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

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Frances Jones

12:14 PM, 26th July 2013, About 10 years ago

Cardiff please 🙂 I am ready to go and invest there this autumn so would find your comments most welcome.


9:20 AM, 5th August 2013, About 10 years ago

Hi Mark

Im watching this post with interest.

Hartlepool, North East of England would be my area, not sure if you will have the time to answer all these requests! 🙂


17:22 PM, 5th August 2013, About 10 years ago

I'm currently considering investing in a property/properties around Londonderry, BT47, would be interested in your thoughts. Thank you

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

17:47 PM, 5th August 2013, About 10 years ago

Hello all

I have to admit to being somewhat overwhelmed by the number of responses to this thread. It could take me months, perhaps even years to get around to responding to you all in the detail I would have wanted to.

So far I have reviewed one development in the Greater Manchester area - see >>>

At least that will give you some level of insight into what I look for from a purely financial perspective.

As a quick answer in terms of what I would be looking into first in all the areas mentioned I'd have to say Bungalows. I wrote an article explaining why I like bungalows so much a while back - see >>>

That particular article is primarily focussed on buying bungalows to refurbish and sell on for a profit. If the numbers make sense to hold them that's what I would do though.

I also wrote an article on how I decide whether to refinance and hold or to sell post refurbishment - see >>>

I'm really sorry if this feels like a bit of a cop out on my part at this stage but there are only so many hours in the day. That said, rest assured, I will be reviewing a lot more opportunities over the coming months and years I promise you so keep the suggestion flowing and I will get around to it at some point.

If you would like to incentivise me to prioritise your request then see >>> 😉

Isabel Stone

16:07 PM, 9th August 2017, About 6 years ago

Ahhhh this is a great article!! I love love it! Me and my husband have been looking into property development for a while now so it’s great to come across an article like this! Because he doesn’t actually have a pension, we’ve been thinking about using the property ladder instead as a type of monetary buffering when we come to retirement (if we even ever do). We’ve spent quite a lot of time thinking about and researching the different types of investments. Originally we were going to do student accommodation as that seemed like a sure fire winner, but I’ve read lots of articles and spoken to a few people, and it does seem like there can be some real problems at times with that kind of investment, which has admittedly put us off! However we have actually been thinking about looking into serviced apartments as an investment. Has anyone else invested in this type of property? Tbh it didn’t really occur to us until after we’d actually stayed in one ourselves, and loveeddd it. It just seemed like the ideal type of investment, where we could even stay in ourselves at times (I want to get one by the beach now haha). Anyways I was kind of wondering if anyone A) had any pieces of advice for us about the whole property market thing in general as that’s always massively helpful! I mean is serviced apartments a good option? We’ve done a lot of research and reading it certainly appears to be! And if people do think it’s a good option then B) we’d love to know of any good places that we can invest in! My husband mentioned a place to me called Emerging Property. Has anyone heard of them? Or even more ideally used them? My husband seems really keen to invest in them as he says from his research they sound really good but I just wanted to see if anyone else had used them first! If anyone can tell us of their experience with them that would be amazing! Or even any other suggestions would be incredible! Thank you everyone - we’re very much at sea here so any help or advice is incredibly appreciated x

** Moderated - website link removed as this breaches our House Rules - see link below **

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

16:18 PM, 9th August 2017, About 6 years ago

Hi Isabel

If you are looking into serviced accommodation then I'd stick to the major cities where AIRBNB management companies operate.

Talk to them about gaps in demand, find properties meeting that criteria, do the numbers, and if if makes sense then fill that demand.

Beware companies offering "armchair investments". I have never come across anybody who has a good word to say about that business model after they've invested.

I have never heard of the company you are asking about but I did find a forum discussion (linked below) regarding a business with that name.

I hope that helps.

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