I’m going to start this Blog with a disclaimer – this opinion is going to be EXTREMELY unpopular; it will go against the grain of the traditional “property developer model”. I’m not at all worried about that, it’s exactly what I have been doing since 2012 – I will never apologise for it, nor will I stop doing it
When I started out the general consensus in property development was that everything should be done as quickly and cheaply as possible, it really was a no-frills approach. Everything should be painted magnolia, under no circumstances should you incorporate your personality into it. Just a generic one size fits all approach. Speed and low cost were the top priority
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big advocate of achieving the best outcome for the cheapest price, but not if it’s at the expense of quality. Just as with every market, there is a place for different approaches. I have always sat toward the top end, I’m not interested in the bottom end, I only teach what I practice. Yes, that loses me a lot of potential clients, but if I’m not in a perfect position to help them, then it’s a waste of everyone’s time. I feel it’s better to focus on those who are coming at it from the same angle as me
Property development is hard work, it can be extremely stressful – I never try and dress it up as anything else. Many love the concept of it, for the past two decades it’s been glamorised by the TV – buy a rundown house, spend a couple quid and this time next year Rodney . . . yep you guessed it . . . we will be millionaires!
The reality is it’s not for everyone, unless you are coming at it with LOADS of money to prop you up, it will likely be up there with one of the most stressful things you do – still reading? . . . . Good I’m speaking to the right person then
Often through tough times though, the greatest rewards can be achieved. It’s like going to the gym consistently, over time, through repeatedly challenging yourself you will become stronger, better at fast decision making, better equipped to handle stress. You can become extremely resilient, things that cause stress today will seem insignificant in the future
So back to the title of this post;
“What is the best type of property to buy when starting out in property development?”
My belief is it should be a place you are passionate about. If you are anything like me when I started out you probably go on Rightmove and peruse through the £1m + property, thinking about all the potential magic you could inject into it (I think it’s great to do things like this, it brings it into your awareness and sets you up . . . for when you do get there). If those places are not yet within grasp, then it can seem quite disheartening, having to drop down a price bracket . . . or 7
The trick here is working out what’s special to you – ok, so if it’s the 9,500 sq ft floorplan that might not be achievable (just yet), but what other features attract you? For me it was period property, old wooden beams, elm floorboards, exposed stonework, stunning views, being out within nature
Before I purchased my first house (The Barn, pictured above) I looked at pretty much everything and anything within by price bracket (and slightly above – who doesn’t love a bit of optimism). This process helped me massively, it was just as important to work out what I didn’t like as much as it was to work out what I LOVED. I would view a property, pour over the floorplans all evening afterwork. I would research the area, see what planning permission had been accepted and what was refused. I researched sold property in the area, I would make my own calculations of what the property would be worth if I added xyz to it
To many people this would seem quite obsessive (fair comment tbf) and a complete waste of time. Considering for some of these places, the likelihood of me being able to purchase was extremely unlikely. I can now confirm with absolute certainty, that NONE of this time was wasted. You see, I still do these exact same things; the only difference is what used to take me five evenings I can now do in under two hours (because I have consistently practiced it)
The reason I suggest you should find a place you are passionate about is that there will be hard times ahead – there is with any business (yes, it’s the same as running a business). If you are disinterested and unpassionate at the start, you are going to find it extremely hard to get over those big horrible hurdles down the road
If you are passionate about what you are doing it doesn’t take the hard times away, they still come along. You will be much more motivated to reach the end goal though, you will have a really strong reason and purpose for what you are doing
If you are interested in all things property development, then I have launched a FREE (yes you heard correct) mini course.
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As always if you have any thoughts or questions on this subject or anything else property related, then I would love to hear from you?
Until next week
Cheers George B