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The Property Podcast

The Property Podcast is the podcast for all property investors, new or experienced. Rob Bence and Rob Dix discuss a different property topic and property news item every week, passing on their knowledge and experience to the listeners. They both invest in UK property so they practise what they preach. No hard sell, no bull, just straight-talking property investment advice!
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Now displaying: April, 2017
Apr 27, 2017

We're very excited to announce that Rob D's new book came out yesterday and we may be biased, but we think it is his best yet. In this week's special episode of The Property Podcast, we are going to discuss 'How to be a landlord', with tips from the book, and from all sorts of other places.

Also, we have Meetups next week. The evening's are lighter so there's no excuse not to join your nearest get together. Find all the details here.

You'll need to listen to the episode in full to get all of this week's tips and info, but here are some notes you may want to jot down.

You can make property management a lot easier with some little tricks and processes.

 Communicating with tenants:

  • Writing is better than phone
  • Do whatever’s easiest for them - WhatsApp group, text, even Facebook
  • You don’t have to give out your phone number - Skype or switchboardfree
  • Set out ground rules at the start about when you’re contactable, and stick to them!

Chasing up rent:

  • Ideally use direct debit - you’ll know it’s set up properly
  • Diarise rent date and make contact on the same day if it doesn’t come in
  • Have a process: e.g. text day 1, call day 3, final warning day 5
  • Don’t fall for sob stories
  • If you have RGI, make sure you notify them in line with T&Cs

Dealing with emergencies:

  • Define “emergency"
  • Instruct tenants about what to do in an emergency. Often, calling you isn’t the best thing to do
  • Consider landlord emergency cover

Dealing with routine maintenance:

  • Build up trades contacts and treat them very well
  • Save a visit by seeing if it’s something the tenant can easily sort - e.g. washing machine filter, defrost fridge, unblock sink, re pressurise boiler
  • Communicate clearly around damp and condensation - explain the difference
  • Use routine inspections to look for condensation, and also look for early signs of repairs that will need doing (including external)

Inspections:

  • Quick check of each room
  • Check smoke alarms
  • Visually inspect electrics
  • Look for fire risks
  • Look for condensation
  • Look for early signs of repairs that will be needed (including external)

Conclusion:

  • Work smart, not hard
  • Use checklists to get the best result every time
  • Be proactive and stop issues from happening in the first place

Oh, and of course the first thing you need to do is purchase a book that tells you exactly How to be a Landlord, right? Funnily enough, we know just the book.

News story: General Election

Obviously the biggest news story of the week is Rob's new book but we also gather the Prime Minister has called a snap General Election. We'll obviously keep you fully up to date over what this means for you in property terms.

Resource of the week

This week's resource of the week is obviously Rob's book - make sure you get yourself a copy!

Continue the conversation over in the forum

Have you ordered your copy of the book? What is your must-add tip that you would include on How to be a Landlord?

Let us know and join the conversation over in the forum!

If you enjoyed The Property Podcast, please leave a review on iTunes

Reviews are really important in helping other people to find the show, so by way of thanks we read out every single review we receive on air.

If you’d like to hear your name on the show, leave us a review on iTunes here.

Not sure how to leave a review? This video shows you how to review and subscribe on iTunes.

Apr 25, 2017

It's time for another couple of questions in this week's edition of 'Ask Rob & Rob'. This week Rob (yes, another one) and Daniel...

...ask Rob & Rob...One property or two? PLUS: Selling a property within 6 months

The Robs give their take on these topics. What do you think? Head over to the forum to discuss.

ASK YOUR OWN QUESTION TO ROB & ROB!

Don't be shy! All you need to do is leave a message with your name and whatever's on your mind.

Just pick up the phone and call 013 808 00035 (normal UK call rates apply).

Or if you prefer, click here to leave a recording via your computer instead.

 

NEED MORE ANSWERS?

The Property Hub Summit is the place to get all your questions personally answered by Rob & Rob, and build a network of other smart, motivated investors.

Over the course of a full day at a swanky hotel we'll help you set your goals, form a plan to get you there, overcome your obstacles, and give you the support system you need to make sure nothing gets in your way.

Just don't hang around - there are only four Summits each year, and just 16 places available at each!

Interested? Click here to find out more.

Apr 20, 2017

What makes the perfect rental property? This week The Robs give their tips on what to do and what to avoid, in order to create the ideal rental property for both you and your tenants. 

What is more trouble than it's worth? What is an absolute essential? The Robs give you their take on how to make your property work for you and ensure it gets tenanted quickly and with no fuss. 

In other news, we're putting the finishing touches to the next edition of the magazine, it will be with you very soon and includes and interview with Grand Designs presenter McCloud (yes, we're pretty excited about that too). PLUS there is a webinar coming up just for magazine subscribers which you will be very excited about, so watch this space. 

Rob D has finally completed his new book 'How to be a Landlord' and we all think it's his best one to date. Keep an eye on your inbox for news on that very soon.

Now, back to the subject in hand this week - what do you need to do to create the ideal rental property? 

Flooring:

- Good quality laminate is good for kitchens, bathrooms and high-traffic areas. Make sure it won’t easily rip or warp, don't skimp. 

- Dark coloured carpets only! Good underlay makes cheap carpet feel thicker.

Walls:

- Paint straight onto plaster if you can

- Mainly white or very light grey paint – same colour and brand in every property

- Feature wall

- Water-resistant eggshell or acrylic paint in bathroom and kitchen

Bathrooms:

- Shower over bath rather than shower tray

- Electric shower so it’s not dependent on boiler

- If possible, second bathroom or at least another toilet so if one breaks it’s not an emergency

Kitchens:

- Replacing cupboard doors and work surface might be enough to make it look new

- Avoid integrated appliances. A

Gardens:

- Pave over as much as possible

- If you can convert some into driveway or parking, do.

Electrics:

- Plenty of plug sockets

- Maybe USB sockets

- Get an electrical safety check because will probably need one soon anyway

Safety:

- Hard-wired smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarm in rooms with boiler and as appliances, heat detector in kitchen

Furnishing:

- Avoid as much as possible - including appliances if you can get away with it

General:

- Don’t impose your own taste! Keep it simple

- Don’t over-spec. Rental refurb is very different from a flip (or your own home)

- Be active in overseeing the project

News story: Rogue Landlords Beware! 

There's no bad landlords round here of course, but this will definitely be a big issue for those who are not playing fair and by the rules. Can't be a bad thing, right? Absolutely, provided that it is correctly administered of course! Read more here.

Resource of the week

So this week's resource of the week is commutefrom.com which helps you decide where to buy a house around London. It tells you which stations are within your preferred commute time of the central London station nearest to your work. It also tells you information like the average house prices, crime rates, and schools in the area. Clever stuff, huh? 

Continue the conversation over in the forum

What did we miss? Did you disagree with any points? What do you always make sure you do?

Let us know your take on this important subject and join the conversation over in the forum!

If you enjoyed The Property Podcast, please leave a review on iTunes

Reviews are really important in helping other people to find the show, so by way of thanks we read out every single review we receive on air.

If you’d like to hear your name on the show, leave us a review on iTunes here.

Not sure how to leave a review? This video shows you how to review and subscribe on iTunes.

Apr 18, 2017

It's time for another couple of questions in this week's edition of 'Ask Rob & Rob'. This week two listeners...

...ask Rob & Rob...What should I look for when offering finance to another investor? PLUS: Can I use a 2nd charge mortgage to borrow more?

The Robs give their take on these topics. What do you think? Head over to the forum to discuss.

ASK YOUR OWN QUESTION TO ROB & ROB!

Don't be shy! All you need to do is leave a message with your name and whatever's on your mind.

Just pick up the phone and call 013 808 00035 (normal UK call rates apply).

Or if you prefer, click here to leave a recording via your computer instead.

 

NEED MORE ANSWERS?

The Property Hub Summit is the place to get all your questions personally answered by Rob & Rob, and build a network of other smart, motivated investors.

Over the course of a full day at a swanky hotel we'll help you set your goals, form a plan to get you there, overcome your obstacles, and give you the support system you need to make sure nothing gets in your way.

Just don't hang around - there are only four Summits each year, and just 16 places available at each!

Interested? Click here to find out more.

Apr 13, 2017

Last week it was Scotland v England (or Rob D v Rob B) at the Meetups as Rob D ventured to Edinburgh to our brilliant Meetup there, led by Karen & Bill. Rob B took over the helm at the King's Cross Meetup and both locations were very busy. 

Rob D spent a bit more time putting the finishing touches to his new book 'How to be a Landlord' but we'll tell you more about that over the next couple of weeks. 

Now on to this week's big topic - all about lease hold. 

Something that puts some people off - and fear often comes from lack of knowledge. So let's get educated. 

What is leasehold? 

  • You don’t own the land - you lease the land for a period of time. At the end of that time it reverts back to the freeholder if you don’t renew
  • Typical lease terms are anything from 100 to 999 years
  • You pay ground rent every year as payment for the lease
  • The lease has conditions about what you can and can’t do
  • Most common for flats, increasingly new build houses too

 

What you need to know 

  • Lease extension is always possible and follows a set formula - BUT
  • Gets more expensive with under 80 years left - marriage value
  • Under about 60 years becomes hard to get mortgage

 

Things to check before you buy:

  • Length of remaining lease term
  • Ground rent, and if it increases after period of time
  • Any restrictions - like not being able to sublet!
  • Service charge is a bit different but this is important too
  • Get your solicitor to look over the lease in detail

 

How to extend: 

  • Extension is always for an additional 90 years, with no ground rent payable for this new 90 years
  • Get a specialist valuer to value the extension and a solicitor to serve notice on the landlord, offering terms and how much to pay
  • Landlord has 2 months to respond, either accepting or stating their own terms

 

  • Negotiate. After 2 months either party can apply to tribunal for decision
  • Wait for tribunal decision, which is final
  • Can take a year or more from start to finish by the time you’ve waited for various deadlines
  • If it’s close to 80 years and you’re buying, get the vendor to start the process and transfer it to you because you can’t do it in first 2 years

 

How to make money from leases: 

  • Buy properties with short leases and extend them. Will need to be cash buy or bridging until you’ve done the extension. Make sure there’s a profit even after the extension costs.
  • Buy freeholds. Ground rents give an income stream.

 

 

News story: Household savings ratio falls to record low.

This is a bit worrying in itself, but we're particularly concerned given that mortgages are cheaper than ever. What will happen when the cost of mortgages goes up? Take a look at this story here. 

Resource of the week

This week's resource of the week is Pocket Explore. This is an extension of a previous ROTW Get Pocket. Explore Pocket takes this a bit further and helps you find high quality blogs on any given subject. Check it out. 

Continue the conversation over in the forum

Have you invested in a leasehold or have you been put off? 

Let us know your take on this important subject and join the conversation over in the forum!

If you enjoyed The Property Podcast, please leave a review on iTunes

Reviews are really important in helping other people to find the show, so by way of thanks we read out every single review we receive on air.

If you’d like to hear your name on the show, leave us a review on iTunes here.

Not sure how to leave a review? This video shows you how to review and subscribe on iTunes.

Apr 11, 2017

It's time for another couple of questions in this week's edition of 'Ask Rob & Rob'. This week Abdul & Ivan...

...ask Rob & Rob...How do assisted sales work? PLUS: What should I be aware of with Build To Rent schemes?

The Robs give their take on these topics. What do you think? Head over to the forum to discuss.

ASK YOUR OWN QUESTION TO ROB & ROB!

Don't be shy! All you need to do is leave a message with your name and whatever's on your mind.

Just pick up the phone and call 013 808 00035 (normal UK call rates apply).

Or if you prefer, click here to leave a recording via your computer instead.

 

NEED MORE ANSWERS?

The Property Hub Summit is the place to get all your questions personally answered by Rob & Rob, and build a network of other smart, motivated investors.

Over the course of a full day at a swanky hotel we'll help you set your goals, form a plan to get you there, overcome your obstacles, and give you the support system you need to make sure nothing gets in your way.

Just don't hang around - there are only four Summits each year, and just 16 places available at each!

Interested? Click here to find out more.

Apr 6, 2017

Alastair prompted this week's podcast topic, and it's a very important one! 

But what's been happening with The Robs this week? Rob D is putting the finishing touches to his new book which will be out on April 26th, we're all excited about this one as it is definitely needed.

The Robs will also be at the Meetups tonight - Rob B is stand in leader in King's Cross, but Rob D has travelled to Scotland to our rebooted Edinburgh Meetup. It's not too late to get your ticket to your local Meetup, and remember, there's zero selling, just good honest property chat over a few drinks.

Now on to this week's big topic - interest rates!

A brief history of interest rates

  • Long term average interest rates are around 5%
  • In 1990 they peaked at 15%
  • For the rest of the 1990s they were roughly between 6% and 7%
  • In the early 2000s they were mostly between 4% and 5.5%
  • In April 2009 they fell to 0.5% and stayed there until a further cut to 0.25% last year

Why are rates so low?

  • To promote consumer demand. You’re more likely to spend money if you get little return on saving it
  • To boost asset prices, which increases willingness to spend
  • To make it cheaper for companies to invest in growing
  • If we’re being cynical, to make it cheaper for the government to service its own debts!

How people misunderstand interest rates

  • An increase in your mortgage from 2% to 3% doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a 50% increase
    • If you borrow £200k at 2%, your monthly interest payment is £334
    • When it increases to 3%, the payment goes up to £500
  • This is what Alastair was referring to. It’s easy to make investments work when the finance is so cheap. But when it’s not so cheap, it’ll be much harder for investments to stack up
  • The PRA rules will help for new investments because they get stress tested at 5.5% anyway
  • Investors who’ve been on trackers since pre-crash and Owner-occupiers could find themselves in big trouble

What happens if rates go back to double-digits?

  • Unlikely because rates are set by BOE now
  • Also, rates tend to rise to combat inflation. Inflation is the result of more demand than supply (roughly speaking), and we seem to be moving into an era of low demand demographically
  • There’s been huge asset price inflation as a result of QE and low rates (hence demand for assets), but this hasn’t filtered down into the real world and seems unlikely to do so
  • So there seems little prospect of rates getting really high. But they will go up from where they are now…

 So how worried should we prepare for rates rising?

  • Rises will be mitigated by banks lending at more competitive rates. With rates as low as they are now, they’re making more margin than they used to
  • Stress-test up to at least 5% – you have to if you’re borrowing anyway
  • If you’re sitting on properties that only cashflow because you’re on a very low rate, make plans to deal with that before rates rise again

Conclusion

  • Rates will rise from where they are, even if they don’t get up to double digits – and even when they were that high, it wasn’t for very long
  • It will be harder to make investments add up so finding and adding value will be more important than ever
  • Don’t kid yourself that this is normal! Plan for rates to be higher, then enjoy them while they’re so low

 

News story: Warren Buffet is also a shrewd property investor

Billionaire Warren Buffet may not be known for his property investments but unsurprisingly he hasn't ignored property all together. He is well known for his long term approach to investment generally, and he's applied that same way of thinking to this property investment which has done amazingly well for him.

Resource of the week

“Back Again?” is a Chrome extension that tracks how many times you’ve visited a page each day.

Good for helping you break habits or realise how addicted you are! Install it if you dare! 

Continue the conversation over in the forum

Do you worry about interest rates? What do you do to plan ahead for every eventuality?

Let us know your take on this important subject and join the conversation over in the forum!

If you enjoyed The Property Podcast, please leave a review on iTunes

Reviews are really important in helping other people to find the show, so by way of thanks we read out every single review we receive on air.

If you’d like to hear your name on the show, leave us a review on iTunes here.

Not sure how to leave a review? This video shows you how to review and subscribe on iTunes.

Apr 4, 2017

It's time for another couple of questions in this week's edition of 'Ask Rob & Rob'. This week two listeners...

...ask Rob & Rob...Do the Robs ever disagree? PLUS: Will the government changes mean fewer investors?

The Robs give their take on these topics. What do you think? Head over to the forum to discuss.

ASK YOUR OWN QUESTION TO ROB & ROB!

Don't be shy! All you need to do is leave a message with your name and whatever's on your mind.

Just pick up the phone and call 013 808 00035 (normal UK call rates apply).

Or if you prefer, click here to leave a recording via your computer instead.

 

NEED MORE ANSWERS?

The Property Hub Summit is the place to get all your questions personally answered by Rob & Rob, and build a network of other smart, motivated investors.

Over the course of a full day at a swanky hotel we'll help you set your goals, form a plan to get you there, overcome your obstacles, and give you the support system you need to make sure nothing gets in your way.

Just don't hang around - there are only four Summits each year, and just 16 places available at each!

Interested? Click here to find out more.

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