First Time Buyer (BTL)

First Time Buyer (BTL)

7:41 AM, 23rd January 2014, About 10 years ago 15

Text Size

Hello Mark,

I hope you are well and I will keep this short as I know you get asked a lot of questions.

I am a youngish guy, with no dependants. I have roughly £35k sat in the bank and am keen to getting into property investment. I would love to know if the following sounds like a valid strategy for getting started on my first purchase.

Start in Scotland:

Put £15k down on a £60k 1 bed flat ( there are a few ive seen in decent areas)

A £45k mortage on interest only (5%)  runs me £187 per month

Rental income of £450 per month

Gross yield of 9% p.a

Net yield after costs I get roughly 4.8-5%

Net cashflow is +£100 per month after costs

With that,Ii would have £20k in the bank, with property one earning me £100 per month and hopefully growing in value and rental yield over time. Even on my £15k, that £100 is equivalent of 8% interest pre tax.

I then save up more cash and invest another £15-20k in a property worth £60-80k and keep going from there?

I  am not too risk averse, so would like to build a portfolio reasonably quickly, but I am aware I need cash flow and a big chunk of savings to cover any unexpected costs and periods of vacancy. However, I figure starting with a small property is a good way to dip my toes into property and I can cover the mortgage even if I have no tenants in there for an extended period of time. First Time Buyer (BTL)

Any advice appreciated.



Share This Article


Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

7:49 AM, 23rd January 2014, About 10 years ago

Hi Scott

Your plan sound remarkably sensible to me, it's pretty much the way I started out.

Remember that building a property portfolio is a bit like eating a whole cow. Impossible to do quickly but very manageable if you do it a bit at a time.

I have written a series of articles which explains how I got started and the strategies I developed along the way to minimise my risks and maximise my returns, I hope you will find this helpful, please see >>>

Good luck and by all means use this thread to post any further questions.

Fed Up Landlord

8:07 AM, 23rd January 2014, About 10 years ago

While running the risk of incurring the wrath of Scottish landlords, does it have to be Scotland? The Scottish Nationalists are not big landlord fans. Look at the way they have stopped any fees being charged to tenants and piled it all on the landlords. Therefore factor in higher letting costs each time you have a void. I also recall they are looking at compulsory landlord licensing which will not be cheap.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

8:13 AM, 23rd January 2014, About 10 years ago

Hi Scott

The other thing I forgot to mention is that laws in Scotland are very different to England and Wales, particularly in respect of letting. Accordingly, I would strongly recommend that you become a member of the Scottish Association on Landlords - please see >>>

Neil Patterson

8:53 AM, 23rd January 2014, About 10 years ago

Good luck with your new venture Scott and as Mark says you sound eminently sensible considering it is your first step.

Don't forget our finance tab >>

And if you need any help just email me

9:25 AM, 23rd January 2014, About 10 years ago

Hi Scott,

Your plan sounds very sensible and you have received some good advice from others, to ensure that your move forwards safely and profitably.

Whilst the numbers stacking is vital, its also hugely important to ascertain tenant demand before going about creating a supply. 🙂

What research have you done to establish that there will be a lot of tenants interested in this property?

Are there private tenants in the area or is it mainly LHA?

I wrote a list of 21 questions to ask at an investment property viewing:

I hope you find them useful.

Best of luck, and, when starting out, slow and steady is the best way to go.

You will learn so much from the first property, you can then apply your new learnings to move yourself forward more quickly as you gain knowledge and experience.

9:38 AM, 23rd January 2014, About 10 years ago

Hi Scott

Mark Alexander is my brother, I manage the entire Alexander family portfolio.

On my website I have documented the strategy used by all members of our family to attract the best possible tenants, please see >>>

National-Lettings does operate in Scotland.

We wish you well with your new venture.

Scottish Association of Landlords

9:40 AM, 23rd January 2014, About 10 years ago

Hi Scott

We have compulsory landlord registration here in Scotland and as the OPs say most of the laws around letting are different to those south of the Border.

Joining the Association gives you access to Scots law helpline, all the documents for letting, free training via our sister organisation Landlord Accreditation Scotland and access to our branch network and events - great for contacts. We also publish Landlord Focus magazine and regular enewsletters plus much much more.

Landlord membership is £90 per year and the full amount is allowable on your tax return as a professional subscription.

Mandy Thomson

10:24 AM, 23rd January 2014, About 10 years ago

Hi Scott,

I would agree that there are additional regulations and costs imposed on landlords in Scotland as opposed to England and Wales.
I agree too that starting off small is good - however, this very much depends on the area and the type of tenant looking to rent in that area.
I only let properties in one Greater London area - these have so far only been 1 bed flats, and have been snapped up very quickly by young professionals, as they are near good transport links to both Central London and other large business centres. I have excellent tenants who have never missed a rent payment or caused any trouble. However, a friend of mine let his 2 bed terraced house in the same area when he moved abroad - he had a lot of trouble attracting the right tenant as most non LHA tenants in that area are young professionals looking for their first home (i.e. a small flat).
Mandy Thomson
*Moderator removed website link*

Some One

13:51 PM, 23rd January 2014, About 10 years ago

Is this near where you live? ie: Can you get there easily if/when there are problems. For your first go I think it is important to have it nearby in a location that you know.

Mandy Thomson

14:09 PM, 23rd January 2014, About 10 years ago

I think you should definitely arrange to visit during the first six months of the tenancy, just to see how the tenant is looking after the property.
Having said that, I currently live on the other side of London, and before that I lived in Nottingham - so no, I couldn't get there quickly. However, even if I could, I'm not a plumber, electrician or builder, so I would be calling on someone else in any case - this can be a challenge when you rent out - finding reliable and value for money tradesmen (cowboy tradesmen can do as much damage as bad letting agents!). My advice here is the same whether you live in the property yourself or rent out - get someone recommended who belongs to a trading organisation such as Federation of Master Builders. Sites such as MyBuilder and Trustmark make this easier.
I have good, self reliant tenants (again, due diligence to find the right tenant is crucial), so I know that if they contact me with a problem, it is a genuine problem that they can't resolve themselves.
Mandy Thomson

1 2

Leave Comments

In order to post comments you will need to Sign In or Sign Up for a FREE Membership


Don't have an account? Sign Up

Landlord Tax Planning Book Now