I operate from two locations:
My Home Office
My accountant looks after things at HQ as he is in the same building. We have quite neat arrangement that has been working well for over five years.
I have never been a fan of the formal office. I escaped the formal office 18 years ago! I pop in to HQ every now and again. Other than that I work from my office with my wife who has an office, filing room and bathroom above my office.
My commute to work takes me precisely 22 seconds. I leave my bedroom, fly down one flight of stairs, leap through the living room and I’m in to our office wing which is to the left of our house. Regular cups of tea flow through courtesy of my wife interjected by a late lunch and possibly dinner if I am working late.
I have an administrator in the office and four guys on the road. The guys are a property manager, gas safe engineer, maintenance engineer and a refurbisher.
I exclusively operate in the property market. I make 100% of my money from property. I operate four models:
- Buy then sell
- Buy, refurbish then sell
- Buy, let then sell
- Buy, let, refurbish then sell
I will let you know that two of the models make me 95% of my total income. Can you guess which?
Before I let you know which model is the most successful for me let me explain each model in a bit more depth.
- Buy then sell. I find undervalued properties from various sources and sell them again via auction or estate agents. I do not do anything to the property. Not even a clean.
- Buy, refurbish then sell. Again I find undervalued properties, spend around £6,000 painting and installing a new kitchen, bathroom, flooring, tiling and skirting and sell via estate agents.
- Buy, let then sell. I find market valued properties with a decent yield, rent them for 1 to 20 years and then sell via estate agents.
- Buy, let, refurbish then sell. I find market valued properties with a decent yield, rent them for 1 to 20 years, then spend around £6,000 painting and installing a new kitchen, bathroom, flooring, tiling and skirting and sell via estate agents.
So can you guess which two models make me the most money? The key word that gives it away is “let”. Letting does two fantastic things:
- It pays the interest cost during the period you own the property and a little income on top
- It buys you time for property prices to grow
So the last two models are the real winners for me. The ultimate winner is buy, let, refurbish then sell.
To give you an example I bought a flat in Essex for £27,000 in the year 2000 at full asking price. I rented it for 16 years and earnt around £5,000 per year profit. I then sold it for £137,500 after I spent £4,000 refurbishing it and converting it from a studio flat to a one bed flat.
So the total profit over the lifetime of the investment was:
16 years x £5,000 = £80,000
£137,500-£4,000-£27,000-£3000(legal and agency fees)=£103,500
And this property was bought with a £5,000 investment which was borrowed from the security of another property and a £22,000 buy to let mortgage. So my personal input was zero!
Future Of The Business
The business is starting to operate itself now without my involvement. Over the last few years I have shortened the reach of the portfolio. By the end of next year we should be just in one region namely the north east of England.
The great thing about property is that it will always be a market you can make money on. There is insatiable demand for properties to buy to rent, to live in or to sell on to other investors. I have been doing it for 18 years and expect to be doing so in another 18 years.
My property business provides me with two wonderful things:
Since 2015 I have been able to indulge in my own passions which is writing novels and making films. I have the first feature film in pre-production and I have many more in the pipeline. All my novels have a deep premise embedded in the storyline. I am hoping this will be the secret to the success of the films.
At the minute I can’t really call this venture a business as it has not made any money. However I am hopeful that the strong premises contained within the novels and films will provide the momentum to succeed in this heavily competed industry.
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