• Balancing yield and capital growth: a (depressing) case study

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    Something I keep coming back to in my thinking recently – and which I don’t think is widely enough understood – is that there’s always some kind of trade-off between income and capital growth.

    For this reason, it’s incredibly important to set goals that reflect what your priority is – cash in the bank now versus long-term gains – and understand how the type of property you buy will either help or hinder your progress towards those goals.

    I’ll illustrate the point by sharing my own sob story – of a property I bought for its yield, which has led to severe envy when looking at the capital growth of other properties around it.

  • Episode 46: Case study – a listener success story that was almost a disaster!

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    I give this whole episode over to an in-depth case study of a listener’s project – which serves as equal parts inspiration and warning.

    Ryan Slater spotted an excellent opportunity which, on paper, would create a big monthly profit without leaving any of his own money in the deal…but he nearly lost his entire deposit when his mortgage was unexpectedly refused.

    When the project is finished Ryan will have achieved a fantastic result – but the end result alone masks the grit, resilience and hard work that was needed to make it happen. There are lessons galore as Ryan talks me through the entire project in detail – this isn’t one you’ll want to miss!

  • Bad aim, wrong target: the limitations of landlord licensing

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    As both a landlord and the co-owner of a letting agency, it’s hard for me to open a newspaper without being vilified for something in one or both of my roles. Combine this with the fact that I’m a sore loser, and you have your reason for why I don’t do pub quizzes.

    It’s tempting to write off the anti-landlord headlines as mere cynical vote-garnering rhetoric. But looking at the data – such as the recent English Housing Survey which found that 30% of properties in the private rental sector fail to meet the government’s Decent Homes criteria – it’s clear that our industry does have real issues to deal with.

    What’s also clear, though, is that politicians and the media have – for a change – over-simplified matters to the point of being thoroughly unhelpful. Blaming “landlords” as one monolithic, caricatured group for all of society’s ills isn’t just bad for my self-esteem – it’s leading to the wrong actions being taken.

  • Episode 45: How much should I save for a rainy day?

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    The ROI of investing in property is clearly better than leaving cash in the bank – but as investors we clearly need to keep some cash on hand to cover any voids or unexpected spending. The question is…how much?

    In this episode, I talk about 4 different models you can use to determine the size of your “emergency fund” – as well as answering a listener question about where we are in the property cycle, and announcing a new audio book!

  • How much cash should a property investor hold?

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    Newcomers to property can often be unduly pessimistic about what life as an investor really looks like: they imagine empty houses with leaky roofs draining the money from their bank account with no sign of any rent coming in.

    After a while you realise that if you’ve bought sensibly, catastrophes and extended vacancies are relatively few and far between – but still, it’s important to have an emergency fund to cover the times when things don’t go as you’d like.

    How big should that emergency fund be? If there was an easy answer, like “£7,000 and you’ll be fine”, it would save me about 1,500 words – but unfortunately there isn’t. The only answer is: “enough to meet your financial obligations in any likely scenario”.

  • Episode 44: Property insurance – what you need to know

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    Insuring your property portfolio is a necessary evil. It’s nobody’s idea of fun, but as we’ve got to do it anyway we might as well know how to do it quickly, cheaply, and in a way that won’t cause any problems if we need to make a claim.

    That’s why I invited Jason McClean from The Property Insurer onto the podcast. Jason is a portfolio landlord as well as running an insurance company, so he’s perfectly placed to tell us what we should be thinking about when insurance renewal time rolls around again.