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  • Buy-to-Let

    Overwhelmed by BTL

    I came into some money about 3 years ago and wish I had invested then when there still seemed to be decent yield.

    Unfortunately I was just not psychologically ready as I had been through a bereavement and never expected to have a significant amount of capital.

    I would really like to use it to generate an income that could help towards retirement in about 20 years time and I'm not too worried about capital growth although I would like to at the least preserve the capital.

    One of the difficulties seems to be that to make it work it needs to be fairly local so you have the option of managing it yourself and finding your own tenants once you start to get the hang of it.  Yields seem lean at the moment and always having them reduced by 12% management fee makes things even tighter.

    Part of the problem with this is that places I could see myself wanting to live eg Bournemouth, Southampton have seen a lot of price rises so those are places where yields are tighter.

    I did consider chasing yield in one of the Northern cities but have moved away from that for reasons outlined above.

    I also see possible threats to the UK economy over the coming decades and wonder if now is the time to invest.


    Possible break of EU

    Structural changes in economy due to coming wave of automation.

    What will BTL look like when 10 millions workers are no longer needed as machines can do their jobs cheaper and better.

    I know it's a bit of a wide ranging post but I would be really interested in what others would do in my situation given my goals are: Stable Income and Capital preservation.


    Hi J,

    Welcome to the tribe. Smile

    I started in BTL nearly 15 years ago, and I had similar questions to you!  So many "what if's ...?".  

    I am a great believer that, if you commit to something 100%, you will survive and prosper.  You change your mindset from "what if ... ?" to "how to ... ?".

    Start slowly, find your feet, and build up gradually.  It's not a race or competition.

    Because I found BTL overwhelming to start with myself, I created this post.

    How to get started in BTL ... in 10 easy steps. 

    Work through it ... don't skip any steps.

    None of us can predict the future, we have to just take action in the NOW, so that another 3 year's doesn't go by without you buying anything, because one thing I can guarantee you is that time is going to pass.

    These posts may also be of interest:

    9 irrefutable reasons why property is still a viable investment + Landlord Survival

    Top 10 Property Tribes resources for novice landlords and BTL investors

    Get educated, get informed, get the right team around you, take intelligent action every day, become an expert in due diligence, keep working towards your goals and you won't go far wrong.

    Dive in!  Once in the water and taking action, you will find the water is fine! Smile


    I think I would look into holiday lets in the Bournemouth area.


    thank you so much Vanessa,

    I wish I had found this forum 3 years ago Smile


    I don't think you could have found a worse time to invest in UK property today

    My own advice is stay out for now None of us know the strokes the govt will pull

    That is your biggest danger the Govt

    Taxation is the biggest enemy  which ever way you decide to invest be it via a company or in your own name

    If you can afford to buy for cash go a head 

    Get the next budget over first lets see what Hammond has in mind for us


    Learn Change and Adapt ?????

    You waited 3 years  for valid and understandable reasons .

    I waited 16 years after my first purchase and kicked myself because of it

    But no point regretting the past  - you just play catch up

    DL says she doesn't think you could have found a worse time  to invest than today

    That`s impossible to say of course because no one knows what the future holds

    I bought 4 in 2007 right at the peak before the crash

    People could well have said the same thing then to me

    But In 2017 ten years later they cash flow well and are worth 250K more

    An investor will complete this week on a property in Bournemouth and Southampton

    In 10 or 20 years I bet they will be glad they made that purchase in 2017

    The fundamentals are still there.

    Serious experienced investors out there are planning to purchase this year

    So don`t be put off by doom mongers but yes plan well and be aware of whats going on around you

    Its a long game but property prices will double again in time - that`s 99.9% certain in my book

    My first property was 18K in 1993 . Its now  worth about 125K .  Seven times as much

    Think 2027 then  2037 then  2047 ... it takes the pressure off I find


    Jonathan Clarke. http://www.buytoletmk.com

    Having become an 'accidental landlord' by virtue of bereavement, I can relate so much to this.  

    When my dad died last year, leaving me with 2 houses (one of which is my own home) and a lump of cash, I just went into paralysis mode.  I didn't know what to do, and went back and forth thinking about whether to sell his house or do it up and rent it out.  Doing it up is a costly business, but in the end, despite the house being 300 miles away, I decided to go all in and try the rental market for a limited time.  

    So I've invested quite heavily in the house, with a very good team of builders who have now almost finished the job, and have enjoyed watching my dad's rather quirky house which was decorated in the most appalling 1970s fashion transform, with a series of photographs from the builder on a weekly basis.

    I decided at the outset that I would invest a fixed amount of money - with an allowance for contingency.  I'm glad I allowed the contingency because I'm skirting very close to that figure now.  I also decided that if renting it out turned into an absolute nightmare, I would just sell it, and either start again closer to me (where property is much more expensive), or just invest the money in some other way.  

    Despite everything the Government is doing, I still think bricks and mortar has a greater investment potential than anything else, but right now, I'm not prepared to get into the minefield of leverage and mortgages.  I'm going to bide my time, watch how the rental of my own place goes, and see how the tax nightmares pan out before I decide on expanding.

    Ideally, I would like to have enough income from property to retire and live on the passive earnings, but having one house that's unencumbered actually will provide me with enough income that I have the option to take a job closer to home on a lower income, or even go to just working part-time if I tighten my belt a bit.  

    Having that house 'in my back pocket' so to speak, has given me options and choices.

    You have to go at your own pace.  I completely understand why you would do nothing for ages - I did the same thing, only not for 3 years.  I just drove myself up the wall going back and forth trying to make a decision.  Deep down, there was a voice inside that told me if I sold my dad's house at its market valuation - which was at the time £125,000 - I would regret it forever.  

    I know the area, I grew up there, I know the town, I know its potential and its great links to other major towns in the North West, and whilst the property market is very slow there, in terms of capital growth, for a rental property, I'll be getting a decent return for a minimal investment, so whilst it has given me my fair share of sleepless nights, I still think I've made the right decision.  It won't put into a higher tax bracket, and as I don't have a mortgage on it, I don't have that to worry about either.  Just rent, free and clear, after I've paid the estate agent, which I'll break down and put aside a percentage of each month for repairs and tax.  

    The remainder will be used to fund the refurbishment of my own house, which is also in need of some TLC.  After 4 or 5 years of that, I will have paid for the refurbishment entirely, and can then look at whether or not I want to take some equity out of dad's place and enter into the terrifying area of mortgages to buy some more properties for my retirement plan.

    It's all rather scary, but if you keep a level head and take some of the expert advice of the very experienced people here, you should do fine.  There's no substitute for hard experience, and this forum has a wealth of that.  Watch and learn. :-)



    To the OP, you have given yourself a lot of reasons not to invest with thoughts such as this:

    "I also see possible threats to the UK economy over the coming decades and wonder if now is the time to invest.


    Possible break of EU

    Structural changes in economy due to coming wave of automation.

    What will BTL look like when 10 millions workers are no longer needed as machines can do their jobs cheaper and better."

    The last one in particular is very negative. Nobody can see the future but if you feel that strongly about these factors then with all due respect I don't think being a LL is for you. Positivity is a pre-requisite to being a good LL I feel.