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Who will live in your properties?

buy to let Apr 04, 2020

If you’re a landlord you need tenants - not least because you’ve got a mortgage to pay or a bridging loan to pay back.  When you purchase a property do you have an idea of who will want to rent it?

If you’re doing a refurb your potential tenants may influence your choice of décor and layout.  For instance:

Student accommodation needs to be robust and easy to clean, so no fancy wallpaper and plenty of workspace will be needed in the kitchen to accommodate more than one meal being prepared at a time.  An efficient and cost-effective hot-water system is important for high demands for showers, laundry and kitchen use.

A family home can offer more up-market fixtures and fittings to make it attractive to potential occupants.  Generally, it’s wise to decorate in neutral colours to avoid alienating a possible tenant who doesn’t like a particular strong colour.

Finding your tenant

This depends on how much effort you want to put in.

  • If...
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Refurb and flip

buy to let Oct 05, 2019

Many property investors focus on buying property, adding value by refurbing and then reselling or refinancing as a buy-to-let.  It’s the core of most property investment.

Of course, there are many other strategies, but let’s look at how you make finance a refurb and flip effectively.

1:  Find a suitable property

This might be a property with a motivated buyer where you can negotiate a deal below market value.  This will benefit you in reducing the amount of capital you will have to invest.

2: Calculate refurb costs

It’s important to do this exercise carefully - no guesstimates.  The refurb needs to improve the value of the property too or you’ll lose money on the deal, especially if you plan to resell right after refurb. 

Getting your money out and repaying your loan should leave you with a healthy profit.  Work out what you want to make on the deal, then work out exactly what your refurb will cost.  When you’ve got...

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100% finance – too good to be true?

buy to let Sep 25, 2019

If you’ve been in property a while you may remember the halcyon days of 100% finance for buy-to-let mortgages.  Sadly, all long gone, since the credit crunch sent the banks running for higher ground where deposits are required.

I’ve just discovered that there’s a new player in the field offering 100% finance for development projects. 

This is a finance opportunity for new build or conversion projects looking for £500K upwards.  They are offering 100% finance in return for a 50:50 share of the profits for the right deals.  It’s virtually a JV, with a sophisticated investor who understands property.

Usually a developer needs to front up between 30-50% of the land purchase to get the project going, but this new finance option will lend 100% - with a few criteria.

Do you qualify?

  • The loan can be from £500K upwards.
  • There’s NO INTEREST – but the profit on the gross development value (GDV) of the project must be at least...
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Bridge-to-let finance - one lender or two?

THE QUESTION

I’ve heard that if you use the same lender for the refinance on a buy/refurb/refinance project you can get down-valued.  Does that mean you should always use different lenders?

THE ANSWER

There are very few lenders offering bridge-to-let products, essentially it requires a mortgage lender who is also happy to offer a bridging product and lenders like that are a rarity among mortgage lenders.

The advantage is that for a buy/refurb/refinance project, you can move seamlessly from bridge to mortgage without extra fees or needing to wait 6 months to apply to for refinance.

Bear in mind that, compared to a true bridger, the initial underwriting can take longer (massively longer with one B2L lender) because they are underwriting the mortgage at the back end to begin with, not just the bridging part. 

Also the mortgage rate at the back end may also not be as competitive, depending on the work you are doing to improve the property, as you could get by separating...

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One building, five flats

buy to let Apr 10, 2019

THE QUESTION

If I buy a property with five flats and then split the titles and try to get 5 BTLs mortgages for the flats: would there be an issue with mortgage providers not being willing to provide mortgages in the same building?

THE ANSWER

Simple answer - yes. This issue confuses a lot of investors.

  1. You cannot be both freeholder and leaseholder, so the freeholder must be a separate entity to the leaseholder/s. Often this means using/creating a Ltd Co to own the freehold
  2. BTL lenders have over exposure rules. This means they restrict lending in any given block to 20/25% of the total number of flats. In this case, five flats means you will need to find five different lenders
  3. BTL lenders don’t like the same entity owning all the leases in a building.  So having all five leases in the name of the same leaseholder will cause problems.  You may not need five different people on each of these leases, but you will need a minimum of two each owning two or three leases....
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BTL mortgages for HMOs

THE QUESTION

What method of financing do you use to purchase a property to convert to an HMO, before re-financing to an HMO product?  I'm being told by a broker it won't be possible to get a mortgage, (not due to the fact the house is not mortgageable, but due to the fact I’ll be carrying out ‘extensive works’) and that I have to use bridging.

Are there any mortgage lenders who will allow you to do works on a property?  What are the parameters for this?

Or is bridging my only option?

THE ANSWER

Your broker is correct in so far as no mortgage lender would allow you to do the level of work required to convert a property to an HMO, whilst you had a mortgage with them.

It’s not so much that lenders don’t allow you to do work to improve the property, they do, but converting to an HMO and then filling it with multiple tenants breaches the T&Cs for that type of mortgage, which usually allows only one AST for the property.  The result is that...

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Honey, I shrunk the deposit!

When it comes to investing in property the big challenge, especially for newbies, is getting enough money in the bank to pay that all important 25% deposit.  Depending on where you are buying property that can run to many thousands of pounds.

So what if you could trim that 25% down to nearer 10%?

Here’s the strategy:

Step 1:  Complete the purchase – using bridging finance rather than a BTL mortgage.  Some properties won’t be mortgageable anyway, but that doesn’t mean they’re a bad buy.

Step 2: A quick exchange of contracts.  This can be done as soon as your loan is approved and as soon as your solicitor is able to arrange it.  We should be talking days here, rather than weeks and certainly not months.

Step 3: Quick completion.  Again, that will be as fast as your solicitor is able to do it. Often this will be in 28 days or even quicker.

Step 4: Execute your exit strategy from the day of purchase.  This means if...

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Does flipping after three months affect mortgage potential

buy to let Jan 20, 2019

THE QUESTION

I’m flipping a house after three months,  I’ve heard most lenders won’t lend against a property unless I (the seller) have owned it for at least six months!, is this right?

THE ANSWER

That’s true to a point, but it depends on the lender.  A number of BTL lenders impose this restriction on the seller.

However, you shouldn’t really be selling to other investors as they view it as a logical rather than emotional purchase, often not wanting to pay full market value.

Main residence lenders are different, to a degree.  There are some that still impose the same restriction on sellers, but it is not across the board by any means.

So your buyers will not have access to all lenders (subject to their circumstances) until you have owned the property for 6 months.  The net result of that is they may be excluded from some market leading deals.

The key here from people who successfully sell within 6 months is - transparency.  You...

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No cash? No problem!

The problem with buying property as an investment is that you need to have enough money to put down as a deposit – and then it’s locked into your property for six months or more, until you can remortgage.  The days of ‘no money down’ mortgages are gone; you need a deposit to get any mortgage these days, usually 25% of your purchase price.

At this rate you’ll be lucky to add two properties a year to your portfolio, unless you have a big nest egg.

The secret is not to lock your capital into a mortgage, but to use creative financial packages specially developed for property investors.

Do you fit the buy-to-let lender’s typical profile?

Don’t lenders love property investors, because they have plenty of assets so their mortgage is secure?

No!

Buy-to-let lenders like their clients to have a nice, secure full-time job earning a minimum of £25,000 a year and have their own cash for at least a 25% deposit.  If you have too many...

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How to get your money back

buy to let ninja learning Mar 13, 2018

If you’ve been in property a while you’ll remember the balmy days of 100% mortgages and 24 hour remortgages.  Things are tougher today and property investors need to be innovative to continue to invest in property and not end up with your capital trapped in bricks and mortar.

Many investors now think the only way to invest in property is to have saved up a substantial wad of cash to put down the 25% deposits required by most buy-to-let (BTL) lenders.

That’s not true – and a smart investor can actually increase their profits, rather than barely get by – if they know how.

Lenders have rewritten the rules

Before the credit crunch you could get 85% loan-to-value (LTV), you could get a same day remortgage and you could buy below-market-value and remortgage at true value.

Now things have changed.  These mortgages no longer exist and ‘no money down’ strategies are usually the result of hiding how the property is being financed from the...

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