Well, our 2013 U.K. tour is almost at an end. Not quite, but it’s getting there quickly. Hard to believe how fast it has gone…
As I wrote in my last post to you, this trip has been just a chapter in a much longer journey that began with my first real estate investment. And of course, this journey will continue even after this chapter is finished. But what a time we’ve had!
Not that we planned it, but seeing the celebration over the royal birth of Prince Georgie has been another unexpected pleasure. It’s not the kind of spectacle you see every day, here or anywhere else…And certainly not in Australia.
Use common sense for uncommon wealth
As you know by now, I have done a fair bit of looking around at the real estate market here. (See my previous couple of posts.) And though things are done differently here, with different laws and customs, it’s not all a foreign experience. Some of it is just plain old common sense.
For instance, what do you do when you’re a visitor to a new area and you want to find a good restaurant that’s not in the guide? You ask the locals, don’t you? They always know where the best places are. Just as importantly, they can also tell which ones to avoid. And usually, they are happy to help you out.
The same applies to the real estate market. Now, it’s true that not everyone will be as informed about the state of the market as they may be about their favorite pub or restaurant. But you will be surprised what you can learn.
Want to find a cash cow in the U.K.? Find out what’s going on your town or city of choice.
Typically, you will find better opportunities outside of the bigger cities. University towns, for example, are a great source of rental property opportunities. Students are constantly coming into town and rental properties are always in demand.
Great Britain happens to be home to some of the most dynamic technological firms and universities in the world. Tech centers surrounding the university (often started by students at the university) can provide you with a steady pool of renters.
The same goes with the areas around major hospitals. Hospital staffs need places to live. Many, but not all, will want to live nearby. Also, those surrounding industries that support the hospital, such as laboratories, medical offices, physical therapy centers and the like, can also provide a source of employed renters that need a place to live. It’s the same here as it is back home.
Due diligence is disaster prevention
That said, you have to take a little more care in those areas. As I’ve said before, laws, local council restrictions and other such obstacles need to be discovered and understood before you set about becoming the next big land baron in Great Britain. In fact, many if not most of the due diligence practices we follow in Australia apply in the U.K. as well.
I will go into this much more in depth in the next edition of my iLoverealEstate.tv monthly newsletter. But for now, just realize that by using what you have learned in my iLoverealEstate.tv Seminars and Boot Camps will serve you well.
For example, things like grid variance analysis, talking to local councils and real estate agents, and even listening to the locals about the area will get you more informed about the market—or a particular area—faster than anything else.
This will also help you avoid costly mistakes! The old saying that ‘a pound of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ really applies here. Preventing a property disaster is just as important as finding the right property at the right price.
Don’t believe the hype—or the doom and gloom
If there’s one thing that modern British society is known for—other than their royal ups and downs–it’s their almost unbelievable savagery in the press. You can’t really get the full flavor of until you’ve spent a bit time here. It seems as though they’ll print anything and everything about anybody to sell a newspaper or a magazine. That includes all opinions, valid or unfounded, about the economy.
Unfortunately, the Brits are not alone when it comes to reporting on the economy. No matter where you are, here, Oz, or wherever, newspapers and magazine still have the same job, don’t they? It’s to sell you their latest copy. Ignore what the media says!
That’s another reason why you really need to know what the real story is in any particular market. The housing market may be poor in one area of town and better in another. Which story do you suppose you’ll read about?
So, part of your due diligence is to ignore big statements from the media about this or that real estate market. After all, some of the best deals are had in areas that are perceived to be declining, when in reality, they may just be pulling back a bit.
Another example: major redevelopments are being done or are planned for, in many parts of the U.K. But until they’re begun or finished, an area may be seen as a losing proposition from some people’s biased perspective.
Are there profitable property deals in Great Britain? Absolutely. But you’ve got to do the work! No one is going to hand anything to you…
Unless, of course, you’re little Prince George.