Yes, it really is possible!
by Julie Whitmore, YPN writer and property investor.
Ravinder Singh first started investing by buying buy-to-lets in Birmingham alongside a career in banking in the City, choosing Birmingham because he had gone to university there. He operated a very simple model – buying properties with a 25% deposit, carrying out the minimum work necessary before doing the same again with the next deposit.
However, the demands of his corporate career became a challenge once his daughter came along. He had little quality time with his family and started to feel he was missing her childhood so before the second child was born, he quit the corporate world in favour of creating an income from property.
Having moved back to his hometown, Stevenage in Hertfordshire, he set up a serviced accommodation (SA) business securing fully furnished apartments in the area. He rented these out through insurance companies to guests who needed temporary accommodation because they had experienced an event in their own homes, which meant that they had to vacate whilst work was being completed to make their homes habitable. He also extended the SA business as a managed service to other landlords in the city.
Adding value to one-bed apartments in London
As he wanted to grow his portfolio, he reviewed several strategies until deciding to focus on adding value to one-bedroom apartments by reconfiguring the units. Most of his properties achieved an uplift in value of circa £100,000, allowing Ravinder to recycle most of his money back out of the deal to use for the property – a method of operation called momentum investing.
He went on to apply this approach to adding value to houses as well, creating his own model, which he has called B4R – buy, reconfigure, refurbish, rent, refinance. In an article in the April issue, Ravinder shares some of what he has learned from his experience; for example, finding the correct strategy took time and perseverance, and the importance of completing your due diligence before you take something on. Taking the time to get it right paid off, because some of the strategies he had previously been considering would not have allowed him to follow the momentum model, as there would have been too much money left in the deals on refinance.
This is an inspirational MUST read, demonstrating how it’s still possible to add value to property, even in an expensive area like London.
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