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Profile Information

  • Location
    North London
  • Areas I invest in
    Previously North London, Going forward Manchester and HS2/HS3 rail links
  • Property investment interests
    Single let houses
  • My goals
    Long term wealth
  • Interests outside property
    Photography, Videography, Boxing training, and people (not 'networking' just meeting new and interesting people!)

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londoner's Achievements

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  1. It really isn't hard, look for recommendations then go and meet them, discuss their systems, and go with your gut and make a decision. Some agents want to expand their business in the right way and others are happy to tread water and pay lip service. I have met a large number of agents over the past year and very few I have been impressed by, like viewing properties I found it was a numbers game, and recommendations helped to reduce the time to find a good one! They will be key to whether your business succeeds or not if you don't live near to your properties.
  2. As a note I would add one thing I have not specified earlier - a good lettings agent. Personally a good agent to advise you on a road by road basis should be your first port of call before anything. It will be the difference between a slam dunk and a property you struggle to get long term tenants in. Find a good agent and build a relationship.
  3. Yeah, we have smashed the 2007 prices in London by around 80%, however lots of places around the UK have barely made it back to that level. People talk about house prices but in reality prices are set by the availability and cost of credit. Credit wasn't as cheap in 2007 as it is now, but if you had a pulse you could get a mortgage hence the bubble as people were fighting to get onto the market and buying additional homes for the expected capital growth, and the valuers weren't being particularly cautious about overvaluing properties as everyone thought you couldn' t lose in property. We never know where the next recession will come from, it could be the sub-prime car credit, brexit, or something completely unexpected, but when people think they can't lose in property that is the time I will be cautious and either sell off poorer performing assets or ensure my level of liquidity is ready to capitalise on the next recession by keeping cash ready. People acted with stupidity leading up the credit crunch, they were remortgaging their houses to buy cars, holidays, clothes, etc and felt that they were rich. I feel that I am seeing the same at the moment with cars, everyone is driving a car they can't afford to buy to they are leasing to look wealthier than they are in front of their friends. Precious few people are preparing for the future. Wealth doesn't appear or disappear during recessions, it merely changes hands from those who failed to plan to those who did. In terms of house prices I am currently buying in the NW (Greater Manchester) and refuse to pay more than 2007 levels for anything to protect myself. There are lots of Southern/Overseas investors piling into the North to buy new-build flats in the city centres so I am staying away from those types of properties. I prefer houses in the suburbs which are yielding more highly and I believe will have a greater long term demand.
  4. Start by speaking to a good broker to confirm you're mortgageable, and getting a good accountant to set up your Ltd Co. Setting up a company and very cheap and quick (I paid £100 for my accountant to do it, you can get it done for cheaper but I wanted them to set it up). Yes to directors loan, your accountant will run you through this. Always pay for professionals to advise you, you will save a lot in the long run than getting incorrect advice. I believe you can backdate expenses, I read it somewhere, but your accountant will be able to confirm. I pay £700+VAT for Ltd Co accounts and £300+VAT for personal accounts a year. If you don't yet have an accountant you may find this an interesting read - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Your-Accountant-Good-Bad-Greedy/dp/0995525609 Personally my route was to pick 'an' area, not necessarily the most exciting which currently seems to be Manchester followed by Liverpool (and Crewe if you're a TPP listener!), just one with good fundamentals and a buoyant rental market, then finding a great independent agent, once I had that I was able to find a few properties relatively quickly with their advice. I buy houses, 2 bed terraced properties for the yield. Everyone has different reasons and preferences so go with what feels right to you. I believe there will always be a strong market for houses whereas city centre flats can have a lot of tenant moves, I want long term tenants, but it is just my opinion. Be wary of sourcing agents - I tend to book 30 viewings in 2 days and get viewings done, I do this every other month and find it easy to do, once you're on the ground you will learn a lot. Best of luck.
  5. If you haven't got a good broker I would also get one who will be able to advise you what to do relating to finance - Simon Allen from Searchlight finance is often mentioned on these forums and I have used him myself to set up 6 BTL mortgages and he is absolutely fantastic. I would also start reading books relating to property - anything by Rob Dix, Angela Bryant or Richard Brown (who posted above) is good, with no BS. Be wary of some 'gurus' and their offerings. Richard also has a great podcast (the property voice) and I would recommend Property Geek by Rob Dix as well. I am a relatively new investor, my personal focus is houses for single lets as I want minimal effort. I see tough times ahead for more 'exciting' strategies such as HMOs on a number of fronts and see lots of them for sale on Facebook groups. Personally when I first started I set myself a goal of 18 months self-learning before I started to invest and when I was ready I got a great broker then started to research my areas. Never take anyones word for anything, always check yourself by speaking to others, especially if you're offered a 'great' opportunity. I personally found a good letting agent first then used their help to identify the specific roads within my target area to look at. I am in London investing in the NW. Best of luck in the future James, from the sounds of it you're in a great position with a small portfolio already. Take your time and don't rush into making a decision, as surfers say "there is always another wave".
  6. Without knowing anything about your situation or goals (and Richard has already given an excellent reply)... it is worth considering carefully that you need a lot less cash (deposit and SDLT) and generally get better interest rates on residential mortgages. I might consider being an owner occupier first, even if you decide to let it out in the future. If it was me I would consider buying a larger property than I needed and renting out a room using my tax free allowance. If you don't mind living with another a far cheaper/easier way of getting 'into' property. To add I would consider carefully before buying a new build property, others may disagree but in my experience they are generally overpriced. In my opinion the help to buy scheme is to prop up house builders not help FTBs. I have always favoured houses that need a refurb as I can get added equity as soon as the refurb is done. But it can be a little capital intensive in the short term as you need the cash for the refurb (and it will cost twice as much and take twice as long as you estimate).
  7. In my mind a property for 40-50k isn't one I'd necessary want. If I had 90-100k I would probably focus on buying one BTL single let for cash at a decent price (I hate the term BMV) and get it rented, then seek to see if I could get a mortgage on it. Or when you get residency status you can get a mortgage right away and roll on with the next one using the cash from the mortgage as a deposit for the next?
  8. Not really much advice to offer as I don't quite understand your position, long term goals or question, but remember nothing is as easy as expected or goes to plan. Personally if you were in a similar position to me with similar aims - buy 3 x single let BTLs for around the 90k mark. It'll be a lot less stress and use any profits to save and purchase more properties. I have done a couple of major refurbs on my own properties and have parents who flipped properties when I was growing up so have been around development my whole life, and I have no intention of doing any more unless I have to! However good you are they are generally twice the price and double the time planned to do them. Others will disagree with me, but I see tough times ahead for HMOs in so many ways - such as legislation, tenant demand apparently decreasing and competition increasing (I am on a couple of Facebook HMO forums), council taxation changes, room sizes, etc plus if you decide to sell it then you won't be selling to Family, it'll be to an investor who won't pay top money for it. You would need to buy a property with cash or bridging and then pay for the works, then get a mortgage suitable for an HMO when the works are complete, it wouldn't be easy and would be very time and cash intensive at the start.
  9. I would say (3) - stick with your broker, mine doesn't charge for remortgages after the initial purchase, but their advice in invaluable. Don't cheap out, the advice of a good broker on all the surrounding circumstances in invaluable even if you think you know what you're getting into. Every lender is different and they will know the pitfalls.
  10. I would personally get a local agent in for their opinion, explain you are looking to refurb and sell, they will come and value it for you and may have other suggestions to maximise the sale price
  11. A new addition to the list: To see whether a property is currently in a buyers or sellers market (remember the UK market is not the same everywhere) https://www.theadvisory.co.uk/propcast/
  12. The best thing you can do buying outside your area is to find a good letting agent before even considering looking at properties, they will guide you through the process of identifying the best roads within their area. Meet them, interview them, go through their systems and knowledge, look for reviews, find their clients through facebook, what does your gut say about them? Look for an independent lettings agent rather than a chain. They will know the specific roads that tenants stay long term. And remember we can't predict capital growth as we don't know what the future holds - invest based on the fundamentals, don't speculate. Employment, transport links, yield, etc. Best of luck
  13. I am currently buying 2 tenanted properties - taking forever as so many more hoops to jump through I am also buying a property with vacant possession, literally taken half the time. Other factors to consider - Very little in selling in SE and the market is incredibly slow, houses are just not selling near me in N/NW London and have been on the market for 6-12 months+. Uncertainly due to Brexit, stamp duty and tax changes have shrunk the number of buyers considerably. It is however a good time for an owner occupier to buy as they can afford to be picky and make low offers, I haven't seen the market since bad in London since the couple of years after the credit crunch until it kicked on. Prices are however much more now than they were then and affordability is squeezed a lot, house prices have risen around 80% since 2012 in my area until the market softened and dropped in the past year or so, I would estimate by 10-15%. A tenanted property will be sold to an investor and we are a mercenary bunch so don't expect them to pay top dollar. If you want maximum value by selling to an owner occupier then it should have vacant possession and be staged in tip top condition. By being tenanted you're cutting out a massive portion of buyers, in particular the type of buyers who may fall in love with your property and pay what you feel it is worth. Depends what you're looking for really, best of luck
  14. Have you considered buying a single let house in a slightly cheaper (but higher yielding) area than your own? Most of the posts I see on facebook property groups are HMO landlords trying to sell their properties, I don't think they are anywhere as attractive as the course providers would have you believe. With your pot you can comfortably buy a property up to 100k, ideally one which needs minimal work to minimise the cash you put into the deal.
  15. I couldn't see prices going up significantly at any point in the last 20 years but they keep going up. We bought our most recent house in 2012 and it has increased 80% in value since then before a 10% drop over the past year. I really can't see them going up any further in the next 5 years, but I am probably wrong, in the long term though I definitely can see them going up. The question you need to ask yourself is - Are house prices the most they will ever be? Unlikely. It is likely that the prices will continue to keep increasing over the long term, the Government are devaluing the currency by printing it through QE like it's going out of fashion so its spending power is decreasing.
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