For this month’s blog we thought we would do something different in the form of a Q&A session with one of our founding directors, Janice Minihan. The timing feels right for us to add some real value to you in this way as the property market battles back from lockdown. Also, given Janice is very much an active investor herself, we can bring you details direct from the property frontline as things are at the moment.
So, if you’re tentative about jumping back into the market or simply want some questions answering, hopefully this piece can give you that insight.
First of all, a bit about Janice.
Janice is a former teacher who loves the property sphere and brings a wealth of knowledge to the team here at PDS. She is an investor who has built a portfolio over the past decade in Australia and England. Keeping up to date with the industry through education in both countries, she now offers her skills to those looking to make a change in their life using property as the tool for doing so. She has done Lease Option Deals, Buy-Refurb-Sell and Buy-Refurb-Rent deals.
OK, let’s get into it. Here are some of the most common questions you, our peers, have asked us this year so far – about the property industry in general, current market conditions and our platform.
Janice: 2020 was always set to be a tough year for landlords and the buy-to-let sector as the government announced a multitude of new legislation that would impact even the savviest investors. Here’s what changed:
All these changes hit landlords hard, mostly at the start of the new tax year in April – just as coronavirus was taking hold in the UK. Needless to say, months of uncertainty would follow and we’re only just starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Janice: Of course, during the height of the pandemic things were hard for us investors. If you had voids in your properties, then with the complete shutdown of the property industry, they couldn’t be filled for the most part as empty homes/rooms couldn’t be shown. Tenants struggled financially and some landlords had to agree to rent deductions, or payment holidays while at the same time weigh up whether taking a mortgage holiday was right for them or impact them down the track. No one knew what was going to happen.
But there is good news. The pandemic has created a lot of pent-up demand for both types of property – sales and rentals. Landlords with good quality housing stock still available will be optimistic that they can now let them quickly. There’s always demand for good quality housing, pandemic or not!
Janice: These two important changes are another reason for optimism.
The pandemic has led to the government raising the SDLT threshold to £500,000 until March 2021, leading to significant savings for owner occupiers which is good news for the market in general. This does however only apply to owner occupiers, so landlords sadly don’t get any benefit out of that announcement.
Secondly, you will likely have heard Boris Johnson talk about ‘build, build, build!’ whilst announcing the biggest planning law relaxations since the Second World War. Basically, you no longer have to go through the existing arduous planning process to demolish and rebuild empty/out of use properties (both residential and commercial) if you are going to be re-building them as homes. There are benefits for your existing portfolio too as you will now be able to build space above your properties quickly, subject to neighbour consultations, thanks to a new fast-track planning approval process. A revolution in the industry.
Janice: I always try to have two potential exits in mind when viewing property anyway. Predominantly, rent or sell, and I break that down further – room let, whole house single let, and/or sell.
Given the constantly changing market conditions, it makes sense to be flexible with your plans and have multiple strategies that the numbers work for before committing to buy.
I’m also open to new types of opportunity. Personally, I think all investors now have a real opportunity to look at different business models and to try something a bit different.
My latest property, which I’m really excited about, looks as though it was once two properties knocked into one at some point. Its vast space could easily become a 6-bedroom HMO, but I’m going to go for planning to get 8-10-person permission.
It also has the potential to become three flats, I could put it back into two houses, or even use it as a large single let. It’s also fully done up which is not something I would usually consider but in the current market, the numbers work, very well.
Janice: I think now is a great time to get into property sourcing. The market is hot right now and agents are selling properties quicker than they can get them in, as more and more big retail players announce redundancies, the skills of a sourcer will never be more important. When this pent-up demand changes, potentially when Furlough ends next month, these skills will be imperative.
Sourcers work to look after all parties – vendor, buyer and as a result of that, command a decent fee. Their knowledge of various strategies sets them apart from a typical agent. Working out the motivation of the vendor means they can structure a deal to suit. It may be BMV for a quick sale or if that’s not an option a Purchase Lease Option may be more suitable.
Janice: In everything I do in property, from my own deals to my businesses, I always strive to create a win-win. Property Deal Store is no different. Every deal on the platform should benefit both the sourcer and the investor.
We believe this is the platform the industry has been crying out for and we have created this website with a clear mission in mind: To be the go-to platform for investors to build a successful property portfolio whilst facilitating the development of a successful career in property sourcing for our sourcers.
We empower sourcers, leading to the delivery of quality stock, enabling investors of all sizes to build ethical, sustainable portfolios. A win-win!
We hope you took a lot of value from this. If you would like to speak to Janice about anything property related i.e. sourcing or mentoring, book a FREE 30 min discovery call TODAY, or if you want to know more about Property Deal Store, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also sign up for free today to see all our available deals and we will keep you updated with new deals as they become available!
All the best in property,
– Janice and the team at Property Deal Store