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Introducing Myself...


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Hi,

 

I've been a lurker here for a little while - responded to a handful of posts but thought it was time to introduce myself.

 

I bought my first property in the south-east back in 2007 for £150,500 - though I was working in finance (and still do!) I had no interest or real idea about property at the time though I did have a little cash and so wanted my own place. Obviously it was not the best time to buy but I had no idea about the market cycles or anything. However it's not been a bad purchase overall - more on that later.

 

I lived there for 5 years, had a reasonable job and was paying off the mortgage whilst also saving so by 2012 I was lucky enough to have saved enough money for another place - it wasn't my intention or plan though (as again I had no idea really about property other than knowing that in general that it was a good idea to buy property). I actually happened across a place for sale whilst walking to my dentist! A bit bigger than my current place and included a garage, so I put an offer in and purchased it. I was lucky enough not to need to sell my previous place and so decided to BTL it. I was in the process of modernising the original property (as it needed a little bit of work, but not much) so I sped this up upon move-out and tenanted the place within days. This was back in 2012 and has been rented out to the same tenants ever since. Despite buying that property before the crash, it is now worth approx £225k (conservatively) and has been tenanted with no voids for 6 years - so as mentioned, not a bad deal overall. I'm actually considering remortgaging to release some equity for other properties as I've actually paid down a fair bit of the mortgage to date.

 

My partner moved in with me in about 2016/2017 so we then decided to rent her place up in Peterborough. It's a lovely property in a nice village though the demand is not as strong as down south so we've had a few voids plus the rent is not quite as high as we would like. But still - we're in it for the long term and so are keeping the property in our portfolio.

 

So far I would say we've been accidental landlords. 

 

In 2017 I decided to buy another property with the express purpose of it being an investment and a BTL - though looking back I didn't really know what the best thing to do was and I didn't even know that I didn't know! I did set up a limited company for this purpose and ended up purchasing a newly converted flat in the south east which brings in reasonable returns - though if I knew then what I knew now I would probably have invested my money elsewhere and purchased two properties for the same price. 

 

I can't remember the exact catalyst but about 6 months ago my partner and I realised that our jobs weren't actually fulfilling us anymore and so we deciding property investing would be the way forward - we already had 3 properties that were doing ok without too much work and without really meaning to invest in property or knowing what we were doing! And so we've been reading, learning and listening to as much as we can to educate ourselves. Not only that but we've been looking at property all over the country - we travel a little bit so are not focussing on any one area in particular. To us, if it's a good deal then it's a good deal. However, as we'd like to leave our jobs asap then we are currently focussing on HMOs, BTLs and places we can add value too (so properties where we can flip, or where we can refurb and remortgage as a HMO/BTL to release some/all of our original cash input). 

 

We actually have a deal going through in Sheffield as we speak - it's a 2.5 bed (one room is small!) BTL that should be done by January I hope. This purchase will be through my limited company. It doesn't need much (if any) work though we will probably tidy up the kitchen/bathroom and possibly new carpets to make it attractive for new tenants. ROI should be between 20-25% if I've done my sums right!

 

We had another refurb project that I was hoping for and that we would have flipped. Would have been ideal as was on our doorstep though unfortunately someone outbid us before our offer was accepted - still looking though.

 

We're currently looking primarily for HMOs in a number of areas for the cash flow now.

 

Hope this helps anyone Happy to answer any (well, most!) questions if I can. Will update this further as time goes by, though am also thinking of getting a blog together. If so I will post the link.

 

Dominick   

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  • 2 years later...
19 hours ago, n-smith said:

Hi Dominic. I'm considering my first BTL in Sheffield.  Wanted to know, 2yrs on how has your journey been.

Hi. 2 years....how time flies!

Thanks for the message. It has prompted me to take a look at this property and how it has done over 2020.

Looking back at my introduction from 2018, I'm not sure how I arrived at the 20-25% ROI figure. That was probably a bit of an overestimation on my part. The deal finally completed at the end of April 2019. I had some refurb works to do, which cost a fair bit more than expected - particularly on the garden. Probably cost twice as much as I budgeted, so a lesson learned there. I also tried to do a fair bit of the refurb management myself, something I won't necessarily do again! Would prefer to just get a builder/PM in and give them the keys to take care of everything. 

Overall though the property has performed well since it's been rented. It's fully managed and pretty much runs itself. Cash flow is spot on as I had anticipated (well, £2 pcm out) though ROI is less as indicated, at just under 7%. So not bad. Can't complain too much at that.  

Was definitely a learning experience being my first 'proper' investment property, where I had analysed the figures, run the numbers, looked around at a number of properties etc.  

Since then my journey has been good. I've completed a further 3 deals and have some more in the pipeline at the moment. I had some goals for 2020, though it was not a great year obviously but I was not too far off of my targets. I feel that I'm quite well positioned now going in to 2021, so have set myself some new goals to build on 2020 and (all being well) I will be able to meet. 

So, will this be your first BTL in general? Or just your first in Sheffield? 

I hope this helps but if you need any further help or advice then just let me know.

Dominick

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi,

I don't know all the areas of Sheffield too well, though my property is in the S2 post code - being around the city centre it obviously has its benefits, plus is very close to a tram line so commuting is easy. So that's where I would look to start - somewhere around the city centre. 

For me, the starting point is the property. Area is important of course, but if the numbers stack up on the property then you can look to see if other fundamentals are good according to your aims (i.e. population size, tenant profile, vicinity - shops, parks, transport links, etc). I think then you'll start to gauge the potential areas that fit your investment goals and your finances. Which, if you're looking for a BTL in the 90k range should be achievable I feel.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Dom Great to see you are building a profile in Sheffield , I’m not from the area but have started my deep dive into the different postcodes, looking more towards the south east side as not read the best reviews on the north east part of town, what's your thoughts? I have a couple of calls booked in with letting agencies tomorrow and hoping they can throw a little more light on areas. 

All the best 

 

Paul 

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Hi Paul.

Good to hear from you. My property in the S2 area. S2 5 to be precise. Not sure if that is considered north-east or just east! Probably more east though. 

It's been a consistent little property. Took a bit of work to get it ready and a bit more cost than expected. But once it was rented out, I've had no problems with it since.

Area definitely plays a part I think, but there are many variables. Hopefully the agents can give you a guide but there's no substitute for looking around to get the feel for an area - which is tough at the moment I know. Even in better areas, there may be some pockets that are better (or worse) than others.

Happy to help if you have any more queries. Just let me know

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Evening Dom, 

 

Thanks for the offer to support always nice to be offered help and I will definitely take you upon it. 

 

I had a really good chat with the letting agency's a lot of food for through and advice for Rotherham, do you have any info/advice about this area? 

 

Thanks 

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On 1/29/2021 at 8:13 PM, paul_sav said:

Evening Dom, 

 

Thanks for the offer to support always nice to be offered help and I will definitely take you upon it. 

 

I had a really good chat with the letting agency's a lot of food for through and advice for Rotherham, do you have any info/advice about this area? 

 

Thanks 

Ah, Rotherham is not an area I know much about sorry. I've not really been there, nor explored there for properties. May be worth looking at though, if the fundamentals are good (transport links, yields, tenant demand etc). 

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