• 6 lessons from a maintenance nightmare

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    In the last few months of last year, I experienced the most dreadful run of maintenance issues I’ve had in 10 years of owning property.

    It never rains, but it pours – and knowing my luck, when it pours the gutters will probably overflow and the roof will start leaking.

    I can’t feel too hard done by, because I’d had a really good run of maintenance over the previous few years – but there was a lot I could have done to make the situation more bearable…

  • Should you diversify beyond property?

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    Until recently, you would have struggled to get me very interested in the idea of diversifying beyond property investments.

    From the time that I started investing, I’ve been charging pretty hard: trying to grow the total value of my investments as quickly as possible, without too much regard for anything else.

    But over the last couple of years, I’ve started thinking, hmm: is it really a good idea to have the majority of my assets not just only in property, but only in a relatively small number of buildings in one country?

    Is this a case of boring adult caution starting to overcome misplaced youthful enthusiasm? Perhaps, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing: I think diversification can hold you back at some points of your investment lifecycle, and be near-essential at others.

  • 2016 annual Property Geek reader survey: The results

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    If you’re anything like me (that is: nosey) you’ll sometimes wonder about other people who are interested in property like you are. How many properties do they own? Why do they do it? What are their challenges? What are they planning next?

    Well, because I can, I decided to ask those questions of Property Geek readers. I had 458 responses, from which some pretty surprising patterns emerged.

    I’ll share some of the findings below – and let’s start off with the question that you really want to know the answer to…

  • My favourite books of 2016

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    I’ve not read as many books as I would have liked this year – but many of those I have read have been fantastic.

    As usual, I’ve not actually read any property-related books: I tend to get my property knowledge from other sources, and use books to improve my investing through a broader understanding of economics, psychology, and the world in general. Oh, and for fun of course.

  • How to find a property sourcer

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    90% of the problems people have when getting into property boil down to one of two things: finding a deal or funding a deal.

    On the funding side my inbox is always bursting with a whole range of mortgage questions, but when it comes to “finding” there’s one question that comes up more than any other: “can you recommend a property sourcer?”

    Unfortunately no, I can’t – but that’s not very helpful, so in this post I’ll give you some pointers on finding someone yourself.

  • “Should I buy property as an individual or within a company?”: A rule of thumb

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    By a country mile, the most common question I’ve been asked this year is:

    Should I buy properties in my own name, or within a company?

    Up until The Great Warning Off Of 2015 (when the treatment of mortgage interest was changed for individuals but not companies), there wasn’t all that much difference. But now, depending on your situation, there really is.

    Talking about tax is difficult because there are so many interactions between different factors it’s almost impossible to generalise. However, there’s one rule of thumb that’s a good place to start in deciding which ownership structure is best.