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  • Property-a-holics

    When is the right time to get started in BTL?

    This is a question that crops up a lot on Property Tribes.  I personally have quite definite views about it but I welcome alternative views too!

    My answer is NOW is the best time, because that is the only time that any of us have.

    None of us have a time machine to go back into the past and buy property, and none of us can go into the future and buy.

    All we have is now and our current circumstances, not past or future circumstances.  The circumstances I refer to our our individual financial circumstances, the market conditions, the financial products available, the tax regime, and legislation regime.

    One thing that can absolutely 100% be guaranteed in property investment is that time is going to pass. Nick and I started out nearly 15 years ago and it seems like yesterday!  That means I can remember how daunting it was to take that big step to dive in ... my worries, my fears, my doubts ... 

    I believe that there is a possibility that, if you buy wisely, you will benefit from capital appreciation over time, combined with inflation, which erodes your debt over time.  If you focus on cash flow, then you will remain in the game long enough to benefit from capital appreciation.

    There is a famous saying - "Someone is sitting in the shade today, because someone else planted a tree 40 years ago".

    Accommodation is never going to go out of fashion - it is a basic human need.

    My feeling is that, if you decide to commit to property investment, invest in your knowledge and education, and treat it like a business, then you will make a success of it.

    On that basis, what would stop you getting started - ensuring of course that you seek financial and tax advice bespoke to your personal situation?

    Are you going to plant your tree today?

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    As a landlord myself, I believe that getting started in property, particularly if you are a risk-averse person, is very much about making sure you understand the risks and feeling comfortable with them.

    Generally saying, fear comes from the unknown. If you research what is making you fearful, get to understand it, speak to others who have felt the same and conquered it, it can assist enormously in being able to take that all important first step.

    The other thing is to understand that a journey of a thousand miles, starts with a single step, and you won't reach the destination if you don't make a start.  A bit of a cliche I know, but so true.

    Surrounding yourself with a team of trusted advisors is also a great way to mitigate risk ... so you will need a mortgage broker, tax advisor, a lettings agent, a handyman, etc.  

    To reduce your fears, make sure you have the correct insurance in place, including landlord liability insurance, and you can also opt for rent guarantee insurance at the same time as taking out your landlord policy if you feel you need that extra level of comfort.

    Take baby steps, learn, fine-tune, and move forwards at your own pace.  The Property Management People are here to assist with all your property needs at considerably less than the prices charged by traditional High St. agents.  We do one thing - property management - and we do it very well.


    Agree with all of that.

    If I had to advise anyone starting out today, I would say:

    1. Have a clear purpose - understanding WHY you are doing this often leads to the 'how'.  This will be your compass when you're feeling overwhelmed and stressed which you inevitably will!
    2. Be prepared to be flexible and adaptable with your strategies but don't end up with paralysis through analysis. After all the homework and study you've got to put it into action. "("Action without insight is folly but insight without action is a waste of time.") 
    3. Be business-like and professional with everyone you come in contact with.
    4. Don't do anything that doesn't 'feel' right.  Despite what you hear, you can thrive as a decent, honest, ethical landlord.
    5. Believe there is opportunity everywhere but if it seems too be good to be true, run away.
    6. Don't waste money on courses, mentoring, workshops, seminars, sourcers. Remember, declaring you are a rookie in property is like waving a wound in shark-infested waters.
    7. The numbers never lie.
    8. Imagine your life twenty, thirty years from now. Is how you are earning your living, providing and protecting your family still viable? Still sustainable? Will the job still exist? Can you imagine doing it when you are 50, 60, 70 years of age? If that reality check doesn't make you do something today, nothing will. (I was in food retailing before I started in property and now, I cannot imagine how punishing my life would be if I had not got out...)
    9. Mine PT for every nugget of knowledge you can.
    10. Have fun and enjoy the journey!



    LETS MAKE HOMES by treating landlords as partners, tenants as customers & every property as our own."


    Generally saying, fear comes from the unknown

    Never a truer statement

    The truth is none of could have warned us of the changes we have see in past  2 years

    To day on PT we have seen the topic of Rent Control

    This alone will sink BTL

    Tighter lending PRA

    Is a shot over the bows now ??

    Together it wil limit most landlords unless they have a lot of cash

    we are going back to the times when I first Invested

    My view for anyone factor in the two areas I have outlined and factor in higher taxes and factor in a great more regulation

    If after due consideration go ahead  with your plans to be a landlord

    My own feeling you will need to be brave to enter this sector

    I have Tax Advisors Accountant's and Mortgage Brokers and agents too

    none of them ever said to me S24 would come and all the other hurdles we are facing now in the PRS

    and there was good reason None of them thought of Political Goals and Policy's

    If you have it now be grateful make the most of what you have but think twice about property investment

    The Happy Days are over plan plan plan

    But don't expand in a sector with such headwinds you may well regret it.


    Learn Change and Adapt ?????

    Rent control alone won't sink BTL. It is a slow leak, but without security of tenure I doubt it will be fatal. It will slow investment in property in areas where it applies. leading to a greater shortage of property and make life worse for tenants in the long run.


    I think it will become the norm in the uk peter it's just a matter of time  but if they use LHA data it would have huge impact


    Learn Change and Adapt ?????

    If you wish to be a bog standard LL then you will need far more 'skin in the game' per property to make them viable.

    So LL need to think 50% LTV or less

    If you can't do that forget the bog standard route. There are of course many other creative ways of becoming a LL though these usually mean a lot of hard work.

    Something that bog standard LL don't wish to get involved in.

    We will see the natural decline of geared LL to return to rich people.

    Just as it was before before 1997

    BTL for the little person is over. The rich will take over. It was good while it lasted, but it's day in the sun is over.

    Tenants are going to be in for some really rough times as small LL exit.

    There simply aren't enough cash rich LL to buy up all the stock that will be sold. FTB might buy, but they tend not to wish to buy a LL property. I would say NOW definitely isn't the time to buy

    Wait for the S24 s###storm due in about 3 years.

    Bargains will abound as never before in history will there be so many mortgaged LL desperate to sell.

    It is going to get very bloody!!

    I've not even included the EPC debacle coming to about 620000 LL properties


    100% agree Paul


    Learn Change and Adapt ?????

    I know you have contacts far and wide.

    Do you have any appreciation as to what is currently happening in the Irish market as the Govt there gradually extricates itself from the expensive S24 version they tried?

    That is with their version NOT being retrospective and even that has caused chaos!!

    I wonder if the Treasury wonks are monitoring the Irish experience!?

    If they are then why hasn't S24 been cancelled already?

    Is the Treasury that thick!?


    I would say our Politicians are Thick

    You cant attack a sector and expect it to function

    we are not the cigarette  industry we house a great number of folk

    This is not going to end well Paul

    I feel it in my bones a feeling I have never had even through the last to crashes

    It doesn't matter how its dressed up and how optimistic  some landlords are

    This is going to be nasty


    Learn Change and Adapt ?????

    If you are a basic rate taxpayer then 75% LTV will still work. It  should also work using a company for properties in areas with decent yields.

    It still works for the "little" person, so long as they are not trying to become big.