Notes From My First Property Investor Show

Last weekend, I attended the first formal seminar/event that was aimed at aspiring and experienced property investors. There were many stalls and a series of free and paid seminars taking place throughout the two-day event.

Whilst at the event, I attended two paid seminars, picked up a free issue of Property Investor News magazine and received a free copy of Property Magic by Simon Zutshi. Despite this book being a best seller, I’ve read many reviews that slate Zutshi’s advice but I’m willing to give it a go and plan to write a book summary on it at a later date.

How I Prepared For the Event

One day before the event, I realised I’d done no preparation or research. I’d already booked two paid seminars (they were only a fiver each) and couldn’t believe I had let the last couple of months get away from me. I was working the whole day so I decided to set my virtual assistant a task to find out more about the speakers at each seminar. I found out the following:

  • How long each speaker had been involved in property (how many cycles they’d been through)
  • What others had said about them including any awards they’d won
  • What these ‘gurus’ said in 2007 just before the sub-prime mortgage crisis hit

The last one was most important for me. I needed to be sure that these speakers knew what they were talking about so hearing their predictions before the last recession was essential.

What I Heard

Richard Bowser, editor of Property Investor News magazine, held his 45 minute seminar on what would happen with buy-to-let market (BTL) over the next 12 months. A summary of what I heard is below:

  • Bowser has seen three major housing booms since he purchased his first property (1974)
  • Docklands and West London has seen a surge in new builds as developers see opportunities to build along the river
  • If your investment property is more than an hour’s drive away, be sure to have a back-up plan (i.e. a contact you can trust who can handle the property if you can’t get there)
  • Consider the number of properties you want and by what age
  • Set a target date for exit – you should be looking to invest in properties for 10 – 15 years (it’s pretty illiquid)
  • Look out for properties that have reverted to 1999 prices using the Essential Information Group
  • When considering purchasing a property to let out to students be wary of cities that only have one institution as these areas have weakened from a capital growth and rental yield perspective
  • In six to eight years he predicts that lenders will charge 7 – 9 % for BTL mortgages
  • Look for properties that you can add value to (new builds have already provided a healthy profit to the developer)
  • Average of 25 – 35% deposit needs to be provided in order to qualify for a BTL mortgage
  • Use the local council to find out what development plans are taking place over the next 10 years

He talked about different types of property investor. I noted the following:

  1. Experienced – Buys property at below market value (BMV) and adds value to it before selling it on
  2. Smart – Buys a property with cash, adds value, refinances the property after six or more months

The things that have stayed in mind for me is that if you want to get serious about property, you need to be searching for opportunities and properties daily. Also, cities that he recommends considering include: Bristol, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Manchester and Leeds as he expects demand to grow in these areas.

Overall, I enjoyed the experience as I got to find out about a few alternative ways of investing in properties as well as hearing from a couple of professional investors on how they built their portfolios. In terms of how much I learnt, a lot of what was shared here was information I’d found out previously through my own research. As with many shows like these, there’s an element of withholding information at seminars in order for you to go on and purchase their products to get the full details. Next week, I have a free Property Investor’s Network event which I signed up for at the show. Watch this space for highlights from this event.

All information provided at Life-Life Balance is for informational purposes only. MM is not a qualified financial advisor. Before making any decisions on your finances you should seek advice from a qualified advisor.

*Image courtesy of patpitchaya atFree Digital Photos.