Building for the future
The hysteria around the raising of stamp duty may make for sensational headlines but buy-to-let property investors have nothing to fear.
‘Turning a property into shared accommodation or HMO's, mean you can then receive way more cash-flow and pay a lot less stamp duty, in some cases no stamp duty'
News that the buy-to-let market is about to have its foundations rocked by George Osborne's hiking of tax for landlords is causing scaremongering among the uneducated property investors in the UK..
But for anyone interested in entering the property market, particularly the buy-to-let sector, whilst it's important to be aware of the research that's leading to this surge in negativity - namely the effects of increased stamp duty and rising costs of rent - it's also crucial to realise that much of the hysteria is pure puff.
Alarming headlines they might be but put into perspective, the reality is that these, just like any new government measure, can be mitigated and create an equal if not greater opportunity for you right now!
We know that the buy-to-let market is booming in the UK, in fact it is the best it's ever been in the history of the property market.
When a property market booms, the government - any government - will look for ways to gain extra revenue from this boom and cool the property market, afraid that first time buyers will be priced out of the market.
The new stamp duty law states that any buy-to-let landlord will have to pay an additional 3% on any new property purchased above £40,000.
Now, I can tell you for a fact half of the properties I purchased last year were below £40,000, the others were at least 30% below market value... stamp duty changes therefore absolutely do not bother me.
Moreover, every property I have purchased in the last two years has been purchased using a company. Companies that own 15 or more properties will be exempt from the new stamp duty laws. This means the more properties you own, the less you pay because you can mitigate huge amounts of tax.
This is why my advice to every prospective property investor would be the following five key points.
1. Do the market research
Success in the buy-to-let market is primarily down to doing the research - that is a must. But would-be landlord entrepreneurs - and indeed existing ones - should not be spooked by headlines.
Will there be 500,000 buy-to-let properties on the market due to George's tax? Will landlords run away? No! The idea that this would happen is nonsense. When the cash flow you can make from your properties can replace your salary and you never have to work again, not even changes in tax laws make it worth selling.
The only place landlords are likely to need to reassess the landscape are those in London.
Which brings me on to...
2. Choose the location
Manchester and Birmingham and other selected cities in Northern England are booming; job growth is phenomenal especially with Manchester's Media City housing over 300 companies. The surge in media and tech companies flocking to Manchester has seen an increase of 74% in the last year. This means the north ticks all the four fundamentals: booming cycles, population growth, development plan and job growth!
So, those landlords in London will probably just decide to buy six properties in Manchester for the same price. It makes more sense and means you avoid hefty rent hikes and stamp duty.
3. Do the maths
If you're looking to buy-to-let, you typically want rent to cover 125% of the mortgage repayments. This means once you have the mortgage rate and likely rent sorted, you must be absolutely disciplined in making your investment count. Factor in maintenance costs, make sure to have a contingency plan for the possible event of a property sitting empty for a month or two, don't lose sight of how much the mortgage repayments will be.
4. Know your rental options
Turning a property into shared accommodation or a house of multiple occupation (HMO) means you can then receive way more cash-flow and pay a lot less stamp duty, in some cases no stamp duty. If you buy any property with a lease option strategy you don't pay any stamp duty because you are not completing on the property, you are leasing it, and when you sell it the buyer pays the stamp duty not you. This is also known as seller financing.
5. Think savvy
You need to think outside the box. Use a company to purchase your properties. At every opportunity use a Tax Exempt strategy such as a lease option (could be a 3 to 10 year lease). Purchase a specific type of property that gives you more rental income. I can say without a shadow of a doubt, the best buys are HMOs (shared accommodation) because in an HMO you can have more than one tenant sharing the rent. This is incredibly popular - and is actually the most requested type of rental in the UK, especially in major cities where rent but not salaries have rocketed.
Fact is, if you stick to these five rules, you can only succeed in property investment. The numbers prove it.
Last year one of my companies along with my property buying partner in the UK, Simon Paul, Wealth Creation (UK) Ltd, operated at a turnover of nearly £1.25 million and a post-tax profit of nearly half a million. Moreover, it had assets of nearly £6 million accumulated. All of this is verifiable if you want to look up the company's returns. That's all in one year of operation.
And you can do the same. Anything is possible. George Osborne's tax laws do not matter at all.
Post Date: March 27th, 2016