Ok. Sorry everyone. I know I’ve gone AWOL recently (again!). There’s simply no-excuse. Well actually there is - major renovation project. No, not an exciting project on a new investment property but some desperately needed work at home. Literally 12 hour days for the past week and a bit. I really should learn to delegate.
So, huge apologies to you all. I’m now back in the game. I know that I’ve got lots to report about that I promised from ages ago.
I promise to keep you guys infirmed from now on. By the way - thanks for the emails! (especially you Colin, v amusing!)
Well, I went to see my first repossession property possibility last week. My thoughts:
Ok. Thats enough for me. I want to be confident in being able to let out my first property and this seals it. There will be no offer from me on this one.
What I learnt: Always speak to a neighbour to get the lowdown. Always.
ARLA (The Association of Residential Letting Agents) open their info on Buy-to-Let in this way:
“It was designed to stimulate the growth of the Private Rented Sector by encouraging private investors to take the opportunities given by low, highly competitive, interest rates and the reasonable certainty of sustained capital growth over the coming years. Whilst in 2008/9 financing has not been so readily available it still remains an attractive investment with property being more affordable and the possibility that prices will rise again when the credit market along with the property market moves forward”
And that’s just it - times have changed and where, during the boom years, buying into property through buy-to-let was seen as a sure bet, in recent times the fall in the value of bricks and mortar has made people question this investment choice.
When I speak to people about my plans their reactions can be split into 2 camps - those hugely in support, believing that I should buy into the new low prices before they rise again, and those who wouldn’t touch buy-to-let with a bargepole. One fund manager friend predictably said “I can name 10 better investment choices for you in the long term”.
Well, please tell me if I’m wrong but I don’t know of any other investment which, over the long term, offers such good leverage opportunities to grow my ownership of assets. If I invested in a particular company or fund, I wouldn’t be able to approach an organisation for finance in the same way as I can approach a mortgage lender. Or, if I could, they would ask me to secure that loan against something ‘real’ - guess what that would be…property!!
Yes, just like stocks and shares, the value of property can go down as well as up but there is always something tangible, a physical asset, with value that ‘cannot’ go to zero, and when your equity rises in a property, this can be used to increase your asset base.
So it seems to me that buy-to-let is a great investment choice but ONLY if it’s for the long term and the figures add up (that’s why I made the property decision spreadsheet thingy). One thing that really helps make the figures add up is to buy below market value and that is a real priority of mine. I’ll post about it soon.
I’ve already got a pretty good idea of which route I’m going to take in property, considering my circumstances and access to capital. And you can guess which that is by having a look at the “My Progress” box over there on the right!
However, in the interests of explaining all my thinking here, I think it would be a good idea at this stage to look at some of the possible ways to get into the property game and briefly weigh up their pros and cons.
If I miss any out then please let me know…
I’ll tackle these post by post or this would be one huge article!