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Darren McNeill

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Everything posted by Darren McNeill

  1. 31.10.2022 Look who's looking at you! Darren www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
  2. The return on the amount of money being spent would make my bum twitch tbh. You could quite easily pick up 3-4 lower value properties that would return £650PCM before mortgage and insurance costs. I totally understand why people buy higher priced properties further south for capital growth, but for me personally that sort of return for the amount being spent seems crazy. Just having a tenant fail to pay for a couple of months would make me nervous with such a high mortgage needed. I personally think in 5 years time everything will have settled and rates will be back to being lower. I think they might get daft in the 12 months or so, but I am still buying and fixing for 5 years. I will be making a little less each month because of the current rates but in the long run the property value will have increased, and ultimately I am in this for the long term. I don't think we are at the height of the market. It may cool, but definitely not the height. Your additional comments with your current return would make me slightly nervous though. As previously said, I would personally spend the money on houses at 80-90k that will return me £650PCM. 3 of those are £1950 before mortgage costs and you could probably have some change left over for an emergency fund, and also sleep much better at night! Darren www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
  3. Just do your usual numbers. Work out your total cost and then the GDV. Divide the GDV to get 1/4 that will be left in as the mortgage deposit and then compare the 75% return to your total amount being spent and see if its good value. Factor is that lenders will likely want a new build insurance cert which arent cheap. Also worth just chatting with a mortgage broker and asking them if there are any lender restrictions. Hope that helps Darren www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
  4. Keep it simple and straight forward. Too many people try to over-complicate everything with property. Its not a fast thing, so don't believe the hype people give about being financially free in the next 10 minutes. Slow & steady wins the race. Darren www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
  5. Top tip - Don't overthink it! Treat your first house as taking your first steps. Its a great learning process getting that first one and will give you so much confidence moving forward. Darren www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
  6. The biggest challenge with distance investing is finding people you can TRUST. You wont be in a position to drive up and do things, so you need to get someone on the ground who can basically do everything for you. I have had a few clients go off and try to do things away from their home using trades local to their property etc and they have found it hard work. If you can find someone who can do all 3 elements (sourcing/renovation/management) then this will make the whole process easier. Darren www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
  7. I am buying something similar. 3 flats in a large terraced property that have never had planning permission. They have however been like this for about 15 years, all have their own address and council tax band, all have their own utilities etc. Once I complete I am going to contact the council and have a chat with them on the phone about retrospective planning. See what they say. If for some reason that isn't allowed then I will apply for the usual planning permission. If that fails then the property will go back into a single dwelling and I will flip it and can make some profit on it regardless. Its good to have an idea of an exit plan just in case, but your first port of call is the council planning department and explain the situation. No point in guessing. Darren www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
  8. I thought that I would check how many client offers we have recently had accepted, with it being a total of 12 since 18.06.2022. We have had 5 offers accepted this week alone with 2 more offers with estate agents at the moment waiting to be accepted. We have now found that the level of stock has increased and that it is mainly home buyers that are slowing down their purchases. We have recently also had a few offers accepted UNDER the asking price, which as a lot of you know this has been almost impossible over the last few months. Personally it feels like the right time to buy whilst people are feeling negative. the market has been hard to find stock for the last 6 months and now there are a decent amount of units available with some fantastic opportunities. Darren www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
  9. Wickes. Have used them in every renovation I have done. Simple, cheap, easy to get hold of. TradePro 10% reduction and as someone has mentioned every-so-often they are reduced so if you get the timing right you can get them cheaper. I always use the white handless ones, whether its a 60k rental or 200k flip. Darren www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
  10. Yeah, liked the video option. Just watched it through now. Darren www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
  11. I use both. Prefer Starling. Darren www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
  12. Thought I would see how investors on here are currently looking at the market? I posted a poll on one of the large Facebook groups asking the below question: There seems to be a lot of nervous people in the market place, which may be one reason why we have managed to have 12 offers accepted for clients in the last 3 weeks. I am personally still looking to buy as well. I continued during covid and all I can personally see at the minute are opportunities as there is a lot less demand on the actual purchase side. We have now found that the level of stock has increased and have recently also had a few offers accepted UNDER the asking price, which as a lot of you know this has been almost impossible over the last few months. Personally it feels like the right time to buy whilst people are feeling negative. the market has been hard to find stock for the last 6 months and now there are a decent amount of units available with some fantastic opportunities. I always purchase thinking long-term, so if the numbers stack right now, then its going on a 5 year fixed rate and will allow any minor market blip to pass. What are people on here thinking of doing over the next few months (as your savings fall in value due to inflation?) Darren www.fmp-investments.com Whatsapp Direct on: 07908403515 01706 507202
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. *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
  24. 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
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