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Newbie - Looking at Greater Manchester

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Hi, new to the forum, I've long held a desire to be involved in property investment and now have some funds to begin.

Long term (decade>) strategy is to earn £3k per month to have either a second or replacement income.

Financing through £30k equity release (cost of £140pm) and £10-15k savings.

Was looking at Nottingham and Leeds city centre flats, but couldn't make the numbers stack up as the cost of my equity release + ground and service charges meant it was too hard to find a property which was above my threshold (£1,200 net profit per annum - roughly 3% ROI). 

Now looking at Greater Manchester. Visited this week to look at areas and believe I've narrowed it down to Eccles and Swinton at present. I wasn't particularly keen on Droylsen, Clayton, Trafford or the parts of Salford within budget.

One thing I was looking to find on the forum but couldnt through the search was... what sort of info should I be looking to get from the estate agent over the phone before visiting. As it's a fair treck (4+ hours) I'm keen on only re-visiting once I'm satisfied the property is likely to be a good fit for me... I know I can ask about how long it's been on the market, state of the property, likely rental etc... but wondering if people have any tips on this to help me form my own checklist?



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Hi woper316

I think you may have miscalculated ROI? But it doesnt matter.

I assume you are buying with BTL mortgages? 

Anyway...to answer your question about what to ask the Estate agents, and I always do this before a viewing is to get the full property address!

Youd be surprised how many people dont, particularly in flats.

With this information, you can download the title register and plans from Land Registry for £3 each. You can then see price paid, who the vendor is, it will confirm whether the property is freehold, whether the property has a 2nd or even 3rd registered charge (loan secured on the property)  if so you know the vendor is likely to be in financial worries. Plus a whole host of interesting things like plot size compared to neighbour's and restrictive covenants and lease lengths if the place is leasehold.

Then you can download the EPC. It needs one if it's on the market. Downloading one is free. If it doesnt have one....are you going to waste 4+ hrs to view it as it shows the agent and or vendor are not serious about selling in my book.

The EPC is also great at comparing floor sizes of one property to another  a great way to help you remotely value a place before you look.

Street view can help as well

Any other questions you may or want to ask could be about any tenants that are staying, the term left on the AST, how much rent they pay etc.

Any other questions you want to ask is down to you...but remember you are dealing with a person who is getting paid to sell the property, so any answer an Estate Agent gives cannot be relied on 100%. You must confirm everything they say is actually true.

Other than that I would flatter them, show interest and say something like ..." can you keep me updated on any similar properties that you get instructions on please?"...or..."do you have anything else on for my budget that I could possibly view after this property".

..Agents love those questions :)

Hope this helps

If you find something, you can always post it up here and we can critique the deal?


Conrad Paton

Conrad Paton

+44 7957 959851




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On 11/2/2019 at 7:40 AM, conrad_paton said:

..Agents love those questions :)

And questions are what they need as some agents don't seem to realise that they are in the business of selling properties....

Example, from today:

Wife to estate agent: "Terribly sorry, but we can't make the block viewing today as we are viewing another property at that time."

Estate agent: "Ok, no problems". Starts to terminate call..

Me to wife (sotto voce): ("Ask her if there is another block viewing").

Wife to estate agent: "Are there any other viewings?".

Estate agent (instantly): "Oh yes, there's one tomorrow....." Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr


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Ha. Thanks for the advice both. Will let you know how get on. As we’re remote investors decided to spend the next six weeks really understanding the rental demand and supply, realised we were just going of word. So collecting data from rightmove etc for a while to make us feel more comfortable. 

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Sounds like we're at a similar stage in our property journeys. Would be interesting to hear how you get along with your search.

Would really like to give advice, but I'm pretty green myself :) So without sounding too obvious - have you talked to letting agents in the areas you're looking? They might give you a better idea of what kind of properties the target group for that rental market is looking for, and therefore some pointers on what you should check with estate agents?


My husband and I are moving to Manchester in January (from Oslo), so recognise the need to feel comfortable before taking the plunge.




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