What you need to know about semi-commercial mortgages – and valuations!

We’re back! After a few weeks of dealing with the crazy amount of completions we seem to have had, and a week of an un summer holiday in Devon it’s back to blogging!

This week we are talking about semi-commercial mortgages. Specifically the valuations for these mortgages as they are so important.

When someone calls me up to ask about semi-commercial mortgage quotes and costs, the assumption from them would be that we are looking for the ‘lowest cost’ option and that’s not what I am thinking! There are a number of semi commercial lenders back in the market now, most at 75% LTV and some at 70% and their rates are similar. There are pros and cons of them all and we will discuss that. The most important part of that comparison is not necessarily rate though, the valuation methodology is often overlooked and that’s something I will always want to cover at the beginning.

How do you value a semi – commercial building? 

The commercial element can be valued as a vacant building, or with the benefit of a tenant in the property. The difference is usually about 10-15-% depending on the location, tenant and lease length. Some lenders will use the vacant value and some use the market value and that can make a big difference to the amount you are able to pull out of the property.

What about the residential element? 

It’s more common now to see HMOs above a commercial unit. It’s an easy way to up your rent, and given the location (usually above a parade of shops) there is less issue with demand when letting to students or professionals than to a family.  Again the value of an HMO can depend on if you’re using the vacant or bricks and mortar value, or the market value. There is an assumption that as you are paying for a commercial valuation that you will get a commercial figure but this isn’t necessarily the case!

Some lenders will use the market value, which is fantastic for pulling as much money out as you can, and some will (as with the commercial element) use the bricks and mortar, or vacant value. 

As an example, we have recently refinanced a semi commercial property for a client. It is a shop with a 4 bedroom HMO above. The vacant value is £285,000 and the market value is £310,000. This means that the client has been able to pull out an extra £18,750 by using the market value of the building. This can be far more important than a small difference in interest rate. This client has used those funds as a deposit for another BTL property, so the onward return is increased even further.

So how do you know what to do and who to use? 

This is where you need a good specialist broker! We have great relationships with our lenders, we only use lenders that we know and trust and this means we know their criteria and appetite inside out so we know what to expect! With rules changing so often at the moment,  it’s important that your broker specialises in these types of cases and understands valuation methodology.

As always give us a call if you have any questions.

 

All you need to know about mortgages on blocks of flats – and a good example!

I’ve had quite a few enquiries about flats recently, and we’ve just had an offer through for a great example of how to structure your mortgage so I thought this week I would run through all you need to know!

Firstly, what’s a multi unit freehold block (MUFB)

It’s a block of flats where it is all on one freehold, so it is kept all together as one with no flats on their own leasehold titles. We sometimes see blocks that have been broken up, so some flats have been sold off within the block and that can cause issues with your mortgage so it’s worth checking the Office Copies at Land Registry to see what the situation is before you proceed. Some lenders do not like split freeholds – ie. where some flats are on their own leasehold – whether you own them or not.

What do you need to think about before you put an offer in? 

  • As I’ve mentioned, the Office Copies are really important so always check this before you do anything else – it’s a quick and cheap starting point!
  • What planning is in place if the property has been converted? There are so many historical conversions that don’t have the correct planning so this is something to check. You can look at the planning portal, or check with the planning department. Don’t assume that just because the council tax is separate that it’s been granted!
  • Could the properties be split off and sold separately? Utilities need to be split, check the water tank and boiler too.
  • Are each flat over 30m2 and do they have independent access?

What mortgages are available and what should you think about? 

As always, there are a couple of considerations as well as the interest rate! There are some lenders who will offer a competitive rate for blocks of up to 12 flats and for purchases this may work well. We can look at it on a 2 or a 5 year fixed, so if you are looking to refinance at some point there there are shorter options.

These lower rate lenders will value the property at what’s called a block value though, and that may or may not work for you. What this means is that they valuer will look at the individual values of the flats, and then deduct about 10-15% depending on the demand for the sale of the full block. Recently we have seen a fairly consistent 10% being deducted from the value.

If you want the opportunity for an aggregate value, then we do have other options. This could be for your own development or a refinance of a property you already own. Rates will be higher, but as always it is about the bigger picture! For blocks of up to 10 flats, where the valuer confirms that the flats can be sold within a 12 month period, then we can use the aggregate value; this means the total value of the individual units. In real terms this usually means an minimum of 10% on top of the block value, so that’s the consideration on absorbing the rate difference.

There are other reasons that you would use a more specialist lender, so don’t get put off when things look a bit more complicated:

  • Some flats are under 30m2
  • Where some flats are on a leasehold title so it’s not a freehold block
  • Where some flats have been sold off so you don’t own the whole block
  • If it’s a block of more than 12 flats

As always, consider your yield when looking at these properties, the rate is only a deciding factor if the yield isn’t enough! 

A recent example…

A client has built a block of 6 flats and is putting them on long leasehold titles. We have had a valuation carried out and are able to use the market value as the flats could be sold within 12 months. This is giving the client an additional 10% on top of the block value – in this instance it was increased the loan size by £123,000 so can make a big difference to the viability of the project. We were able to fund 75% LTV of the aggregate value.

Give us a call if you want to run through any examples.

Is a green mortgage really a green mortgage?

 It’s been an interesting couple of hours researching this…. So, 3 years ago I bought and renovated my loft apartment. I wanted it future and green proof, so I had new high grade windows, electric combi green boiler etc etc.  I have just had a new EPC and the is rated as E!!! best will be a D.

 

So I called up the EPC man and questioned this.  His answer was very clear; EPC is not about green it is about low costs to run the property.

 

Good windows and sound insulation lower the rating, but so does a GAS boiler – as it is cheaper to run. Electric storage heaters are also great, as they use night time tariffs, so again, cheaper to run.  An electric green combi boiler adds, as they are more expensive to run even though they don’t need GSC checks and flues.

 

As we all know, a ‘Green’ car is more expensive than a dirty petrol or diesel – so green really isn’t necessarily the cheapest option, which can work against a lower EPC.

 

Now that is clear, what are these ‘Green’ Mortgages.

 

Well the industry is incentivising property owners to look at the ratings on their properties, which is a good thing.  It has to be A-C (or some high street lenders, just A-B) at the point of completion.  They will not lower your mortgage rate after that, even if you reduce the rating.  The reduction can be up to 0.25% pa, so a good incentive for a long term investor; it also covers BTLs, MUFBs and HMOs – some cover new builds, some don’t.

 

So the best option to benefit is when you refurbish your property.  I would highly recommend you getting an EPC specialist round to tell you exactly what is required to get into the lower bracket, best not to assume.  At least this way you know exactly what your options are and don’t confuse new shiny upgrades as positively effecting your EPC ratings.

 

What can you do to benefit from this:

 

It all starts with the refurbishment.  Most investors wanting to add value will go the refurbishment route.  Also, with the climate issues, the green areas will increase, so you really want to future proof your property.

As a wider topic, lender follow the competition; once a lender decides on doing something, then it really isn’t long before the rest will want to be in the party. 

 

If you are buying a property that qualifies for a term mortgage, but is sitting at the E end if the rating, it is worth considering making the changes a condition of exchange, thereby getting a new EPC before completion, therefore benefiting from the lower product rates.

 

Care Provider leases on HMO properties

Happy Friday everyone – I never thought I’d moan about the weather, but when everything is so busy and taking so long at the completions end, it is pushing a lot of us to our limits.

Today we are covering Care Provider leases on HMO properties.

Having got more investors wanting to get involved in this sector, I thought it good to cover this week.

As some of you know, I have been involved in this area for some time, starting some years ago with refinancing large HMOs for vulnerable women and their children. This was daily emergency housing, so the most difficult to place.  In recent years, lenders have shied away from the vulnerable areas, as they didn’t want the prospect of reputational risk.  Which really made me mad, as it is so important that they have options, which need funding.

Moving on, last July, I worked with one of our investors to get a supported living contract approved – which I did.  It wasn’t for the very vulnerable area, but a start.  Since then we have enabled funding for a number of HMOs on this is basis and this lender has now changed their policy regarding care providers.  This has enabled us to have much more certainty around what we can offer our clients.

So how do you get involved in this area…. 

The assumption is that you need lots of experience, but you actually only need to have had one buy to let (single let) for 12 months. You don’t need to have any previous HMO experience.  The refurbishment part is slightly different if it involves one, but if it is a light refurbishment then yo don’t need any previous refurbishment experience.

The important part is to check out is your potential care providers; a lot of them are not regulated as they cover areas that fall outside CQC etc.  Check their reviews, as the lenders will not tolerate those with poor reputations.  Doing your due diligence early on will save a lot of time and cost later on.

  •  Type of property – each care provider needs a specific type of property, whether it is the number of bedrooms, amount of communal space etc; and so on.  It’s a balance between making sure that it is not so bespoke you can’t do anything with it if this doesn’t work out without spending further money, if for any reason it doesn’t go through.
  • Area – again, this will be dictated by the type of tenants.  Location is so important to your care provider, so make sure you find this out before you start sourcing your property.  Distance to local amenities, transport links, particular things that need to be close (or not!) are vital to your provider.
  • The lease – ask for a copy of one of the care providers draft leases in advance.  Lenders will need to approve them, so it is important that you give us a copy of this to get it approved, in principal, before the transaction starts.  A recent case needed some amendments which the care provider agreed to, but this may not always be the case.  This is really important as the fund is dependent on it.

FYI – if a lease goes over 7 years, then it is registered at HM Land Registry and the care provider will pay SDLT on it.  Something to consider.

As a recent example, a client came to us who had bought a property cash to convert to an HMO.  He had bought it for £130,000 in January of this year.  As he started the refurbishment, he engaged a care provider early on to understand the requirements they had for the HMO.  They are a charity who help young adults leaving care, providing them with supported living as a stepping stone to living alone.  Their ethos is around helping their tenants not only with housing, but also with with their finances, employment and ensuring that they are supported at a time when so many are not.

The refurbishment cost £60,000 in total.

After looking carefully into comparables for the end value the clients estimated this would be around £200,000.  The surveyor inspected the property and lease and gave it a value of £210,000 – a great result, the lease created an uplift in value well as long term security.  The rental income is £2250 per month on a 3 year contract.

We were able to lend 75% of the new open market value, within 6 months of the purchase date. This is on an interest only mortgage too, which historically was an issue for this type of lease.

I genuinely believe that having commercial leases in place, with the current climate of uncertainty, can only be a good thing for both investors and lenders.  There are no void, referencing of new tenants and most of the contracts include the bills – so it is a much more profitable, both money and time for these type of contracts.

I hope that is of help, but were here for a call, as always.

Funding your projects when your usual lenders can’t help

I think we’ve all now recovered from the excitement of the Euros and now summer has arrived!  I hope you’ve all had a good week.  This week I am talking about funding that’s a bit more outside the box.  As you know, we can look at all sorts of scenarios, and one of our lender’s has really upped their game recently so I wanted to run through what they can help with.

Buy to lets when you don’t have enough experience for standard lenders

We often see clients come to us with a great project, and external experiences which means we are confident it will work – this is usually where they have carried out works in their day job, so not for themselves.  This doesn’t count as experience for most lenders though.  This can cover HMOs (of any size), multi-unit blocks of flats or semi commercial buildings as well as single lets.

We can now help with mortgages up to 75% LTV for these scenarios, at a really reasonable interest rate.  The products are fixed for 2, 3 or 5 years, allowing you to gain the experience you need to move on to a lower interest rate and longer term product.  Its important to balance the lender’s risk and your experience with the rate – and also remember that you aren’t spending time or capital on projects you don’t really want to do before jumping into bigger ones!

Foreign Nationals and Ex-Pats

This is another area which is tricky to fund at the moment, so this lender allows you an easy way in to the UK market.  We can raise up to 65% LTV and the minimum loan size is £50,000 so it is available for smaller properties.  Again, the loans are for 2, 3 or 5 years and the rates are reasonable so with a good yield it is an accessible way in.  you don’t need any experience, or property in the UK at all, which is often a sticking point.  Most counties are covered under this product, and it can be in a personal name as well as limited company.

Slight credit issues

This is another potential barrier to lending at the moment.  Many lenders have become more stringent with their credit rules, meaning that even a slight blip can prevent loan approval.  Having a short term solution for first time buyers and investors is lacking in the market

This lender will allow a small amount of adverse credit, which means that a past issue which has now been resolved will be disregarded.  Some examples could be a satisfied CCJ under £5000 in the last 2 years, or one missed mortgage payment in the last 3 years.

This would cover all scenarios, so buy to lets, HMOs, multi-unit blocks and semi commercial up to 75% loan to value at the same 2, 3 or 5 year terms.  This allows you to build your experience while time is passing on your credit file to allow you to move to a more mainstream lender afterwards for a slightly lower rate and longer term.

As always, give us a call if you want to run through a particular scenario then give us a call.

Adding value to your property: How can a bridge to term product help you? 

What an amazing week we’ve had – we are still flying high from Wednesday night!! Roll on Sunday now…

This week I want to talk about bridge to term products specifically. Last week we covered bridging and why it is so important to add value to your property, but there is more to it – and there are ways to reduce your overall cost and this is a big one!

What is bridge to term? 

It is a product which allows you to use the same lender for the bridge to purchase the property and then use it as an exit onto a term mortgage as well.

How does it work? 

There are two types:

  • You can have it as ONE product, which means that you have two offers at the beginning (one for the bridge and one for the term) and the valuation with cover both products too, so you have certainly over the end value and what you can work towards.
  • You can have it as 2 products, so you apply for them separately and have two valuations and offers (the term gets started once works have been finished). This allows a valuation to take place once works are completed so you often get a more favourable figure, it can also take into consideration the finished property, which really can help. As with the same lender it has the advantage of lower arrangement and legal fees.

What are differences between this and a standard bridge?

From a cost point of view, you can save on valuation costs (in some instances), legal fees and arrangement fees. This will help to reduce your finance costs and increase your ROI. As bridging can be very expensive, this is a good way to bring it down.

It also offers you some certainty around the exit for your bridge. The lender will underwrite the case for the exit as well as your initial loan, so any issues with the property should be picked up on before you buy the property. There’s never a guarantee with these things, but it does mitigate some of the risk.

How much can I borrow and what works can be carried out? 

This depends on the type of product.

We have a lender who will look at both parts as one product, as mentioned earlier. This is ideal for light refurbishments before letting out as a single let. For example where the EPC isn’t good enough, or it needs a new kitchen or bathroom. We will know the end value from the schedule of works and the valuer will confirm this. You can borrow up to 65% for the purchase, and then 75% for the refinance. This is a low cost option and offers some security but does mean you are putting more in up front.  The 2nd valuation is only a revisit, to confirm the works have finished – it cannot change the GDV. You have to complete and refinance by 6 months maximum.

For more complex refurbishments, ie conversions from commercial to residential or to HMOs we have another product. This is set up as two products, a bridge to start and moving to a term facility when it’s finished.  The initial valuation will include GDV expectations from the valuer. For light refurbishment projects we can lend up to 85% of the purchase price (subject to some restrictions) and for heavy refurbishments we can go up to 75%. Heavy refurbishment would also include anything requiring planning or building regulations. You also have up to 18 months to do the works.

For the term exit we can generally lend up to 75% of the new value.

For both options we do not need to wait 6 months from the purchase.

As always, give me a call to discuss individual cases and how we can make it work. Have a fantastic weekend and come on England!

Adding value to your property: bridging options

This week we’re talking practical solutions to adding value to property. I’m often asked about bridging when clients have not used it before – the fear is that it is expensive and not necessary, mainly due to not understanding it or trying to do things without it.

The benefits of bridging?

Let’s start with why you would use bridging:

  • it allows you to buy property which is otherwise unmortgageable – you effectively become a cash buyer. Properties without kitchens or bathrooms, in need of renovations or where the planning or usage needs changing, can be bought.
  • It allows you to move quickly – this may or may not be important, but we can complete in a few days or a few weeks without too many issues. This means if you have a distressed sale, auction or the vendor wants a quick completion then you can offer that (to hopefully negotiate a lower price too!)
  • It allows you to buy property to complete works to then move onto another mortgage (at a higher value) within a quick period of time,  without the need to pay early repayment charges 
  • It allows you to borrow 75% of the purchase price even if the rental figure doesn’t get you to this on a standard BTL mortgage.
  • It allows you to free up your cash for other opportunities that may come along while this one is in progress.

Borrowing for refurbishment costs 

Another big advantage is that it allows you to borrow your refurbishment costs in certain scenarios:

Upfront costs towards your refurb

We have a lender that will allow you to borrow 75% towards the purchase of your property and then an additional 10% towards the refurbishment so a total of 85%. You do need to ensure that you stay under 75% of your GDV, and you need to have completed something similar previously,  but this is a great way to maximise your borrowing. 

This works well for light refurbishments where the EPC isn’t right, or the property just isn’t in a lettable condition due to the decor or floor coverings or something similar.

Refurb costs in arrears 

Where the refurbishment is bigger, you can look to borrow these costs in arrears. There are some caveats to this, as the lender needs to get comfortable with the project as they will be funding it. There needs to be some profit in the deal (a minimum of 10% if you are retaining the asset, about 15% if you plan to sell it). The costs need to be a minimum of about £60,000 to make it worthwhile too, as you need to spend some before you get it back to spend it again. You therefore need some working capital.

This is great for larger projects, developments, commercial to residential conversions and HMO conversions where the profit allows.  It allows you to minimise the amount you are putting into the deal and maximise the number of deals you can complete.

So what about the disadvantages? Are there any? 

If you have access to funds with a lower interest rate and cost then it is a consideration to use that instead. This may be from a refinance of another property, or a gift or loan from family or friends. This can work out less expensive, but you haven’t got the security of a mortgage valuation and lender legals to do those additional checks for you – there are pros and cons and it would be up to you to decide what is best. We can talk it through it that would help.

Bridging is the most expensive form of mortgage borrowing, as it is the most risky. You have got to factor that into your costings and ensure you are still making a profit after your finance costs. 

Where I find that clients have had bad experiences, it is usually due to not understanding the full costs involved – whether that is exit fees, monitoring fees or extension fees. Knowing the full picture and ensuring you fully understand what you are getting into is so important. We only work with reputable lenders who are transparent with their costings and deliver on what they say they do – there are still plenty that don’t though, so be careful! 

As always it’s about doing your due diligence and knowing who you are working with and all the costs upfront. Bridging is a means to an end and it’s so important not to loose sight of the prize at the end! 

Adding value to your property: Planning

This week we’re exploring some more ideas on how to add value to your property. I’ve chosen to talk about planning as it is something that can be used in many different ways.

Planning gain

This is one way which I think is under used, and can be such a great way to add value quickly. Especially in the current market when investors are looking for opportunities and build costs are so high it can be a great alternative to completing the works yourself – it may be just as profitable. It allows you to sell on the asset quicker than if you were completing the works too, meaning that you can move on to your next project.

Finance has to be thought about carefully in this instance, as there always needs to be a back up option which the lender will base their decision on, but as you aren’t completing the works you don’t need to worry about the refurbishment costs. This means you are borrowing less, and the GDV on various options are less important at this stage. When you are completing the works and borrowing the refurbishment costs the lender will always work back from the GDV, and if the option is funding without planning,  there may not be enough profit in the deal to make it work.

This works well for extensions, change of use, commercial to residential (where it falls outside of PD) and conversions to houses and flats.

The added advantage is that you don’t need so much experience as you are not carrying out the works yourself.

Planning to carry out the works yourself…

There always is the opportunity to carry out the works yourself of course.

With a shortage of homes, a relaxation in permitted development rights and a booming housing market, there are always opportunities in this area of the market!

What to watch out for?

  • Land with property to give you options with additional houses or extensions
  • Blocks of flats – looking for options to add units or extend
  • Development of existing dwellings – this could be to knock it down to make better use of the space, extending or splitting into multiple dwellings
  • Floor plans are key to looking at your opportunities!

What experience do you need?

Lenders are becoming more flexible with what they need, and even with ground up sites we have options if you haven’t done one before. You do need some experience with a project that requires planning but it probably isn’t as much as you think, and you can use your residential properties as experience too.

we have had some examples recently of lenders who are happy with quite a jump up from a small renovation to something much bigger.  It does mean that more due diligence will be carried out on the contractor, and a JCT contract will need to be in place but this does open up potential opportunities.

JV or teaming up with other investors to increase the overall experience of the team is a very good idea too. It shares the risk and the rewards

It’s always worth a conversion to see what’s needed and how it could work.

Adding value to your property: What can you do with leases?

So I’m back! Still no quieter this week but there we go – I don’t think it will get quieter for a while yet!

This week I am starting a blog series on adding value to your property. In the current market where houses are selling so fast, spotting opportunities and acting on them quickly is key.

There are so many ways you can add value to property so I’ll be covering them off over the next few weeks. This week we’re talking leases.

Splitting leases

This is one of the most common ‘tips’ you get from property mentors and courses – buy freehold flats and create leases to add value! It doesn’t always work like that, as the way lenders value property is based on how it is likely to be sold, and if that is as a block then you won’t get the uplift on a revaluation. There are, however, ways you can do this. You could look at smaller blocks, where they could be split off and sold easily.  Generally you need to consider the size of them, demand, split utilities and access.  The ideal would also be to carry out a refurbishment, or wait a period of time before refinancing them as you need the valuer to disregard the purchase price as a comparable.  You can also look at splitting houses into flats; additional flats into blocks and rearranging space to create more units. These can all create value though the sale or refinance of the properties.

Extending leases

There is a large quantity of flats around the country with short leases which struggle to sell. This is due to most people (buying property to live in) not understanding the lease extension process, as well as a need for a longer capital repayment mortgage. When you are basing your maximum mortgage on your income, and the mortgage is capital repayment, you usually need this over a long period of time (age depending!) to make it affordable. Generally you need 55 years left on the lease at the end of the mortgage so if you have, for example, 68 years currently you could only look at a 13 year term.

The difference with an investment mortgage is that you are able to look at it on an interest only basis. This means that the monthly payment is the same if it’s one or 25 years. You do need to find an alternative way to repay the mortgage and be aware that the full balance will remain at the end of the term, but this does give you options. You could, with the example above, take the mortgage over 13 years and in that time increase the lease length and then refinance. This could increase the value and allow you to take some money out of the property. This is a great opportunity as an investor that home owners just don’t have.

Share of freehold

This is another misconception among many potential home owners. Again, they see a short lease and assume it is expensive to extend it, or they won’t get a mortgage on it. The same principle applies as above with your mortgage term, but it can be much easier to extend your lease. All leaseholders have to agree and all leases need to be extended simultaneously, but it is much cheaper than extending a standard lease.

I hope that gives you a few ideas! Next week I will be back with title splits and planning ideas – if you have any questions in the meantime then let me know! Have a good weekend.

Who’s afraid of a vacant commercial property…?

Hi everyone. And it’s Friday again and so close to lock down ending (fingers crossed).

If you’ve been reading our blogs over the past few months, you will know that I have got involved in a couple of properties for development.  I’d like to talk about the commercial one for this blog.

I’d known about this property for a while, as the buyers are clients of mine.  The property is a D2 usage large building in Salford.  D2 is leisure, as it was a crown bowling social club.  It was also run down and vacant.  As you can imagine this can cause challenges in getting funding.

The property had a 15 month option from February 2020 in order to get planning for residential.  You’d think that 15 months is enough time to get things sorted, which in normal times it would be.  The property stands on an acre of land, the building itself has a footprint of around 320 sq/m – so there are many options for an exit, it was the purchase that was proving challenging!

I got involved end of last year, just to find funding.  This proved rather difficult.  The commercial market has really taken a hit with lenders during COVID.  For a while it simply wasn’t available, then when it did return it was specific to certain professions and whether they had been trading during lockdown.  This fell into neither camp.

The week before exchange I put my hat in the ring to be a part of this.  Thankfully the investors were happy to do that; it spread their cashflow, which is important at the moment.  If you know and trust the investors you get in bed with, then it’s better to share a number of projects than be responsible for it all.

When a property has a lot of options, although it should be a positive it can prove a negative with lenders as it causes uncertainty.  We could go full on development of 36 or so apartments; a mixture of houses and apartments; renovate the house and split off the land; keep the property commercial and split off the land… and the list goes on.

We now had a deadline to exchange by May 10th, but due to planning having been changed (a housing association wanted to buy it with planning) so we still have no planning.  As most of you will have experienced, COVID has caused such bottle necks in so many areas and this is clearly one of those areas! The application went in for an AIP on 7th May and I looked at it as an auction buy.

I approached Shawbrook to see if they would consider it – at the time we wanted to convert the house into 7 flats under permitted development, but could not get it on PD due to D2 usage not allowing it.  We could also not apply to change the commercial usage as planning was already in.  It was all really frustrating.  We decided just to buy as is and landbank it until planning was through.  I can’t praise Shawbrook, particularly Mark Whitburn and Kieran Route enough, for really getting on with this knowing the completion date of 18th June.  They have agreed 60% ltv on Vacant Market Value, which was the purchase price (£500,000) – very reasonable indeed.

The property is a good buy. There is no way that a piece of land of this size in Salford can lose you money, but having to react quickly at the moment can be a challenge.  Sometimes you really need to go with your gut, as properties are in low supply and you can lose out.  Of course there are risks here, but aren’t there in all walks of life? You could argue that doing nothing is the biggest risk of all.

All is set for completion on 18th.  I know I bleat on about the power team – IT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING – we couldn’t achieve this without our amazing solicitor (Phillip Adam) and the safe hands of Shawbrook and Laura Nicholl at Pure Law.  They are worth their weight in gold for the stress they alleviate.  Particularly when the completions side of things is really boiling over at the moment.

What have I learnt from this? 

The educational part of this is the change in lender appetite towards properties like this as we have progressed with it.  There has been a realisation from lenders that there are some properties that are worth funding; there is a still a massive shortage of residential properties and the Government is pushing for smaller builders to step up.  I would ask you to consider these when you are looking at your next investment.  If you don’t have enough experience, then bolt onto someone who does; spreading the risk/cash and progressing up the development ladder as well.

As always, we are happy to run through the figures and see what options are available to you.