There are many ways to make money out of property. Here we explore an alternative to the familiar buy-to-let or redevelopment strategies.
Does your property have what it takes to be used as a film location?
If so, it could he earning you anything from £1,000 to £125,000 a year. When Hugh Grant peeled off Renée Zellweger ’s huge knickers in the film Bridget Jones’s Diary , he did so in a loft apartment with the help of moody lighting and stunning views. Such gorgeous apartments are the movie stars of the location business and earn salaries to match (£50,000-£100,000 is not unusual), but there are thousands of more pedestrian homes used in photography shoots for magazines or commercials. Indeed, the ‘ordinary’ look is very much ‘in’ and renting out your house for such work can still bring in up to £25,000 a year.
The essential requirements are light, space, access and convenience. The privately owned house that was used in the filming of Great Expectations - a Georgian mansion set in 18 acres between Potters Bar and Barnet - is ideal. The rooms are big and airy with plenty of historical detail, the house is near the M25, reducing the crews’ traveling time and keeping production costs down, and the large, sweeping drive means parking for ten film trucks isn’t a problem. For convenience and cost- efficiency’s sake, 90% of film shoots take place close to London, which make suitable properties in the outer suburbs highly sought-after The best payers are reality TV shows. One house used in a recent programme in Highgate, north London, a 94-room Victorian monster, was rumoured to have earned its owners £125,000 because, unusually, the property was required for three months.
Other features sure to get location managers slavering are wooden floors, large windows or French doors, big fireplaces and chandeliers and claw-foot baths. Ideally, rooms should he painted in pale colours as they are easy to design the set around. The only drawback to all this is that it’s like six oil tankers turning up at your house for a party. That’s what you have to be prepared for. You must enjoy having people around, or be ready to leave for the term, but with thousands of pounds in your pocket in return for the slight inconvenience, it might well be worth your while.
It costs nothing to register your property on the books of location agencies (Google them) – just supply drawings and photographs, inside and out; you may be surprise at what, or who, turns up. Further, a property that has featured in a quality film, commercial or magazine advert will command a premium price should one day you decide to sell. Make sure the register your rental properties as well as your own home. For a split of the money provided, tenants will happily decamp to other accommodation for a brief, yet lucrative, period.