Property Investment – what would you buy?

Property Investment – what would you buy?

15:03 PM, 22nd July 2013, About 10 years ago 26

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Whenever I walk down a high street I can’t help looking through the window of the local estate agents and letting agents.

I stand there working out rental yields and often I get tempted to buy.

Do you ever do that?

Property Investment - what would you buy to let?The only reason I stopped buying a few years ago is that I had already achieved all of my financial goals having been in the property investment business for over 20 years. For me it was time to stop investing and to start living.

My current lifestyle is only possible as a result of many years of building my property portfolio.

Over the years I have created systems for everything I do in terms of property investment and property/tenant management and it’s those systems which now afford me the luxuries in life of freedom and opportunity to do what I enjoy best. It’s not all about travelling, spending time with family and sitting on beaches though. I love to engage with other landlords, hence my commitment to sharing best practice on this property forum which, as you may be aware, is funded entirely by donations and sponsorships.

Some of the most common questions I get asked are; how did you do it, is it still possible, what would you do if you were starting again today? Well if you read all 6,000+ posts on Property118 you will get a good idea, however, I’ve been thinking to myself that there must be an easier way to share what I know and to make it relevant to what’s happening in the buy to let property investment business today.

The idea I came up with is to ask you (Property118 readers) where you would consider buying. I will then investigate that area, select a property that I would buy myself (if I was still investing) and explain why. More to the point, I will also document how I would finance, let, manage and maintain the property along with the “desk top due diligence” I would ordinarily do prior to committing to viewing a property with a view to making purchase.

Would you find that useful?

If so, please leave a comment in the section below and let me know which areas you would like me to investigate.

Now I won’t necessarily pick the same properties that you would. That’s because we are all different and we all have a variety of motives for investing into property. Therefore, please don’t ask me to look into high yielding properties such as HMO’s, student properties or housing for state supported tenants as that’s not what I know about. I don’t know much about very high value properties either, my market is far more akin to properties which will appeal to Mr and Mrs Average, either with children of school age or retired. What you might find useful, even if we do do pick different properties, is the way I go about making my decisions.

I will assume that in every case I have access to up to £100,000 cash to invest. Based upon my findings I will explain how many properties I would buy using that money, how much finance I raise in terms of mortgages and how much capital I would retain for a rainy day.

The types of properties I will be selecting will be as follows:-

  1. Decent low maintenance properties in decent areas to attract decent low maintenance tenants
  2. NET cashflow return based on NET capital invested will be greater than could be achieved from a bank or building society
  3. Easy to re-sell or re-let in all market conditions
  4. Prospects for capital growth over the medium to log term, i.e. seven to 20 years

So back to my question, what areas (towns and or cities) would you like me to look into and why?Property Investment - what would you buy


Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

13:10 PM, 24th July 2013, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Graham Clark" at "24/07/2013 - 13:04":

Hi Graham, in that case you will probably enjoy the series of articles I wrote a few years back, particularly part one linked below and part 4 "Sell or hold after completing a refurbishment?"

Link to part one here >>>

Jayne Owen

14:10 PM, 24th July 2013, About 10 years ago

Hi Mark. A fantastic idea for a post, if brave!! I too would be interested in your insights into Bristol as am starting to think about venturing over the (Severn) Bridge into foreign territory. 😉

andrew townshend

18:11 PM, 24th July 2013, About 10 years ago

i am a norfolk boy , and don t venture too far, i like the Victorian terraced, down side they are old, the up side they have stood for over 100 yrs and through 2 world wars. local people seem to like them and they let well. modern developer built homes certainly will not still be standing in 100 yrs time, these houses are normally signed off not by a building inspector , but by an architect employed by the developer, conflict of interest ?

Allie Farr

20:26 PM, 24th July 2013, About 10 years ago

Great thread, I'd be interested in hearing your views on Manchester, particularly Levenshulme, Longsight or Burnage.


Nettie Osborne

22:24 PM, 24th July 2013, About 10 years ago

The area for me is Cornwall, namely Truro, the County's beautiful city but seaside resorts do generate good holiday rentals. Bearing in mind holiday lets, by their very nature require more labour involvement because of the weekly/fortnightly cleaning costs. Do you think good city residential lets or holiday lets. Would be grateful for your comments.

Many thanks. Nettie

22:43 PM, 24th July 2013, About 10 years ago

Hi Mark

My brother lives in St Albans so we are keen to do a btl in North London or Hertfordshire area but are not sure where. You ideas would be most welcome



Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

7:33 AM, 25th July 2013, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Nettie Osborne" at "24/07/2013 - 22:24":

Hi Nettie, I've never done holiday lets but Vanessa Warwick, a good friend of mine who has posted above, has done both. I know that Vanessa is far more passionate about her holiday lets but whether that's due to the financial returns or just her love of the areas she's purchased in I don't really know. Perhaps Vanessa could comment further? Vanessa also runs a forum called Property Tribes and she may well have a article there on the subject which she could link you to.

sally lloyd

10:20 AM, 25th July 2013, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Sarah Bentall" at "23/07/2013 - 12:19":

It depends what condition you want a property to be in. I bought two very run down properties for cash last year which i found easily. However this year it is a different story, estate agents are telling me for every 1 investment flat there are 15 investors and a lack of stock so prices are going up quite a lot from last year.

As Vanessa says in Hastings you have to really know the area as there are a lot of social problems here in certain areas and you can be burnt quite easily. But there are also some up and coming areas too but they are being grabbed up quickly.Be careful where you buy.

Vanessa Warwick

13:09 PM, 25th July 2013, About 10 years ago

Hi Nettie (thanks for the heads up Mark!),

Mark is right. I am a big advocate of holiday lets and believe them to be one of the growth areas of property investment.

My video: Holiday Lets Myths -Busted! pretty much answers your questions:

The only thing I will say about Cornish holiday lets is that they can be very seasonal. That is why I prefer the East Sussex coast, as it has year round activity and you can tap into the "London long weekenders" market as it is only 1.5 hours from London. This increases occupancy massively.

The Holiday Lets Tribe on Property Tribes is chock full of information on how to source a holiday let with year round occupancy potential, how to market a holiday let to achieve maximum occupancy, trends in holiday lets etc etc. It is probably the best resource for anyone interested in holiday lets in the U.K.

Hope that helps Nettie and I am speaking about holiday lets at the Sussex Property Networking event in Brighton on 2nd October if you are interested to hear my presentation.

PLEASE NOTE: Property Tribes is under-going a face-lift today and there may be a few technical issues. Please bear with us as normal service should be resumed by the end of the day!! Thank you.

Jas Gupta

18:50 PM, 25th July 2013, About 10 years ago

Hmmm...very interesting
I am keen on your thoughts on Durham particularly DH1 postcode

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