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lsdscot_1_yahoo_com_au

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Everything posted by lsdscot_1_yahoo_com_au

  1. Hi Marius, And i thought hsbc fees were high at £2k per property, but in saying that their interest rates are very competitve and probably some of the best on the market whether resident or expat. i do have premier account, however, i have an expat friend with regular hsbc account, and he remortgaged with hsbc recently with no problem. I remortgaged 5 properties at the same time and i do remember it took a few months and was pretty heavy on the paperwork side, felt like a full time job at times, i think banks could do a lot to streamline their processes and go more digital as you say. I opened an online share account with interactive brokers that was also fully digital and very quick/efficient to setup, maybe banks will get there one day... Rgds, Laurie
  2. Yes, i agree about the agents, they are not all as reputable as Tim and in some areas it can be difficult to find a decent one, like everything else they vary between the good, the bad and the ugly. i have had great agents that really took care of everything and even negotiated higher than expected rents with great tenants, on the other hand ive had agents that paid the rent to me 3 months after they recieved it, didnt notify me when tenants moved out, did zero reference checks, etc, etc. unable to find a decent agent in my area, i decided to self manage, and take on the responsibilities myself, that was 10 years ago, i have 11 properties let out, in that time i have had a couple problem tenants but overall i think it is not too difficult as long as you have a system and keep on top of things. During this time, i have been based overseas in Australia and the middle east, but i do have a network of trusted trades people to take care of any emergency or maintenance issues, one of my tenants actually does viewings for me, i just pay her a fee which she is happy with, and i save on agent costs which are considerably higher. If you have the temperament for this i would definitely recommend it, although the bureaucratic and legal side is getting more painful, its still manageable with good systems in place. On the financial side, agents typically charge 8 to 15% of gross rent, with many other charges on top for finding new tenants, thats like paying an income tax, its taken straight off your gross income, not your profit, that seriously lowers your ROI. Lets say your annual rental income is £10000 and after mortgage payments and costs you have a £3000 profit before agent fees. Your agent fees are 10% and lets say they dont even charge a tenant finding fee or any other fee, so that comes to £1000, that now leaves you a profit of £2000. You are 33% worse off( and much higher when other fees added) not 10%, of course, the smaller your profit margin is, the bigger the effect the management costs will have on your return. Some would argue, ok, its only £1000 and everything is taken care of, and that is true, its not really that much on the scale of things and if you can find a good agent and dont want any hassle, then that is the way to go. On the other hand if you dont mind getting involved and sorting things out occasionally than self managing could be for you, and if you find the right tenants, there isnt really a lot to do, just check your bank account once a month! If you feel you would like to try, then go for it, if it doesnt work out, your agent will welcome you back with open arms..
  3. Recommend propertyhub perennial favourite, rich dad poor dad for your wife's xmas present, assets and liabilities, etc. owning your own place (that u leave vacant) will certainly divert resources away from potential investments - and i should know, my wife insists on having our own place back home as well! Try a spreadsheet with carrying costs for your own home vs money making investment, at least then you will see clearly the implications of this decision and if you are still happy, then go for it.. good luck
  4. As the others have commented, i would be quite wary of this type of investment, you have quite a limited market for resale and letting out, although on the plus side, i would guess most tenants would stay long term. I lived in Australia for a while and over 55 accommodation its pretty huge over there, but it did end up in some kind of boom with a huge oversupply, so investors found it difficult to rent out or to sell, some mortgage lenders weren't keen on lending against them either. Try a dummy ad to test rental demand. Hope that helps, Laurie
  5. Hi Paul, hope your enjoying Kazakhstan, i worked there for 9 years, its a place of great contrasts, one of them i recall was the weather, extremes of -40c in winter and up to +40c in the summer. I spent most of my time a bit further south than you, check out Almaty if you havent already, has a lot of tree lined boulevard type roads with a beautiful mountain back drop, very close to chinese border. Some of the internal flights were a bit ropey though, had some pretty scary flights sliding off the tarmac, etc in the winter! Stick with air astana, seems to be good airline. Anyway, about your property questions, first of all, for expat mortgages i have used HSBC, they not only cater for expats, they seem to have some of the lowest mortgage rates, and allow interest only mortgages. Some lenders will only give capital Repayment mortgages. It helps if you keep a uk address, like your parents, etc, stay on the electoral roll, have uk bank accounts linked to this address,etc it shows u have ties to the uk and will eventually return. Sourcing, i just scan local real estate agents in the areas i am interested in, sometimes auctions. If you are planning to stay in Kaz for a while, you could think about buying a holiday type home, i have firends who do this very successfully in the south, the big advantage is that they block book the house for when they return home for holidays. They achieve very high rental return, and always super busy, they have a cleaner to sort the place out between visitors, but you have to choose carefully in a tourist area, maybe like the lake district, ect. The downside is that the peak tourist season is likely to clash with your own holiday dates, but then youll be able to use the income to stay in a nice hotel instead! Good luck, Laurie
  6. Hey Michael, I wouldnt give up on this, if thats the area that interests you. I personally dont hold any holiday lets but they have some tax benefits over normal btl, which make them interesting, as long as you are in the right area with good demand, seems like a great strategy. If you sell your current property, you could buy the target property with an owner mortgage on a better interest rate, stay there for a period yourself, then if you decide to use as holiday let, just advise your insurance company of the change. Use your discretion with regards to the lender, but it seems fair enough that they get their repayments and the asset is covered by the appropriate insurance. Rgds, Laurie
  7. Hi Alexander, this looks like an additional tax grab to help the finances of struggling councils, dressed up as something else of course. Is there an upside? Council will hire more staff, but this is a bit like the broken window theory, increasing GDP and creating employment. Increasing the burden on landlords will in the end decrease available property for rent. Kind of depressing trend...
  8. From uk gov website: The scope of the MCD is wider than existing UK regulation and encompasses all mortgage lending to consumers. However, the directive does recognise that buy-to-let lending is not the same as lending to individuals who are buying their own home, and provides member states with the option to exempt buy-to-let from the detailed requirements of the directive, and instead put in place an alternative appropriate framework for the regulation of these mortgages. The government is proposing to use this option to put in place the minimum requirements to meet the UK’s legal obligations, as it is not persuaded of the case for the conduct regulation of buy-to-let. This chapter includes details of the government’s proposal to meet the MCD requirements for buy-to-let lending to consumers.
  9. This variable rate with hsbc varies and depends on LTV, etc. i previously had mortgages with Virgin, Nat West and BM as an expat, although not sure if they still do this, i believe there were some new regulations introduced which have made it more difficult for lenders to allow expat borrowers. I am now maxed out on hsbc with over 10 properties, will soon find out!
  10. Yes, there are not too many options for expat investors although there are a few steps that can be taken to improve your chances. I have most mortgages with HSBC because they have the lowest interest rate i could find, just over 2% for premier customers.
  11. HSBC criteria for professional landlord is based on how many properties you own. They allow a maximum of 10 properties, this includes unencumbered properties and your own residential property. Under some circumstances they will only allow 5 properties, something else about ratio of salary to rental income, i dont remember the exact ratio but salary has to be higher than rental income by a certain margin, you might have a problem there. Check with mortgage advisor at HSBC, they are helpful.
  12. This is for solid walls, for cavity walls the plasterboard may be fixed directly to the wall with no framing, not sure how your one is constructed..
  13. The timber frame is between the outside wall and the plasterboard, the plasterboard is fixed to the frame.
  14. Hi Scott, hope you have already solved you damp problem, but if not then this information may help. I've had several properties with damp problems. Obviously you have to try to find the source of the water; internal condensation, roof leaks, gutter problems, pointing, etc. These are where most of my damp problems originated from,just because the dampness is only at the lower level doesnt mean the problem isnt from above. Water may be getting in from the roof/through bad pointing/gutter problems, and the trickling down only accumulates near the bottom In older properties there can be a tendency for the wood framing to make contact with the outside wall, this can draw in any moisture from the wall through the plaster leading to dampness where the contacts are. In this case i tear down the old plaster and framing, reframe with a decent gap from the outside wall, install very good insulation behind the plasterboard. The insulation not only helps with the heating bill, it removes cold spots where condensation may occur. I read somewhere that rising damp is the most unlikely source of dampness, not sure if thats true but has been in my experience so far,
  15. Hi Dean, I previously invested in Australia, they introduced generous tax breaks there for property investors, this has incentivised a significant percentage of the population to own a few rental properties. The introduction of the tax breaks increased demand from investors to purchase buy to lets, this in turn eventually helped to increase house prices. Unfortunately, the rent did not keep up with house price increases, probably because there was an increased supply of properties available for rent, this results in a lower yield, sometimes as low as 2%, with mortgage at 5 or 6%. Although the pension reforms in the UK are slightly different, i believe they will have a similar effect on increased demand for housing. The main option right now of locking your cash up in an annuity with a very low return while you are alive and which is completely lost when you die is not too appealing. On the other hand, purchase a property, get a decent yield from the rent, then, pass on the asset to your family when you die, seems a bit of a no brainer. However, if this does prove too popular, expect rent yields to decline. Conclusion: Buy now mate before the rush!
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