Property development: a life-changing profit follows significant planning delays

Laura and James Muse

When time works in your favour! A case study 

By Angharad Owen, Co-editor

Laura and James Muse left their high-paying businesses to begin a new venture in property development. Despite a slow start and several hurdles to overcome, their first development was a huge success with a life-changing profit.

Laura and James Muse, Middlecroft Court

They hadn’t considered property investment until they felt the need to spend more time with family. Both were working long hours — Laura in equine nutrition and James as an electrical engineer — but after the birth of their daughter, they both realised it was no longer viable to continue working so intensely. James sold his business with the intention to use the funds for property investments.

Previously, he had bought some BTLs as investments throughout his career, but wanted to find out how to progress quicker. After attending a training seminar, he decided to concentrate on developments.

Planning delays

They bought a plot of land, but due to planning delays were unable to start work for 18 months. In that time, they decided to build the portfolio of BTLs to create a financial foundation to support themselves, using the money from the sale of James’s business alongside some investor funds.

The pandemic hit at the beginning of the build, but they had stockpiled as many materials as possible in anticipation of the lockdowns, enabling them to continue working safely. In addition, they were extremely lucky in still being able to get cement delivered, thanks to their supplier having a contract with the NHS and the delivery route to the hospital going past their own site. A different location might have had a different outcome and a much longer delay.

By the beginning of 2021, the three three-bed properties were sold through the Help to Buy scheme.

Laura and James Muse, lounge

Middlecroft Court, kitchen

This experience has opened their eyes to how much money can be made in property development. Changes in the initial scheme, increasing house prices over the past two years and lockdown forcing them to shop around for materials meant that they were able to generate a profit well over their initial expectations.

After the success of this development, Laura and James have a few more in the pipeline, including a site for 18 houses, a plot for a bungalow and a site of four new-builds.

Build a financial foundation

The biggest takeaway from this article is that taking the time to build a financial foundation through their BTL portfolio has meant that Laura and James are finally able to realise their development dreams.

Laura and James Muse, Middlecroft Court

To study this deal, check out their article in the September issue of YPN magazine. You can also find them speaking about their development journey and this project in more detail on a YPN Total Development webinar.



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