richard brown

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About richard brown

  • Rank
    Obsessed member!

Contact Methods

  • Website URL &
  • Skype

Profile Information

  • Property investment interests
    Value-adding refurb
    Single let
    Holiday / short-term let
    Trading / Flips / Development
  • My skills
    Commercial & strategic approach
    Knowledge sharer & mentor
    Blogger / writer
  • My goals
    I have 3 principal aims (my SMART goals are more specific):
    1. Through property to generate an income stream that would allow me to chose my lifestyle, location and daily activities that would include fun-filled 'work', helping others to grow & develop and lots of travel, leisure pursuits and that kind of stuff!
    2. To write at least one book...more likely 3 ;)
    3. To coach and mentor others - enjoying thanks & 'likes' for the free content along the way
  • Interests outside property
    My family, sport, travel, music and occasionally throwing myself out of an aeroplane at 10,000 feet, free-falling for the first 7,000 :)

Recent Profile Visitors

890 profile views
  1. Hi ZeonRichards I guess it's a case of how much stress can you live with? Personally, I would recommend staggering the projects to avoid a risk of financial and personal burnout when you already have a full-time job...oh and your wife is a very significant 'stakeholder' here as well Once you have a reliable team in place, including a project manager, then perhaps you can consider doubling up on projects...but until then I would probably suggest that you take a more measured approach if this is one of the first times you have done this. The only exception to this would be if you were using the same team, they were literally next door or round the corner from one another and there were significant economies of scale resulting. Good luck! Richard
  2. Hi Emma It is good to be concerned for a friend and definitely to ensure that she is not potentially being scammed or hoodwinked out of her money. That said, there are 3 core resources required to becoming successful in property: time, know-how and of course money. If there is a deficiency in one area, then this does need to be made up for in one or both of the others. Your friend looks to be doing just that. That's my first point. Next is to decide on a direction that suits you personally. This is a combination of goals and strategy. I tend to use the term RIGHT property strategy to reflect the end result of this aspect, where the initials spell out the general strategy in property to follow. Often, when there is a shortage of finance the 'I', which stands for Investor Services (including deal sourcing) is an option some choose to adopt. It is not the only one, but it is essentially a job, even if a part-time it will require a lot of time to compensate for the lack of money. As to whether you can make £000s in deal sourcing...the answer is yes you can...we pay deal sourcers to bring us good quality deals for example as a part of our sourcing system (we also self-source). They are not easy to find however, we tend to secure around 2% of the deals we actually examine on the desktop, so there is a LOT of work that goes into finding the gems. You can streamline the process, leverage others and you also learn to get smarter about what will work and what won't as you gain more know-how. The course(s) could help with that aspect if they are good ones. I would probably be concerned if your friend was spending lots of money on courses and not having a clear direction and / or not taking definite action and just course-hopping. However, if she has a clear goal and a strategy that suits her personal circumstances and is now working on implementing that strategy, then fantastic! Remember, that there is always a price to our property could be our time in reading & research, the cost of our newbie mistakes, lower returns by a lack of know-how or the cost of receiving some external guidance. So, it depends how you want to 'pay that price' really. There are also lots of resources around to help get started and others that are lower cost (see my website for example!). That said, it can become something like a child in a sweet shop with anything and everything catching the eye. So, as long as we settle on the bag of Sherbert Dibdabs and leave contented rather than keep going back for in search of the Bonbons, Licorice Allsorts, Fruit Salads and what not...then it should be OK. I would probably have a chat with your friend to understand the motivation and drivers behind what she is doing, she may have it all clear in her mind what path she is on and how best to get there. In the first 6-12 months of deciding to 'get into property', a lot of that time will be spent on gaining knowledge and deciding on our direction (I actually spent 4 years in this state to be perfectly honest with you!). But it should not result in a maxed out credit card and flip-flopping around from course-to-course and strategy-to-strategy. For example, we have a 7-module property foundation training course that costs around £200 and a strategy review process that can be undertaken for £150 (desktop review) or £500 (one-to-one), after any of which a clear strategy should be realised and ready for the individual to take action. After that it might or might not be the case that more specialist knowledge is needed (eg how to negotiate with homeowners to secure lower-priced property, how to systemise a sourcing system or how to contract so you don't get cut out in the deal sourcing space), but a general strategy and direction should not run into thousands of £s that's for sure. Anyway, enough said for now perhaps - I have a passion of sharing knowledge in the industry as you can probably tell All the best with your friend and well done for being concerned, just try to make sure you also strike the right balance between concern and support, as she will probably need both along the way... Best Richard
  3. Hi Daryl I think Tim has covered a number of key points in his response. I immediately thought of transaction costs (eg stamp duty, legal fees, broker & finance fees etc.) and holding costs (eg maintenance, voids, mortgage renewal fees, etc.) when I read your post. These would all mean a drag on a gross yield figure...which is why Tim mentions ROI in his response too I suspect...i.e. look at the net return on your cash invested taking account of all hidden or less predictable costs. More properties at the same gross yield will almost inevitably mean higher transaction costs, although the stamp duty thresholds could skew that these days. Equally, you should be able to dilute the maintenance and voids risk by having more properties...subject to condition again as Tim noted. To add to the mix a little, I wanted to also look at the rate of saving and hence addition to the portfolio. You say you are saving for deposits and will add once you have enough money. So, if you can save enough for a single property say every 12-18 months, then buy as big as you can afford within that general time frame I would suggest. If I had the choice of 2 small properties or one larger one at that rate of saving, I would probably wait and buy the larger property. However, if it took me twice as long or more to save, then I would probably split my fund up and buy smaller properties initially. I call this 'deal velocity' or how quickly you can do your deals. This also depends on how many properties / net income you are actually aiming at though. If you only 'need' say 2-4 properties, then better to make them slightly bigger probably if you really can achieve the same ROI. But if you 'need' a larger portfolio, you can be more flexible. I think it is a good idea to start small and then increase your scale over time as you learn. I also think there are smarter ways to make your money go further for you. For example, when I started my investing, I had limited funds and so I needed to 'force the appreciation' on every project I undertook. This meant adding value to the property, such as through a refurb or similar and then refinancing to release some of my funds to go again towards the next project. This meant I could own more properties from the same equivalent starting fund when compared to a straightforward BTL where I just leave my deposit in. It also meant that I knew my properties were in good shape and so less likely to require lots of maintenance for a few years. At the end of the day, it is horses for courses though. No point taking on another job if you have an extremely busy life for example. On the other hand, if you have a more burning need to get to your goals more quickly, then something has to give to make it happen. Hope that helps, Best Richard
  4. Hi Lee Glad you are on the case early! It's a specialist area now and so I strongly suggest dealing with those far more au fait with the subject than me...a good enfranchisement lawyer is probably the best bet. I have previously dealt with Katie Cohen, now at Keystone Law and she is extremely knowledgeable (and helpful!) on this subject. This is her Linked In profile (hoping the link works): Good luck! Richard
  5. Hi Lee It's sad but true, this is a little scam that will only get bigger over time as I commented on here: If your starting ground rent is say £250 a year, then it would unfold as follows: Year 1 £250 Year 10 £500 Year 20 £1,000 Year 50 8,000 Year 100 £256,000 Year 120 £1,024,000 You may think it won't be that bad and will most likely be long gone by the time it does get bad, but it could affect the property sale-ability and finance-ability sometime down the track. The best solution is to club together and buy the freehold and change or collapse the lease...if that's still economic to do. Best Richard
  6. Hi Tom Yep, Akhil Patel is a thought leader in the UK on economic cycles, including the 18-Year Property Cycle. He has a report that covers the ground very well available here: He also offers an abridged version for free but the real meat is in the report. Other authors you might want to look up are Phillip J Anderson and Fred Harrison. Phillips & Akhil are modern-day commentators on the cycles. Fred is considered to be the father of the theory. Best Richard
  7. Hi Markus I can certainly help with this! Here are a couple of free resources to help get going with identifying a property strategy: A guide to the 5 main strategy areas can be downloaded here: A fun quiz to help you to narrow down the choices can be found here: Once you have taken a look at these and feel you would like a little more direction or support, then please don't hesitate to get in touch (details below). I have a lot of experience personally and also in supporting people living and investing in different countries as it happens. Try that for a start and see how you get on. Best Richard
  8. No, MS Law in Manchester: or @mslawsolicitors on Facebook
  9. Hi, I would tread very carefully until you have a formal separation agreement in place. I suggest that you speak to a family solicitor before doing anything else. I definitely would not be buying any houses until I have a written settlement agreement. Documenting ownership splits can they be done in several ways should you wish to proceed (title forms, deeds of trust, court orders, etc.). I own a property with a former partner and the arrangement we agreed to is documented in a court order. However, to do anything with that property (sell, remortgage, extend the lease, etc.), I need her written agreement and consent to everything as a legal owner, which is not always straightforward! Don't forget that the opposite is also true as well. I am no expert on the subject, but a court could potentially override your current wish for 50:50 split if one of you were to renege on any verbal agreement. So, in my experience a clean break from any joint financial ties is always best, as is getting a formal written separation agreement in place that would stand up in court as being fair and reasonable...even if things are amicable now, they can change over time trust me! Best Richard
  10. Hi Michael A different one this but I really enjoy Tax Insider, which is a monthly tax newsletter on subscription. However, you can also see all back issues and they have a range of tax books / reports aimed at property investors too. Best Richard
  11. Hi Rick Try the following: Fylde Tax Accountants Searchlight Finance (Simon Allen) MS Law Best Richard
  12. Hi Dil the answer was in the article I shared... The only exception to this is that anyone who owns other properties but not a main home, and who previously owned a home but sold it any time before the Autumn Statement announcement on November 26, 2015, has three years from that date to buy a new home - so until November 26, 2018. Best Richard
  13. Hi Dil It's a bit confusing to be honest with you! The simple rules are: If you are replacing your main home - no 3% premium If you are buying your first property (regardless of whether a home or BTL) - no 3% premium If you are buying your first home but already own any other residential property at all (incl BTL) - the 3% premium is payable EXCEPT if you owned a home anytime since 26 Nov 15 as it will fall under the replacement home rule above Any other additional properties bought - 3% premium payable So, in your situation, it sounds like you will have to pay the 3% premium...there is no grey is just complex Additional info available in this article: In conclusion, if you see the 3% premium as an additional tax on landlords and second home owners then you see why it is not overly generous towards us! Basically, you are being punished for buying investment property before you bought your own home. It sounds illogical and unfair but those are the rules unfortunately. Best Richard
  14. Hi Charlie No problem, glad you found the post helpful I saw your PM here and replied. WRT HMO financing, yes a buy cash and refinance post-conversion having operated it as an HMO for a period of time (say 6 months but check lender criteria with a broker) should release a large chunk of cash to allow you to go again. I normally budget on releasing something like 80% to 90% of my initial cash but sometimes it can be higher, depending on how much of an 'actual HMO' vs. a standard house just with separate bedrooms in it the property became. Things like ensuite bathrooms, licensing, planning and that kind of thing will improve the level of cash recycling potential (via a higher investment valuation) rather than just renting a 4 bed house with a bed also in the lounge to make it a 5-bed HMO. Best Richard
  15. Hi Charles A few things in your post caught my eye and are probably common among many starting out...passive investment, location, financing and returns in particular stood out. Starting with passive investing...that was the subject of my most recent article in YPN magazine, if you would like a subscription-free copy of the piece just get in touch. However, as a bit of a investment is truly fully passive, or should be not 100% passive I should say! See the attached graphic that I have prepared for another purpose...a single HMO sits somewhere along the Deck Chair (next-to-no time) to the Captains Chair (part-time) depending on a few factors including who is managing the property and whether it is 'ready-made' or not. Investment location is another factor as you mention...and what's wrong with Hull then? City of culture, a well-thought of Uni and new inward investment in renewable energy are just some of the reasons why it can be an excellent investment location. Always remember that property investing is first and foremost a business undertaking, based on the numbers. OK, so if you live in Bristol, then Hull is certainly a bit of a trek, but if by passive you intend to pass over the day-to-day to somebody else, then why not Hull? 9% net is VERY decent for a hand-off investment I would say. Liverpool and Manchester offer attractive propositions also, so I am sure you can make an investment work there too. That said, exactly where in Liverpool and Manchester is highly relevant indeed. Investing for income (as implied by your message), often comes at the expense of capital growth BUT strong rental demand, with a likelihood for continued demand (without supply saturation creeping in) would see a 'proper HMO' rise in value over time as it should be valued off it's net rental income. Lots more I could say here, but do your thorough homework not just on a city but also on the actual neighbourhood you plan to invest in. How many HMOs are there, what is the ratio of supply to demand, what tenant type, what long-term rental drivers exist, is there a barrier to entry of some sort, and so on? Financing - yes, this can be tricky for 'first-time landlords' especially with an HMO but it's not impossible. Maybe you won't have the whole market open to you on day one but there should be a solution of some sort. A good broker will be able to help you establish that for certain (I know a couple if you want a referral). That said, if you were to buy using cash, rent it for 6 months and then get a commercial mortgage (or BTL specifically for HMOs), then you will have a lot more options as then you will be classed as an 'experienced HMO landlord' Do not take a resi mortgage under any circumstances - that's the wrong tool for the job. Do not get a standard BTL mortgage for an HMO either, unless you do a conversion and / or fully disclose this to your lender from the outset...again a broker is key here. Investment returns - ah the magic 10% eh? Yes, it's possible if you are talking ROI on cash funds invested and that's my min criteria also. As an inexperienced property investor it may not always be possible even if you do lots of research on Hull, Liverpool or Manchester and pick well. Lots of factors have an impact on net returns, including voids, maintenance, finance fees, tax (these days), management fees, licensing and so on...But IF after taking ALL costs into consideration you land at 9% net, then that is a very healthy return indeed I would suggest. Of course, you could also take a closer look at some of the most passive investments in the Deck Chair column of my graphic and venture down one of those paths instead. We can and do get pretty close to a 10% net return on a passive investment in two of those options with the people we partner with, just ask me how in a private message / email if you are interested in that. I hope that helps...but if nothing else, don't give up on Hull just yet! Best Richard