For Jasmine Kaur, 27, property investment runs in the family. She got her first property at 18, and now has 15+ properties in London and the North West. Most of them are Houses of Multiple Occupancy - and it’s an investment strategy that has paid off for Jasmine so far.
When Jasmine finished her Masters degree she started looking round for a job. With limited options around, she had to find another way to make ends meet.
“I was very young when I first started out in property – about 19,” says Jasmine. “I could see that the job market in London wasn’t what it used to be, and so I looked for an alternative source of income.
“I didn’t have to look that far – my Mum runs a property business and it’s something I’ve sort of grown up with. Going in on my first property was just a natural step. The fact is that living in London is expensive – and it was cheaper for me to pay a mortgage than to pay rent.
“Now I’ve got a portfolio of 15+ properties and it’s how I make my living. But this isn’t what I’ve always wanted to do. I wanted to do charity work – especially with children – and that’s something my current property business will eventually fund. For now I’m going to continue to invest, and perhaps take on some development projects.
“I’m very clear about my goals and that this is my work and not my life. This isn’t about property for me – it’s about income. I’m in it to make money and live the lifestyle I want to live – I don’t get involved in tenant dramas, or personally invested in my properties.
“My portfolio consists of HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation) and I rent out to students in the North West, and to young professionals in London. While there’s a lot of work involved in buying and setting things up, I then use letting agents I trust to run things on a day to day basis.
“It’s a strategy that has worked well for me, but you’ve got to be educated and you’ve got to know what you’re doing. Mistakes can be extremely expensive. I’d definitely say you need some sort of training to make it work – and a good deal of common sense.
“The main issues for me come with local authorities all having different rules and expectations – which makes it difficult to have consistency across my properties. It’s something to look out for in HMOs, and more changes are likely to come in soon.”
The property market is always changing, and investors have come under increasing pressure over the last few months with tighter lending rules, tax changes, tenant deposit caps and other legislation.
Jasmine continues: “I invest under a company name, so things like Section 24 have had very little impact on me. In London of course things like stamp duty are astronomical, and the buy-to-let market has become very competitive. I’m very careful about how much I buy for, and how much a property is actually worth. My style is to invest slowly but surely – I don’t rush into things.
“There is still money to be made in property – and I’d recommend any one under 30 to get onto the property ladder and buy at least one. You’ll be so pleased you did because longer term it will give you more options in life. Get educated, spend time around other investors, and just do it.”