A Change Is As Good As A Rest: Uprooting, Relocating Or Staying Put
I see too many people complicating property investing. We have been investing for 12 years – and sourcing for over 7 – and having sourced over 2000 properties over this time – I would say we must be amongst the most experienced property investors within this magazine each month.
We have seen some short-term ideas of what makes a good deal over this time – but really, even through some turbulent times in the markets the key fundamentals never change. Buy as affordable property as you can in an area where is strong rental demand, but also strong home ownership to increase further capital growth and resale value. Buy at as low a price as you can manage to negotiate – but for me cashflow should always be the biggest priority, certainly for your first 5-10 properties – once you have a good cashflowing business, you can then take on slightly higher risk opportunities, or lower cashflow if you feel the rewards are worth looking at, although I personally do not vary too much from this basic model.
An area in which I own over 30 properties, and have consistently found my properties here to be amongst my highest performers, is Scotland.
Last year 93% of our deals in Scotland went through, which is a fantastic result considering the discounts we are negotiating, and the reduced finance available in general. We have been working hard this year to deliver great properties to you and will be aiming to achieve a higher percentage on conversion rate, you’ll be pleased to know we are on track to do just that!
Here are some of the key points on why Scotland is such a good area to be looking at:
House prices have historically always been very affordable in comparison to other parts of the UK, particularly in the South East. The Scottish market has not been subject to the same volatility as other parts of the UK and this provides sustained and steady growth.
The majority of Scottish residents have historically lived in rented council houses and there have traditionally been a greater proportion of people renting than in the rest of the UK and with the scheme introduced in the Thatcher era that allowed owners to buy their council homes, many Scots took advantage of the policy and bought their council home for a knock down price. Many of these same homeowners find themselves now with huge equity in their homes and are able to sell at hugely discounted rates and still pocket a handsome profit. For those who don’t know this, there is a different legal system that actually makes it less likely that deals will crash before completion, hence the reason why our conversion rate of 93% was so high!! If you are new to buying here then we can of course go through the logistics of how it all works.
The best investors I know do not get too worked up about what the property looks like - they just want a money generating investment, and I know I would rather have a house making me £200+ a month than a house that only makes me £50 a month in a different geographical location. So my message would be, look at the numbers, don’t invest with emotion - remember hard cash at the end of each month is far more attractive than having a pretty investment that doesn’t make money!