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Donald Kendall

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  • Location
    London
  • Property investment interests
    Vanilla BTL for now, but with an interest in refurbs
  • My goals
    To buy 2 properties in London, and one outside London, in 2014
  • Interests outside property
    Flying, travel, playing guitar, living life!

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  1. Hi Antoine My dad is a non-UK resident and had a current account with Natwest (opened in the 80's) which they closed last year for this reason, and since then I have tried on multiple occasions at multiple banks to open a new account for him and have failed every time. So if you're looking for a current account my guess is you're stuck. You have 3 options as I see it: - open a savings account (Natwest have allowed this for my dad, the downside being there are no internet banking facilities or debit cards) - open an offshore account in Jersey or some such. Barclays are a good option - the account is in sterling and has all the usual banking facilities available - open a joint account with someone trusted in the UK and use their address. You will have to appear in the UK branch in person in order to sign the docs though Good luck!
  2. Hi Donald I saw on a reply to a different post that you have used a property investment company in the past. I had been hoping to avoid this myself but it is looking more and more like the sensible idea for me as to avoid spending a lot of time traveling to view properties. I was wondering what company's you could recommend and any other help or recommendations would be much appreciated. Thanks Dave

    1. Donald Kendall

      Donald Kendall

      Hi Dave sorry for the late reply, been helluva busy and not come on here! I use RMP Property, which is the company owned by Rob Bence, one of the cofounders of this website. If you give me an email address I can send you a copy of the report they produce on each investment property, so you can see how they operate and what to expect. I'll also give you my thoughts so far.

      cheers,

      Donald

    2. Dave Moffitt

      Dave Moffitt

      Thank you very much for the reply Donald, I know the feeling. Yea that would be great if you could I was going to ask people's thoughts on RMP. My email address is davegtmoffitt@gmail.com. Once again thanks Dave

  3. Hi Marion Through trial and error and a few mistakes I've come up with the following questions for estate agents (although they are not always very forthcoming with all the answers): - why is the property being sold, how long have the owners lived there (maybe they are moving after a short time due to noisy neighbours) - how long has it been on the market (you might be able to negotiate a good deal) - when does the owner wish to move and are there any potential complications in the chain (depends on your need for speed, could get a deal if they need to move quickly) - have there been any previous offers, and why did they fall through (I've had this happen to me although the agent didn't tell me, I found out via Property Bee. Very useful little tool for showing the property history!) - have any major works been done (check for proper permissions and paperwork!) - how much are council tax/ services etc (agents tend towards the lower side of actual costs, no surprise) There's a lot to look out for on a viewing, the seller is not obligated to disclose everything as far as I'm aware, and I've made mistakes, so I now have a checklist kindly put together by the good people at Which that I have attached, hope that helps! Viewing Checklist.pdf
  4. Hello all I have a current lease of 150 years on my residence but have been given the option of buying the freehold on the place (it's a maisonette and the freehold would include the apartment below mine, which is owned by a friend). Does this add significant value to the sale price, is it worth buying the freeholder out? Is there some kind of formula for calc'ing what to do here? thanks!
  5. Hi Sebastian You're in the right place, there are some very enthusiastic savers on this forum! I've found the biggest help to me is simply being aware of where the money is going, especially the little daily expenses; once you know where it is being spent you can change your habits accordingly. This sounds painful but I took the approach recommended by Pete Matthew in his Meaningful Money podcast and I documented every pound I spent for a month (using an app called Dollarbird, very straightforward, once you've set up your categories it takes just a couple of seconds to enter an expenditure on the go) It may seem extreme but the information I got out of it at the end allowed me to see exactly where the wastage was, how big it was without me even realising, and then changing my habits (I was spending nearly a grand on coffee each year!) You can also use the information gained as the basis for a budget going forward - I highly recommend YNAB (you need a budget) they have both a desktop and app version. Also check out the following blog: http://thepropertyhub.net/?p=4165 By using the above, my savings rate has rocketed and I'm in total control of my money, a very good feeling I've never had before. Best of luck, keep us updated on the progress!
  6. I'll back up Richard's suggestion of PropertyHawk, very useful indeed especially the email reminders you can set up. I also use YNAB as a budgeting tool, it's brilliant for general savings and budgeting (and I also keep a separate budget for BTL's) but it's not geared specifically towards property and if you start building a large portfolio you may find it easier to use a spreadsheet/tool outside of this to keep track of individual properties. YNAB occasionally have specials where you can get it for less than £30. cheers
  7. Hi Ammo, I'm a contractor and knew I was likely to leave my job and put myself at risk of not being able to get a mortgage so I pushed an application through asap while I was still in the job. This might be morally questionable if it doesn't involve full disclosure but I was never asked any question about my future intentions - they just asked about current income to which I was absolutely truthful The rental income is more than able to cover the mortgage so the bank is not at risk. However this may not be applicable to you, perhaps you need the money from the sale as a deposit before you can put an offer in. Can you not buy cash with the proceeds from the business and then apply for a mortgage down the line once you have found another source of income? You could get a better deal buying cash. Oh and both lenders I've used for BTL mortgages have asked for 2 years of audited accounts, plus SA302's from HMRC. Best of luck!
  8. You will almost always get a better price if you pay cash, it's more attractive to sellers because: - a cash deal is guaranteed and not reliant on a lenders valuation (particularly in London this is something to be aware of, I've had problems earlier this year with precisely this issue) - the deal will go through a lot quicker as you don't have to wait for valuations to be done, mortgage approvals, less paperwork etc. You can close in a few weeks as opposed to months and this can be very attractive to sellers especially if they are in a chain Given the choice between a mortgage buyer and a cash buyer at the same level, a rational seller will always go with the cash buyer. I'd use a cash offer to negotiate a discount and then look to get a mortgage asap, that way you can still get your money out and use it to buy other property.
  9. Hi Ewa The builds have not completed yet, work ongoing! Mentorship can be tailored to what you need and your level of experience, but this is an excerpt from what Mr Fogg is offering (hope he doesn't mind me flogging his services like this): Goal setting Strategy review and compatibility Steps to take to fill in gaps of knowledge Actions to take to move forward Review of properties that meet your goals Information on assessing deals / viewing guides Selection of properties to arrange viewings on Common property defects, areas that will be expensive to fix, areas that look worse than they actually are, some rough costs for fixing all of these Negotiation techniques and offers to be placed Future steps to keep on track The pros and cons of distant investing, how much of your time it will take up The technicalities of being a landlord – this can be detailed or not at all depending on the level of involvement you want to have Check out his website http://www.buytoletstrategy.com/ and also perhaps have a chat with Richard, who I believe may offer mentoring. Rob raises some good points about refurbs and I wouldn't buy a wreck with my current level of ignorance. But without risks and hard work there are little rewards, and if you want to earn a decent appreciation and get a chunk of equity back then carpets and paint likely won't get you far. So the game for me is to build the contacts by starting reasonably small (kitchen, bathroom & perhaps loft extension in my own home) and use a project manager. Tradesmen I've used in SW London and very happy with, or came highly recommended: Builder: Paul McKenna 07973213421 Painter: Rafal 07930746128 Roofing and gutters: Bill 07922162723 I have tiling and fencing ongoing, if they turn out to be any good I'll let you know! cheers
  10. Hi Engelo, I can't PM you on here so will drop a quick question here if you don't mind - are there any barriers to property ownership in the States if you're a foreigner (I'm presuming you're operating an Oz passport)? I did a road trip across the country a couple months ago and saw some interesting signs of recovery. A mate of mine in Phoenix has been slowly acquiring over the last couple years as well. I know this is a bit lazy and a google search would throw something up, but where there's an experienced head around always tap it I say! cheers in advance
  11. Hi Louis As a business owner you're in a great place! entrepreneur.com is not a bad place to start, they have some good articles and a number of business plan templates you can use as a framework. Check this out before you start the process: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/38290 I've also attached a template and a random example of a completed plan to help out. I'd echo what Lee said above about outsourcing skills you don't have. I once decided to build a website as I thought it would be a great skill to have, but the time and effort I put in cost me far more than it would have to employ an expert, and I ended up with a result that was nowhere near as polished as it should have been. I won't repeat that! Get someone in to do what you don't know (do as Lee suggested and go offshore) and keep your focus on what you're good at. Best of luck! business_plan_template.doc maintenance_business_plan.doc
  12. Hi Ewa, I'm glad you started this as it's dug up some very useful information from Kev, Rich and co which will be helpful for me as well. Thanks to all those guys. I need to recycle my money asap in order to progress next year so I'm going to be looking at refurbs. Suits my personality too, I'm not a sit-and-wait-for-a-deposit-to-build kinda guy! I'm also concerned at buying a lemon through ignorance (my BTL's so far have been new build and less risk) so here's my initial thoughts for managing this next year: - BTL investing can be outside London but keep refurbs local - always get a proper survey done - enrol in a mentorship program, the cost of a good one will be a fraction of the long term value (there are some very experienced members on here who offer such niceties. Damien Fogg is one who I have spoken to in the past) - educate myself: enrol in a DIY program recommended by Kylie, one of the members on here http://thebtc.co.uk/ (apparently they're very women friendly!). Even if you don't do the work yourself the knowing how to can be very useful in discussions with contractors there's a reasonably priced course called BTEC Surveying & Estimating (£499) which can be done as home study and may or may not be useful in the long run, I need to get some advice on this from someone experienced - I have decent local tradesmen sourced via recommendation, but nice to know about the Grimsby option - sign up for LNPG, good tip I'm also going to approach the forum shortly for some advice on an issue I'm grappling with regarding equity in my current home. Thanks again to all the contributors, some good stuff here.
  13. Thanks for the link Mark, I'm always on the lookout for new content and ideas and that's a sweet interview. Don't think Josh took too kindly to your description of his 'New York' attitude Engelo, top draw! Rob & Rob it would be great to get Engelo on a podcast episode to shake things up a little, if he would be so kind!
  14. I'll let you know how it pans out Nick! I'm from Zimbabwe.
  15. I currently invest in property, wine, commodities (oil, agriculture, gold), equities across multiple sectors both local and international, and have a small amount of cash in the bank. I ask 2 questions: 1) What are you going to invest in. Agree with Steven, try and spread yourself around as much as you can to diversify risk. It doesn't mean you are completely protected as when markets crash these days everything seems to fall together, partly due to the herd mentality of fear and everyone running in the same direction at the same time, and partly due to large leveraged investors needing to sell 'good' parts of their portfolio in order to cover losses from 'bad' parts. I don't have any fancy methods for selecting investments, I take a long term view and pick something that has fundamentals that make sense to me, much like property e.g. I have a long dated oil position because I believe we're not investing in oil replacement technologies fast enough to account for the finite supply of the stuff. I may be wrong, but it didn't cost me very much to get in and it's a punt I'm willing to take 2) How much are you going to allocate to each of these. Portfolio allocation can get unnecessarily complex but the gist is that it depends on 1) how much risk you want to take - I'm comfortable with risk so I don't buy bonds or money market funds and instead put more money towards the rest, and 2) your time horizon. If you're younger then head for riskier investments. A general rule of thumb for a 30-something with average risk appetite could be 75% riskier and 25% bonds/ liquid investments Investing is not rocket science and I reckon if you have the nous to invest in property then you can easily transfer those analytical skills to other assets. After all, no-one actually has any idea of what is going to happen in the future regardless of the number of letters after their surname, so may as well learn and do it yourself. But if you're really stuck then head to an IFA or mutual fund manager for some guidance. And never invest what you cannot afford to lose. Jaysus I can bang on a bit when I get started, let me stop there! dk
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