How to be a property investor when you’ve got nothing to invest
By Bindar Dosanjh
It doesn’t always take money to make money. Sometimes you can make money with other people's money – and one way to do so is through property.
Throughout the recession, austerity measures, Brexit and numerous other challenges, the property market has remained remarkably buoyant. If you invest in the right area, in the right property, with the right tenant - there is still money to be made. And the returns are significantly better than the interest on your average savings account.
So what do you do if you want to be a property investor, but you’ve got nothing (or not much) to invest? There are options available to you – but they come with a big caveat.
To find that mysterious ‘right’ property, the ‘right’ area and the ‘right’ tenant to go with it - you need the right education and support. The stakes are too high for mistakes! Even if you start small, with a ‘test’ property in a relatively cheap location, you’ve still got to know what you’re doing, and you’ve still got to be as certain as possible that you’re going to make a profit. Do the research, and get the help.
Armed with knowledge, confidence and back-up? Got everything in place but the ££? Well here are 7 options for you:
1. A mortgage
Yes, this is the obvious one. And yes, the list will get more creative as you read on! Mortgages are the most traditional way of investing in property that you can’t afford – for yourself or for letting to a tenant. You go in with a bank or building society and pay them back with interest.
The trouble is, mortgage rules have got tighter and tighter. You probably won’t get a buy-to-let mortgage unless you already have a mortgage – or a good deal of experience owning or managing a property – and proof.
Option 2 is to try and get another sort of loan. You could use an overdraft facility, even a bridging loan to finance a ‘quick flip’ property. Different interest rates and conditions will apply – and you need to expect an entry fee, admin fee, monthly fee and exit fee – but if the deal is big enough and you need to raise the money it is an option.
Beware of so-called loan sharks – you want a legitimate deal with a legitimate organisation, or you’re more than likely to get burned.
3. Family loans
What about family members or friends? Does someone you know somewhere have money sitting in a bank doing nothing, that you could use? Put together your business case, run your numbers, get your quotes in - and project your potential profits. Then make your pitch – the very worst they can say is ‘no’.
4. Joint venture
So you don’t have enough money to invest alone, why not pool the money with someone else or better yet, get the money from an investor and you do the logistical part of the deal and split profits 50/50? Always be careful as to who you do business with, and make sure you trust them and have contracts to protect all involved.
If you’ve got the education and you’ve got an eye for a deal, YOU could be the one to do the sourcing. You find the property in the up and coming area, and ‘sell’ the deal to investors or an investment company for a fee or a percentage of the profits.It’s all about networking, and finding the right people to put together to make it happen. Probably not one for beginners.
The rent to rent model is becoming more and more popular. You rent out a property from a landlord for a set period of time – and then rent out the property or rooms to make a bigger profit. The landlord gets security, you get the added income – and the all the headache of managing the property and tenants.
Make sure your contract with the landlord is water-tight, and has wiggle room for adjustments and maintenance. Simply adding a sink in each room, for instance, could significantly raise how much you can rent it for.
Finding both mortgages and insurance for rent-to-rent is incredibly difficult, and you’ll need to include that in your risk margins. If you’re running Houses of Multiple Occupation, you’ll also need to adhere to the rules and regulations your Local Authority sets out.
This strategy allows you to control a property without owning it, with the option to buy at a later date. In the commercial world it’s very common.
You have a contract with the building owner, which states that you have the authority to buy the property at some future time, at an agreed price. The owner will have to sell at that price, at that time. At the outset, parties agree a consideration fee to make the deal legally binding, but this can be as little as £1. Both parties need to obtain independent legal advice and the contracts needs to be drafted very carefully by a lawyer who specialises in this area of law.
The option of sub-leasing may or may not be available during this period, but as an investor you may be able to add value to the property, or just live in it and watch it grow in value.
So there you are – 7 ways to invest in property when you have nothing – or not much – to invest.
All of them really do depend on three things:
- Your personal circumstances
- Your appetite for risk
- What you want to achieve.
Those are the key questions you need to ask yourself, and answer, before you invest in any kind of property – with your money or other people’s.
Want to find out more?
There’s loads of resources out there to help you find out more about all of these options. Do some light reading, go onto websites like Rightmove, Zoopla, MypropertyBEE, attend property networking events and get some basic property training.
You can also get in touch with me at Smart Core Wealth! Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org