Better Beetroot

I’ve read a number of reports recently, about the health benefits of beetroot juice. But I haven’t bought any because I really don’t like the taste. Perhaps Unbeetable provide a solution. The US based company manufacture a Beetroot based drink which they say has all the health benefits, but with a much more palatable taste. There are a couple of things to take from this I think.

1. Could you create your own ‘Better Beetroot’ product. If so, there could be a big UK market for it.

2. Western consumers are increasingly health conscious, but the things that are good for us are rarely those that taste the best. There has to be a market for anyone who can produce an improved taste version of the things that are said to be good for us.

Streetwise Property Alert 29th January 2014

Okay, we have a free e-book on lease options and some lease option introductions for you today…

UK Property Ownership!

NO banks

NO mortgage

NO deposit

NO credit checks

NO valuation fee

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Cash positive monthly income of £150 – £500 per property

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Email back to receive our FREE ‘Lease Options explained’ e-book! admin@streetwisenews.com

What Are Lease Options?

In a nutshell they are a legally binding agreement between you (the investor) and a homeowner, that gives you financial control of the property for a fixed term (typically 5- 15 years).

There are two main benefits to this agreement.

Over this agreed term you collect the rent, pay the mortgage and retain the difference as profit /monthly cashflow.

The lease also stipulates an agreed price (typically a below market value figure). You can purchase the property during any point in the agreed term for this agreed price. Selling after the property has gone up in value and paying this figure off then leaves you with the balance/healthy cash profit (not counting the monthly cashflow you could have received for the period too).

Working Example

The property is valued at £200k.

Homeowner agrees to a 10 year lease option with a purchase price of £180k.

Mortgage is £450 per month/Rental income is £700.

Positive cashflow per month therefore of £250/£3k per year.

Property rises in price at just 5 per cent per annum average for the next 10 years = £180k x 5 per cent interest each year for the 10 years = 290k+ valuation.

You then pay off the agreed lease figure of £180k and your profit is the remaining £110k on the sale, PLUS the 10 years of £3k income from the rent (£30k), giving a TOTAL PROFIT of:

£140,000.00 (£14,000 per annum).

Email back to receive our FREE ‘Lease Options explained’ e-book! admin@streetwisenews.com

The FREE e- book will explain why lease options are the savvy investors’ newest and most profitable route to owning property and making money. With monthly income from day one and tens of thousands of pounds to be made from a rising market over the next few years, it’s easy to see why these investments are so popular.

Current Offers

Milton Keynes

3 Bedroom Semi Detached

Cloak & Garage

10 Year Lease Option £175,000

Mortgage £595

Rental Income £900

Monthly Profit £305

10 Year Projected Value £284,000

10 Year Capital Profit – £109,000

10 Year Rental Income Profit – £36,600

TOTAL PROFIT – £145,600

(One off fee – £4,995)

County Durham

2 Bedroom Terrace

10 Year Lease Option £72,000

Mortgage £299

Rental Income £450

Monthly Profit £151

10 Year Projected Value £117,000

10 Year Capital Profit – £45,000

10 Year Rental Income Profit – £18,120

TOTAL PROFIT – £63,120

(One off fee – £3,500)

Liverpool

3 Bedroom Terrace

9 Year Lease Option £75,000

Mortgage £129

Rental Income £475

Monthly Profit £346

10 Year Projected Value £116,000

10 Year Capital Profit – £41,000

10 Year Rental Income Profit – £37,368

TOTAL PROFIT – £78,368

(One off fee – £3,500)

St Helens, Merseyside

3 Bedroom Semi

10 Year Lease Option £70,000

Mortgage £254

Rental Income £475

Monthly Profit £221

10 Year Projected Value £114,000

10 Year Capital Profit – £44,000

10 Year Rental Income Profit – £26,520

TOTAL PROFIT – £70,520

(One off fee – £3,500)

All for now but do email back for the e-book and details of the lease option introductions.

admin@streetwisenews.com

Streetwise Property Alert 28th January 2014

Welcome to today’s email of overseas property news and views…

Turkey – The Time Is Right?

Istanbul based property firm Universal 21 makes an interesting point this week when it suggests that the current political turmoil in Turkey could offer a buying opportunity for property investors. Over to Adil Yaman at Universal 21, ‘As we saw in early 2013, unrest and political upheaval can result in a loss of confidence amongst overseas investors in the short term, such as the protests which took place in Gezi Park in early 2013.’

‘Naturally, some investors who remember the political problems experienced in Turkey in the past fear a return to the bad old days. This actually creates an opportunity for investors who think long term and believe that the progress made by Turkey is sustainable and on the right track.’ Food for thought; if you are buying in, we can get a one-on-one currency review, your currency to the lira, on request from Peter Lavelle at Pure FX.

Heads Up! Montana, USA

Massive demand for property from oil workers and companies.

Full ownership of units.

You manage or use a management company – it’s up to you.

Invest from just $33,950.

Up to 38 per cent ROI (return on investment).

Optional – your call – 5 year rental guarantee, offering 25 per cent per annum.

Site is up-and-running.

Investors already receiving returns.

Now it’s your turn!

Email today if you are looking for a full ownership unit (fractionals and suites also available) with up to 38 per cent returns! Full information and investor packs now available.

admin@streetwisenews.com

New Zealand News

We are seeing growing interest in ‘down under’ markets and are extending coverage over at Lifestyle Property Alerts. One or two IPA investors there tell us they are selling up! According to agents Barfoot & Thompson, there is currently a small window of opportunity in Auckland in New Zealand. ‘Seasonal trends which traditionally see higher value properties traded have not been offset by recent Reserve Bank changes and nor would they given the next three to four months of high summer season. With listings being so restricted and buyer demand so high, it suggests that as we enter the New Year, the Auckland real estate market will experience a strong first quarter.’ In-depth reports on key markets ‘down under’ will be available throughout this quarter; let us know if you are investing there.

Spain – More Positives

We’ve been offered a second database of properties for sale in Spain which, with the first one of 18,000, gives us a terrific spread of offers all across the country. If you’d like to know more, please email your buying criteria in as much detail as possible. Meantime, and it sounds like a tongue-twister to me too, Chris Mercer of Murcia agents Mercers, offers an update on Murcia. ‘Property prices have held pretty steady for several months now. I do not think that prices in our part of Murcia will slide further, but neither do I think that they will increase in the first three quarters of 2014. Since the peak, prices have dropped 40 to 55 per cent and we are now in a situation of everyday low prices.’

‘Coming off the back of a very strong 2013, I predict a further increase in sales volume for Mercers in 2014 as buyer confidence continues to grow. If bank lending finally improves, then the market will accelerate across the board but, again, I do not think that is likely for the first three quarters of 2014.’

‘It is reassuring to see the British contingent participating so heavily in Murcia and I expect them to carry on leading the charge this year. And, this time, I will stick my neck out and predict at least a 30 per cent rise in sales for 2014 over 2013. A lot depends on the Paramount Theme Park, which is now in the first stages of construction and on schedule for a 2016 opening. But, even without this tourist attraction, the general climate and appetite for foreign property buying is on the up.’

All for now, but email back if you’d like to receive the latest sterling-euro-US dollar currencies review that’s just arrived from Pure FX.

admin@streetwisenews.com

Killing Goliath

It’s natural to be wary of bigger, stronger competition in business, but being small has its advantages. It usually means that you can be more nimble, responsive,  and change direction and focus much quicker when the world changes. A new book by Stephen Denny – ‘Killing Giants: 10 Strategies to Topple Goliath In Your Industry’, focus’s on some of these advantages. Two pieces of advice which most of us can adapt or relate to are:

1. Win the last three feet. What this means is that you should position yourself to pocket customers money after the larger competitor has done all the hard work. In practical terms, that might mean approaching potential customers directly, right after your competitor has softened them up with expensive marketing.

2. Create Thin Ice Arguments. By shifting the emphasis to areas where your larger competitors can’t go, you can gain an edge. Those areas may involve the environmental impact of the business, detrimental social effects, or other unethical practices. Large  businesses are rarely  without skeletons in cupboards.

Streetwise Property Alert 27th January 2014

I’d like to begin today by thanking everyone who donated to Martin House, the children’s hospice. The total, including a fantastic £420 sent direct from David H (thank you so much) and some Gift Aid too, was £2520; a very useful sum. Thank you all who donated. We will return to www.justgiving.com/iain-c-maitland later in the year.

What A Start!

According to new figures from Rightmove, the UK property market has started 2014 with a bang. Asking prices are up by 1 per cent this month. All in all, there has been an annual increase of 6.3 per cent, the highest since November 2007.

‘The early statistics for any new year are keenly anticipated as they indicate the shape of things to come in the year ahead. With a very strong start in both the price of property coming to market and the number of people looking at what’s on the market, it suggests that the new year resolution for many is to make 2014 their year to move.’

‘New sellers’ and their agents’ price expectations are a lead indicator of optimism and the largest rise seen at the beginning of a year since the start of the Rightmove House Price Index in 2002 suggests the anticipated demand is here and, consequently, prices are ticking upwards. As a result, more home owners will find themselves in a position where their growth in equity may help to fund a move. This is the strongest start to a new year for house prices that Rightmove has ever recorded and that will get some potential sellers salivating at the thought of better moving prospects.’

Heads Up! Student Units

Leading UK City

The UK’s fastest growing economy outside of London.

Home to 50,000 students from over 100 countries.

£52,500.

118 self-contained, oversized studio apartments.

10 per cent annual return.

Buy back available after 5 years.

Successful proven developer.

Longstanding management company (or use your own if you prefer).

Fully furnished including kitchens & bathrooms.

Email for details.   admin@streetwisenews.com

Mortgages – What’s Happening?

The must-read magazine, What Mortgage, has asked mortgage experts for their prediction for 2014. Ray Boulger at John Charcol always calls it well. Here’s what he has to say. ‘The factors pushing up house prices will continue in 2014, with Help to Buy (HTB) being a bigger influence. Lenders have plenty of funds, partly because of the Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS), whereby the Bank of England offers very cheap funds for a four-year term. Although this scheme will now finish a year earlier than planned, i.e. on 31 January 2014, lenders can draw down funds to which they are already entitled and many will draw considerable amounts in the run up to the scheme ending, giving them a substantial war chest for 2014 lending.’

‘Following ‘guidance’ from the Bank of England it is highly unlikely that Bank Rate will change in 2014. Despite the fall in unemployment now accelerating on the back of a stronger than expected pick up in the economy, comments from the Bank suggest it will be in no hurry to increase Bank Rate, even when unemployment falls to its initial target rate of 7 per cent.’

‘The availability of 95 per cent LTV mortgages has increased substantially as a result of HTB and will increase further early in 2014. Despite HTB being the catalyst for this increase most lenders offering mortgages with only a 5 per cent deposit are not using the scheme to do so. The increased competition in 2014 for borrowers with only a 5 per cent deposit will result in lower rates. However, criteria will remain tight and prospective borrowers will continue to need a good credit status. The most visible impact for most consumers of the Mortgage Market Review is that from then it will generally be mandatory for borrowers to get advice before they can take out a mortgage. Consumers used to using a mortgage broker will not notice much difference but it will be a culture shock for some consumers.’

Investing In 2014 Seminar – Limited Availability

Central London

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Led by Iain Maitland.

With Jeannie Lumb.

And David Burgess.

1 February 2014.

Property investing has changed forever!

New rules for Joe Public!

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Understand ‘the new investing landscape’.

Learn how it will change your investing activities.

Discover opportunities suited to you.

Email back for fuller details. We still have (a limited number of) spaces.

admin@streetwisenews.com

Selling Savvy

Looking to put a property up for sale? The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) has some advice. ‘The winter months are traditionally a difficult time for sellers trying to impress buyers with their home. An inviting atmosphere in these gloomier months is vital and it’s often the smallest changes to a property that can make it stand out above others.’

‘Simple things such as ensuring the home is warm and well lit can improve saleability during these cold, dull months and additions such as garden lights to enhance the entrance to your home can stimulates buyers’ imaginations.’

‘Practical issues are of importance at this time of year too, with the dark days highlighting awareness of light and heating costs. With buyers now concerned more than ever on the running costs of a home, sellers should seek to highlight any energy saving features which will entice an offer out of buyers.

All for now, see you on Tuesday.

Shirts That Fit!

One of the subjects I can rant on at will (of which there are many!) is the sizing of shirts. It’s just so difficult to get one to fit properly, and it’s not hard to see why. We’re all different shapes and sizes and the mainstream manufacturers do little more than give you the small/medium/large sizing options. A New Jersey based company is tackling the problem.

Stantt has gathered data about the differing shapes of mens’ bodies using 3D modelling in order to develop a system for easily creating clothing that fits, to order.  Stantt customers simply enter in their chest, waist and sleeve length and the company will automatically pick the best shirt shape and size out of a range of 50 in order to best suit their needs.  Threadmason is another company that is challenging the generic sizing of men’s clothing. Using the same three measurements, the New York-based company has created 24 sizes that offer varying lengths and cuts for the torso and sleeves for T shirts.

These are two US based companies. I’m not sure whether a similar service exists here in the UK, but the problem certainly does. Consumers are increasingly demanding more choice, and there are profits to be made for those who deliver it.

Drop ‘Til You Shop

Drop Til You Shop is an internet retailer with a difference. At any one time, the site has three items for sale and the price of each is dropping by the second. The catch is that the products are in limited supply and site users have to decide how long to wait before jumping in. Wait too long and the limited supply may be sold. Jump in too early and you could pay too much.

The site seems to be pretty addictive amongst bargain hunters, with statistics showing users staying around for an average of 30 minutes, and coming back later to check new deals. Nobody is told how limited supplies are, so that all adds to the tension.

This seems like a great way to whip up a buying frenzy amongst customers while ensuring that products sell at the best possible price. The regular retail model is inefficient in that it results in some customers buying at a lower price than they would have been prepared to pay, and other people not buying at all, even though the price they would be prepared to pay would still yield a profit.

There’s food for thought here I think. Is there a way you could offer your products or services on a fluid pricing basis? It’s not easy to do without annoying those paying a higher price, but if you can pull it off, it can certainly have a positive effect on profits.

Streetwise Property Alert 24th January 2014

Welcome to Friday’s email of news and views…

Licensing – More News

We have said for some time that the BTL and HMO markets are moving steadily towards blanket licensing – led by Hackney, more and more authorities are bringing in licensing and rules and regulations on an area-by-area basis. We suspect, eventually, that there will be some sort of national licence system but, for now, it’s all a little bit here and a little bit there.

We note this week that a newspaper report from Sheffield offers a heads-up of what’s happening there – and elsewhere sometime soon? ‘Sheffield City Council said rented housing in Page Hall was “generally poorer” than elsewhere in the city.’

‘Senior councillors have agreed to introduce selective licensing to about 350 properties in the Page Hall area. Landlords will soon have to register for a £725 five-year licence.’ If you are buying a BTL, check what’s what with the local authority first – what you are used to with one BTL in one area may not be the same when you buy elsewhere.

Get Advice ASAP

We have something of a mantra here when it comes to looking at property opportunities… ’due diligence… independent legal advice… due diligence… independent legal advice etc. In these current times, we need to amend that a little – get independent legal advice asap. As examples, we’ve had members express interest lately in sub-130k BTLs in London and lease option deals. Several have missed out because they are simply not ready to buy – no lawyer, no cash to hand and so on. It’s a fast-moving market right now!

Estate agency Move With Us is saying much the same – their research suggests some 84 per cent of people leave it ‘until the last minute’ to appoint a solicitor which leads to a larger number of deals falling through. ‘The property market is quickly gathering pace. With such increased competition, being legally prepared early puts buyers in a good position by being able to stand out from the competition and demonstrate that they are a serious, motivated and reliable contender.’ Be prepared to do a deal!

Student Deals – Where’s Hot?

Stuart Law at investment specialists Assetz is in the news drawing attention to student accommodation hotspots – he names Leicester, Glasgow, Liverpool, Southampton and York for student investment. Over to Stuart who gives us an idea of what to look for in the months and years ahead, ‘There is a shortage of bespoke accommodation for overseas students, from China, India, Nigeria, Germany, Ireland and France and other countries, who now make up more than half of UK postgraduate and want their own space.’

‘Undergraduate student hall of residence accommodation has long been a sound buy-to-let investment opportunity, offering excellent yields, but the lucrative market in high quality post graduate accommodation is only just starting to materialise. Many students are continuing to study after their undergraduate degree due to the current competition in the UK jobs market and overseas students are drawn to the UK for its excellent standard of university education.’ Food for thought.

All for today, see you again soon.

The Anger Release Machine

I recently saw an episode of The Moaning Of Life with Karl Pilkington, in which people paid good money to go into a junk yard with a sledgehammer, and take out their anger and frustration out on some scrap cars. And if you don’t want to do things on such a large scale, there’s an alternative.

The “Passive Aggressive Anger Release Machine” is a machine that allows you break a dish or two until you feel better. All you have to do is insert a dollar, and a piece of china will slowly move towards you until it falls to the bottom and breaks into a million pieces.

If  you want to do it again, it will cost you another dollar.

It seems like people enjoy breaking stuff – and most want to do it safely and legally. Could you make a business out of allowing people to take their frustrations out of inanimate objects?

Streetwise Property Alert 23rd January 2014

London starter BTLs, under 130k and ready tenanted? Be quick! Investing In 2014 seminar on 1 February? Be quick! The ‘Crystal Ball’ article by Peter Lavelle of Pure FX? Read on…

Crystal Ball-Time

Santa’s been and gone, the Christmas cake has been eaten up and 2014 is upon us. This, of course, begs the question, what does this New Year have in store for the foreign exchange rate? Well, as ever, we can’t tell you for certain, but we can gaze into the Pure FX crystal ball, to try to gain an inkling of what may happen to the major currencies this year. Read on for our thoughts.

Sterling

Sterling may well be the juggernaut of 2014, the currency that little baby currencies look up to and think “That’s what I want to be when I grow up”. Which is, of course, our way of saying that the pound looks set to strengthen across the board this year. Why? Because the UK’s economic recovery looks set to continue in earnest. For instance, the British Chamber of Commerce reported that UK businesses are more upbeat now than before the financial crash. And just as a rising tide lifts all boats, so a UK economy at full-throttle looks set to lift the pound.

That said, the road facing the pound in 2014 isn’t completely pot hole-free. For one, there’s the quite real risk that the UK’s economic comeback will prove unsustainable. This may happen because, for the last six months, the UK’s economic revival has been driven by people spending more, in spite of the fact that wages in the UK haven’t gone up. That can’t go on forever. Second, there’s also the risk that the Bank of England will hold interest rates down, in spite of the UK economy’s new-found vim and vigour. So while the pound may rise, it’s not set in stone!

Eur0

If you were to ask the euro whether it were a man or a mouse in 2014, it would reply with a timid ‘Squeak’. This is to say, the common currency looks to decline, a lot. How come? Well, first, because the Eurozone is still waist-deep in an economic quagmire, having shrunk some -0.4 per cent last year. More importantly, however, is the fact that prices in the currency bloc have risen less than 1.0 per cent for three months now, raising the dreaded threat of deflation. Deflation is what’s led to Japan’s economy to stagnate since the 1990s, and would weigh heavily on the Eurozone, and the euro.

US Dollar

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, economist for The Telegraph, has called 2014 ‘the year of the all-conquering US dollar’. This is to say, he expects the greenback to climb, big time. Why? Well, because since September 2012, the Federal Reserve has printed vast, vast sums of money to lift the US economy, though this has had the simultaneous effect of devaluing the buck. Now, however, America’s economy looks better, the Fed is cutting back its stimulus, and that should set the US dollar flying like a firework on Guy Fawkes’ Night, as it’s no longer weighed down.

Australian Dollar

The Australian dollar fell as though pulled by an exceptionally strong force of gravity last year, and 2014 doesn’t look set to be any different. Why? Because, bereft of its mining boom, Australia’s economy now looks as bare as a Christmas tree on Boxing Day. For instance, Toyota, the last car manufacturer with a factory in Australia, is considering shutting up shop. Moreover, the Reserve Bank may cut interest rates below the emergency levels seen during the financial crash. Given that, it may be all down for the Aussie!

New Zealand Dollar

Kiwi dollar, break out the electric guitar and drum kit! The New Zealand dollar is set to rocket this year, because, as HSBC’s Paul Bloxham predicts, ‘New Zealand will be the rock star economy of 2014.’ Why? Well, first, because the reconstruction of Canterbury, New Zealand’s second biggest city, after its 2011 earthquake, will provide a big economic boost. Second, New Zealand is set to export whacking great quantities of dried milk to China which will lift New Zealand just as the mining boom lifted Australia. With this in mind, it’s best foot forward for the kiwi!

Canadian Dollar

If there’s one currency set to fall in 2014, it’s the embattled loonie! The Canadian dollar fell -9.64 per cent versus the pound last year and that trend now looks set to extend. This is because, much like the UK, Canada is looking for an economic rebalancing that’s yet to emerge. Canadian households are up to their eyeballs in debt, meaning they can no longer fuel growth, yet Canada isn’t exporting more. That then is a recipe for stagnation! Moreover, the Bank of Canada in fact wants to weaken the loonie dollar too, to make Canada’s goods cheaper overseas.

So, that’s what’s in store for the foreign exchange rate in 2014…we think. If you’d like to get a more personal forecast for the foreign exchange rate for this year, and learn how this will affect your money transfers, feel free to call +44 (0) 1494 671800 or email enquiries@purefx.co.uk. We’d be delighted to answer your questions.

All for now, but do get back to us…London starter BTLs…Investing In 2014 seminar…free advice from Peter at Pure FX.