it using the intermediary sites that the mortgage advisors use to size up options. Just type "[bank name] intermediary" into Google and you'll get a whole heap of useful info - often including whether they'll allow let to buy. Be prepared for chaos. You'll have two banks, two conveyancers, your own lawyer, two valuations... the whole thing becomes almost unmanageable. We used Russel-Aitken in Falkirk for our conveyancing and the service and advice they offered was great, but the guys dealing from the bank's side were absolutely awful. Unfortunately, it's a numbers game, they just mass-process this stuff, so I doubt anything is likely to come of our complaint. Beware the LBTT. We bought a property at £330,000 and our old house was worth £95,000. If we'd done it the other way around, the LBTT would've been £2,850... but because it's always applied to the NEW property (not the let property) we had to pay a horror show tax tag of £16,250. Of that, £9,990 was the 'additional property' tax, which is brutal. HSBC declined adding it to the mortgage, understandably, so I've had to find that outta nowhere. Grim. Your situation may be different. You seem to be keying on whether you need the 75%, which you do for all BTL mortgages, but if you're not looking to take out any equity then it may be a lot easier to just get a BTL mortgage and move (assuming you can meet the 75% target). If you can't meet it, I would whole-heartedly recommend continuing to save and then assessing options when you can. As much as it's been an absolute NIGHTMARE, it's already looking like it's been a great decision to go the way we've gone and looking at Zoopla (with all it's inaccuracies and false hope), I'm quite confident my BTL properties are both into the 60-70% LTV bracket, despite initially being mortgaged right up to 75%. My strategy has been to push for 60% LTV before moving forward (as I say, I'm risk averse) and it seems quite easily achieved. If you're just getting into property, best of luck and if you need a thorough re-telling of my LTB nightmare then I'm happy to chat in January! Jamie
  2. Paul, Interested to know how you got on with this? My brother and I own a property and he's not even earning enough to get into the basic tax rate. If we can amend the profits then there are huge efficiencies to be gained.
  3. Hi Tony, Hope you're doing well - I will see you on the 2nd! I just phoned HSBC who have said that equity release from BTL is not allowed if the money is earmarked for a residential purchase. Nonsense as far as I can tell. It just encourages me to not swap my mortgage to them. I'll potentially look at a re-mortgage up to £73,000 on a residential mortgage and then switch to a BTL after the fact, or alternatively I'll re-mortgage with another lender who is happy for me to use that cash for a residential purchase. Absolute joke! Jamie
  4. Hi, I won't pretend this is an easy enquiry, and I suspect I'll be needing some tax/mortgage advise from a professional, so if anybody knows a good one in the Scottish Central Belt (ideally Glasgow) area, it'd be much appreciated. I currently have a property I let with my brother (£80k at 75% LTV). I currently have a property I live in with my wife (£98k with 60% LTV remaining). I want to refinance the property I live in as BTL and remove equity up to 75% LTV. I want to take this money and combine it with other money to buy a new residential property with my wife. I want to let my old house with my brother and under both our names. Does anybody have experience or knowledge with a complex transaction like this, or a good experience of dealing with somebody who does? Thanks, Jamie
  5. Hi All, I'm interested to understand the strategy used by the majority (and minority for that matter) regarding valuations and the frequency of them. I've got a property letting at the moment, valued at £80,000, however the valuation was completed by a guy my mortgage advisor described as "ludicrously and famously stingy" and since then we've made some improvements, such as upgrading the 22 year old heating with a modern combi and upgrading the interior, largely with cosmetic changes. Obviously a re-valuation is going to be something I'll undertake in a couple of years to identify if I can withdraw a few thousand in equity to help speed along the next purchase, but I am just wondering what the standard is in this area? Do people have a strategy in place for continually reviewing their valuations and adjusting their investment level accordingly (for equity release or adjustment on the LTV for the mortgage)? Keen to hear some discussion... Jamie
  6. Thanks Richard! It appears like we're going to progress in that fashion and the tenant was actively quite keen on the idea - they accepted with no reservations and immediately asked for the sizing of the areas to start shopping for the white goods. If the worst comes to the worst I might lose a bit of cash, but it'll be no more than £400. Considering that's split between my partner and I and also the property lets for more than that each month, I feel like we could overcome it. Thanks for the advice and I'll try to return to let guys know how I get on with this.
  7. Worth adding that the property is in a very strong position to let. We had 9 viewing requests within 48 hours of the advertisement going on Gumtree and the first tenant who viewed the property immediately accepted - it's totally possible that we could have the place let out again within two weeks if the tenant was to do a runner. Jamie
  8. Hi All, I'm looking for some advice - I'm about to put a tenant into my property and have now completed credit checks (references to follow) with a view of getting the tenants signed in soon. I've identified an opportunity though... The property is letting unfurnished with no white goods. The tenant did ask whether we'd be willing to take an extra £50 per month in exchange for putting in a washing machine / fridge freezer. We've refused that as we don't want the hassle or immediate outlay, but we're unsure as to whether another option isn't available. Does anyone have experience of letting with no deposit but increasing the rent? The tenant has a good credit score and rented the previous property for 6 years with their partner and two children. if we were to increase rent by £50 for the first year and scrap the deposit, we'd collect an extra £600 that wouldn't have been collected previously, never have to give that back, but in addition make it appear like we're doing the tenant a favour by giving them the financial space up front to buy white goods. In the grand scheme of things, the deposit would only be £450, which means that even after the first three months we'd be just £300 down in terms of having a tenant void unexpectedly. That's on the assumption that we can keep the whole deposit without having to challenge them legally too. In this second scenario, getting to the full 12 month term would see us bank £600 in profit and be able to lower the rent at the end of the 12 months as an incentive to stay. Does this seem like an option? I'm not even sure I've made sense... Jamie
  9. Hi Jason, Thanks for this - I did indeed go through discount insurance and I'm expecting a call back next week to open the policy. I checked around additional options, namely CIA, Simply Business and various direct quotes from providers, but it appears that this was the cheapest method (while covering all the bases I wanted covered). Thanks! Jamie
  10. Hi Jason, I know this is a pretty old post, but I've been trawling through insurance-related information today and found this. I notice the link uses the "discount landlord" site to process, does this mean I'll get the same results? Are there different checks in place? I've already processed a quote through there today but I'm unsure if this is just an attachment in name or whether there is any actual difference? Thanks, Jamie
  11. Hi Roxane, I currently use both! OneNote used to be more like a virtual filing cabinet and Evernote was a virtual brieface. Both did the same thing but convenience and organisation separated them. Evernote being more convenient and OneNote have a bigger and better-defined hierarchy. Lately, they're becoming more markedly similar. You can now bang open OneNote and just take a photo in to be arranged later; that definitely used to be an Evernote staple. If I was starting right now, I'd probably go with OneNote - but only because it's more like Evernote if you get what I mean. It's also always going to be the most effective for managing inserts from other Microsoft software, purely due to it being cut from the same cloth. So if you, like Nick, have just taken delivery of 365 then there's probably no point using Evernote. Ps, I still love Evernote, but I also have 365, so it's a matter of time.
  12. Do you have skills in DIY or contacts that do? Quickest growth, as far as I can imagine, would be finding something remarkably cheap - potentially even at auction - and overhauling it before selling on for the revaluation price. It will take a lot of research to make sure you know what you're getting and what you can do to sort it though.
  13. Hi All, I've got a quick and (at the moment) largely hypothetical question. At some stage in the future, my Mum has suggested that she'd like to change ownership of her home into the names of her children (me and my brother). It avoids any challenges when the time comes, etc. So that's that. My question then is: Would the banks accept a request for equity release given that there is a non-paying tenant, or even take that property into account when mortgaging against other properties? It's unlikely it could count as BTL (without a payment of sorts anyway), but I'm curious to know if there are any possible ways to use the value there to your advantage. To be clear, I think the idea of ramming a load of debt onto your elderly mother's house is a bad one in case of difficulty, but small mortgages to release equity for auction flips, etc would be a more financially efficient equivalent of a bridging loan? Or am I way off track here? Just curious - thanks, Jamie
  14. That's great Kevin! Thanks for the info! I think it's probably more prudent to hold off then; over-committing on day one wouldn't be an ideal start. We'll have a bit more capital soon, so I'll look and see what we can do from there! Cheers again!
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