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Introduction - London-based BTL investor focusing on Northern England


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Hi Property Hub members

Having recently joined Property Hub I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself. I live and work in London and have had a keen interest in property and property investments for several years now. So far much of my attention was on purchasing and refurbishing my own home in London. Now that this is done, I would like to take the next step and invest some of my savings and recurring job income into BTL property.

In terms of strategy, I am looking for BTL investments with a yield above 5%. That rules out most of Southern England. So I am planning to invest into BTL properties in some of the larger cities in the North.

For me the 2 main constraining factors are limited local knowledge and time:

  1. While I know the London property market well, that isn't the case for Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Sunderland and other places in Northern England. To bridge that gap I am planning work with local people and to establish good working relationships which are win-win for both sides.
  2. Time is my other constraint. I am working in a demanding office job in London which keeps me very busy Monday to Friday. That leaves me with around an hour each weekday to spend on property management and investments. On a typical weekend I can spend around 8 hours on it. Hence I am looking for property investments which are largely hands-off and don't require a lot of attention during regular working hours. I could travel to Northern England from time to time, especially for important things such as meeting local business partners to work with and for final viewings. But my plan is to limit the number of trips to 5-10 per year.

Here's how I intend to gradually progress on this:

First, I am looking to learn more by reading many of the very good postings here on the forum. I will also have a number of specific questions that I hope people in this forum will know the answers to.

Then, the next step is to complete my first property investment. For this, I am looking for a project with low complexity and low execution risk to start with. I am happy to accept a lower yield for my first project if this helps to reducing complexity and risk. For example, this could be a room in a purpose-built student block or a single let which doesn't require any meaningful renovation work. In this process I am hoping to learn more and to establish contacts with business partners in the North.

Finally, with the acquired knowledge, experience and established business contacts I would like take on more complex projects with the potential of higher yields (or capital appreciation) such as larger renovations or multi lets.

Via this forum I hope to exchange thoughts with you and to meet potential business partners in Northern England, for example good and reliable property viewers, property sourcers, property management companies and renovation project managers, to build successful long term business relationships with them. Please don't hesitate to send me a PM if you are working in any of these areas, I'd be interested in hearing from you.

Looking forward to discussing with you in this forum.

Michael

 

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Hi Michael,

I work in the North West and we deal with BTLs in Manchester and Greater Manchester.

I would be happy to offer you some local knowledge of what the market is doing and the trends we are seeing up here.

Drop me a PM if you wanted to connect.

I wish you every success in your venture into the Northern property market, it is certainly booming up here and it is very exciting to be apart of it.

Maxine

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Hi Michael,

I'm based in Leeds and have just bought my first buy to let here, feel free to message me if you want any help.

To give you an idea of the Leeds market, you can reasonably easily pick up a property with a 6% yield in the £70 - £130k bracket. You can achieve 7%+ yields but it takes some work, unless you want to buy in a not so nice area.

Thanks

James

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi James,

Many thanks for your advice! Leeds sounds also very interesting and it's pretty high on my city ist (#2 after Liverpool). Appreciate if I could contact you in the future and have a chat about Leeds, once I have done more research on it. Definitely planning to diversify across 2-3 cities over time.

Michael

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 6/28/2020 at 1:01 PM, michael-a said:

 

  1. While I know the London property market well, that isn't the case for Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Sunderland and other places in Northern England. To bridge that gap I am planning work with local people and to establish good working relationships which are win-win for both sides.

Morning Michael,

Your issues are something that I work with on a daily basis with my clients.  I operate 25 minutes outside Manchester and have sourced 70 properties in the last 2 years for my client base.  We are able to offer a full hands off option where we can renovate and then manage properties for our clients. Have you considered looking slightly outward to avoid the wild west of price war bidding in the major locations?  Quite a number of my clients have started out looking into the areas you mention and have then bought through us once they realise the other opportunities that are out there that arent in the main stream media.

On 6/28/2020 at 1:01 PM, michael-a said:

 

2. Time is my other constraint. I am working in a demanding office job in London which keeps me very busy Monday to Friday. That leaves me with around an hour each weekday to spend on property management and investments. On a typical weekend I can spend around 8 hours on it. Hence I am looking for property investments which are largely hands-off and don't require a lot of attention during regular working hours. I could travel to Northern England from time to time, especially for important things such as meeting local business partners to work with and for final viewings. But my plan is to limit the number of trips to 5-10 per year.

I would say 80% of my clients are in a similar position.  Some have incredibly stressful jobs that take up all of their free time so they have looked to us for a solution where every element is taken care of for them.  They basically complete some due diligence on the property themselves at the start (we provide the background research and figures already) so that they are in agreement with our numbers and then they step away and let us do everything for them.  Most clients never see the properties and we complete full detailed image listings and video viewings, plus, its hard to physically see a property when you live in Dubai or the USA!

On 6/28/2020 at 1:01 PM, michael-a said:

First, I am looking to learn more by reading many of the very good postings here on the forum. I will also have a number of specific questions that I hope people in this forum will know the answers to.

I have a number of journals on this forum.  I started three years ago with £20k in my pocket and now have a very large property business with 9 of my own BTL's (about to double to 18) along with a sourcing, renovations and lettings agency (almost 100 properties on the books now).  The journals are long as you can imagine but I often get great feedback from people just starting out as my first year was very hard with a number of failed purchases etc.  It definitely shows you the hard work that is needed:

 

On 6/28/2020 at 1:01 PM, michael-a said:

Then, the next step is to complete my first property investment. For this, I am looking for a project with low complexity and low execution risk to start with. I am happy to accept a lower yield for my first project if this helps to reducing complexity and risk. For example, this could be a room in a purpose-built student block or a single let which doesn't require any meaningful renovation work. In this process I am hoping to learn more and to establish contacts with business partners in the North.

Starting off with a simple vanilla is a good way to start and to dip your toe in the water.  I think a lot of people get caught up with so much of what they read online where you have to get the best possible deal at the best possible price with the best possible return.  The reality from my own experience and helping a large number of clients buy their first BTL is that just doing the first one is the most important.  Yes you do not want to buy a lemon but the reality is that it isnt difficult to find a decent property that will rent out.  Just the experience of dealing with lenders (which is a bloody nightmare at the moment) and renting out for a few months is an education in itself.  I have found that once a client has been through this, realised that it isn't as scary as what they first thought, they then start to acquire more units.  We can pick up ready to rent properties at £60-65k that will return £475-500PCM that require no work and are ready to rent.  Great way to start to wet your toes.

I would advise avoiding things like "rooms" that you have mentioned.  These have a lot of bad press around them so worth an hour on google to see the negatives from these.   

On 6/28/2020 at 1:01 PM, michael-a said:

Finally, with the acquired knowledge, experience and established business contacts I would like take on more complex projects with the potential of higher yields (or capital appreciation) such as larger renovations or multi lets.

We have the experience of more complex renovations for our clients having finished a few full rip outs.  We also complete minor carpets and decorating and everything in between.  The more work you do to a property the less money you will ultimately leave in the deal.  Personally if I can find something where I can leave £10k cash or less in it after refinancing then I personally feel that is good going.  Deals where you pull everything out are very hard to find and are usually fought over my investors and they ultimately end up paying too much! lol.

Feel free to get in touch below.  Happy to set up a call, have a chat or send you examples of what we do.  Just click on the various social links below and you will see that we also post everything that we do every day.  I must be one of the very few businesses that has journalled their entire story from conception to the current day, as everything has been posted about and can be read.

Darren

 

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      BTS -- BTL -- Lettings -- Sourcing

          www.fmp-investments.com   

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