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andrew cox

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About andrew cox

  • Rank
    Established member

Profile Information

  • Location
  • Property investment interests
    Vanilla BTLs (houses and flats)
  • My goals
    The option to retire based on capital growth of our property in 17 years aged 55 years old, with a higher combined real-terms income than in 2014 while doing our 'proper' jobs.
  • Interests outside property
    Marathon and ultra-marathon running, cycling, skiing, hill-walking, traveling, natural history, world and British history, politics, geography, science and medicine.

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  1. Jacob, welcome to the hub. It is an excellent resource. It also complements the various other educational products the Rob's create. I rarely get on here these days as I'm too busy to breath with the different things I do. I wanted to check out the new hub though and I'm travelling so had a moment. I used to have more free time and when I did I hit the property self-education business hard. I think Ruth's general points are valid and I would add to this joining a landlord organisation and reading widely. The cost of a few dozen property, tax and wider business books should not be
  2. It is law that a risk assessment needs doing, but how that is interpreted seems to be open to debate. We are super-strict on safety generally and always have wired fire / smoke and CO alarms, good secure doors and windows etc and our risk assessments are tight. In general the risk of Legionella is low in a residential property so long as there are no dead-ends in the water system and you use it regularly. As such I've done the assessment myself on the properties we self-manage and I I run the system through regularly if it has been not used for a while. The risk assessment is included in th
  3. I understand why some do not go for rental insurance but for us it just makes sense as we are time poor and the hassle and cost of having to sort out an eviction is not for us. We make passing the tests by the insurer a requirement for tenants so take it out from the start of the tenancy. We figure you are going to do checks anyway so why not do the ones the insurance requires (and any others such as 'right to rent').
  4. We had similar thoughts when we started out. I think it must be a very common way of thinking as doubts are natural (we couldn't even decide in our modelling how long we should consider reasonable for voids). So we did a combination when we started out. Our first refurb was tougher than our second. Our third was pretty easy and the day we finished it I handed the keys over to the tenant. We were cautious with our first off-plans. Currently we are aggressive with the off-plans, but within a very safe cash buffer window. We started slow with each strategy (we both work long hours) and pic
  5. Maybe just don't put all your eggs in one basket. Have other investments in other investment vehicles. Even if part of this is levering up at a high LTV at 4% that allows you to invest what you would have spent as your deposit in a diversified share portfolio that should make >4% and be relatively liquid. Then you have near ready money that is unlikely to crash at exactly the same time as property and some flexibility if you need it. We keep very little in cash beyond what we would need to pay for some simple maintenance and a month or two of costs plus any large predictable costs in th
  6. I did your card trick a few years ago for a non-property investment and felt really sneaky. A quick check of card rates says it still works: http://www.moneysupermarket.com/credit-cards/balance-transfer/ I would query how often you can do it at that rate (I recall one of my cards had great intro offers but the rates went up to 4% to transfer after that). The original balance was not huge either and needed pushing up through hassling the bank. Once I did it the first time though they kept lifting the balance until I told them to stop then closed the account! So you can at least get a larg
  7. I use 'checkatrade.com' a lot. I have been let down once with a (charming) father and son cowboy builder partnership a couple of years ago but have only had good tradesmen since. After the one bad experience though if I see a single bad review I do not go with them them. I try and go for people with >150 reviews too.
  8. There is 'landlord insurance' and 'landlord insurance'. Clearly insurance that covers fires and floods and other acts of God, provides the costs of alternative accommodation should the property become inhabitable, as well as liability cover, is relatively cheap and I would say it is an essential for anyone that cannot self-insure for millions. Is this really what these people were referring to? If it is they are possibly the sort of landlords 'generation rent' are so critical of! I think irresponsibility of this nature should be incompatible with being a landlord. I think insurance
  9. I think this story has an important extra point. Unlike say investing in a tracker fund or the like, property, even when fully managed, has a cost in time spent ensuring everything is done properly. We work long hours doing cool stuff for a living that we are keen to continue doing. We have hit a bit of a time limit ceiling now as to expand further we would need to spend more time than we are comfortable with just keeping an eye on it (we may have a bit more expansion in us to be fair). Sadly this is not because we are property tycoons, rather because we just work silly hours on other prio
  10. We all learn differently depending on our preferences and circumstances and if a course works for you then go for it. I often go on courses for my job and generally they are useful to gain insights from the personal experience and reflections from experts that reading cannot achieve. For me in property though I do things differently to my job. At work I would not say I am an expert, but I do have a reasonable breadth and depth of knowledge in my field. I'm at a level that courses / conferences add more than simply reading can. With property I behave differently though as I see my level
  11. I am rather cross about the tax relief on interest being removed. Profits should be income minus running costs and to me servicing debt is a legitimate cost of running a business. As far as I am concerned the property business is exactly that: a business. After all, we provide a service in a competitive market in exactly the same way as any other business. Why should this industry be singled out? The chancellor seems to want to consider our profits as income so he can charge us tax as individuals at up to 45%, but is only willing to give relief at corporation tax rates. I would prefer he
  12. Thanks for the ongoing excellent idea to produce a joint resource. Some good points above. Other points: 1. Unscrew the top of a pendant light fitting to see the wires - you can see if they are old or new. 2. Test the shower pressure as this is the most critical point with low water pressure. The points below are a pasted in version of the questions I pose when I see a property. It is mostly repeated from your podcast or the points above but a few novel things to this list I think (though actually the points came out of books, fora, your podcast etc so nothing actually th
  13. Hi Karen, I'm sorry to hear about your husband's death. Hopefully the forum will be a useful source of help to you. I'm not sure there is a correct generic answer to your question though. I think you need to take into consideration your risk appetite, your aims for the next few decades perhaps and then look at where you are and see if what you are doing will get you there. The answer will be personal to you. A few points that occurred to me though: 1. Interest on the BTL mortgages is tax-deductible so if you are going to use the rental income to pay off any mortgage then
  14. So I posted the above a year ago and since then and on the advice of two friends joined the NLA. The advantages: They have a handy on-line course for beginners and also for ongoing education; They are proactive in sending out info on legislation changes, news etc. They have standard documents that we adapted for our use. The biggest for us though is that we have used the advice line three times this year with each time being really helpful. We will continue with membership there as the savings we have from their advice paid for the membership several times over. The disadvantag
  15. Hi Aneil, I think I work with you (maybe)? I've sent you an email of my broker who is really good. Andrew
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