Anthony Lyons was our headline PIM speaker in February.
Ant Lyons is a successful property investor with a portfolio of properties here in the West Country. He is also founder and editor of Your Property Network magazine – a specialist property investment magazine aimed at investors seeking to grow and improve their portfolios.
YPN is read by over 10,000 investors across the UK and features the latest strategies and techniques that successful investors use to make more money from property. Among those he has interviewed and featured is, of course our own Del Brown.
As an investor himself and as YPN editor, having interviewed many of the most successful investors in the UK, Ant is uniquely positioned to give an insight into the different approaches of the most successful property investors.
Ant himself invests in Bristol, as well as Plymouth and even Weston-Super-Mare, so he knows our local market and area very well. Generally he prefers single lets and small scale developments to multi-lets, for his own portfolio. He prefers to see investing as an additional source of income and capital growth, focusing much of his day to day time on YPN.
Ant first highlighted a couple of strategies to avoid this year:
1 – Off Plan Overseas Developments
As Ant says, if you’ve never been there and can’t even pronounce the name, you are not well placed to make a well informed decision. One of the risks is local rogues and developments which never get built and which the “seller” may not even own. This doesn’t necessarily mean mafia country or somewhere very obscure either. The Mayor of Marbella is currently in jail for exactly this kind of fraud.
2 – Buy With No Money Down
BMV discount purchases structured so you put no money in at all, are simply not possible – virtually all involve mortgage fraud. There are of course plenty of ways you can invest or control property without using your own funds, but not this one.
Ant also believes that there can be too much focus on buying below market value. They are not so easy to find in a rising market and he prefers to look at the opportunities for adding value to generate profit.
Next Ant looked at some of the strategies he does recommend:
5 Strategies Working Well in the Current Market
1 – 1 Bed to 2 Bed – Create £30-100k
Ant himself actively uses this strategy where a 1 bedroom flat is converted into a 2 bedroom flat, immediately adding value. Typically this can be done where there is a large kitchen which can be turned in to an open plan living room, with a kitchenette, allowing the original lounge to become a 2nd bedroom.
The upsides of this strategy are plenty of property available, no planning permission is needed and the system is easy to understand and replicate. You do need a good eye for a floor plan though.
2 – Flipping – to generate cash
This is a simple strategy based on adding value through refurbishment. It’s important to do this in the right area. Ant would not recommend this in Weston for example, as property is slow to sell there still.
While Bristol is a double edged sword – it’s competitive to buy the property, but then easy to sell.
Bungalows are an interesting niche within this strategy, attracting a lot of attention just at the moment. Many of them are tired and outdated, but most buyers are older and want property in excellent condition.
3 – Convert Houses to Flats to add value
This is another way to create equity and add value. Ant used a great example, with a property bought for £110k, which already had planning for the conversion and the work had started. It cost £18k to finish and the 2 flats were then worth £84k each – creating £40k equity.
To use this strategy successfully, it’s important to be aware of planning issues – there may be all sorts of requirements from parking to bins to bike storage which can cause difficulties getting the permission you need. You also need to be aware that refinancing may be less than straightforward.
4 – Transfer from Freehold to Leasehold, with existing flat use
This is a similar strategy, where the property is already in use as flats, although the title is still freehold, and the property is for sale as a house. With established use, as flats, the legal work can often be done with minimal costs for the value added.
5 – Convert Commercial to Residential to add value
This is yet another way to add a lot of value and much easier now planning regulations have been relaxed, so permission for change if use is no longer required.
Ant gave one example of a property bought for £270k, with conversion costs totalling £230k – but resulting in a valuation of £750k. although this sounds a big deal for a professionals only, it was actually done by someone with limited property experience, as a first time commercial venture, by doing a JV with a builder.
Obviously there is plenty of unused office space so there are good opportunities, but you do need to be careful of the conversion costs and this kind of deal may be harder to finance – but the rewards are considerable.
This was a really excellent presentation, interesting informative and fun too. Ant confessed to being a bit nervous, as he’s not a professional speaker, week in week out, as some are – but it certainly didn’t show!
If you missed this evening, with Francis Dolley as well, you missed out! So make sure you join us at our next PIM on Thursday 26 March 2015 at Holiday Inn, Bristol City Centre, 6-9 pm – it will be another great evening!
For more info and to reserve your place CLICK BELOW!
We look forward to seeing you there on the night.
All the Team at Property Options