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Darren McNeill

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Everything posted by Darren McNeill

  1. I am now on YouTube!!! You can see our renovations in more detail now - Hope you enjoy! Watch my renovations on YouTube www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
  2. You cannot charge for this. I own a lettings agency and unfortunately unless we can come to a compromise with the tenant is pretty much tough luck. Just put a dispute in with the company holding your deposit. It will drag out for a good couple of months as they are really slow at dealing with claims but you will eventually get it back. If your bored and want to see how I started with not a lot then I have journalled everything that I have done in the last 5 years on the Property Hub Forum: https://propertyhub.net/forum/topic/5604-i-did-it-financially-retired-in-5-years-starting-with-just-£20k-in-the-bank-in-2017-it-can-be-done/ Darren www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
  3. Top tip here is to get legal protection cover with your buildings insurance. This then covers the legal cost to get these muppets out. Next BEST tip is to use an expert. Ive tried it myself, not worth the hassle as if you get it wrong the smug tenants get to wave their finger at you for a few more months. We manage over 160 houses and use The Landlord Group (just google). The founder is one of those guys who is on those eviction TV programs. We found the pricing to be good for what they do and have always found they communicate with us and our landlords well, which I find important. I think we might have used them on about 10 evictions now. Some end up leaving as soon as they get a solicitors letter, others unfortunately are still there when the bailiff's eventually turn up. Its a crap process and its gutting, but its just one of those risks that we have to take as LL's. I am owed over 6k by two tenants, but reality is that the mortgage payments are really 1.5k, so sometimes perspective is needed. And you're right, you will never get the money back. Doesn't matter how many CCJ's etc, tenants just get away with murder. If your bored and want to see how I started with not a lot then I have journalled everything that I have done in the last 5 years on the Property Hub Forum: https://propertyhub.net/forum/topic/5604-i-did-it-financially-retired-in-5-years-starting-with-just-£20k-in-the-bank-in-2017-it-can-be-done/ Darren www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
  4. I would be out there buying property. Your losing a fortune in inflation alone right now. I would personally be looking at units that can be purchased for £85k that will return 550-650PCM (which is quite easy to do). I would also be looking at only using a 25% deposit rather than tying up so much cash at the start. If you did the above you would easily be clearing 300-350 per unit after management costs, mortgage costs etc. The benefit of smaller mortgages is that they are smaller payments. Most of my mortgages are between 120-160 per month. I have had non paying tenants and the reality is that you can easily clear the mortgage payment. What people get mixed up is when they say its costing them £600 per month (the actual rent being charged). Its not. Yes you are losing the "profit" but reality is that its just the mortgage payment you are losing. Just get a 2 or a 5 year fixed mortgage and then forget about it. I currently have 6 mortgages on 5 year payments and have nothing to think about or worry about. I also agree, I personally cannot see a market crash. I can see a potential cooling of the market with the negativity on the news at the minute about living standards etc but that is usually a good time to buy anyway. Nope! Worst case you sell the property. Thats the way I look at it. Investing in BTL is not rocket science, despite how everyone wants to make it look like it. You also need to remember that when you buy a BTL, its only ACTUALLY costing you stamp duty and fees. You still have 25% in the deposit, so the reality is that buying an 85k house for example is ACTUALLY costing you say 6k in fees and stamp. £21,250 is still there, its just that the bank is holding it for you. If your bored and want to see how I started with not a lot then I have journalled everything that I have done in the last 5 years on the Property Hub Forum: https://propertyhub.net/forum/topic/5604-i-did-it-financially-retired-in-5-years-starting-with-just-£20k-in-the-bank-in-2017-it-can-be-done/ Darren www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
  5. My Strategy... Just carry on as normal. I never get overly concerned by a few percentage points on my mortgage. The reality is its only a few ££ each month. It may go higher, it may go lower, but that's what they are and I personally cant let that stop me from buying. I really try to look at property as simply as I can and not other think things. I was buying when Covid started and people were cancelling sales because they were scared the market would fall. It did the opposite. I might be a bit too casual in my buying process than most people though, lol If your bored and want to see how I started with not a lot then I have journalled everything that I have done in the last 5 years on the Property Hub Forum: https://propertyhub.net/forum/topic/5604-i-did-it-financially-retired-in-5-years-starting-with-just-£20k-in-the-bank-in-2017-it-can-be-done/ Darren www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
  6. The absolute first thing to do is to speak with a broker who specialises with ex-pats. There is ALWAYS a solution. Reality is you will probably get initially stung with APR or setup fees etc because of your personal situation, but they key is getting on the ladder and getting that first one secured. Once you have one or two, then more lenders open up to you. If you need to speak to someone then feel free to Whatsapp me on the below number and I can send you my brokers details. He knows someone who has done quite a few mortgages for my clients in similar situations to yourself. The biggest thing you can do now is to start making the positive steps of just looking into it, and don't gibe up if you get a few "no's" to start with. And if your bored and want to see how I started with not a lot then I have journalled everything that I have done in the last 5 years on the Property Hub Forum: https://propertyhub.net/forum/topic/5604-i-did-it-financially-retired-in-5-years-starting-with-just-£20k-in-the-bank-in-2017-it-can-be-done/ Darren www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
  7. Hi Ken, Have you looked more into your investment areas since your last post a month ago? Vineet mentioning up North is a good call. Absolutely tonnes of opportunity that huge numbers of investors are missing out on. Its so easy for people to be drawn to the big cities that everyone talks about on podcasts and YouTube, but there are so many areas that are commutable that people don't know about. I now have 15 personal rental units and we have sourced, renovated and managed another 160+ for our clients. We have recently had some amazing capital growth as we have felt the effect of the Manchester bubble. You can pick up a really nice property for 85k that will return 550-650 all day long. If you want to have a chat then my WhatsApp number is on my signature below. I know how daunting it can be thinking about investing somewhere that isn't local. And if your bored and want to see how I started with not a lot then I have journalled everything that I have done in the last 5 years on the Property Hub Forum: https://propertyhub.net/forum/topic/5604-i-did-it-financially-retired-in-5-years-starting-with-just-£20k-in-the-bank-in-2017-it-can-be-done/ Darren www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
  8. 12.05.2022 Well there we have it, 5 years ago today I had the keys in my hand for my 1st ever property purchase! (images are from my Instagram post, lol). It does seem like a LONG LONG LONG time ago now, lol...... I remember sitting there watching YouTube videos on how to do basic jobs. Phone reception was almost non existent and it was a right pain in the arse. Back at the start I was able to journal EVERY SINGLE DAY!! If you are curious on the works then you can have a quick read here: What really opened my eyes on this was that I had completed my numbers at a re-sell of £60k. The agent came round and valued it at £70k. I literally made an extra £10k in an hour. Of course we know this can also go the other way, but at the time that was a THIRD of my yearly income, just like that! Absolutely crazy. What makes me chuckle is how is was quite normal to pick houses up for under 30k. This was ONLY 5 years ago. Now you can't pick anything up for under £60k, its crazy. Funnily enough the other day I was watching Homes Under The Hammer. Haven't seen this in a long time and its always been a bit of a guilty pleasure. Anyway, I think it had been filmed in maybe 2012-2014, so not too long ago. The house prices were crazy low, and the rents even lower. It just goes to show that RIGHT NOW really is the best time to buy. In another 5 years time the above £60k houses will likely be going for 80-100k, and then I will be looking back thinking how cheap they are now. It can be so easy to be blinded by the past prices and not realise that the price now is still good. As soon as my funds come in from my re-mortgage of my apartments I am just going out and buying 60-70k houses in bulk. They are the cheapest currently available and no doubt they will all have decent growth in the next 5 years. Lets face it, if I buy a £70k house and its value increases by £20k in the next 5 years then that has covered my initial deposit and the house is practically free..... Such a simple concept that no-one really thinks about. Anyway, celebrated last night because why not!? Life is too short not to celebrate the small things as well as the big things, and it was good to see how things have changed in such a short space of time. Darren www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
  9. I have looked for software and have never found anything that worked better than my basic system that I have grown over time. I found that most systems are overly complex. This is our system and we manage 160 houses: Dropbox - All properties in their own folder with sub folders for images, tenants, maintenance, certificates etc Google Sheets - Spreadsheet that has the address, contract date, year separated for each month to track rents and then also the tenants contact details. Google Calendar - Simply set an event with email notification for gas safety etc. You get an email when a certificate is due Virtual phone line - we use EverReach - Think its £10 per month. You get a landline number and answer machine options so you can get calls diverted to your mobile rather than giving them your personal number. Whatsapp - For us we have a chat group for every property set up with the LL. You may want something similar but for the tenants so they can report issues. That's pretty much it. Works perfect for us, isn't over-kill. Darren www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
  10. 14.04.2022 I have completed 200 renovations now...... reality is that it is very hard. Apologies for the negativity! Once upon a time I recall people telling me about issues and thinking it would never be me it happened to....... Since Covid ended and every Tom, Dick & Harry started to have work done on their properties trades are the busiest they have ever been, and the cowboys have come out in full force! We have been stung by 3 different trades, one was going as far as sending images of roofing works done on OTHER properties to show they had completed works...... I could literally write a book on how various trades have tried it on and some of the stuff they have got up to. There are good trades out there, but you have to pay them what they are worth, which most people don't want to do. A lot of trades also prefer Jo Bloggs the home owner than landlords. Home owners will pay more, a LOT more, because they are clueless. Some of my trades can earn a fortune fitting a bathroom or a kitchen, but I know how much the labour and materials SHOULD be, so who do they want to chose? At the end of the day these guys need to make a living so they will always choose a job they can earn more money on, especially if they are boked up for 2-3 months. Few Tips From Experience: I would say AVOID Facebook adverts. From our experience this is where the majority of the cowboys can be found If someone has availability really quickly, that's usually an indication that they are crap. Not always, but usually that's the case. Use sites such as "Trusted Trader" and go for a trade that has been on there for a number of years with lots of feedback - these guys will however be more expensive as they are good. DON'T get one trade to do the full project. I have done this 3 times and every single time I have regretted it. They just sub out the works and get the cheapest guy in. Work is usually crap and you have issues a few month down the line. Find each trade yourself. Its going to take you longer than you expect right now. EVERYONE is busy. If they arent, see above and be VERY aware. DONT pay upfront, EVER. If they want a deposit for materials etc chat with them, explain you have never used them and that you can meet them half way by ordering the materials yourself and have them delivered to site. Darren www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
  11. *From my other post* I have changed careers and went full time into property 5 years ago. I have now built up a sourcing business, a renovations company and also a lettings agency. You can read my entire journey here if you have a spare month or two! lol: The reality of doing this is much different from the fantasy that people write about, unless you have a significant pot of cash to start with. I started off with only 20k so my journey has probably been much tougher than most people. I think what you need to do is sit down and establish what monthly income you need to support your life. Then, establish how many properties you would need to get to this point. The reality is that you cannot jump into doing something like this without sitting down and really spending time going through numbers and understanding what is needed. The other thing to understand is that it is bloody hard work. There are lots of struggles, lots of stresses and some days its absolute utter shit. 14.04.2022 The reality here is that if you have a small amount of money you need to GRAFT to make it work as hard as you can. Its so stressful when your entire life relies on basically being self employed. Anyone who follows my blog and has read my most recent one will now see that I have handed over almost every element of my businesses tio people working for me and I am almost classed as retired. And now I am struggling mentally with that side. I am going to do a post about it later today as I don't think anyone has wrote about what its like when you achieve the goals and get onto the other side..... Darren www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
  12. I have changed careers and went full time into property 5 years ago. I have now built up a sourcing business, a renovations company and also a lettings agency. You can read my entire journey here if you have a spare month or two! lol: The reality of doing this is much different from the fantasy that people write about, unless you have a significant pot of cash to start with. I started off with only 20k so my journey has probably been much tougher than most people. I think what you need to do is sit down and establish what monthly income you need to support your life. Then, establish how many properties you would need to get to this point. The reality is that you cannot jump into doing something like this without sitting down and really spending time going through numbers and understanding what is needed. The other thing to understand is that it is bloody hard work. There are lots of struggles, lots of stresses and some days its absolute utter shit. Darren www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
  13. Not a problem at all 😀 Darren www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
  14. Hi Isabella, We can help you if you are still looking for a managing agent? Small family agency that I set up a few years ago that I created as I am an investor myself and wanted an agency that wasn't just going to throw anyone in a property to get a fee. Darren www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
  15. Only 1 inspection per year? Our minimum is 2, and all new rentals get one at 3 months. If we ever do an inspection and find issues then we do regular 1-2 month inspections to make sure issues are resolved. Your agent should be adjusting their inspections to the needs of the property and the tenant. Darren www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
  16. If you're based in the North West then feel free to get in touch as I have my own small agency that only deals with genuine investors. I basically set it up as one day I wanted my own rental properties to be looked after for me, and that is now what happens. My sister runs the agency for me and I rarely get involved with my own properties, which I must say is a nice place to be in. Darren www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
  17. 04.02.2022 Well, who would have thought 5 years ago I would be still here now. I have just re-read my first post and it seems so long ago now. History is certainly more fuzzy now with so much that has happened, especially in the last few years. A small time stamp of where I am right now: Personal If everything goes to plan (as nothing is 100% until the cash is back in your bank account!) by the close of 2022 on the below numbers I should have a personal rental income of £7,440 Gross rent per month, £418k property equity and £400k working capital. Thats crazy, im almost at my first £million! 7 Personal rentals bringing in £3,765 (approx equity of £268k) 1 block of 7 apartments (due to complete May 2022). Should bring in gross rent of £3,675 (approx equity £150k and return working capital of £250k) 2 flips being sold - £45k profit and £70k cash flow coming back into the business 2 flips being renovated - approx profit of £80k (one of these flips I have managed to borrow the purchase price and all of the renovation money). Business Lettings agency: 133 active rental properties being managed - (75k per month) 5 properties being renovated - (2.7k forecast per month) 29 client properties being purchased (15.8k forecast per month) Total monthly forecast - £97.4k Sourcing: 165 properties sourced in total with 136 physically completed That's not too bad going! See where it is up to and what adventures I have had by my 6th Birthday!!!! Darren www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
  18. I am now managing properties in Preston as we have extended our current operating area. Feel free to get in touch if I can help in any way. Darren www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
  19. Afternoon, I can certainly help with you. Get in touch on the below contact details. Darren www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
  20. Hi, What areas in Manchester? Darren www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
  21. Afternoon, I now cover the Bury area. Please feel free to get in touch for a chat. Darren www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
  22. We have 130 active rentals and I would say there have been payment issues with 6-7, so you cant make a bold statement like that without knowing the actual facts. If a tenant doesn't pay on one of these houses it costs you £130 in mortgage payments. If a tenant doesn't pay you on a higher valued property then it costs you far more. There is no correlation between the cost of house and non paying tenants. People of all incomes are arseholes, that's just life. I always recommend a mortgage buy over a cash buy as I feel it is less risky as if the market suddenly drops you haven't got all of your cash tied up (as you have borrowed). You do not get the same returns, but its that factor of risk which is reduced. This is of course just my opinion - I do buy most straight off in cash myself. If you had 100k cash then using the above example you could buy 1 house in cash, or 3 with mortgages. If you bought in cash you have to wait 6 months before refinancing, and at the min this then takes 2-3 months if you are lucky. You can refinance earlier than 6 months but the lender is usually much stricter and you do not get as good as a revaluation. Once my apartments are completed and I get my chunk of cash back out (approx £250k) I will be doing the 2nd strategy as I know I can then release in 2 years time some of the capital that has been created. Darren www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
  23. With a starting pot like that then you have quite a few good options. I try not to look at capital growth and personally focus on monthly income return. I probably have £1m tied up in various projects, deposits, property growth etc, but that does not pay my bills each month and most of it is tied up in 5 year mortgage products. When I started I simply focused on the income side, and the capital growth has come along for the ride. Granted I bought everything at the right time before the market went crazy last year, but either way I would have had some form of growth. With a significant amount of money that you are stating you have, you could go for a very simple income play and use the monthly income to add to the portfolio. So the example numbers below: A basic £80k turn-key purchase would have a CASH cost of £25,750 and would return you £321 basic (before maintenance and tax). If we keep these above figures as they are for explanation purposes the below scenario could be achieved: £80K property = £25,750 total cash £25,750 / £321 = 80 monthly payments. So in theory you could buy another property in 80 months if you did not touch the rental income. So lets now buy FOUR properties at £80k each. The rental income is now £1,284 per month. £25,750 / £1,284 = You could buy another property in 20 months if you did not touch the rental income. You have spent £103k of your money pot. Lets go crazy and double this so that you spend £206k of your cash pot and buy EIGHT properties. The rental income is now £2,568 per month. £25,750 / £2,568 = You could buy another property in 10 months if you did not touch the rental income. You have spent £206k of your money pot. You are now at the point where you are buying an additional property per year, just using the money at the start and not adding any more to it. Every 10 months you are adding another property to the mix, which increases the amount per month and slowly reduced the amount of time before the next purchase. This is the snow ball effect. The snowball gets bigger and quicker the more properties that you have in the portfolio, and the quicker and quicker you can add to the portfolio. Most people obviously start much lower than this and it is a much slower process. The above of course is using basic numbers. No tax has been deducted, but no increased rents either or capital growth...... You can improve the above by buying properties that need to have work completed on them: Another option is to buy something on a 2 year mortgage product that requires some modernising so you can try and force the capital appreciation. So an example below: So in this example you are buying a property at £80k that requires modernising. So carpets, decorating, kitchen improvements for example. Using currently available on the market prices you could establish that if the work was done it would likely revalue at £100k. So you would get the work done and then rent your property out until your initial 2 year mortgage package is due to end and then refinance with another lender. Now if there has been no gains in the local market and everything has stayed the same it "should" be valued at £100k. Of course the market could have risen and it could have fallen.... with that my crystal ball does not work. So if it did value at £100k the following would happen: £13,100 cash would be returned to you. This would also be tax free as it is still a "loan" from the bank. If you had gone and bought a house straight off at £100k you would have likely spent a total of £31,350 in CASH. This is your deposit and various fees along the way (below). The above example however shows that buying at £80k, small refurb and a revaluation at £100k would mean the ACTUAL cash cost would be £19,150 - so a nice saving of £12,200. The above doesn't account your monthly rental profits in the figures, and also don't forget that the actual REAL cash cost is when you deduct your deposit and just take into account the fees. Your deposit is still sat there in the property. The above numbers are all rounded, but its just an example of how I do my numbers for myself and my clients. I always recommend a mortgage buy over a cash buy as I feel it is less risky as if the market suddenly drops you haven't got all of your cash tied up (as you have borrowed). You do not get the same returns, but its that factor of risk which is reduced. There are lots of options and you could combine both strategies (if you went down a BTL route). Best way is to spend an afternoon with a pad, pen and calculator and see how various scenarios could work. Hope this helps. Darren www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
  24. There is always a "bargain" that can be found, but in todays market you really do have to put in the effort. I started 4 years ago and it was so easy to buy cheap houses to flip, and by easy I mean you could easily have done 15 in a year if the cash funds had been available. Roll on to todays market and its HOT everywhere. The market is awash with teapots who cant do their numbers right and over pay on shit holes. Look at the auctions. Its madness what some of the dumps sell for now, but that's just life at this moment in time. I have only completed maybe 5 flips for clients in the last 2 years as they are just hard to find now. But, every so often you do find that little nugget that everyone else has missed. You can find this on the major portals. Look for properties that have just 1 image and might be tenanted. These are great. Buy it, move the tenant on. They have usually been sat on the market forever as no-one is willing to take the risk. Modern method of auction - Never go to auction, have a BS £6k+ fee, but this puts so many people off. A lot of people refuse to pay the high fees out of "principle" instead of just chucking them into the analysis spreadsheet as just another cost. Zoopla - Not as popular as Rightmove. Smaller agents will list on here and not rightmove, so you can sometimes find little gems. 2 bed conversions to 3 bed - All day easy-peasy. Check every 2 bed on the market to see if there are any big enough that you can move the bathroom above the stairs and convert the existing bathroom into a 3rd bedroom. Get one of these "2 beds" that is dated or needs work and you can quite easily add value on. We do a few of these for our rental clients. Great way to force capital value and add £100+ to their rental figures per month. This is true. There are very few genuine off market deals that people will offer, and anything that is really good is always kept by the sourcer themselves. We source for people. We use portals. We don't hide it. My service is more for people who are time poor and cash rich. We do all of the analysis for them, the viewings are done, images taken, we speak with the EA's, chase the sale etc etc. I don't charge a stupid fee as I'm just offering a glorified viewing service, and this is what works well for my clients who are usually based down south or abroad. I do however have the benefit of being able to complete all renovation works and also have my own lettings agency, so I can basically offer my clients a hands off solution where they don't have to lift a finger. The issue with traditional sourcers is that they find you the house... then you are on your own! Its so hard to find decent trades when you live in an area, never mind when your not local. I know a few of my clients who have gone to wales for example and bought things to be stung by multiple builders. Its quite a scary place out there at the moment for trades and so many people seem to be trying to rip everyone off! Darren www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
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