Turning My Resolutions Into One Promise

So here it is, 2019. Happy New Year! Like every other person who gets to this time, my head is full of the excitement and possibilities for the year to come and also reflective on the year passed. What I am trying to avoid this year however, are the string of resolutions that make it to February, before they fade into the noise of ‘back to normal’ life.

I spent the last few weeks of 2018 with an anxious knot of excitement and overwhelm over what we have planned for this year. But if I allow these anxious thoughts to take control, I know that they have the power to turn motivation and joy into fear and worry. So I am taking a different approach to the start of this year. I am avoiding the resolution list, which in my case ends up being a shopping list of things that are currently wrong with me and need ‘fixing’, instead I am making myself a promise.


I promise to take care of myself.

This will take form in various ways and collectively, I hope that keeping this one promise will bring me a lot more than half a stone on the scales, or a whole month of drinking at least 2 litres of water a day.

This may sound vague, possibly even selfish, but how many of us put ourselves at the bottom of our ‘to do’ lists? Everything gets done for everyone else and there is never enough left in the tank for ourselves. We get frustrated and resentful of areas of our lives that ‘take’ opportunities away from us, when actually we give them the power to do so.

Promising to take care of myself is a far healthier concept for my mind to process than a list of things to fix and also covers a broad range of my life.

Taking care of myself will mean making sure that I work on building our goals first and with top priority. It will also mean creating a better sleeping routine. I won’t allow myself to get annoyed by others or feel inadequate on social media, I will just delete/unfollow. I will exercise and take care of my back so that I don’t get fatigued by pain. Creating an organised space will stop the stress of having to find things later. I promise that I will stay true to myself and not allow myself to feel less, compared to others.

There are so many more things that will come under this heading and not one of them will be to wake up at 4.30am and run for an hour before eating kale and chicken for breakfast every day except Sunday and work 18 hours a day to make sure my (money goals) happen.

I promise to look after myself and enjoy life.

Lessons Learned in 2018

Hi Everyone. I lost track of my days and missed posting it on Monday and woke up today thinking it was Sunday. So clearly my head is in the clouds this week. However, I really want to share our lessons learned in 2018. Not everything is sunshine and roses and I don’t believe in only posting highlights. Hopefully some of this can help you avoid the same mistakes.

I am going to share the top 5 lessons I have learned the hard way. 


Lessons Learned in 2018

Lesson 1

Paperwork! Oh my goodness this makes it to number one! I was used to being an employee. I got paid on payday and things like tax, NI, etc. was sorted for me. I didn’t track mileage, I didn’t need to keep receipts blah, blah! Except it isn’t ‘blah’ at all!!

I have been in a word, rubbish. I just haven’t got my head into business woman mode quick enough. Please be organised and sort things as you go. If you want to grow your business on strong foundations, get your systems in place.

Lesson 2

Timings! Whatever time you think something is going to take, add more. We do this anyway but not enough. The stress that has been caused this year by timings alone has been high. Plan for the worst case, re-finances, mortgages, builds, refurbs, building control; whatever it is, if you have a time limit, make sure you are super organised. Deal with things in good time and don’t leave things until the last minute. I will say, we don’t leave things to the last minute and I do my best to keep everything on track and we have still be caught out!

Lesson 3

Momentum. You may have heard the various of analogies for momentum? When you have to start really hard at the beginning, but once you’re going you can keep it going more easily. This is so true. Every time you have a knockback, you just have to keep taking steps forward. When you stop, a day becomes, a week, becomes a month. You lose your flow. Try your best to deal with the inevitable problems that come your way whilst keeping your eyes ahead on the goal. 

I have struggled this year with my headspace, confidence, things going wrong. But, if I had quit, I doubt I will have been able to keep on, keeping on with it. It’s easy to give up when it’s difficult, but you just have to find a way of having little mental breaks and recovery time. 

Lesson 4

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” This is not my wisdom, but I don’t know who the quote is from. Comparing yourself to others is the worst thing to do, if you end up comparing yourself for the purpose of putting yourself down. If you look at others as inspiration and motivation, then power to you. 

Lesson 5

Trust your own instincts. If something doesn’t sit right, if the numbers don’t stack up, you have a voice and a choice (un-intentional rhyming) You don’t have to tolerate being messed about. You are allowed to question something if it’s not right or you don’t understand. Do your due diligence and seek guidance from those more experienced. We have taken our education really seriously and we continue to learn and ask questions to avoid pitfalls. But ultimately, you need to take responsibility for every area of your business, because I promise you, nobody cares about it as much as you.

Here’s to 2019, with all the new lessons to be learned, but I won’t be repeating these ones! Mistakes aren’t a bad thing, not learning from them is what causes people to keep making the same ones.


The Finished Flip Property Project

Hi Everyone, We have been documenting the progress of our latest flip property in some of my previous posts. We are really happy to bring this update of the final product to you guys and girls.

There are a lot of factors to consider when you are buying and selling houses. I wish it was as simple as finding a wreck and making it pretty. We do a lot of research into our area, the target market and the finish we need to achieve. As much as we can control certain aspects, there will always be factors that we can’t. Political uncertainty, financial uncertainty; they all have to be considered and we react accordingly. Nothing comes risk free, you just need to make sure you are educated and have completed your due diligence.

So this aside, we have worked with our fabulous build team to turn this house around, we have chosen the layout, the design, the colours, fixtures and fittings, have designed the new layout and explored the options to maximise the property. We may not be able to do the work ourselves, but we definitely choose how the finished product will look, how to re- arrange the space and maximise the potential. 

The Numbers

In this deal we have had to work out the figures based on the following factors. 

Purchase cost, stamp duty, legal fees, investor’s returns on the refurbishment costs and the refurbishment costs, bridging finance and sale fees. 

I cannot stress how important it is to factor in everything when you are running numbers. These are the outgoings, we also factored in the profit. 

Our investors are extremely important to us. We pride ourselves on the standard of product we create and the bottom line, they get their investment back before we do. The only way we are going to continue to flourish, is by creating these win/win relationships.

The Sales Marketing

When picking your agents to sell your property, your business and ethos, in my opinion should align. Yes fees are a consideration and a cheaper sales fee may add to your profit, but we really believe in building relationships and picking the right team to sell the property. These are the characteristics we look for.

Prominence in the market. How many boards do you see when you drive around the area? Will they have a large contact base for potential clients? What types of properties are already on their books?

Sales, sales, sales… I do not respond well to in your face, stereotypical, intense sales styles. I can feel myself internally eye rolling. Do I want that sales style being used on potential customers? No. Equally, the other end of the spectrum, you want to ensure your property creates genuine enthusiasm. The amount of properties I have viewed, where I’ve felt they are just waiting to go to lunch/home. Do not underestimate how much these factors will effect potential buyers. 

Answer that phone!!!! My god this irritates me. Such a small detail but I think it’s huge. A lot of people do not like leaving voicemail messages. Every time the phone goes unanswered in the agents office for long periods of time, you may be losing potential viewers. Ring around a few and see what response you get.

Staging

Do whatever is in your power to do to maximise impact. Whether that is in the decoration, the staging of mirrors, furniture, soft furnishings. There is always competition, you want to be making sure you offer more. Play to your strengths or ask for help with it. If it helps sell the property quickly, it’s worth it. 

We do all of ours, ourselves. I love doing it so it is never a chore to me. We also do everything on a budget, I upcycle, make curtains, cushions, borrow items. But at the end of the day, you get out what you put in.

The Property

Here we are, the final product. I hope you like it as much as we do. I love the idea of someone falling in love with the house and being excited to move in.

5 Thoughts To Re-Charge Our Minds And Business

 

This week I found it difficult to narrow down content for one blog post. You know the saying, “coming along like buses”? When everything comes in at once; that has been the last couple of weeks. In our business we are in the last stages of refurbishing our flip, which you can see in my recent post http://lifeaboutthehouse.com/flip-project-renovations-part-two/ , I have just got the keys for a flip property that I am project managing and another has just come in for a buy to let flat. We are re-financing our HMO and we have been working with the Architect on our own house, not to mention normal life.

I have had the pleasure of meeting a great new group of people over the weekend, all with the mindset of developing property knowledge and making progress forward. There is so much value to be taken from talking to people, sharing experiences and making the commitment to learn. So this week, I wanted to talk about reflection and planning. 

We went out for dinner with friends and we were just sharing and catching up on life. No competition, no bragging and Matt started to talk about what had happened this year, it wasn’t until I heard him recalling our experiences this year (good and bad), that I truly heard and felt what he keeps trying to remind me all the time. We are working really hard, making progress and building our foundations. We may not have hit every target, but we have achieved so much and persevered at times where others may have given up.

So this week I just wanted to share 5 thoughts with you, that have helped us keep on, keeping on.

You have the power to change course

What a simple yet freeing thought. If something isn’t working, if something needs to change, we can adapt and move forward. Sometimes, we can be blinkered by not seeing the possibility of alternatives. There is a difference between flitting between ideas and not committing to any, and sitting down with your business plan, assessing your next move and getting creative with ways to get to the goal. We don’t have to stay stuck.

You can choose a new beginning at any point

I listened to Brendon Burchard’s podcast and this was a mental game changer. Keeping energy high can be a test when you are tired, sad, un-motivated, the list goes on. But, energy is as Brendan talks about, one of the ultimate high performance habits. I would urge you to read his book, High Performance Habits.

He discussed the idea of starting over. This thought alone helped me massively. When things don’t pan out, or if things just aren’t working; we can view it as an opportunity for a new beginning and fresh start. This is a very simple concept, but a powerful one. There is a natural energy and excitement when you start a new project you’re passionate about. It’s when we feel that things aren’t going our way that the energy drops. This year we have tried lots of things that haven’t worked, after a while the sense of failure is draining. But after hearing this, I just thought, it’s fine, we can draw a line under it and can have a fresh start. I promise, this is a far more motivating and rejuvenating approach than holding on to the mental baggage of mistakes and struggles.

Face It

If you know the work of Brian Tracy, you may have heard his concept of eating frogs. Not literally I am happy to report, but metaphorically speaking, eating a big, fat yucky frog of a task. We all have them, hopping around our houses, minds, businesses. I have things that sit heavy in my head, like a mental weight and the only way to relieve it, is to do it.

I will never understand why we as humans will willingly hold onto something that is unhelpful or bad for us. But I get caught in the procrastination trap like everyone else! One thing I will promise you about starting out in your business, ignoring whatever challenge you are facing will not help at all. If you have made a mistake, find a solution. If you have a deadline, meet it. If you need help, ask.

Review and Improve

We learned a lot about our refurbishments by making mistakes. Our later projects have gone better because of it. Making mistakes isn’t a bad thing, repeating those mistakes over and over is avoidable. Review what has gone well and build on it, review what hasn’t worked and learn from it. If we don’t take time to review our progress and evaluate, we miss opportunities to improve.

You deserve a life

Everyone has their opinion on this and I am just throwing mine into the mix here. Yes we need to work hard, yes to get results you have to put the work in; but what is all of this for if we burn ourselves out and stop enjoying our current life? I was so guilty of this and my mental health suffered. This isn’t about allowing yourself 5 hours a day to watch TV, it is about making sure that you look after yourself and hold onto the things that bring genuine happiness. Our future lives aren’t promised, just make sure that you don’t lose sight of the most important parts of your life. I bet for 99% of us, it isn’t money!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time, Our Un-Biased Asset!

It has got to the time of the year when our conversations seem to switch on to Christmas auto pilot. It’s like the same “I can’t believe it’s nearly December already” sneaks up on us every year and catches us off guard. We live such busy lives that time seems to get away from us and only ‘socially significant’ milestones in the year shock us into realising it’s passing.

When I think about some of the best times and the best uses of time, I always come back to some of our travels. One full day would involve waking up at 3am in one country, flying to another by lunchtime, unpacking and then going off to explore an entirely new place by the evening.  Sometimes 24 hours here involves getting dressed and doing one load of laundry.

If only I could seem to find a way of packing in that much every day…I would feel like Bradley Cooper in the film, Limitless! When you are living your days fully, they don’t feel like they disappear or worse, are wasted. Time may just be one of the very few things in life that come to us all in an un-biased form, equal and fair. It is everything in between that tips the scales.

As ever, life is never that straight forward and for the masses isn’t a holiday everyday. It is easier to wake up at 3am when the purpose is a holiday. We have more energy when it’s used for the fun things in life. It is hard to keep spirits high when the day hasn’t gone well or has come with it’s stresses. So how can we find a balance of using our time fully, so we don’t end up bewildered that the year is nearly over?

Distractions

One way of taking back ownership of your days is cutting back on ‘scroll time’. The twenty minutes, 5 times a day that got lost to Instagram post swiping, reading the Facebook comment roll on a post that has no relevance to you, etc., (we are all probably guilty of this, so there is no judgement from me). Just cutting this out could save a couple of hours. Even if you used this time for something you actually wish you had more time to do, creative projects, reading a good book; whatever you enjoy, it would be better spent. I think that sometimes, if we free up some time, then we feel like it has to be used on the grown up, life ‘stuff’. Trading distractions for chores probably isn’t a strong motivator. Trading distractions for fulfilling activities that make you happy is more likely to stick.

Planning The Day

I am working on this myself as I struggle, but I do know that the value of this is high and I need to improve. The experts and life coaches talk about this for a reason. If you don’t have your own plan for the day, it can get taken over really quickly! It  leaves you frustrated and stressed when it is avoidable if you stick to the plan and implement boundaries; which leads me to my next point.

Boundaries

To actually run your own day, you have to be the boss of it and set some boundaries. This isn’t about shirking your responsibilities at home or at work or saying, “I’m not going to do it at all”. It’s about separating your time and not letting things all merge into each other.

I find this quite difficult,  because I don’t want to feel like I am not reacting quickly enough or  I am letting people down, but when this gets out of hand, it really does start to cause stress. It is not just implementing boundaries for other people, you also need to set some for yourself.

Outcome Focused

Tony Robbins talks about being outcome focused. By knowing the outcome you want, it can really help you work out the steps to create the outcome.

To List or Not to List?

There are different arguments on list making. Some people love lists and put everything on it. Some are against long lists and think it should be more concise and prioritised. Whichever side of the coin you fall, you will need something to prioritise your tasks and help you organise your thoughts. Brian Tracey wrote about ‘Eating the Frog’ and getting the ugliest task out of the way first and some people are more motivated by lots of ticks on the list.

Compounding and Procrastination

The compound effect has had a high profile recently. More and more people are switching on to the notion that the small actions that build up over time, create the biggest results. It’s the same whether it is used positively or negatively so to speak.

Procrastination may just be the compound effect in reverse. The more we put tasks off, the bigger they become, the more effort will be needed to reverse the effects, the more time it will take to accomplish etc. What always annoys me about procrastination, is that you never do anything better in the time you are wasting putting off the task. So not only do you not accomplish it, you haven’t spent the time on anything else either!  There is a reason for everything we do. If we are procrastinating, there is a cause. What’s yours?

How do you keep yourself on track?

Have a great week 🙂

 

 

Progress Is Progress No Matter How Small Your Steps

A few weeks ago, I wrote about mental health and raising awareness. That same week, a good friend of mine asked if I wanted to do something crazy and run a half marathon with her. We both wanted something that would be an achievement, force us to make progress and something to raise money for a charity that we both care about; Papyrus. This charity works to prevent young suicide and as I said previously, we both lost someone to suicide.     You can read more about my experiences with mental health @ http://lifeaboutthehouse.com/reaching-out-for-help-isnt-a-sign-of-weakness/

The marathon will fall on the 10th anniversary year, but instead of sadness, we want to be strong and create something positive.

Chris was a very funny and caring person. Unfortunately he could never seem to see and love himself the way everyone else did. But I do know that the idea that we are going to run a half marathon would have him in stitches. We don’t run. I drink tea and eat cake.

Making the decision to put in the work

The last few weeks I have started training, small steps to work my way up, plodding along like a wheezing snail, even when I don’t feel like it (which is all the time) but knowing that if I don’t train now, I’m going to regret it. It’s the same with everything in life, every time we put off doing the work, further along the line we wish we had, because we would be so much closer to our goals if we had just started when we said we would.
Today marked my furthest run to date and the best I felt when I did it. I actually could feel the progress I’d made to get to 3.3 miles and only stopping once to catch my breath.( I won’t dwell on the fact I need to add 10 more miles to that)

Progress moves us forward

It got me thinking, that progress, no matter how small, really does improve your mood and momentum. It literally comes when you do the things you don’t normally do, when you push yourself to do things that you don’t want to do.
I read this all the time, it shouldn’t come as news! But when it clicks in your head, you get the aha moment. The only thing that gets me up doing these runs, is the goal I have set myself of that half marathon and the why behind it.
When your goal has meaning it has power. It has to be more than a flakey, half assed wish. You have to want it more than you can live without achieving it.

Why oh why

For me this run isn’t about losing weight, or being fit; (they will of course be added benefits) it’s about making a commitment to my friend and myself and most of all, raising money for Papyrus and honouring Chris’ memory.
So when you are on your journey, whether that’s property, fitness or a different path, make your why bigger than yourself and align it to something that gets you moving everyday to make it happen.
My why is always my family and friends. I will do anything for them. So bring on the hard work and dedication needed, because they deserve me on my A game.
What gets you working everyday to meet your goals?
If any of you runners out there want to give me some tips on how to get better, please leave a comment…..pretty please!

Flip Project Renovations: Part Two

Hi Everyone! This weekend was packed with property choices for a flip deal, kitchens, colours, details; I love it! As ever, I can pick the most expensive things in the line up and then have to reign it in. Budget, Budget, Budget! It’s so important. I wrote about this in more detail previously at http://lifeaboutthehouse.com/renovating-a-house-on-a-budget/

I took my parents to the flip house a couple of weeks ago, I thought it would be really good for them to see what we do rather than the pictures of the “after shots”. Even at that stage, there was a lot of progress in the refurb, so when we went on Saturday we were so happy with the stage we are now at. The team have worked/flown in a short space of time and we are now at the point of picking the kitchens and décor, exciting times.

Get Organised

As with every project, being as organised as you can just helps the process along. We have learned in past projects about areas such as Building Control and the timings can really throw you out if you don’t get them in at the right point. Also make sure you allow for it in your budget.

Communication is Key

Communication is key with your team. Knowing what stage they are at and want to move onto next can help you with your own timings. We are ordering the kitchen, so we needed to make sure we get it sorted in time. We were sourcing the tiles, so we needed to know how many and by when. These very small obvious tasks, if left can cause delays for the team.

Get the flip updates on Instagram

The house is looking fab, you can see some of the progress shots on my Instagram http://@lifeaboutthehouse . The stud wall is up, the kitchen wall is down and the walls are ready for plastering and then painting. I can’t wait to see this one finished. I may feel a pang of jealously at how lovely it looks and that its completely done because we have to renovate our own home too…and we haven’t started yet haha!

 

 

 

Beware The Shiny Penny!

I love everything that sparkles, it has become a running joke that I have magpie eyes and love glitter. I used to collect gem stones or anything that was sparkly. There was a particular rock caller Pyrite, otherwise known as ‘fools gold’ and I remembered this when I was thinking about shiny pennies and this blog. In our quest to find treasure, do we potentially miss actual opportunities because they don’t sparkle as brightly?

shiny pennies

The ‘shiny pennies’ are those great ‘opportunities’ that come with big ticket promises. They are appealing because they can appear to shorten the work, planning and time it takes to achieve success or appear to be the equivalent of the business lottery ticket.

They can also be the distractions.

The importance of your strategy

In any business plan, your strategy will inform your plan of how to get there. This is a very basic simplification. The clearer you goals and strategy, the more you will be able to identify the action steps needed. Then it comes down to sheer hard work and consistency.

The distractions come when you see what others are doing, have done and have been successful at. We can overload our brains with the hundreds of different opportunities and ways of doing things. We can be swayed into changing our minds, then our strategy and then our plan. Do this too many times, every time a new shiny penny catches your eye and you end up doing nothing.

I am not preaching. I have been guilty of this. I love learning, so every time I learn something new, I want to do it. What I am now learning, is that it doesn’t all have to be done right now. I have moved to a new city, which has so much potential and opportunity, it can be overwhelming. The flitting between ideas only lost me time and mentally wore me out.

clarity

Sit down with your goals and really think about what they mean to you. Think about what you want and what you are able to do. This doesn’t mean limiting self beliefs of what you are capable of, this is the reality of whether you can travel regularly, the time you have available, how quickly you want to achieve a certain amount of income per month etc. This differs for everyone, so comparing your plan with what others are doing isn’t helpful. Yes we can learn from each other, but we don’t know everyone’s personal situations. I will share ours purely as an example of why we have chosen the strategy based on our goals, so you can see the process.

Goals
  • £xxx cash flow PCM by Jan 2020 (strategy will need to be income producing)
  • £xxx in capital by April 2019 (strategy will need to make chunks of money)
  • £xxx in capital by Jan 2020
Strategy
  • Flips – will create the pots of capital
  • HMOs and Sourcing – will create monthly income in the time frame we have set
Area

Birmingham – Due diligence and research to find locations

When I have this, I can focus now. I am not trying to see what others are doing, I am not constantly trying to find a new area or looking at every property under the sun. It stops the external noise and I can set to work.

Beware the shiny penny. There are always brilliant opportunities and bigger goals and projects. But if we never learn the craft long enough to build and grow our experience and work our way up, what we have will never seem enough. We will constantly be thrown by the next thing that glistens and we may just end up with fools gold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reaching Out For Help Isn’t A Sign Of Weakness

I have ‘ummed and aah’d ‘ about writing this. This blog is about my life as a property investor, the ups and downs, goals, habits, deals and projects. I aim to be honest and share experiences. It is also an outlet for me. It was mental health awareness day last week, there is a lot in the press about creating more awareness and support and first hand I know how important that is.

9 years ago I learned a lot about loss and mental health through the absolute destruction that is suicide. I have been through every emotion under the sun since. Losing someone this way is horrific and leaves you with an immense sadness that is quite frankly indescribable, obviously for the emotions that you experience, but more so, sadness for them. Sadness for the pain they felt, that was invisible to the rest of the world.

I myself battle with anxiety and OCD thoughts. I am in a lot of regards a confident person, my anxiety does not effect me in social interactions, nobody would know. So it’s always been easier to say nothing than to try and explain something that seems so out of context.

The mind is such a complex place, it can be immensely powerful and creative and it can become equally dark and exhausting; we just can’t always see when someone may be tipping over. Everyone has bad weeks, days, hours, there is a balance in life that seems to flow between the ups and downs. Life is chaotic, fast paced and we are in an era where the pressure to be ‘something’ seems to be far more prevalent. Our lives are public information through social media and that opens us up to huge levels of comparison and self-doubt, as well as motivation and inspiration.

When your mind is working with you, there is a flow and energy. You also have the ability to find some peace and contentment. Yes the day may have had its stresses, but in the bigger scheme of things, your brain is on your side. It is very difficult I feel, to be able to understand the complete irrationality that can come from various forms of mental health issues, (I can and will only ever talk from my own experience here). This can be difficult for the sufferer and the people around them. Trying to explain why, when everything to everyone else seems absolutely fine, you still feel like an absolute piece of crap, or extremely anxious or like bursting into tears and not leaving your bed because you are so tired; is like trying to make someone else see your dreams. Not because it’s a figment of your imagination, but because it’s in your mind, not out in the shared world.

I read/listen to all the great motivational, coaching and personal development content and I love it. I take so much from it, but if my mind is having a ‘day’ I am just glad if I get to the end of it having done something! Showered, cooked something, haven’t cried = a win! If I let myself get sucked into social media however, it can make me feel like I am making excuses, that I should be disciplined and crushing it every day. Look! Everyone else can do it, is doing it, what’s wrong with me?

When I am stronger I know what I am capable of and I don’t define myself by the way I feel sometimes. For me, the reason for a long time I struggled to talk about what’s really going on, is because partly I don’t even know how to describe it, fear of fear itself, fear of the word “admitting” I have a problem, like I’m confessing to something. More than anything else however, I just thought, I don’t want to be like this so if I can just get on with it, it will eventually go away. You become a person who can smile on cue, function and hide it. That’s when it can spiral.

There is no quick fix answer, but I promise, talking to someone helps. For those wanting to know how to help, just being kind, being patient with someone and encouragement is always a good start, (that advice, I’ve learned goes for how we treat ourselves too). I am lucky to have the people I do in my life, the people who have helped me the most aren’t just the professionals, but they are the lovely human beings who listen, make me tea and love me regardless. 

Please talk to someone if you are struggling, you may just need a chat with a good friend and/or you may need professional guidance. If you don’t feel like you have anyone, there are people out there who will listen. It may just be the first little step in giving your brain a break from carrying the all the weight by yourself. 

Progress Of A Flip Deal

Over the next few weeks we will be sharing our progress on our flip deal. A ‘flip’ to summarise is a property we buy, refurbish and sell, the profit is made through the value we add. Like I say, this is a very short summary; there are a lot of moving parts and things to carefully consider with these types of project.

 

The Flip Project

We initially viewed the house with options to either split the rooms for rental or to flip as these are our current strategies and the area can work for both. However, we never want to fit a square peg into a round hole; assessing the numbers and our target market, the best option for us was to flip. A predominately residential area, with good commuter links and a layout which would make a great family home were the reasons for this choice.

Go for No!

We view a lot of properties. It’s a necessary part of the process, not every property will be suitable and not every offer we make on the ones that are will be accepted. I think this is the part where property investors build their resilience, hearing ‘No’ to your offers is just par for the course. If you fear this small but powerful word when it comes to making offers, I admit, I did too. I was given a book called ‘Go For No’ and it changed my mind set, it’s well worth a read. Like ever, our offer was initially rejected as there were several higher offers, but, it eventually came to us. You just have to put yourself in the mix, you just never know.

Be a problem Solver

A very experienced investor and teacher on one of our property training courses said these words and they stuck. The bigger the problem you solve the more money you make. Not everything in life is about making money and not every problem you solve is for a monetary reward, but in this context I am an investor and I would be doing a pretty lousy job if we didn’t intend to make money from an investment. 

To make the most of the property we have decided to make a few changes. Part of our job is to be that problem solver and see potential. In this property the third bedroom is very small, but the bathroom is bigger, so we are switching them over to make a bigger bedroom and an upstairs shower room. Luckily the plumbing supports this move. That solves the bedroom sizes, but knowing the market for this house is likely to be a family; a shower without a bath isn’t going to be suitable. There is already a toilet downstairs and a large, awkward space that isn’t being utilised to its potential. So we are increasing the size to make a downstairs bathroom and utility space.

The kitchen needs to be modernised anyway but it doesn’t flow. We have decided to take down the wall and make it open plan with the back part of the living room, it will create a more usable space and a dining area which looks out to the garden, (which is currently overgrown, to the point we didn’t realise we had a good size garage with separate road access until our second viewing, bonus!!)

oFFER MORE THAN YOUR COMPETITION

There is a lot of work to be done, but the difference it will make will be huge. I genuinely believe in purchasing properties that I would be happy to live in or would be happy to let my parents live in, so we don’t take shortcuts. When we are planning the refurb and the décor, I am thinking like a buyer. What would I expect for that money, what else can I get for that money? How is this better? You can never tick every box for every person, but how can you make your property the most desirable?

I was discussing the property market in my area with an investor and mentor and he discussed market trends and then said something in the currency I understand best, (food) if you go to two coffee shops and get the same priced coffee but one comes with a biscuit, you will keep going to that place because you are getting better value for your money. I love the simplicity of this. I also love biscuits.

I spoke about budgets in a previous post http://lifeaboutthehouse.com/renovating-a-house-on-a-budget/ and this still comes into play with flips just like any other investment. My mission is to find the affordable way of delivering a ‘wow’ finish. Right now, the wow is seeing everything totally gutted and ripped out.

I will keep you posted on the progress of this one! I would love to hear about any of your flip projects too!