Category Archives: property

Wealthy Affiliate – The perfect accompaniment to a property business

This is a great side hustle to sit alongside a Property business

The perfect accompaniment to a property business is a website I discovered called Wealthy Affiliate. It is a community which comprehensively teaches about Marketing from scratch, including how to build a website, host it, get it indexed by Google, promote it, do keyword research and build an online business to be proud of.

The website features a community of 1.4m people who will help you along the way. Kind of like Facebook but without all the bitching. The focus is on building a business and you can get questions answered on any subject you need to know about. You can start as a free member and evaluate it, then move to a paid membership when you are comfortable to do so.

Wealthy Affiliate is very well respected in the industry, and if you’re an Entrepreneur looking to make good money, Wealthy Affiliate has a very nice affiliate program of it’s own. They basically pay 50% commission on anyone you invite who goes on to become a paying member. There are people on Wealthy Affiliate who can guide you to a fortune. The ultimate objective is to get to the Vegas conference every year. If you manage this, you’ll definitely have made it in Marketing.

Useful Links

Here’s a brochure showing all of the features : WealthyAffiliate.pdf

There’s a review of Wealthy Affiliate here at Earn-Online.Net

Click here to open a Free Wealthy Affiliate account : Open Account

New R2R Documents added

Hello property peeps! While i’ve been researching and learning about property, i’ve been struck by how many times people are asking about ‘agreement templates’. Everybody wants templates for getting Rent 2 Rent going and Lease Option Agreements setup.

I’ve recently purchased a Rent 2 Rent pack myself and it includes lots of useful files that can easily be adapted for use in your own property business. I’ve made the documents available here in the Property Document Store

They are at a reduced price until the end of the month, so if you want a copy, just follow the link above.

Mice in the walls | Dave O’Hara

Just had a bizarre email from one of my tenants via the letting agent about ‘mice in the walls’ (mental picture of little arches in the skirting boards like in Tom and Jerry). They’d noticed them downstairs, but now they’re noticing them upstairs they say. 😳They say they’re worried about them gnawing through cables.

Now, i have zero experience with ‘mice in the walls’ so If anything like this happens to you, simply contact your local council and get them to send a pest controller out. My local council charge £40+ vat for unlimited visits and erradication.

I do however think this will be last I hear of this. The house is mid-terrace, cavity wall injected, with concrete floors, so these mice must have some serious tunnelling equipment. The tenants have dogs as well, so there’s no way they’d come from inside. Watch this space. 😏

Lease Option Agreements – How to Recognise if there’s money in the deal | Dave O’Hara

When you have put out lots of yellow letters to your target houses, you’ll soon start to get phone calls (well, hopefully you will if you’ve written a good letter). Quick tip – get yourself a dedicated phone to allow people to ring you. Don’t use your normal phone number. If the phone rings, don’t pick up. Chances are you’ll be doing something else and won’t be prepared for the phone call. Let it go to voicemail and then call back. Sometimes the caller leaves a message and sometimes they’ll drop you a text telling you which house they’re ringing about. This is all good info. Ring back when you’re comfortable and have all of your gear to hand (pen, pro-forma, script). Find a comfortable place to do it from. In the recent hot weather I’ve been using the garden as my office.

Run through your script and make sure you ask all your questions, but try not to make it sound like a list. Try to strike up a conversation and work the questions into it. This way, the vendor won’t feel uncomfortable. You’ll find it easier too. Sometimes the owner will be enthusiastically helpful, they’ll tell you all kinds of things in addition to the questions you want answers to. Sometimes you’ll get short answers and they’ll not go into any financials. I always say that without knowing all the facts it will be impossible to make them an offer. Sometimes that persuades them, sometimes not,
but when you’ve gathered everything you need to know, tell them you’ll go away and do some number crunching, then get back to them.

When you are first starting out with Lease Options, like we were a few months ago, you’ll not realise whether there’s anything in it for you as you fill in the forms. After a while, you instinctively recognise when a house is a possible lease option and there’s going to be a good positive cash flow if the owner takes up the deal. Try to get £250 positive cash flow each month if possible. Here are a few examples of the types of situations we’ve discovered.

A good opportunity – money in the deal for both parties

House for sale price : £70,000 (reduced from £80,000)
Mortgage : none
Reason for selling : Moving in with someone else
Wants to be a landlord? : No
Needs the money? : No, more interested in income
Likely monthly bills : £200 (council tax, gas/electricity, insurance, water)
Rental in area : £550 pcm

In this example, the fact the owner has no mortgage is a good thing because it gives you the latitude to pay them a good monthly amount, whilst still having a decent positive cashflow for yourself in the deal. It’s necessary to compute a likely term for your lease option. This depends on the rental value and the purchase price.

Now for a bit of maths. Decide what you purchase price will be. To give the owner an incentive, that would have to be £70,000 or more, so I always find out if the house has been reduced and by how much, then if that price seems reasonable, i’d offer them more.
The house is currently for sale at £70k, but i’d tell the seller that I could offer them £80k (the price before the property was reduced), but i’d need time to pay it.

An £80k house will need a £20k deposit for a BTL mortgage, so the next thing you need to do is calculate how long it’s going to take for the rental you intend to make on the property to add up to £20k. If you get £550 ppm in rental, a good offer would be £200 each and every month to the vendor. That would leave £350 to save for the mortgage, plus to pay for any monthly fees you may have. Let’s say that leaves you with £250 per month.

£20,000 / £250 = 80 payments.

This means it’ll take you just shy of 7 years to save your deposit. So your offer to the seller could be :

Lease Option Offer
Offer £56,000 [OR]

Option to buy the house in 7 years for £80,000
In the meantime, they’ll be paid £200 pcm until then

In 7 years you’ll have enough to get a BTL mortgage on the property, without using any of your own money! In the meantime, you’ll control the property and be bringing in £350 pcm from it for 7 years. The seller will be £350 pcm better off (no bills + your payment). Of course, all of this is negotiable and if the seller wants a higher price, you’ll need a longer term, and conversely, the sooner the seller wants his money, the lower the price you’ll pay.

You could also structure the deal so that the owner is paid more per month, but this will reduce the final purchase price after the option period. If the owner is paid £500 pcm then calculate how that extra payment reduces the final buy price.

A bad opportunity – no money in the deal for you

House for sale price : £70,000 (reduced from £80,000)
Mortgage : £65,000 remaining. Repayment mortgage (£450 pcm)
Reason for selling : Moving to a bigger house
Wants to be a landlord? : No
Needs the money? : Yes
Likely monthly bills : £200 (council tax, gas/electricity, insurance, water)
Rental in area : £400 pcm

The vendor wants to sell, but there’s no cashflow in the deal for you. Even if you rented out the house at the local rental rate, you wouldn’t be covering the mortgage payment. In addition, you wouldn’t be able to offer the vendor that lucrative income either. He would be better off by not having to pay the bills, but there’d be no money to save for your BTL mortgage after the period of the lease, so there’s no lease option offer that could be made. In this case, the owner has also said he needs the money immediately.

Cash Offer £56,000

As this offer is £9k less than the vendor owes on his mortgage, he’s unlikely to accept (unless you’re VERY lucky). At only £400 pcm available in rent in the area, the yield would also be on the low side when you rented it out.

Yellow envelopes take over the World | Dave O’Hara

Well, maybe not the whole World, but a very small part of it. Yellow envelopes are our secret weapon though. How many letters do you get every day in yellow envelopes? That’s right. None! If someone sent you a bright yellow letter, would you be intrigued by it’s uniqueness and be compelled to open it? We think so!

The whole point of writing to someone by conventional means is to have your letter read. If you can get them to do that, you are in a perfect position to get your offer across. Stats indicate that for every 100 letters you send, 10 will result in a call back, 3 of those will be seriously interested in the offer and one will actually sign up to your offer. So it’s a numbers game. If you want 10 sign ups, you need to send 1,000 letters. That sounds a lot, but you don’t need to send them all at once! Spread them out so you can take the phone calls, otherwise you’ll be deluged. One deal a month is fine, so send out 100 letters every month. In this particular type of property deal, each sign up should be worth £3,000 per annum, so after 10 deals in a year you’ll be receiving £30k of passive income! Awesome or what?!

Getting started is the hardest part. What should I ask? How do I ask the questions? What if they are hostile, or turn me down flat? Well, i’m no expert, i’ve only been doing this for a few weeks, but i’m getting more confident by the day and, believe it or not, people are usually nice. The fact that they’ve rung the number on your letter means they’re already interested in what you have to say, so don’t be afraid.

My advice, for what it’s worth is, try to strike up a natural conversation. Work your questions into the conversation so they don’t really feel like questions at all. I now say “Tell me about your house”, and folks will generally let you know all there is to know about the property they are selling. To find out if there is a deal to be had, you need to know the details of their mortgage (type, monthly payment, amount remaining) and you also need to find out how motivated they are as a seller.

Once you have gathered all your info (always have a proforma sheet available to fill in the blanks as you talk), thank them for their time and schedule a call back after you’ve crunched the numbers. Always ring them back at the agreed time, it builds trust and let’s them know you’re professional and value their time.

Crunching the numbers is all about working out if there is any money in the deal for you both. It needs to benefit both the seller and you the buyer otherwise there’s no point in making a deal. I’ve learned quickly what sort of nett rent I need for a particular purchase price to make a deal viable. Get used to that too. If you need to cover a £600/month mortgage but local rental income is only £500/month then it makes little sense. Aim for a minimum of £250/month nett positive cashflow (£3,000 per annum) if possible.

Comedy Call

Want to hear about a comedy call from a guy in Middlesbrough? This actually happened recently when we ‘yellow lettered’ the Teesside metropolis. You need to imagine the caller speaking in broad smoggie.

Me: “Hello, Dave O’Hara speaking, how can I help”?

Caller: “Alright mate, i’ve ‘ad a letter off yers”

Me: “Ah yes, we’ve sent a few letters to houses we’re interested in buying, can I ask the address please so I’m certain which house we’re talking about”?

Caller: “Aye, it’s number 10 mate”

Me: “And can you tell me the street name as well?”

Caller: “Aye mate” (long pause)

Me: (quickly realising this might not be straightforward) “OK, tell me about your house”

Caller: “It’s not my house mate, know what am sayin’ ?”

Me: “Are you the tenant?”

Caller: “No mate, it’s me mam and dad’s house like, know what i’m sayin’? ”

Me: “Ah right, well I think it’s them I need to speak to”

Caller: “Aye, probly”

Me: “Can I speak to them please?”

Caller: “Nah, ther in Benidorm mate, know what am sayin’ “?

Me: (knowing what he was saying) “OK”

Caller: “I’ve just split up with me girlfriend like, know what am sayin’ “?

Me: “Sorry to hear that, do you know when I can speak to your parents”?

Caller: “Problys aye. D’yer wanna buy the house like”?

Me: “Yes, I am interested”

Caller: “Me an me mates can buy this house like, know what am sayin’ “?

Me: “When can I speak to your parents please?”

Caller: “After August like”

Me: (with no intention of ever ringing back) “OK, i’ll ring back then”

Caller: “Alright mate, mint”

Thankfully, not all phone calls are like this, but sometimes you get them (know what i’m saying?)

Best Property Investment Blogs In 2018

The internet has open the gates to information, and we get bombarded with numerous new articles on social media, in our email inboxes (subscribed or simply spam), and pretty much everywhere we look, on a daily basis.

This has led us to have to work harder to find the best articles from the multitude of average or sub par content. To help our readers and those interested in property investing, we decided to dig in and search for the best of the best that 2018’s Blogosphere has to offer.

This list is obviously subjective, but we also tried to work with a few stats when we sort them.

The Subjective side of things – we tried to feature some of the best known sites in this niche, some that are known by many in this business, and also a few blogs that still have a lot of growing to do and are relatively unknown. This last category has a few blogs that we feel have good content, tips and/or insights.

The Stats criteria refers to data collected from: – How much traffic they have
Social media – How many followers they have on Twitter and Facebook
Publishing schedule – If they write content on a regular basis, if they haven’t updated the blog in a long time and so on.

Top 20 Property Investment Blogs for 2018

The BiggerPockets Blog is the biggest resource of information about real estate, investing and personal finance on the web and thus why it’s our #1 choice.

Besides the usual written information, they also have a 65,000 listens per show podcast available for those that like to listen to the market news and insights.

Besides all the opportunities that the site offers (the platform, the forums, the blog and the mobile apps), what we like the most, and have rarely seen in this niche, is the regularly updated Youtube account.

They are posting 2-3 videos per week, and you can also check out the podcast in a video format if you want to actually see their guests. I like visuals more than just audio, so for me this is a big thumbs up.

The mission of this blog is summed up by the three words featured in their logo – Inspire. Educate. Lead.

Inspire – To help and motivate others to pursue their dreams and change their lives for the better.

Educate – To commit to personal growth that will, at a later stage, improve their business.

Lead – To take action and follow through all the obstacles.

The blog is updated daily with articles tackling subjects like Real Estate, Investing, Finance and Business. People seem to really dig what they are saying and posting, as we can see from the almost 30,000 followers on their Twitter account.

Paula’s journey is one of those stories that you end up dreaming about having: a boring 9-to-5 job that turns into travelling around the world and working remotely. You can read the entire story on her About page, where she talks about how she started a real estate business, and enjoys the “easy money” that her investments yield every month.

The best content on her blog, in our opinion, is her Real Estate Investment Report posts, and by the multitude of comments on these pages, others share the same opinion.

In these posts she offers a break down on her monthly income and expenses, alongside many tips for those that will want to follow her business model.

After nearly a decade in the commercial banking industry, Seth Williams decided to pull the plug and become a self-employed man starting on February 1, 2016. This great to see, especially if you are a long time reader of his blog because you’ll have the feeling that you are following someone who really knows his stuff.

Someone who has turned a part-time business in something full time that can guarantee an income big enough to keep him happy.

One page in particular to look for, especially if you are a beginner, is the Resources page where Seth has listed sites and services that he personally used to help him grow the blog and business.

REIClub is a website full of resources, very tightly organized by categories, a feeling that will strike you at the first sight of the homepage. It’s like a dossier full of all the resources needed for any person interested in Real Estate Investing.

Besides the video section, forum, laws or success stories, the blog is the best part of the website. Why? Because it is updated with articles from the community, and the many contributors that share tips and knowledge from their personal interactions with this business.

This can be a great thing when you think about it, because you get to learn from a vast array of people working in different locations, investing in different properties or businesses and telling the stories from their own perspective.

RealEstateInvestar is a provider of online property investing tools that targets Australia and New Zealand.

It can help investors by letting them create capital growth forecasts, maintain real time portfolio tracking, and eliminate paper and data entry work to make it simple for your accountant and for tax and cash flow forecasting.

The blog focuses on providing tips for investors about how to manage and grow their portfolio, tips on how to spot properties that can lead to big returns in the near future, and mistakes that they should avoid.

Dean Graziosi is mostly known for his TV infomercials where he sells his real estate investing books and events.

The site mostly features his videos from the Weekly Wisdom series, but also contains deals that he closed recently, alongside any tips and insights that came with those experiences.

Beside the main website, there a two more sources of great info: the Forum and the Blogs section. Here you will get to know how other investors are doing, what kind of properties are bringing in big profits, and the most importantly, what bad deals to stay away from.

Brandon shows us in his blog that real estate investing is not only for big companies or very experienced investors, but that it can be done also by young people, in their twenties – pun intended.

He is the VP of Growth for BiggerPockets (our #1 listed blog in this list), and also a Co-host of the BiggerPockets Podcast. So, all in all, a well versed guy in the real estate investing market.

The CT Homes blog is arguably the most consistently update blog in our list. This means that every week day you will have a new article to read – everybody has to enjoy their weekend off, right? J

And even though the main website is a platform for investors and people wanting to sell properties in the San Diego area, the information posted in the blog section is generic and can be adopted by anyone from anywhere.

Shifting our focus a little more to the right of the US map, we encounter the guys from Memphis Invest who have grown from a small family owned real estate investing company, to one that serves clients from 45 states in 11 countries. At the moment they have three local offices located in Memphis, Dallas and Houston.

The blog features articles about real estate investing in general, but the most insightful posts are those that focus on the areas that they have the most knowledge in like the cities where their offices are. Insights, tips and news.

The first thing that caught our attention on the site was the “Proof” page on the main navigation bar, so we took a look. Inside we saw a bunch of video testimonials and picture with happy sellers.

That made us curious and searched a bit more about him and everything seems to check out. This guy seems to be the real deal.

Cody is proud that he still practice what he preaches and likes to be an active real estate investor who hunts for great deals and find those win-win situations: happy sellers and happy buyers, with a small profit for the person in the middle.

When we speak about the real estate industry, Jason is a fantastic example of hard work and persistence. He embarked on his career in real estate quite early.

When only 19, he was brokering properties for clients, then he landed a place among the top one-percent of Realtors in the U.S.; won important awards in the industry and became a young multi-millionaire.

Jason is now the CEO of the Platinum Properties Investment Network and is blogging to provide real estate education and valuable information, including advices related to markets, ROI, cash flow, opportunities and much more.

Working in real estate investments since 1986, Joe has experienced many ups and downs in the market.

So, behind the system he created for real estate investments is a lot of trial and error, but also a creative way of financing that he adopted, and he is sharing this knowledge on his blog.

Joe found a way to have more freedom and control of his life through real estate investing, and he is trying to help other achieve the same.

Voted as #1 real estate investing blog for two times in a row by the, in the “Single-Author” category, The Investor Insights provides excellent information for real estate investments.

An investor since 1994, Susan Lassiter-Lyons founded this blog in 2006 to share insights about her creative investing activities.

Owned and operated by real investors, who have closed more than 600 transactions in the last few years, this is more than just a blog, it really serves a coaching platform for those interested in the real estate investments business.

This is a blog that seems to bring a lot of energy to its readers, as there are many positive comments and good content reviews left by the blog’s visitors.

The Hipster Investments blog provides real estate education, and information about the industry and even helps investors to connect with reputable companies.

An interesting particularity of this blog is their “Latest Deal – What’s available on Wednesday?” section, where they post weekly deal proposals.

A digital magazine with a team of experts and extensive media, marketing, and real estate history, REI Wealth Monthly has a blog that provides up-to-date real estate investing content.

Whether you need news, tips, or articles covering topics like strategies in the industry, you can rest assured that you will find them here.

The blog is wonderful for both those who just started out in the real estate industry, and the seasoned investors.

Chris Lengquist has been blogging about Kansas City real estate investing since 2006, and he has been a professional Real Estate agent for several years, who works more in an advisory and consultation area of expertise than as a salesperson.

So, the blog has a focus on the Kansas City market, and will offer you real experiences or even guidance through any confusion related to these kinds of experiences.

Chris provides solid answers to the questions that come up for real estate investors.

When it comes to flipping houses, Justin Silverio has a lot of tips to share with those that are still new to the real estate business.

Out of Boston, he is a natural fit for the real estate industry. That’s because, first of all, he was “born with it”, we could say, as he comes from a family with decades of experience in construction and real estate and, second of all, because he has also a personal work experience background of over 10 years in the industry.

On his blog he shares advices about how should you get started in this industry, a lot of tips related to wholesaling and related to how should you work with partners and he’s also sharing up-to-date records of his real estate investment activities.

This is the blog of Jim Ingersoll, a successful real estate investor who shares some great practical posts about real estate investments strategies and tips, giving solid guidance based on his vast experience of wholesales, flips, and rents.

He also leads webinars on these topics, so you will have the chance to interact on his blog with videos of this kind.

Jim shows us that you can do investments without using a bank or your own money. That’s something quite “disruptive” in this type of business.

Initially published at

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24 things estate agents say – and what they really mean

Just for a bit of fun, here are 24 things estate agents say – and what they really mean:

  1. Bijou – A tiny boxroom
  2. Cash buyers only – No bank in its right mind would lend on this
  3. Compact – Glorified cupboard
  4. Convenient for transport links – Feel the walls shake as a train passes
  5. Cosy – No more than one person per room at a time
  6. Close to good schools – Can get there in 10 minutes, if you drive like Lewis Hamilton
  7. Easily-maintained garden – Concrete as far as the eye can see
  8. Full of history – Doesn’t have electricity or running water
  9. No onward chain – Somebody died in there
  10. No photo available – The stuff of nightmares
  11. Peaceful location – God’s waiting room
  12. Perfect for a first time buyer – We know you can’t afford to be choosy
  13. Period property – Derelict and possibly haunted
  14. Popular area – You’ll be squashed in like sardines
  15. Put your own stamp on it – Half-built
  16. Renovation required – Watch your money magically disappear
  17. Rural – There is nothing there, except maybe some sheep
  18. Viewing recommended – The outside looks like something Stig of the Dump would reject
  19. Pied-à-terre – Fancy French phrase for cosy. See 5.
  20. Quirky – Nothing matches and the doors are four-foot high
  21. Three-bedroomed property – Two bedrooms and a cupboard where you could fit a sleeping bag… just
  22. Reduced for a quick sale – There has been no interest at all
  23. Within walking distance – If you have a spare five hours
  24. Sought-after area – Ridiculous price

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Case study : Tracking down an owner and buying the house for 30% BMV

When we first started on the property ladder we found we were quite good at spotting a decent house, but were obviously inexperienced at tracking people down. We’d started looking seriously in November 2016 and found a nice looking property on Rightmove that seemed to be cheap. It was a 3 bedroom end of terrace property listed at £55,000. By our reckoning that made it about 25-30% below market value. It had a nice little front garden and an enclosed yard at the rear.

The Rightmove blurb also said that this house was available by the ‘modern method of auction’ and this shouldn’t be confused with the traditional way. We didn’t know what the Modern Method of Auction was, but when we looked into it it seemed a ruse dreamed up by Estate Agents to pocket more cash by getting the buyer to pay a £6,000 reservation fee (non-refundable and NOT deducted from the purchase price). This would also pay the sellers fees. We thought, ‘bugger that for a game of conkers’. We still wanted to buy the house for £55k, but another £6k made it less attractive. We needed to buy without it. That meant we couldn’t alert the agent.


We did a drive-by, just to make sure the house looked like it’s online pics. These checked out ok and we were able to take a look in the windows (the house was empty) to see what the inside was like. It looked fine, with nice laminate floors and tidy paintwork. But who did the house belong to and how could we speak to them and secure the sale without alerting the agent? How could we buy without paying the extra £6,000?

First stop was the Land Registry website. We paid our £3 fee and downloaded the deeds. This gave us the name and address of the owner. They weren’t registered at the address of the property, but rather at an address in, shall we say, a less celubrious part of town. We rolled up the windows and went to visit the owners address. No answer. Just as we knocked a 2nd time, the next door neighbour came out in his vest for a ciggy. He said he didn’t think anyone lived next door, but he’d only moved in yesterday and wasn’t sure. A dead end. So, back to the property that was for sale. Our only option was to start knocking on neighbours doors to see if they knew where the owners had gone. We didn’t even know if they’d left town and gone to live in Stornoway, but we had to find out!

We started knocking. The first neighbour didn’t know where they’d gone as she’d only been there a few months and said the house was empty when she moved in. The next neighbour (two doors along) wasn’t in, and we were beginning to give up hope. The next door was definitely the last door we could realistically knock on. Fingers crossed. After a pause that was propably only 10 seconds but seemed like an hour, someone answered.

It turned out that the neighbour knew them quite well. Her son was in fact the owner’s sparky and had done quite a bit of work for them on the house. Things were looking up! 😉 Where had they gone? Did she know? Well, they weren’t in Stornoway, they were still in town. But she didn’t know the address! 😳 Our hearts sank again…… but she did know where they lived, it was the last road on the East side, about the third house along and they had venetian blinds up in the porch. We had visions of a whole road of venetian-blinded porches, but off we went.

It was spot on as far as directions were concerned. We knocked. A figure appeared at the window, motioning us around the back. We were greeted by the little dog and when we got to chat, the house was indeed theirs to sell and they’d had it on the market for nearly a year. We told them the ‘modern method of auction’ puts people off. It had nearly put us off. The owner took us up for a viewing and we put an offer in next day for the asking price of £55k, on the proviso that they withdrew it from the auction. They agreed and then we just had to wait 31 days. There might have been offers after that, but the owner assured us that they’d agreed to sell to us and no other offers would be accepted. They seemed to be people of their word.

A month later with the house removed from the agent’s jurisdiction, we bought it privately based on our agreement. We got the keys on February 8th 2017. There was very little work to do inside. We fitted some new kitchen doors and put some fresh lino down in the kitchen and bathroom, painted a bit and de-mossed the yard. It cost us £2,000 in all. After 6 months we refinanced and took back our entire deposit and renovation money. We already had a tenant by then as well.

Mission accomplished 👍🏻

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New Advert Board for Property Services

After joining multiple Facebook groups to see what property people are dealing in, it became clear that the different types of investments are scattered into many different places, so I decided to open a free property services directory section on the site to allow people to post their own property services.

If you are a seller, a property you’d like to buy but need sources of finance to allow you to buy, or if you have a lease option you’d like to pass on, then post your service details on the board. You can then link it to Facebook or Twitter and this will help spread the word and hopefully make your property services and your advert visible to many more people.

As we all know, THE most important thing to do in property is to Network and make connections. This becomes easy when like minded people gather in the same place. That’s what i’d like the Property services section to achieve if possible.

Please give it a go. Like I said, it’s free to use and hopefully will help you get your word out and make us all more money 🙂

Advert Board :

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Buying to let as a limited company

Here’s an article which we found very helpful with the decision of whether to buy BTL properties as part of a personal portfolio or as a Limited Company. I hope it’s useful for those looking for information about this.

Buying to let as a limited company By Steven Boyde

There are two ways of owning buy-to-let property: using your personal name, or through a limited company.

Since April 2017, there has been an increase in the number of landlords purchasing buy-to-let investments in a limited company rather than in their personal name. This is largely due to changes set out by the government in the 2017 Budget, including a reduction in the amount of tax relief available for interest on buy-to-let mortgages.

Previously, tax was due on the net rental income after allowable expenses have been deducted, including mortgage interest. This meant higher and additional rate taxpayers could claim relief at their highest rate, 40 per cent and 45 per cent respectively. The government’s announcement means that over the next four years, tax relief will gradually be reduced until only basic rate (20 per cent) relief is available.

One of the primary reasons for the growth in limited company buy-to-let ownership is the different tax treatment. Instead of paying income tax as an individual, a limited company pays corporation tax, which currently sits at 19 per cent. This is reducing to 18 per cent in April 2018 and 17 per cent in April 2019.

The differing tax treatment also means that lenders’ stress testing is often more favourable for lending to limited companies versus ownership in a personal name.

The mechanics behind a limited company purchase are that the borrower sets up a limited company or property special purpose vehicle (SPV), which is purely for the purpose of owning property. The borrower then deposits funds into the limited company and arranges lending to it, which, combined, allows the company to purchase the property.

While increasingly popular, there are several things to consider and it should not be assumed that limited company buy-to-lets are suitable for everyone.

Tax implications

Tax should be favourable in the first instance, but once the income (rent) is paid into an SPV, profits will ultimately be distributed. This is usually done via dividends, which can be more complicated.

Only corporation tax is applicable at first when you do annual company accounts, but if you want to withdraw money, you have to do it in the form of dividends. Dividends are favourable at a low level, because the first £5,000 is tax free [£2,000 from April 2018], but this gets higher the more your draw out.

The latest tax rates according to HMRC are:

Basic rate 7.5%
Higher rate 32.5%
Additional rate 38.1%

Furthermore, when selling a property, the proceeds go into the limited company and there can then be tax efficiency challenges in accessing it.

For UK residents who have purchased in their own name, the sale of the property will be subject to capital gains tax (CGT) at either 18 per cent or 28 per cent. However, if it was bought in a limited company, it will be taxed – as above – at a rate of corporation tax.

Differences in lending

While lenders will still underwrite the director of the company’s circumstances, given that the limited company is legally a separate entity, the stress testing is favourable as a result of its tax position. Lenders tend to relax the stress testing when it comes to rental calculations. Usually, in a personal name, rental income must cover 145 per cent of the mortgage payments stressed at 5.5 per cent, but when lending to a limited company, it is common for this to be stress tested at just 125 per cent.

However, costs vary depending on whether you are buying in a limited company or as an individual. Mortgage costs are often higher for a limited company. Depending on the structure of the company, they will be taxed differently. It is also necessary to take into account things like CGT and additional stamp duty costs before deciding if buying in a limited company is the most appropriate option for you.

For those purchasing in their personal name, generally the monthly rental income must cover the mortgage payment by 140 per cent if the client owns fewer than four properties, increasing to 155 per cent if they own four or more. They also assume a stressed interest rate of 5.5 per cent to protect the borrower should the Bank of England interest rate fluctuate upwards, or the initial rate plus 1.55 per cent, ensuring the mortgage will be covered.

Key points

  • One of the primary reasons for the growth in limited company buy-to-let ownership is the different tax treatment
  • Lenders tend to relax the stress testing when it comes to rental calculations
  • Owners of more than four buy-to-let properties will soon have to disclose all property details.

When buying as a limited company, the monthly rental income only needs to cover the mortgage payment by 125 per cent, with the stress test remaining at 5.5 per cent, or the initial rate product interest rate plus 1.55 per cent. This allows the borrower to fully maximise the borrowing.

There is also the advantage of opting for a five-year fixed rate, which will mean the lender will use the payrate in their rental assessment. The same 125 per cent/140 per cent/155 per cent still applies as this continues to give the lender security by locking the client into the term, so they will not suffer from any rate increases.

Changes to the market

If you own more than four buy-to-let properties (known as a portfolio) at the end of September, you will have to disclose all property details – that is, any income, expenditure or wear and tear – of all properties when it comes to re-mortgaging.

Portfolio landlords will still enjoy the same tax efficiencies, but their portfolio will be assessed as one, rather than on the merit of each individual property. Although the properties will be stress tested at the same rate of 125 per cent, and the process of buying in a limited company remains the same, this will have a big impact on a landlord’s ability to obtain finance.

For example, if one property in the portfolio performs less favourably than the others, this will have an impact on the underwriting of the portfolio as a whole, regardless of whether some are held in a personal name and others in a limited company.

Even with payrate products, it is more challenging to achieve higher loan-to-value loans, particularly for low-yielding properties.

Guiding on options

There are pros and cons to purchasing a buy-to-let in a limited company versus under a personal name. It entirely depends on the circumstances of the individual, particularly in light of recent and upcoming changes set out by both the Prudential Regulation Authority and the government, making the market more complicated to navigate.

An experienced mortgage broker will be able to guide you on your options. While they will not be able to provide tax advice, they will be able to put you in touch with property tax specialists.

This article Originally published by Steve Boyde, FT Adviser. September 20th, 2017

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Review : Samuel Leeds Deal Finding Extravaganza / Never Use Your Own Money Again | Dave O’Hara

picture of Hilton Hall near Walsall

Hilton Hall, nr. Walsall

After waiting for what seemed like an age since we first went on the Samuel Leeds Property Investors Crash Course in Manchester in February, we rocked up to Hilton Hall just outside of Walsall for the next stage on our property journey. What a place to have a training session! It’s set in it’s own grounds with lakes and untold prettiness (squirrels and other furry critters abound). I bet working there is an absolute treat.

One of the first things we noticed was how many familiar faces we recognised from the earlier course. Everyone looked just that little bit more confident than some of the slightly timid characters we first met in the cold days at Salford. Maybe it was just the fact that summer had rolled into town this week that did it, but we got the impression that the crowd were very up for it.

This course was over three days. Everyone had paid a premium for these sessions; they’re more in-depth than the free Crash Course days. You can tell that the people are more committed and convinced that property investing is their future and everyone wanted to learn as much as possible from Samuel. The first day was the Deal Finding Extravaganza and day 2 and 3 were dedicated to Never Use Your Own Money Again, or as it’s catchily abbreviated, ‘NUYOMA’ (sounds like the Japanese teacup guy off Britain’s Got Talent). We all overloaded the Hall’s Wifi connection as the mass of electronic wizardry tried to log on to get access to RightMove, MousePrice and Zoopla.

Now, i’m not going to give away any information that Samuel taught us because that would undermine the integrity and point of the whole thing, but we watched as he found deals live from his computer at the front of the room and then worked out the yields and returns on investment. Very rarely did he turn up anything lower than 25% ROI. Then he set us all off to find our own deals in the lunch break.

The afternoon consisted of people revealing their ‘deals’, and then we all piled out to visit a couple of Samuel’s HMOs in Wolverhampton, followed by a visit to Cosmos Asian Fusion Buffet where I’m sorry to admit we rather stuffed our faces (but Samuel was picking up the bill). It seemed straightforward. We agreed to give a lift to Rob, who was in his camper van, and the idea was that we’d take him to his camp site, drop the van off, then take him to the HMOs, but we lost him in the outskirts of deepest, darkest Walsall and by the time we found him again, we’d missed the first HMO completely, and only got to the second one as everyone else was coming out! The day had been great though, and everyone was still buzzing in Cosmos even after 12 hours of intense property hunting.


Day 2 opened with the brightest and bushiest tailed people in the room by 8:15am for the nine o’clock start. We were in the Travelodge Southbound on the M6, so frustratingly had to head south to the next junction, then do a U turn and come back again (about 10 miles in total). It was only after we’d done this a couple of times that Zach, a sprightly young student of accountancy, who unknown to us was also at our hotel, revealed a secret service road he’d been walking in on. It was only a mile and a half! We had to go through a no-entry sign, but it saved us loads of time. The second and third days are dedicated to No-Money-Deals. Basically, buying property with other people’s money. Sounds good doesn’t it?

Samuel taught us several ways to do this (a couple of which we’d already successfully done in ‘real life’) and there was a very interesting and valuable presentation by Sarah Poynton-Ryan who took us through Compliance, Bribery and Data Protection Laws amongst others, as well as introducing Deal Sourcing, Deal Packaging, R2R and Serviced Accommodation. (MEGA profits to be made on Serviced Accommodation, must look into that closer to home). The pace remained high until the slightly earlier finish time, with the usual role playing things to get everyone out of their comfort zone and thinking laterally. Thank God for the sandwich van is my only other comment.

On day 3, Zach took us on our little short cut, but the weather had turned foul and it was tipping it down as we got to Hilton Hall. Rob, who’d cycled in on day 2 had resorted back to the camper van. Sensible chap Rob. We again got stuck into some great exercises, real fun stuff, to show us how easy it is to network in a room full of similar minded individuals (and get deals). There was a question and answer session with a very loveable mortgage expert who managed to answer EVERY question thrown at him by the baying hordes (Stop it! – Ed) and by the time the lovely sandwich van came again the punters were salivating for more. Our working lunch was to go away and raise ‘virtual finance’ by thinking of how we could use our friends and countrymen to slip us a quid or two to invest in our property empires. Samuel set a target of £1m. Zach got the job of counting the money.

picture of myself, samuel leeds and deb

Myself, Samuel Leeds and Deb

Going round the room, it was clear that we were going to absolutely smash the target and when the final total was computed it was around the £4.5 million mark. FOUR AND A HALF MILLION POUNDS !! Granted, that was a fantasy fundraising exercise, but it just showed the power of networking and collaborating within a common goal. Summing up the successes and learnings were at the end of it all. When we all broke up I felt like I was leaving old friends. However, I think we’ll be meeting some of you again, maybe in a Joint Venture or maybe we can source a property or two for you ‘up north’.

Altogether, the 3 day course was well worth the money. We filled the gaps in out knowledge that we wanted to fill, and learned a whole lot more as well. Many thanks to Samuel Leeds and his team, the sandwich van, Cosmos and the staff at the Travelodge, as well as Walsall chippy that stopped us eating each other at the end of day3.

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Regional Property Trends May 2018

Looking at the Rightmove regional trend data for May 2018, the only area of the country where prices dropped from the previous month is our beloved North East (although the annual change is still marginally positive). The North East is also the slowest region to shift houses, with average time to sell pegged at 75 days. The average gaff here in the North East will cost just a shade under £150k, less than a quarter of the average price in Gtr London!

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Our property journey | Dave O’Hara

House 1 – 2 bed terraced

Our property journey really started when we decided to move to Durham in 2014. I had been living in my house for 18 years and then rented it out to enable me to move. I was an ‘accidental landlord’. The details are as follows and the values are current ones. All the houses are in NE England.

Purchase Price : £32,500
Current Market Value : £45,000
Rent Currently Received : £4,320 pa

House 2 – 2 bedroom semi

The house we bought in Durham in 2014 was built in 1999/2000 and again is 2 bedroomed, but it’s semi-detatched. It was owned by a former student of Durham who became a lecturer at Nottingham Uni. He’d rented it previously. We’re only 1 mile from the city centre, so the higher prices there are going to radiate out in coming years, giving us extra equity to play with (we’re down to about £76k on the mortgage, so maybe £50k to play with next year).

Purchase Price : £113,000
Current Market Value : £140,000

House 3 – 3 bedroom end terrace

We then started seriously looking at property as our way of making passive income. We sourced our next house which was up for auction with a £6,000 fee. This didn’t make it enough BMV, so we asked the vendor to drop it from the auction, waited 31 days then put our official offer in (we’d already verbally agreed a price). The house was in nice condition and only need £2,000 spending on it. We then refinanced after 6 months and took our deposit back, making the house completely purchased with other people’s money!


Purchase Price : £55,000
Current Market Value : £80,000
Rent Currently Received : £4,680 pa

House 4 – 2 bedroom mid terrace

The next property we bought was a 2 bedroomer, a relative new build at the end of a cul-de-sac, next to a church. The vendor lived in London and was in poor health, so a motivated seller. He had the house advertised on Rightmove for £59k. We secured it for only £44,000. This one needed more work, but we spent £11k on doing it up (some internal structural changes) before refinancing again after 6 months and taking our money back.


Purchase Price : £44,000
Current Market Value : £75,000
Rent Currently Received : £5,040 pa

House 5 would have been an £80k house; we had an offer accepted, but pulled out because the deposit money was needed elsewhere.

Currently financing

We are currently financing a 3 bedroom cottage for our son who bought it for £55k in Durham (so jealous because we sourced it for him). This one was also an auction property and we paid £6k to remove it from auction. It had a sitting tenant, but the vendor evicted at our request. He’s spending about £35k on it (it needed new windows, lintels, bathroom and kitchen and he’s removed two chimney breasts). The real market value when finished will be circa £115,000, so a tasty profit. He’ll then remotgage and we’ll get our money back out for future investments.


The rental from houses 1,3 and 4 pay for themselves as well as the mortgage payment on our own house (house 2). After 3 house purchases the whole thing becomes a cash generator. 😎

For the future, we are looking out for further opportunites in the North East.

Any comments or questions are welcome. 👍🏻

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Active versus Passive Income | Dave O’Hara


scientists lab coat graphicI’m a Scientist!

I started work in 1979 as a lab technician with BIP (British Industrial Plastics, a monicker that is long gone). They kitted me out in a white lab coat and I got to call myself a scientist. That was pretty cool in those days. Being a lab technician was a bit like being a bakery worker. The principles of baking and making pvc are very similar, involving the mixing of ingredients in strict, controlled quantities. Believe it or not, Baking Soda is also used in PVC, but that’s another story!

Active Income

I was only 19 when I started work and there was no problem with the physical side of the job. We were all full of vim and vigour back then. It was hard work at times, lumping 25kg bags about, but when I got my pay packet it was all worth it. I got only £60 a week in those days, but beer was only about 35p a pint back then, so that was ok. I was no different from most people in the uk. We did 38 hrs a week and were paid a fixed rate per hour. We were earning ‘active’ income.

Some years later, as I became interested in the Internet and people were making obscene sums of money in the tech bubble, I came across the concept of ‘passive income’. Unlike my days as a lab technician where I was paid once and if I wanted another week’s wage i’d have to turn up for work for another 38 hours, this seemed unbelievable. Passive income means working only once, but getting paid for it over and over. “Surely that’s the future of work!”, I thought. That’s the way that entrepreneurs do it. I wanted to be an entrepreneur.

Google Adsense

Whilst still making plastic, i started investigating websites and monetizing them with Google Adsense advertising. Back in the day, Adsense became a good earner for me, around £4k in fact, back in 2006. It was true Passive Income. But, it became more difficult as Google changed it’s algorithms to weed out what they regarded as spammy websites. Unintentionally, it affected all website owners. Websites completely disappeared from Google overnight. Incomes were slashed. Reward became too low for the effort involved. I was back to Active Income for a while longer. Since then, i’ve dabbled with building websites for people, and still have active clients who pay me, but it was still ‘Active’ (except those paying hosting fees, who are ‘Passive’).

Zoom forward to 2014 when I rented out my house to move to Durham. I became an accidental landlord. But without really thinking about it, i’d started earning true Passive Income. The rent basically pays the mortgage. That’s when the penny dropped. We could earn passive income from property! But I didn’t really want to be a proper landlord and didn’t have money for the deposits anyway.

Passive Income

passive income graphic

Suddenly and out of the blue, I was made redundant in 2016. This meant I got a payment which after considering options we invested in more property and last year it started to generate ££££ in passive income through rent. This means we now have multiple properties and all our mortgages are paid for from their Passive Income. The house we live in is paid for by two of the others. How good is that ??????

Passive Income is truly what will set us free. The next stage is to find more quality properties to invest in. This time, we’ll be targetting other strategies to maximise the income.

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Samuel Leeds Property Crash Course Review | Dave O’Hara

If you’ve been following me since I jacked in the day job you’ll know that I’ve been hanging my hat on property as a sure-fire way of trumping the banks for making an income.

samuel leeds pictureOne thing you can never do too much of is research. The interweb is a dream for this, but sometimes it’s difficult to see the wood from the trees. Of course we watch all the property programmes on the telly as well, but realise they paint a rosy and very simplistic picture of what it takes to buy a house and make it work for you business-wise. There was a programme on last year where landlords and tenants would swap places, finding out what it was really like to live in the properties they were renting out.

Samuel Leeds

One of the landlords appearing on the programme was a guy called Samuel Leeds. He was a really humble guy and did his very best on the programme to help out his tenant, a lady who was worried about being evicted because she was struggling a bit. It turned out when he visited that she had a big hole in her roof, but didn’t report it because she thought he would put her rent up! I was impressed with the sympathetic way he treated her. In the end she had to leave for another reason, but only after Samuel bent over backwards to try to help her.

He turned up later in a Google search when we started looking for authorities on the subject of buying property. We recognised him from the programme and found out he had a good samuel leeds and sir richard branson picturebusiness going, mentoring and teaching other people how to make a living from property. He’s a Property multi-millionaire in fact, at less than half my age! Samuel Leeds rubs shoulders with the likes of Sir Alan Sugar, Sir Richard Branson and Arnold Schwarzenegger. He’s a little bit ‘evangelical’ at times in his presentation, not surprising considering he started as a church person, but his huge enthusiasm comes through loud and clear and he clearly knows his stuff. He’s also very ethical; ten per cent of his business profits go to charity.

Samuel has an excellent book published ‘Buy Low Rent High’, in which he outlines his strategy for property investment.

So, we’re booked on a two day property crash course with him in February in Salford, Manchester to educate ourselves further about property investment.

Samuel Leeds on Twitter

[custom-twitter-feeds screenname=samuel_leeds num=3]

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