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New Year, new goals

ninja learning Jan 05, 2021

So here we are at the beginning of another year.  While we couldn’t have predicted how 2020 went, the people who have come through it best are those who were able to flex and rethink their strategies quickly.

If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll know I believe that mind-set is the key to success.  Successful people believe in themselves and their abilities.  Successful people also set goals.

As the Cheshire Cat pointed out to Alice ‘If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.’

Given the unexpected events of the last year, that might seem counter-intuitive.  After all, if you set goals in January 2020, the chances are that, by the end of March, they’d become difficult, if not impossible to achieve.  But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set goals.

Goals are not set in concrete - they’re an end result to be achieved.  You don’t ‘do’ a goal,...

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How do you recycle your cash?

ninja learning Dec 20, 2020


I have converted an end-terrace into two flats and these are both listed for sale. The building is presently owned by the Ltd Company as one freehold, unencumbered, with individual leaseholds to be drafted to prospective purchasers once sold.

Whilst I wait for these to sell, what options exist for raising finance towards the purchase of the next project?  What LTV ratios and lending rates could I expect to be offered?  Assuming that any form of traditional bank lending is a non-starter, what type of lenders could I approach?

Having all cash tied up in this one asset obviously results in quite the large opportunity cost!


Leveraging your cash into the next deal is the perennial problem for developers and there is a simple answer to your conundrum, but if you are thinking of using a mortgage, forget it, it’s a non-starter.  No mortgage lender lends when they can see the property is on the market to sell.  Nor do they lend when they know...

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Is your property portfolio by accident or design?

ninja learning Dec 05, 2020

When you start a career in property your first purchases are often more by chance than planned, but once you’ve caught the property bug it’s important to start thinking ahead.

It’s a fact that people spend more time planning their holidays (and that’s gone really well this year!) than planning their careers!  However, there’s been a long-term survey running that has proven over and over again that the top 5% most successful people in the world have one thing in common - they are driven by goals and follow their plans with dedication.

This means that if you want to be successful, you need some goals, a plan to achieve them and the right mind-set to help you to achieve more easily.

Goals don’t work!

Goals are dreams you’re prepared to take action on - but they don’t happen without a bit of effort. 

Firstly, goals need to be specific.  ‘More buy-to-let properties’ isn’t a goal, it’s not measurable...

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How to Get 100% of the Purchase Price

ninja learning Nov 20, 2020


Is it possible to finance a well below market value property with 100% of the purchase price via bridging - and then refinance the next day to a BTL mortgage? Doing this would you get a true valuation of the correct value when you refinance and not the BMV purchase price?


The chances of you borrowing 100% of the purchase price are remote.  The only ways you might be able to do this are:

  • To pick the property up 30%+ below the asking price
  • Put up a property you own already with little or no mortgage on it as additional security.

There are a few bridgers who will lend on value rather than purchase price and this will reduce, rather than eliminate, the need for a deposit.

For refinance, you won’t get it mortgaged on day one, but you can get it remortgaged within 6 months by using the right mortgage lenders.  However, be prepared to pay more than leading market rates for this.

There is only one way to get it valued above purchase price paid - do...

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3 Strategies to Build Your Property Investment Cash Pot

ninja learning Nov 05, 2020

The biggest challenge for property investors is cash flow.  First you have to have a chunk of cash to get started - and then your cash is trapped in the property you purchase.

If you have aspirations to become a buy-to-let (BTL) landlord, then you need to find a way to build your portfolio - without it taking years.  That’s the route to quitting your day job and being able to live comfortably off your property investments.

Here are three ways to invest make quick profits and get your money out fast.

1: Flip

This means you buy a property and sell it at a profit as quickly as possible.  Why isn’t everyone doing this?  Because some people see it as too risky - but with the right finance strategy, it’s not as risky as they think.

You may refurb a property to improve its value - but some people don’t even do that.  If you can find good bargains at auction it’s actually not that difficult to resell properties at a higher price, even...

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Bridging to cover refurbs

bridging finance Oct 20, 2020


Which bridging companies offer both normal bridging and refurb bridging?


The problem with this request is:

  1. Any bridger you approach directly is not going to tell you if other bridgers can do you a better deal and, unless you are very experienced using bridging finance, you won’t really know if the offer is competitive.
  2. Just because a bridging lender did a good deal for someone, doesn't mean they will have the best terms for your deal.  It’s a bit like asking for a recommendation for a car.  Someone might extoll the virtues of their Mini, but that’s irrelevant for someone with 4 kids and 2.

My suggestion is to use an experienced bridging broker that can analyse your needs and pick the most suitable bridger for you.

The Ninja Investor Programme trains investors to use bridging intelligently and I’m a partner in a brokerage that has brokered hundreds of bridging deals, so I do know what I’m talking about!

Only a...

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What is a sophisticated investor?

ninja learning Oct 05, 2020

It’s not someone who wears designer suits and likes fine wines!  If you’re getting into the property market it can be tempting to get someone with money to invest in your property purchase, to help to get your portfolio moving.  But any joint venture (JV) partner who is investing cash MUST qualify as a sophisticated investor - according to the FCA.

This is also known as Directive PS13/3.

It covers a range of categories of investment - and includes property deals.  So, before you consider getting into a JV, you need to be sure that your potential investor qualifies as a sophisticated investor or falls into one of the excluded categories.

What is an Unregulated Collective Investment?

Any financial deal that offers a split of the profits and, by definition, a split of the losses; and you cannot guarantee that your project will make a profit.

The FCA’s viewpoint is that an unsophisticated investor can’t do an accurate analysis of what is - or is...

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Lease option or delayed completion?

Uncategorized Sep 20, 2020


I’ve managed to secure a 3-year lease option on a large 3 bedroom, 2 reception room house.  It has an annexe attached to the rear, already set up as a studio, which I will SA straight away after mild refurbishing and decorating.

The question is, how do I finance the initial conversion of the house into an HMO with an investor if we are not going to execute the purchase option potentially for nearly 3 years?  It will stack up as all money out on commercial refinance once done to my plans,

I'm wondering do I treat it as a similar scenario to exchange with a delayed completion, do the work and go for the purchase/refinance ASAP with the benefit of not having to have paid a deposit or stamp duty until we actually purchase or do I do a small conversion and run it for a few years first?

Luckily, there is no mortgage on the property; it’s currently owned by a retired couple who are fairly well off.

Basically, how on earth do I present it to an investor...

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What’s holding you back?

Uncategorized Sep 05, 2020

Have you ever bought a great programme online, sounded brilliant and you eagerly accessed the first module, but life got in the way and you never finished it?

Whether it was an online learning programme, a course of coaching, an ebook (or manual) - with all the secrets and systems you needed to make it work, it’s easy to get ‘too busy’ to actually work through it.  Some people call it procrastination, some people call it laziness, your Mum probably says you never finish anything - but we’re all human.

Regardless of whether you start with the best intentions in mind, any trainer will tell you that if their delegates leave the training course and change ONE THING, they’re doing well.

Change means discomfort; you’ve heard people say it, ‘you’ve got to get out of your comfort zone’.  That’s true, but our subconscious is very, very good at finding reasons why not.  Not stupid or ridiculous reasons, but good...

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Calculating the value of lease options


We have an option to buy a commercial property for £200k, which is it’s current worth.  During the lease period, we plan to enhance the building to double it’s worth to £400k.

If we exercise the option and proceed to completion.  The vendor wants his £200k and that's what will be recorded on the Land Registry as the sale price, but we want to borrow against the £400k value.

Will any lenders look at lending against market value rather than purchase price if we can prove the value added during lease period?


There are two issues here:

  1. When getting a mortgage to purchase, mortgage lenders invariably lend on the LOWER of the purchase price or value. They may recognise that you have added value, but there is very little, if any, chance that they will base the amount they are willing to lend on it.  Their offer will be based on the purchase price you actually paid.
  2. More importantly, the lender may decline to lend...
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