Lament at leisure

Thursday 07th February 2019 01:35 EST

There is an extremely good window of opportunity at the moment for those who are astute enough to exploit it.

On the surface when you look at the property portals you may not see what’s going on. One indication is the emails one receives headlined property price reduction. This is designed to catch a buyer’s attention. The property has been sitting stagnant at the same price without gathering any interest or no one has bitten. This means the seller is what is called a motivated seller, i.e. they want to, or in many instances must, sell. I mean who else would wish to sell in this environment. 

There are only two parts to the market, any market. Buyers and sellers. That’s it. When prices are rising sellers have the upper hand, creating an environment which is conducive to doing trades, which means selling post exchange and prior to completion; giving you high returns over very little time and with very little money in the deal. Asking prices are inflated, pregnant with the anticipation of future price rises, and they are achieved. Such an environment is known as the sellers’ markets.

Currently, we are not in a sellers’ market. There of course are sellers in the market who can afford to wait till their desired prices are achieved. However, there are also those who must sell. And it is this segment which is of interest to those who wish to find a bargain at the moment. The current issue is in the psychology of the buyer. They mostly are sitting on the fence, like everyone else. The term sheeple comes to mind. 

When this period is over, and the prices which have been achieved for property are etched in stone at the Land Registry for all to see, they will lament. If only they bought back then when the prices were so low. Lamenting on the past and procrastinating in the present. This is the actual barrier to investing, it’s in people’s minds and nowhere else. A prime example of deals which can be done is of a property in Finchley/Hampstead. When agents are trying to sell a property they call it Hampstead, when it’s actually in Finchley.

Whatever the label, the location is superb. Minutes from the station, you can rent this within days. The property is a 1,350 sq. ft., period conversion, share of freehold apartment. It was on the market for just short of £1m. The deal can now be done for close to £700K. This equates to only £518 a sq. ft. This is exceptionally cheap and rare to find even in this market. The expected rental is 4.5%. This is very good for London. Gone are the days when you can expect anything close to 5% anywhere in London, let alone a prime spot. The rental yield is actually testimony to this property being a deal. 

We are on the cusp of doing this deal and it needs to be placed. It’s looking for an investor. If the above resonates with you, please do get in touch.

Agony Agent is here to help!

Q: My tenant wants to repaint at their own cost. Is there any reason why I shouldn’t allow this?

A: Wow, sounds like you have a great tenant there! If I’m being honest, unless you have just had the place redone from top to bottom, then I do not see any reason why you shouldn’t allow this. That being said, I would recommend adding a few conditions when providing them permission to do so. For example, that the works are done by a professional or to a professional standard, and you inspect the work once this has been done (not an unreasonable request). Another example is approval of colour as you do not want them to choose the cheapest paint in the world or picking lime greens and deep purples!

Find out what look they want to achieve, you may even give them input or ideas that they never thought of before. Now, if this sounds a little too hands on for your liking, simply give them the permission to do this on the agreement that the wall/room is returned to a neutral or original colour at the end of their tenancy, also at their cost.

Having your tenants paint or personalise the property is really the best thing ever. Most tenants that want to make your house their home lead to long term tenancies. If you need any other lettings guidance, please do get in touch.

Richard Bond

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