This is what really dictates HMO rent levels

Super excited to be contributing to HMO Magazine this month.

If you haven’t checked out hmouk.org you should, because its got some great content whether you’re brand new to HMOs or a bona fide mogul.

I get into what controls rent levels*, but really it’s  about maximising your yield, minimising voids and most importantly, creating a win-win for you and your tenants.

*you think it’s the landlord? They’re not as important as you’d think…we need to look at wider market forces!

I’d love to know what you think, and if the theory holds true in your area.

Check it out…

Continue reading → This is what really dictates HMO rent levels

What “experts” predict will happen to property prices following the Election

The Conservatives never saw it coming.

The journalists never saw it coming.

In truth, half of Labour’s shadow cabinet never saw it coming, either.

Thursday’s election result came as quite a surprise – the third major political upset in less than 12 months. So, as seems to be the thing to do following such events, experts took to the net early on Friday morning to offer their take on which way the property market would swing.

The headlines wrote themselves

Continue reading → What “experts” predict will happen to property prices following the Election

Fighting rogue traders and other landlord adventures

So I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by the Property Geek himself Rob Dix for his podcast series on managing properties.

You can listen here, or find on iTunes here.

Of the multitude of property commentators out there Rob is one of the few I read and listen to. He has a light hearted tone, but his content is packed with informative insights and value. Plus it’s honest, there’s no BS in his material.

The Podcast

From fighting a genuine BBC rogue trader* for £000’s he owed us, to trusting your gut instinct and distinguishing between core competency and commodity (to borrow from the wisdom of Jeff Bezos), we covered some ground.

Continue reading → Fighting rogue traders and other landlord adventures

Ignoring wisdom, making it personal: choosing the right property

The sage advice when choosing an investment property is that it’s about numbers; a mathematical equation, a science. It’s never personal…right?

I say, make it personal. You have a gut reaction for a reason: understand it, hone it, rely on it.

I can hear some protests already.

“Noooo- idiots, that’s how you lose money, what terrible advice…this is an investment not a home for you personally!’”

But let me tell you my problem with that thinking: no, it’s not your home, but it’s somebody’s home. And they need to love it, just like you should.

This post is about getting the character and quality right. I’m going to set out our thoughts on what makes the right location; from the national scale (which part of the country is best), right down to what kind street to target and everything in between.

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The 3 key benefits of doing Joint Ventures

We live in the information age. Google gives us information on any subject, anywhere anytime, all with a quick tap on our phone.

Access to information is no longer the limiting factor in life that is used to be (remember having to read actual books in an actual library to learn stuff once upon a time?).

We are awash with information and ideas yet have no time to do anything with them.

So whilst the value of information and ideas has fallen through the floor, the value of implementing ideas in our time pressed world is now more valuable than ever.

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Thrive in 2017: pay less tax, reinvest more…buy to let is far from dead!

This post is a public answer to question I’ve been getting a lot since George Osbourne did his best to screw landlords…

Although I’m not bitter. Seriously. I get it; public finances were in an enormous mess and increasing tax on landlords is hell of a lot more politically acceptable than say, raiding pensions or cutting welfare. Oh, wait…

But seriously, we can complain or we can apply ourselves and adapt.

In this post I’m going to give you a quick overview of the recent changes to the market, and my views on them (I’m not going into depth here, I’ll expand further in individual posts).

Continue reading → Thrive in 2017: pay less tax, reinvest more…buy to let is far from dead!

Property Types and Potential Returns (Property Beginnings, Part Two)

The easy part is deciding to invest in property over anything else. Now we’ve got to decide what kind of property suits us best…this is where the real work begins!

In Part One I compared buy to let property with stocks and shares. Financial comparisons and analysis of pros and cons are important, but the critical consideration is the ‘why’ behind your investment.

In this article I’m going to take you through a similar process and consider the various residential property types, their pros and cons and their typical returns:

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The ONE question you should be asking before deciding on buy to let or stocks and shares (Property Beginnings, Part One)

‘Past performance is not a guide to future performance’…I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen this disclaimer stamped on investment literature and websites.

And FSA research into investment funds tells us it’s true.

There’s no doubt that whether looking for long term capital growth or regular income, buy to let property or stocks and shares are the most common and accessible investment options.

But short of crossing our fingers and hoping for the best, how do we make sensible investment decisions?

Continue reading → The ONE question you should be asking before deciding on buy to let or stocks and shares (Property Beginnings, Part One)

Property Beginnings: Mini-series intro

Property is an accessible, stable and high performing investment. It can provide monthly income alongside long term capital growth.

But there are no guarantees: rent can be late, tenants can be trouble and management takes time or money, or both. And like any other investment, values rise and values fall.

So why on earth would we invest in property?

This mini-series is going to explain the process that led us to investing in property as a serious venture. It’s a personal story which started years ago, but the principles still ring true today. The goal is to help inform those who may be asking similar questions to us.

Continue reading → Property Beginnings: Mini-series intro