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laurejon

Can You See A Problem With This ?.

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Property investors usually fall into two camps. There is the risk-friendly breed, fond of chic one-bedders complete with plasma screens and air- conditioning. They only just cover their interest-only mortgages with the rent, but long-term capital uplift is what they are into, which they hope will come from buying in a hot spot and their willingness to trade in thin air.

The second type is a bit more risk-averse and likes spending cash on actual bricks and mortar. They also tend to favour what you or I might describe as dumps. Their game is rental, but after DIY and refurbishment, and they plan for short-term capital gain.

Put both camps into the same business and you have the formula behind M&P Property Investments, the brainchild of identical twins Peter and Matthew Jones. Since founding the company, their £4m portfolio has proved so irresistible that they have both jacked in the day job to focus on it.

The brothers were probably destined to work together. Indeed, perhaps the longest time they have voluntarily spent apart was Matthew’s 15-minute wait for Peter when they were born. Thirty-three years old, 6ft 2in tall, blue-eyed and impressively square-jawed, it’s rather a shame they never considered a stint as a boy band. After university, they did have a spell in uniform, but it was in the Met, rather than Top of the Pops. Peter was a detective in the CID at Kensington and Chelsea, and Matthew, rather excitingly, was an armed officer in the Diplomatic Protection Group.

“Oh yes, I had a Glock,” he says nonchalantly.

Six months ago, however, they both handed in the handcuffs. It would seem that charging around as if they were in The Sweeney just didn’t match up to the cut and thrust of landlording. I know, hard to believe.

“I enjoyed every moment of the force, but after working in it for six years it wasn’t something I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing,” says Matthew, “and the opportunity of working with my brother came up. I thought it could be a life-changing moment.”

To put it simply, Matthew is a DIY nut, while Peter enjoys spotting potential hot spots. Both began to get into property independently in the mid-to-late 1990s which, as any property bore will tell you, was the perfect moment for investors.

“I bought my first house in 1996. It was a three-bedroom semi in a terrible state on the outskirts of Twickenham, southwest London,” says Matthew. It cost £70,000. He and his girlfriend, Julie, lived in it, spent £15,000 tarting it up, and sold it two years later for £143,000. They did the same again, and again, and again. By 2002, Matthew and Julie were married and living in a £400,000 house, with a sizeable chunk of equity. And no capital-gains tax. “We always bought a wreck, lived in it, renovated it and sold on after a period of time. Each time we increased the deposit.”

Meanwhile, little brother Peter realised that the flat he had bought in Twickenham in 1997 would make rather good rentable stock. He added one, then another. “I had hit the right time, more in luck than anything else,” he says. “The yields were great and prices were going up.” He started with a £70,000 flat in Hounslow, near Heathrow airport, and now lives in a two-bed flat on Richmond Hill worth £450,000.

By 2003, Matthew had rather a nice pot of equity and Peter had three rented flats.

“We decided to take the plunge,” says Peter. “Matthew bought into the buy-to-lets I had and we bought a derelict house together for £225,000, so we each had a share in the other’s business.”

At the time, they were still policemen, which one might have thought would be a huge asset dealing with tricky tenants but was the opposite.

“We had to declare the business as an outside interest,” says Peter, “and the Met insists you go through an agent for your tenants. You have to distance yourself from the day-to-day rental of the property.”

Now that both have given up policing, they can focus wholly on their company, which has about 13 flats in the buy-to-let wing. These are dotted around the UK: Bradford, Hull, Ashford, Peterborough and Hastings. Bought with interest-only mortgages, with 70% gearing (meaning a 70:30 loan-to-deposit ratio), they essentially cover only their costs with the rental income.

“We go to the area concerned,” says Peter, “research it well, look at the papers and work out where the hot spots are. We look for reasonable yields, talk to local agents and do our sums, taking a bit off what their predictions are. We have a long-term view with the flats, and I think prices will go up. The rents we have are about £400-£500 a month for one-bedders, or £700-£800 for two-bedders. This generates a yield of about 5.5%.”

Hot spots? “We have just exchanged on a two-bed flat in Hackney, east London,” says Peter. “It was £162,000, and we think it will generate £800 a month in rent. But we think that in the two months it’s taken to complete, it’s already gone up by £15,000-£20,000. It’s quite near Stratford, where the Eurostar will stop and the Olympic village will be.”

Meanwhile, back in Twickenham, the refurbishment side of the business is going very nicely. “We now have a team of builders,” says Matthew, “working from one job to the next. The refurbishing pays our salary and provides capital. We buy a refurbishment job, do it up, increase its value, remortgage it and let it out. Then we buy more straight buy-to-let flats, which make no profit but hopefully will increase their capital value.”

If you want to follow suit, says Matthew, you’d be wise to keep your funds fluid. “You have to be able to move your cash around because there are so many unforeseen expenses. The moment your money gets stuck, you cannot move forward.”

They try not to offload any of the portfolio, remortgaging when they need more cash. “It’s a simple sums thing,” they say. “If you keep your portfolio big, you make more money. If there is a 5% increase in the market, a 5% increase on £4m is a lot more than 5% on £1m.”

What happens if M&P suddenly becomes M vs P? They both laugh, rather charmingly.

“We don’t intend to have a bust-up. I think our bond is sufficiently strong to have trust in each other,” says Peter. Indeed, they do share the same DNA. Boy-band clones, effectively. Well, there’s always another career option if the property lark doesn’t work out.

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Right. Okay. Forgetting the yields for a minute (but I figure if that's what you want to concentrate on, you would have said) I see two successful, entrepreneurial people who enjoy what they do, have had an interesting live so far and, crucially, are prepared to put there money where there 'square jawed' mouths are.

The problem is???

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They try not to offload any of the portfolio, remortgaging when they need more cash. “It’s a simple sums thing,” they say. “If you keep your portfolio big, you make more money. If there is a 5% increase in the market, a 5% increase on £4m is a lot more than 5% on £1m.”

It certainly is a sums thing, the worst thing a business can do is over borrow against paper values. When there is a downturn the banks will revalue the stock with a keen eye airing on the negative.

Believe me, I have been there. A 300K house valued for 125K, when I questioned for it I was told "OK you have seven days to sell it for 300K then we sell for 125K and recover the debt.

I'm afraid its that simple.

And a 20% loss is a wipeout!!!

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So this is a gearing thing then. The lender's new keenness to lend would encourage more like these guys?

Whereas previously Nationwide allowed a landlord just two buy-to-let mortgages, now it will give them up to 10 each. And don't worry about the size of the loan - they're quite happy to lend a landlord up to £3m.

http://firstrung.co.uk/articles.asp?pageid...1336&cat=47-0-0

Can you set yourself up a company to buy-to-let?

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Maybe the Nationwides new strategy, and the utter failure of councils to build any new housing stock, tells you a lot about the way the lower tier of social housing is getting progressed in this country.

Out of the hands of the Public LL, and into the hands of the Private one.

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Can you set yourself up a company to buy-to-let?

I was thinking about this the other day: Set up a company to buy BTL. If prices go up then sell them and cash in. If they go down then bankrupt the company with almost nothing lost (and offset of the loss against PAYE in your day job). Gotta be a catch somewhere?

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I was thinking about this the other day: Set up a company to buy BTL. If prices go up then sell them and cash in. If they go down then bankrupt the company with almost nothing lost (and offset of the loss against PAYE in your day job). Gotta be a catch somewhere?

I'm pretty sure you can buy a company off the shelf for £100 plus legal fees etc. The £100 represents a minimum shareholding, say £98 in your name and £2 in someone else's name (you have to have two directors).

I doubt you'll find a bank that will lend you any significant sum of money, though, if this is all there is to your company. Of course if you put in your own money then you have something to lose, and it looks a bit different.

Edited by munro

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I was thinking about this the other day: Set up a company to buy BTL. If prices go up then sell them and cash in. If they go down then bankrupt the company with almost nothing lost (and offset of the loss against PAYE in your day job). Gotta be a catch somewhere?

Where's the inital investment going to come from? The banks just won't lend a ltd company money witout seeing a business plan.

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The banks will only lend if they think that there is a business plan that stacks up, and that the company is sufficiently liquid.

If you had tried this 3-4 years ago then you might have had a chance.

These days i don't think you'll find many banks willing to lend money to a ltd company that wants high gearing into a depreciating asset..... prices still rising my ****, the banks know what is happening.... and that why you won't be getting a mortgage type loan inside a ltd company.

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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