Streetwise Property Alert 23rd September 2013

Lots of interest in the Liverpool BMV BTLs! We were planning a visit this Thursday but I have to meet some members at Gatwick at an awful hour so we will re-arrange shortly. Meantime, we are still sending out PDFs.

BTL Basics

The site has some advice on buy-to-let; 10 tips for first-timers. Let’s quote some of the best of the best.

Try to buy something that is not very old – this will mean less maintenance down the line.

Pick something lettable – two-bedroom houses and flats appeal to the widest range of potential tenants. Avoid large family homes, which appeal to fewer potential tenants.

Don’t restrict yourself to your own immediate area, make sure the area has a healthy market for tenants and try to avoid rundown areas. This will have a direct relationship with the type of tenant you will attract – and poor-quality tenants will cost you money.

When making an offer on a property, be patient but ruthless – as an investment buyer, you are not in a chain and can move at speed. This has value to the seller so be prepared to walk away if you are not getting the deal you are after.

Using a mortgage makes your money work harder – a rental income high enough to cover a repayment mortgage is a good indicator that you are getting things right.

That reminds me – we’ve been promising a BTL report for first-timers. We will start work on that this week and it will be ready in two to three weeks.

Time To Buy?

The year is certainly going better than expected. We note that Rightmove has increased its upside forecast for the year. At the end of 2012, it predicted that property prices in the UK would rise by 2 per cent in 2013. In July, it raised that forecast to 4 per cent. It’s now raised it to 6 per cent.

Their Miles Shipside says, ‘We forecast the national average increase in new seller pricing for the whole of 2013 to be in the region of 6 per cent, partly driven by the strength of southern markets but increasingly contributed to by the more buoyant areas of the north.’ Want to know where these ‘buoyant areas of the north are’; we have a list of hotspots coming soon.

Create The Tardis Effect

Great article at on making your property look bigger than it is – the appearance of space is a key seller, of course. Let’s quote some of the site’s best tricks.

Bathroom – wall-hung furniture such as the toilet, vanity basin and cabinets, leaves space underneath the items meaning the eye can travel round the bottom half of the room uninterrupted, giving the impression of more space.

Living room – you can do clever tricks with paint in your living room if you have a skirting board or cornice. For instance, painting both the same colour as the wall will make the room appear taller. You can do the same trick with curtains; keep them the same colour as the wall and hang them closer to the ceiling to make the eye travel upwards and make the room seem taller.

Kitchen – take down cabinets and replace them with open shelves, especially ‘floating’ versions so there are no brackets to distract the eye.

Bedroom – you could place two large mirrors at opposite ends of the room to each other to ‘open up’ the room.

Hallway – install a large chandelier; it’ll distract from the narrowness of the hallway.Okay, not all of these will apply to you and yours. You may disagree with some of them. But, as ever, it is food for thought.

All for now, do let us know if you are interested in those BMV BTLs in Liverpool. We have a PDF we are sending out and we can have a chat, answer questions, arrange a visit with you etc.

Free Documents And Templates

When you start out in business, you’re often doing lots of things for the first time…creating forms, writing standard letters, producing contracts… that kind of thing. It can take a lot of time and effort. A trip to a site I discovered last week could cut out a lot of the work. is a site featuring thousands of free printable documents and templates.

The site is American based, so not everything will be applicable to the UK, but there’s certainly plenty that are.  Examples of what you’ll find on the site include:

* Business Cards
* Fax Cover Sheets
* Stationery
* Cash Receipts
* Time Sheets
* Invoice Templates
* Business Form Templates
* Fax Cover Sheets
* CV Templates
* Sample Resignation Letters
* Sample Cover Letters
* Thank You Letters
* Letters of Recommendation
* Contract Templates

Definitely worth a look for anyone in business.

Clothes On Tour

Here’s a strange thing…a company at the top end of a market, adapting an idea from the bottom end, and making it work.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the concept of the one day sale. A company hire a hall or empty shop unit and hold a one day sale of sports goods, leather goods, jewellery, furniture or something else. These sales almost always operate at the lower end of the market. The key selling point is that this stuff is dirt cheap and it won’t be here tomorrow.

Clemens en August do something remarkably similar, but at the other end of the market. They are a high end Munich based fashion retailer, but their clothes aren’t available in shops or online. Instead, each season they travel to international cities, selling their collections in contemporary art galleries for only three days at a time. This tour system allows the company to  cut out the retail margin, and the selling point is very similar – this is very attractively priced, and if you don’t buy today, it won’t be here tomorrow. Exclusivity is added into the mix. The concept has been dubbed ‘clothes on tour’.

It’s an interesting concept isn’t it, and I’m sure it’s something that could be applied to other markets. Remember the key factors – a time-limited opportunity to buy an exclusive product at an attractive price. Here today, but gone tomorrow.