Secrets Nobody Tells You About Being In Property

After a few years in property, I have discovered a couple of secrets about the Buy-To-Let property industry… I wish I’d known about them sooner! 

For some reason, nobody ever tells you about these things at the start of your property career… which would make life much easier for you if you knew them!

Luckily for any property newcomers, I’m going to share these secrets… 🤫

Secret Number 1 that nobody tells you about being in property: The £25,000 salary affordability issue. 

Sometimes people new to property investing get a bit keen, quit their job, leave themselves with no salary with the intention of making it big in property. 

This is a bad idea! 

The reason for this is that a lot of mortgage lenders don’t like to provide mortgages for people who have an income of less than £25,000. 

Some lenders do; some have no minimum income requirements… but your chances of getting a decent mortgage are much better if you have a salary to begin with.

So rather than suddenly jacking your job in and plunging your salary to zero immediately, a better way to get into property would be this: 

Gradually build up your income from property over a couple of years, and gradually decrease in the amount of days you work in your normal job, so your property income and your job income eventually balance out together into a decent overall salary.

Then one day, your income will solely come from property, as it will surpass your job salary, and you will no longer be exchanging your time working for somebody else!

Secret Number 2 that nobody tells you about being in property: help by utilising credit cards and building up lines of credit.

Property is expensive. Most projects cost more than you anticipate, and the cost of refurbishment is what puts a lot of people off doing them.

However, you can get some help to pay for them by utilising credit cards. 

Use a low cost credit card to purchase materials: boilers, kitchens, bathrooms and so on. Yes, they might end up costing you a little more over the long run, but it’s better than never doing a project. 

Obviously pay down the credit cards as soon as you are able, usually out of the property rental income once it’s up and running.

Build up a couple of lines of credit, with various suppliers too, and this will also help spread the cost.

I always chuckle about this next bit, but how good would it be if you could pay your contractors using a credit card too?!

Most of them want cold hard cash transferring!

But remember: all materials can be bought using credit. 👍

Secret Number 3 that nobody tells you about being in property: looking after your credit score. 

This is something I’d never even thought about before being in property – but luckily, because I’m of that organised OCD do-things-correctly mindset, I’ve never done things like miss payments or default on bills.

And here’s another fallacy: why should your personal credit record matter if you’re buying property in a limited company? 🤔

Because it does, and that’s all there is to it! 

Mortgage lenders want personal guarantees that they’re going to get paid, and as limited company directors, that guarantee falls to you – so keep your nose (and credit record!) clean!

Makes sure you pay at least minimum pay amounts every month for bills and credit card payments, in full if you can – and here’s the crucial bit: pay them on time; late payments have a detrimental effect on your credit score.

And we want to keep that perfect payment record and score as high as possible – because if lenders think your credit record looks dodgy and you look unreliable, they simply won’t lend you money for mortgages!

I check my credit files a couple of times a month just to ensure all is well – beware other people taking out credit in your name… 😱

I use all three of the Equifax, Experian and Credit Karma credit scoring systems, so get yourselves signed up to one or more of these. The added benefit is they also tell you how to repair and improve your rating. 

And everybody loves a high rating – especially mortgage lenders! 😁🙌

Secret Number 4 that nobody tells you about being in property: investor difficulties!

A lot of people in property, myself included, leverage funds from private investors to purchase property. 

Investors get a great return on their loan investment, and you get help building your portfolio.

Now here’s the secret: raising finance is hard. And what makes it harder is that the majority of people who reckon they want to invest funds… simply don’t.

Sadly, there’s a lot of talkers not walkers, when it comes to investors. I’ve found people who clearly stated they wanted to lend money out, and then when it came to the crunch… they didn’t.

This is for a myriad of reasons, genuine or otherwise: 

🤷🏻‍♀️ they’ve already lent their money out elsewhere

🤷🏻‍♀️ they’ve changed their mind 

🤷🏻‍♀️ they’re nervous and scared of the investment process

🤷🏻‍♀️ they’ve bought property themselves with their funds. 

Or it could be that they simply don’t like you and don’t want to work with you, or they don’t trust you or the deal! 😫

Sometimes, perhaps even they never had the money to begin with and were simply time-wasting tyre kickers. 😤

Asking for proof of funds here helps weed out the hot-air braggers full of bluster!

The point is this: some people are all talk and no action – so don’t just rely on one investor, in case they back out or let you down. 

Have a list of “potential investors” lined up who are ready to invest.  

Because people only become “investors” if they actually lend you money! 

So build those relationships with genuine investors who genuinely want to work with you!

👦🏻 💷 🏚 👩🏻 💷 🏚 👦🏼 💷 🏚

So there you have it… a few inside secrets shared, which hopefully will make your property career much easier for knowing them! 

Best wishes, and happy, safe investing,

Kellyann x x x

DAY FROM HELL…

Do you know when you have those days where everything goes wrong?!

Today was one of those days.

A planned day at the refurbishment project; I was looking forward to burning lots of trash wood outside in my incinerator 🔥 

Woke up… Pissing it down. 

Didn’t even bother taking the incinerator. 😤

Picked up the handyman, drove down to the project; today’s task was for him to rip out the rotten old cellar door and attached window and fit the new door.

It was going well, he set off on his task, and I set off for Toolstation to get the dampproofing course materials he needed before the new doorframe went in. 

However, within a couple of hundred yards of Toolstation Cross Green, whilst on the A63 dual carriageway, the gearbox in my car dangerously decided that it wouldn’t work anymore! 

Delightful! 

I managed to freewheel it safely off the dual carriageway and round into the industrial estate where it was discovered that the gearbox wouldn’t work at all. 

The gearstick could go in the little slots but the gears just wouldn’t engage so therefore the car wouldn’t move. 

Deep joy. 

So now I am stranded several miles away with a broken car. Bear in mind I have a handyman trapped at my project with no car, and a large hole in the side of my house which needs to be filled and secured before daylight ends.

I rang Green Flag, where Susan faffed about wasting half an hour of my time asking 1500 pointless questions that she already knew the answer to. Thus, not really very productive or speedy, and we all know that time is of the essence. It’s not like the gaping hole could have been left overnight!

Eventually a recovery driver was dispatched to pick up me and my piece of shit car. 

Meanwhile a friend came and met me whilst I was abandoned in this industrial park, to do some sort of product swap – like some sort of bizarre DIY drug dealer… whereby I gave him the goods, ie the dampproofing course material. This was so that he could get it to the handyman – who was being held up with the giant-hole-fill-fixing because he couldn’t put the doorframe in without the damp course and obviously it was in my hand in my broken car. So thankfully, needs must, he took that to the project for me, courier-style, bless him!

Meanwhile poor Jack of KD Bros recovery, having gladly allowed me a few more minutes for my “dealer” to turn up, then took both me and my Hearsemobile back to Morley, and dropped us at the garage, which thankfully is within walking distance of my home. 

So I got back home to get… luckily, my new car… First world problems eh?!

Here’s the next issue… My new car is not my battered old trashed car I use for work. It is a very lovely car, the nicest I’ve ever had, and has just been detail cleaned – and I don’t actually know how to drive it properly yet. So it’s been sat on my drive for three weeks whilst I stop being a scaredy-cat.

However, needs must. So I covered every possible surface in the car that I could with mats and blankets, knowing that my dirty dusty muddy handyman would have to get back in it – and then I very slowly and cautiously set off back to my project, pressing various buttons to stop off-putting things happening, like some crazy screen randomly popping up. 

I called at Selco on the way, couldn’t find two of the door products I needed, and the one that I did get was overpriced and very expensive, but needs must.

Back up my project, the handyman told me he was desperate for two lengths of slate lat wood, to board up some of the gap that had been made today. 

Now here is a dilemma… The slate lat needed is 2.1 m long, and I’m not at all keen on throwing long bits of wood through my delightful new car. 

But you guessed it: needs must. 

I needed that wood. 

So off I set walking to Kirkstall Timber, a good 15 minute walk through Holbeck, and joy of joys, through Britain’s first legalised red light sex worker zone. 

Now it is notorious for women being accosted by kerb crawlers in this bit – and because I look rough as shit today, I was dubious about being taken for a drug-riddled prostitute as I walked through. Lovely. 

Glamorous lifestyle I lead in my property work, you know?!!

Luckily, the day’s events so far meant that I was wearing such a face of utter pissed-off fury, which helpfully doubled as a scare tactic, and nobody dared approach me. That’s my story anyway, and I’m sticking to it!

At this point whilst walking, I thought: perhaps I should dictate this story into my phone, ready for you all to chuckle at as a blog later, so that’s how you’ve ended up reading this!

At the timber merchants, I got my long bits of lat, and then decided, what with knowing I would have to carry it all back, that I would also get the door weather rail whilst I was there. 

Why not?! 

Life must not have seemed hard enough at that particular point! 

And obviously with my gormless weak pathetic female frame, I’m built for being a mule for schlepping things about; what’s one more item to traipse?!?

And here is where I made another poor decision… he asked: did I want all three long bits of wood tied together to make it easier to carry? 

“Nay lad”, I said, “I’ll put this weather rail in my back pocket.”

Because that’s obviously the most logical thing to do with a 3-foot chunk of wood you’ve got to walk a mile with, isn’t it?!? 🤦🏻‍♀️ 

So I walked back to my project, laden with wood, like a modern-day ropy female Jesus the Carpenter.

Got back, only to find that not only had a cement mixer randomly appeared in my kitchen, but also to be told he meant TWO lots of 2 x slate lat – BUT HE NEVER BLOODY SAID THAT!! 😤

Anyway, fast forward a while, the job was mostly finished, hole in house secured for the night, and then I drove home gingerly in my good car, wincing every time the handyman moved his mucky feet 😫

Walked back to the garage to pick up my not-good car, luckily, it turned out to be a very minor fix, thankfully. Bless those boys Christian and Danny at Motion Autos Morley, for looking after me and the Hearsemobile again!

And then I immediately drove to Morrisons, bought a load of junk food, and came home and ate my feelings. As you do. 😅

Phew! 

Bad day, but we got through it – and as Winston Churchill famously said “If you’re going through hell, keep going!”

Anyway, now that I’ve cathartically unburdened the events of the day, here’s a couple of pointers of reflection…

😈 First world problems. Things are a lot worse for a lot of people. And I’m grateful for my own mindset, resilience, tenacity, health, and refusal to give up.

😈 Property isn’t easy. Anyone who says it is, is bullshitting you. If it was that easy, everyone would do it, wouldn’t they?

😈 Despite your best efforts and targets, property is very rarely passive either. Sometimes you’ve got to get involved! 😫

😈 Don’t dwell on problems, find solutions. 

😈 Do whatever it takes to make that solution happen. Because…

😈 Nobody is coming to save you. Everything that happens to you in life and business is because of the actions you choose to take.

And yes, I know how hard it is when you see other people on social media, reckoning on that they’re doing awesomely well, being really successful, smashing it, yada yada, blah blah blah…

We all know that one guy locally who continuously brags about how much money he’s making.🥱#yawn

And that can be quite demoralising on the days when you’re struggling.

But we all struggle, even me, as you’ve just read! 

So don’t let comparison be the thief of joy. 

These people will have their own private issues to deal with, probably to do with self-importance and esteem.

Focus on what you’re doing. 

Never mind what other folk are supposedly up to.

Be the type of person who, when the chips are down, and needs must, would walk a mile through a ropy area to carry wood home to fix an urgent problem.

And remember: even the worst days are only 24 hours long! 

😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅

Thanks to all my Heroes of the Day 🤩

  • Moz the handyman
  • Richard the “dealer / courier”
  • KD Bros recovery
  • Motion Autos Ltd
  • Finally, the style of Snoop Dogg… I wanna thank Me!💪😁 …For being tenacious and gerrinonwi’it and finding solutions instead of being a whiny little victim! (Even if many colourful f-bombs were expleted whilst doing so… 🤐💣 )

KEEPING COSTS DOWN DURING A HOUSE RENOVATION

January is traditionally a time when people decide to blitz or redecorate their house – me included, I’ve been doing a few bits and pieces on my own house this month!

Earlier this week a friend asked me for any tips on renovations for her new house, to keep the budget down.

Caught me a little off guard; bizarrely it’s not something I’m asked often!

But I do have some tips for keeping costs down during refurbishment project, what with being a tight Yorkshire lass and that – and here are a couple, just to assist you with your own houses! 👍

KEEPING COSTS DOWN DURING A HOUSE RENOVATION

Make a full list of everything you want to do, and be specific about every job required in every room.

Work out your budget for doing this.

What can be done now, what will have to wait?

What’s the priority?

Get any ‘big / all over the house’ jobs done first, eg electrics, plumbing, plastering. Get quotes for any skilled works you need doing (and ALWAYS qualified people for gas and electric work!)

If you’re living in the house it whilst you do it up, save your sanity and decide which are the priority areas you’ll do first. Don’t try and do more than two areas at once whilst living there, unless you can handle a lot of stress, mess and chaos… because on the other hand, living in chaos usually motivates you to do the decorating work in the evenings to get it finished!

Project manage yourself, rather than hire an ‘all in one’ refurbishment company, who usually charge a premium for this service. Source individual trades and contractors yourself. 

Recommendations of tradespeople are best, from friends that have actually used their services. Read reviews if you’re unsure, see their work, or pictures of it, then invite them around to quote. Be specific in telling them exactly what you want.

👍

And don’t just accept the first and only quote, as some tradesmen sadly still like to try it on and take advantage of people and give them ridiculous overinflated prices because they think they can get away with it…and you can rant and rave and complain at me all you like saying that doesn’t happen – but I can assure you it does!

So get a couple of quotes, and don’t book anyone you get a bad gut feeling about, or anyone who annoys you whilst quoting.

For example, patronising, arrogant, unhelpful misogynists who call me ‘love’ and don’t listen are a big no-no for me. You don’t have to book anyone that you don’t like.

Plenty more tradesmen in the sea, we don’t need to employ wretches!

👍

Also be aware that the cheapest is not always the greatest.

My electrician is not the cheapest in the area, but that’s ok, because he’s the best! It is ok to pay for quality.

After you’ve had any skilled trades in to do work you’re not skilled or qualified for, work out the DIY and decorating things you can do yourself. 

Obviously doing things yourself is much cheaper in terms of cost, if you can afford the time. YouTube and the internet can be a great help in showing you how to do specific tasks. 

But be aware of your own limitations and safety; no silly, dangerous risks, and use adequate personal protective equipment. If ever in doubt, get a professional in!

Decide what items you want that have to be brand new, non-negotiables – for the rest, a lot of good stuff can be found second-hand on Facebook marketplace.

Be wary when buying anything electrical, but things like furniture, mirrors, decor etc can all be considered – and a lot of time, these things are in good condition and sometimes unopened new surplus items.

For instance, there’s masses and masses of internal doors available locally for collection cheaply or free currently, because landlords are having to replace certain ones for fire doors. Doesn’t mean the old ones are no good, they’re just surplus to that person’s requirements!

👍

Shop around for products, don’t be scared to use ‘trade’ firms like Selco, Screwfix, Howdens; they’re often not that choosy if you’re ‘trade’ or not.

If you find a particular product you like, get Googling the named product for a better price!

For instance, I’m contemplating a wallpaper myself called ‘Superfresco Glamorous Tweed Charcoal’ at the minute – I’m huffing and puffing because it’s £18 a roll in Wilkos – but a quick Google shows me it’s £12.99 a roll at The Range!

So if I go for it, that’s where I’ll go for it!

And yes, it might only be a fiver difference a roll, but I’ll need 3 – 4 rolls – and I’d rather spend that extra £20 on a steak at Miller & Carter!

Decent undercoat is the future on poor or new woodwork before glossing – gloss is dearer, and sits better once on an undercoat paint.

Ditto white matt paint on walls before your expensive colour. It helps your paint hue get the correct colour on the tin. If walls are a bit rough, but not so bad that they need a full plaster, consider a textured wallpaper, then paint a colour on.

Remember we talked about shopping around for the same product?

Paint varies vastly from store to store, even the exact same brand/type, so keep your eyes peeled! Also look out for offers, deals, coupons and such like.

And just gerronwi’it, don’t put it off and off once you’ve got the stuff, as well as being an annoyance, you run the risk of your materials going off or spoiling.

I once put off wallpapering my bay window wall for aaaages after it had been damp-coursed. Then when finally got round to it, I was very annoyed with myself for putting off for so long a small finishing task that literally took me an hour to do.

You’ll never finish if you don’t start…just gerronwi’it!

So there’s a couple of tips to get you started… and don’t forget to take ‘before and after’ photographs so you can see the transformation, and give yourself a pat on the back for your hard work.

Also follow various DIY / project / refurbishment groups for more tips and ideas, as well as inspiration… my favourite at the minute is a Facebook group called ‘DIY on a Budget’.

Good luck, and happy renovating! 👍

Kellyann x x x

———————————


Kellyann is a property investment strategist from Leeds. 

In her work she creates wealth for private investors through refurbishing properties. 

Visit her website for more details:

https://kellyannmartin.co.uk/investment/

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A PROPERTY INVESTOR LANDLORD

Here’s a little insight in what happens during a typical day for for me.

And of course it is not the same every day, some days I am lucky enough to be able to not do anything!


But here is what I did today:


I got up and ready, and then walked my dog Jerry Lee around his favourite park.
Then I went to my latest refurbishment project where a handyman came to look at my outstanding jobs, with a view to giving me a quote for them.


After that I did a bit of DIY myself.


I had been desperate to have a go at renovating a fireplace in a bedroom which I’ve been boarded up for years. And with masking tape and spray paint, I sprayed the fireplace a gloss black, and I was very chuffed with myself seeing the finished result, which was actually very good!


I don’t normally do a lot of the DIY myself in my projects, bar a bit of painting – because it’s a longstanding joke with my refurb works and houses that anything I touch, I inadvertently trash or destroy.
So the fireplace outcome was a nice surprise!

Then I spoke to a plasterer on the phone, as I need someone to take over the kitchen ceiling, after yesterday’s fiasco, where yesterday’s plasterer had a tantrum with his own work – ie plaster not sticking to the ceiling – got himself in a strop and walked off the job.


After that the solicitor rang me, informing me that completion was due to take place today on a remortgage I have been working on for months, but suddenly at the last hurdle they haven’t got my ID, and can I fill in some bizarre online app? 

I informed him that this app wouldn’t work because I had already used it with another colleague of his firm on another mortgage case, and could he access my details in that same firm?
Apparently not, common sense would not prevail, I was sent a different app for ID checks, as if I hadn’t already sent them proof of ID via email months ago.


Then a roofer came to look at my project roof, as again I have been unlucky with contractors this time around, as the roofer that had been booked in for weeks and weeks last week turned around and said he didn’t want to do my job and here was my deposit back.

After that, I left my project and drove to another property I have close by, to check on how the plaster was drying for the insulation and plasterboard work on the external walls. I had managed to get these works through government grants.


I also put the surplus electric wall heaters in my car to get them out of the way, as the plasterers had removed them during their work, and the government grant also includes installation of first-time central heating, so the heaters are now obsolete at this property.

And then I got annoyed with myself for forgetting to bring the tenant the plug-in electric heater I had promised to fetch as a temporary measure until the gas central heating is installed.


After I left, the mortgage broker rang me to query the ID kerfuffle and then yet again I had to scan and send my driving licence. For the record, the Tiny Scanner app on my phone has proved very useful very often, well worth the money!


Then I went and viewed an off-market property in my patch, arranged through a contact I have. This property had been abandoned 10 years ago, as the couple had disappeared off to Thailand to live in his wife’s native country. The house was reasonable, still needs a fair bit of work, but there is a derelict garden of chaos and a dodgy lean-to at the back which is a real concern, along with some structural crack worries, which make me nervous.


It’s not my usual type of house – it’s in a very nice area, and the end value will be much higher that every other rental house in my portfolio. It is probably more suited to a flip project, because of the area and end user, so I’ll have to have a serious think about that one, because flips are not my usual strategy.

On my way home I decided to call off at a sandwich shop for some dinner. I was going to go get some bacon from the supermarket, but decided to support a local business instead during this difficult time. I wish I’d gone with my first idea; when I opened my sandwich to discover a measly two rashers of bacon! 😤


After dinner I dealt with an email, leading me to an ID app which required me to scan my passport, and then shock of horrors, to take a selfie to compare. This horrendous selfie looked nothing like my passport photo, I am sure that the solicitor had a right good laugh at the dreadful shot the app captured!

Nevertheless, a short while later, the solicitor rang to say that the remortgage had completed. So now I will have a cheaper mortgage on a house I have owned over three years, with a better rate – and a nice little surprise was that the remortgage released some funds I was not expecting, so that was a nice Brucie bonus!


Then I remembered I’d not yet put any content on my social media platforms today, so I fashioned a little video out of some photos of the fireplace I took earlier, and uploaded it to my Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter accounts.


After that I tried to deal with another email from the eco-grant company. I must admit, I hate dealing with emails and admin, especially when it involves doing things like printing off boring forms, filling them in, signing them, only to then scan them and send them back online.


I tried to do this, the printer wouldn’t be recognised on my phone to print the documents, then I realised my WiFi password had changed recently and that was probably the problem.


I then got distracted by a message on my SpareRoom account, a lady wanting to discuss moving into my empty HMO room.
I was keen to ring her, until I realised she was still in Poland; my tight Yorkshire phone bill also doesn’t like being ripped off! 😆
Potential HMO tenants don’t ever get a viewing without me speaking to them on the phone, and indeed I have probably turned away 20 potential people in the last six weeks for that room because they have been unsuitable candidates.
So am now awaiting reply from that lady in request for an online video call to discuss.


Tried to call a contractor to discuss his emailed quote, no answer. This is not uncommon. I spend half my working life trying to ring around and chase up people who never get back to you.

Then I remembered that there were still those wall heaters in my car boot. Brought them into my house; need to work out what I will now do with these surplus items, because my shed is now overrun with surplus furniture items and refurbishment materials.

I also then remembered that I had left the bedroom window open at my project, like a buffoon, from when I was aerosol spray painting earlier.


So went back down to the house to shut the window and by that time it was teatime, and thus, time for a Friday night takeaway pizza! 🍕

Things I didn’t yet get done today:
⁃ Print and complete those boring forms
⁃ Manage to get chance to watch my online property group meeting
⁃ View application forms for potential tenants for another house I have coming empty
⁃ Email that tenant final details for check out
⁃ Manage to speak to any contractors after their visits
⁃ Speak to potential HMO lady
⁃ Take that tenant plug-in heaters
⁃ Check progress of other mortgage currently ongoing
⁃ Check figures and comparables for the house I viewed and make offer


Busy busy busy!

As hard as I try, I can’t do everything, don’t forget, I work for and by myself.
My business is growing at the rate where soon I won’t be able to do everything myself.
Another couple of houses and I reckon I’ll be overwhelmed if I don’t outsource!

ONWARDS AND UPWARDS! 👊😁

MY IDEAL PROPERTY PROJECT 😍

If you’re reading this right now, you may have met me at some point, either online or in real life – and you’ll probably know that I’m a property investment strategist.

In simple terms, I’m a property investor, who buys houses, using private investment finance.

But what sort of properties am I actually looking to buy? 

I’ll tell you… because perhaps if I tell you, then you’ll know exactly the sort I know of house I’m looking for, should the opportunity arise within any of your networks.

The type of properties I buy is no secret at all, so I’m quite happy to share my very specific criteria. And if anyone mentions any of these keywords, please bear me in mind! 

Here’s my criteria:

⚫️ Local to Leeds 

I live in Morley, Leeds, and all my properties are within a 20 minute driving range of my house. 

I do this purposely, because I like to be able to keep a check on them myself. 

I’m sure there are lots of lovely areas in the UK with fabulous returns and great houses and lovely tenant… but for me, no Leeds, no point!!  

#mybeautifulLeeds 🌃

⚫️ 1-4 bedroom house 

Flats are not for me, thank you very much! Give me a nice lovely stone or brick-built house, ideally with more than one bedroom, but I will look at one-bed houses, if I think there is a potential to magically make more bedrooms out of it 🏠


⚫️ Has become unloved and in need of modernisation 

I love it if a property needs work; that’s exactly the type of house I am looking for. And don’t worry if it’s old-fashioned, grotty, grim and grimy, the worse the better!

These houses usually come about because they have been empty for years, or perhaps they are a deceased estate where the previous occupant hasn’t touched the decor for decades, meaning it is very dated. 🔨🛠


⚫️ Requires refurbishment work

Following on from that, if it needs any sort of renovation work, I am on it like a car bonnet! This might be that it needs a new heating system, or kitchen or bathroom, or minor structural works, or an update decoration. I’m happy to do what’s needed to make it safe, comfortable, and compliant to rent to future tenants. 🏚

⚫️ Would make an excellent family rental home!

My ideal tenant is a little low-income family who will make my property their long-term home. The kids will feel safe and secure, and this home security will then enable them to go on and make a success of their life – just like I did.

So things like gardens, and lots of bedrooms, large room interiors, near schools and shops… all these make great properties for housing families. 👨‍👩‍👧‍👧

Quick recap: 

LEEDS – FOR FAMILIES – HOUSES – IN NEED OF WORK!!

If you know anybody that has a house that fits this description – it might be a probate, they could be relocating, or divorcing, or a tired or accidental landlord who just wants to get rid of their headache hassle property… anybody who has a property like this who is wanting to sell – I would be delighted if you could please put me in touch!

Full contact details here:

https://kellyannmartin.co.uk/contact/

4️⃣0️⃣ 𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬 𝐈 𝐇𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐋𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐧𝐭 𝐀𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐋𝐢𝐟𝐞 𝐈𝐧 4️⃣0️⃣ 𝐘𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐬…

4️⃣0️⃣ 𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬 𝐈 𝐇𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐋𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐧𝐭 𝐀𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐋𝐢𝐟𝐞 𝐈𝐧 4️⃣0️⃣ 𝐘𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐬…

Yes, I too am amazed that I have managed to keep myself alive for so long! 🤷🏻‍♀️ 

But the day has arrived, many moons after I sprang forth from my mother… I have reached Level 40! 😱✊🎂🎊🎉🎈

Along the way on this path of life, I have acquired some golden nuggets of advice / phrases / favourite sayings that I live by… if only I knew all of these things aged 18! 😉

To celebrate this momentous occasion, I shall share my golden nuggets with you – why, happy birthday! 😆🎂🎊🎉

1. The most important one: Every day above ground is a good one!

2. The only opinion about your life which really matters is yours.

3. Don’t waste time doing things you don’t want, nor be with people you don’t like.

4. If something is making you unhappy, stop doing it. You always have a choice.

5. People can only upset you if you allow them to. And we simply don’t deal with dickheads!

6. Go out of your way to do nice things for people you care about. It’s nice to be nice.

7. It’s ok to say no to things, don’t be soft, just admit: nah mate, that’s not for me, thanks. (In my case, hugs, spas, wine, divvies etc…)

8. Some people will never like me. And I will never give a shit! If people don’t like you, those are not your people.

9. Good manners cost nothing but they mean everything. They show you’ve been brought up well, not dragged up.

10. Be grateful for what you have got, not what you haven’t got. You can cheer yourself up every day by just listing ten things you’re truly grateful for.

11. You can’t please everyone all the time, so just please yoursen!

12. A positive frame of mind is a choice – and it’s the better choice of the two.

13 . “I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else”- Winston Churchill

14. Don’t ever say anything or do anything or behave in a way that would make your favourite grandma ashamed of you.

15. You can make progress or you can make excuses – but you can’t make both.

16. If you don’t heal from what hurt you, you’ll bleed all over someone who didn’t cut you. Get over bad shit – Elsa’s right: let it go!

17. No matter your past, your future is spotless. It’s never too late to have a happy ending.

18. If you are born poor, it’s not your fault. If you die poor, it’s entirely your fault.

19. It’s ok to change your views based on new information.

20. Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.

21. Privilege is good, but graft is better.

22. There is no competition because nobody else is me. 

23. Don’t let someone dim your light simply because it’s shining in their eyes.

24. Remind yourself when bad things happen: I’m too stubborn to let this take me down!

25. You are what you do. Not what you say. And not many people actually do what they say they’ll do! Integrity is everything.

26. Holding onto anger is like swallowing poison and expecting the other person to die.

27. You’ll never be as young as you are right now, and you’re one step closer to death every day. So gerronwi’it, do the things you want to do. We’re here for a good time, not a long time.

28. Only death is unfixable. Everything else can be mended.

29. The person who says it cannot be done, should not interrupt the person doing it. Smile, nod, thank them for their input, and do it anyway.

30. It is better to try and fail than to fail to try at all. It’s always a no if you don’t even try.

31. Being female is a matter of birth, being a woman is a matter of age, but being a lady is a matter of choice.

32. Most people are more focused on looking rich than becoming rich. Material things are just that; things. They don’t determine your worth. 

33. You cannot save everyone. Some people are going to destroy themselves no matter how much you try to help them.

34. You don’t always get what you wish for, but you always get what you work for.

35. You need to put time, effort and energy into making anything work – even friendships and relationships.

36. You’re not as ugly, fat, boring or as weird as you think you are. Well maybe weird, but that’s ok; you’re Limited Edition, baby! 

37. Trust your gut instinct about people and situations; it usually knows best.

38. If you can’t change something, you have to change the way you think about it.

39. One of my faves: The question isn’t who is going to let me, it’s who is going to stop me?!? 

40. And finally… Once you truly stop giving a shit what other people think of you, you experience an awesome level of freedom like never before. 😁🙌

Take these wise words, fine people, and share them far and wide! 

😉 x

Things I Wish I’d Learnt Earlier About Property Investment

Things I Wish I’d Learnt Earlier About Property Investment

Nobody can get anywhere in life without making a few mistakes along the way; that’s part of the journey!

But if I had known these things earlier in my property investment career, then life would have been a lot easier!

We’ll start with the biggie: I should have starting investing in property earlier!!

Here I am, aged 23, straight out of teacher training college and in my first English teaching post; a nearby high school – look how fresh-faced, youthful and energetic I look!! 🤣

As soon as I started working and earning full-time, I set about buying the flat I lived in.

I was delighted to discover that the monthly mortgage was much cheaper than the rent I’d been paying!

I still own this flat now, it’s rented out to a lovely couple. 😊

So anyway, I’d bought my first property… but then I did nothing else for 10 years!!! 😤

And for the last 6 of those years I was the landlord by then… so why didn’t I see the opportunity and profit made, and buy more property?!?

WHY WHY WHY?!?!

 Hey ho, never mind eh? 😖

 We all know that the best time to plant a tree is ten years ago.

 The second best time is NOW.

 So get cracking people – don’t waste ten years like I did!! 😱

Next item: I wish I’d have realised earlier that other people will lend you money to invest with to create a win-win scenario!

 You might have read yesterday how after buying my own residential property, I did nothing further with property investment for another ten years.

But then I randomly decided to buy another house, and put down the full 25% deposit… and then left it there!!

I had not yet learned about property education, or the magic wonders of the Buy-Refurbish-Refinance model.

And I certainly didn’t know that other people would help you buy property, by investing money loans into projects for a great return.

What a great model to have learnt!

Although here’s my first house I bought specifically as an investment, still with that 25% deposit trapped in there… 😩

Sometimes you just don’t know what you don’t know!

Onto the next insight…

Four years ago I took the plunge and made the commitment to myself that for my new career, I was going to be a full-time property investor.

I purchased some property training courses, and learnt oh so many wonderful things…

… but then I got distracted by all these wonderful models and strategies: houses of multiple occupancy, no money down deals, lease options, commercial conversions, development, deal sourcing etc etc…

In short, I developed Shiny Penny Syndrome, and chased several different things at once! 😱

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying these other models are no good; that’s not the case – I have many fellow property friends who are doing a great job of making their chosen model work.

I just realised that after studying all these things, refurbishing little Buy-to-Let houses for local families is what I really wanted to do.

And yes, I know I have a HMO and am involved in a development deal – but little cheap cheerful houses in Leeds is where my heart lies! 🏚😍

So what I’m saying is, make a general overview study of the property models, and then decide what it is you actually want to invest in, and stick to it!

Learn it inside out; commit time, effort, energy and education to your chosen model…

Don’t be chasing anything and everything, here, there and everywhere, shiny penny style!

Because as the old proverb goes: man who chases two rabbits catches none!

Last item of things I wish I’d learnt earlier about property investment!

And yes, I know there’s a dozen or more other things I could have picked to talk about, but we’re going with this one…

 I wish I’d not been so shy as to offer people investment opportunities!

You see, I had (and sometimes still have, even now if I’m honest!) a real complex when talking about money. 🤫

Growing up, I never borrowed anything off anyone. I never had a credit card until recently. Everything I wanted, I worked hard for, earned money for it and paid for it myself. And if I didn’t have the money to afford something then I simply couldn’t have it. 🤷🏻‍ 

So when suddenly I realised I’d have to attract investment from other people, panic struck! 😅

And what would happen was this bizarre scenario, where people would like me and my work, and they would openly say to my face that they would lend me money for investment… and I would go bright red, become embarrassed and awkward, and dance about cringing and fidgeting… in short, do anything to avoid having that conversation about them lending me money – it was crazy! 😮

I had to work really hard to switch my mindset, and to realise that you are helping investors grow their wealth – you are doing them a favour by working together in an opportunity to make more money for them!

I am always flattered and delighted when people offer to lend me money – because it’s a massive compliment to know that they know, like and trust you.

And that’s a great feeling. 🤩

So as long as you are not a wretch who lets people down or rips people off, then you’ve nothing to worry about.

But even now, I still have to persevere when pitching for investment.

You could say I’m a continuous work in progress!

But as with everything, practice makes perfect!

So on that note… if you have funds to invest, and would like to discuss putting your money to work on a future residential project for a return, do book in a call for a chat. 💷

Or, if you’d like to follow my work a little more closely before you make a decision, then you are welcome to sign up to my investor list to receive the monthly update.

Here’s the link to sign up, which also has the added benefit of you receiving my guide on how to invest your savings safely

Other than that, thanks for reading, and you have a lovely day!



The Yorkshire Mentality of ‘Gerronwi’it’

Ey up my lovelies, it’s Yorkshire Day!

So what better time to talk about one of me favourite Yorkshire words than today?

The word in question is GERRONWI’IT.

Which in translation for all you non-Yorkshire folk simply means “hurry up and do what you said you were going to do!”

I’m writing about this today, because it seems that a large percentage of people I meet in life and property circles have a real tendency to not just gerronwi’it.

Now I know for most people wanting to progress in business, there will inevitably be a period of learning and education, getting things in place etc etc … but then some folk procrastinate forever and do not actually do owt to get things moving.

 

 

 

It’s baffling to see; it’s almost as if they are scared to take the first step in case they fail immediately. 

I see these people frequently at various networking events: they tell me all about their plans, and months and months later, they still haven’t done anything about it since!

One chap that particularly makes me chuckle is the ‘Property Investor’ guy who’s not yet bought his first house in the last fifteen times/months I’ve seen him at events. At some point in the next twenty years he may actually be ready to crack on, who knows? 

Sometimes you’ve just got to do your business, or get off the potty!

Will they ever be ready to proceed?

Are they planning to take the first step at some point in the next century?

How long will it be before all those ducks are finally lined up in a row?

In short, are they ever going to gerronwi’it?!?

 

I don’t even know why I get so infuriated about other people and their lack of progress, it’s nowt to do wi me – but I just can’t register why people don’t do what they say they’re going to do!

Another phrase we have up here is “all mouth and no trousers (action)”

I hope that’s not you!!

I think it’s better to have a go at someat and fail than fail to try at all. 

 

After all, the average person only gets 4000 weeks to live – so why would you waste loads of them faffing about? 

Whatsupwiyer?!?

How many weeks have you used?!

Find out here…

 

How can you make progress and get to where you want to be if you don’t actually do ‘owt?!?

Here in Yorkshire, we generally have a tough mindset meaning we have a go at owt – cos we know if you do nowt, nowt happens. 

And now that Yorkshire’s finally caught up with the rest of Britain, i.e. we’ve got running water, leccy AND t’interweb – there’s no excuse to do any skiving!

 

 

 

So I believe there’s two types in folk in the world: ‘Gunners’ and ‘Gerronwi’its’.

As in “I’m gunner do this, I’m gunner do that…”

Oh aye, are you now?

Reyt, well gerronwi’it then. 

Instead of wittering about it forever.

So here’s my request from the beautiful White Rose county: please don’t waste any more of your valuable time.

 

Be a little Tyke and adopt the Yorkshire mentality – and then apply it to your business and entire life.

Wanna do someat?

 

So what type of person are you?!

Mek a decision about whether you’re a gunner or gerronwi’it.

 

And if you’re ever up here in God’s own country, give us a shout, and I will bully you into the right answer!

 

Have a great day, tek care, and sithee soon,

Kellyann x x x

 

 

PS  – if you’d like to see some examples of where I just gorronwi’it, please visit my website at www.kellyannmartin.co.uk

What are the Worries and Concerns of a Private Investor?

In this article I will be addressing common worries of investors: people who agree to invest in opportunities for a greater return on their capital, such as a property deal.


If you were an angel investor, what sorts of things would you be worried or concerned about when looking to invest in a deal?

Here are a couple of common worries and concerns:

Investor Concern: Money sat in the bank earning very little!

Today’s research shows the best interest rates right now… with the top earner being just 1.11% APR – ANNUAL PERCENTAGE YIELD!!!

That means if you have £20,000, your interest PER YEAR is only like to be around £222… yes it’s alright, but it’s nothing to get that excited about.

Especially when you take into account the current UK inflation rate… 😱

A better way to grow your wealth is to invest it.

Say for example, into a hands-free passive property deal, where your return on investment will be much higher than any current UK bank interest rates.

Property really does enable us to beat the banks! 💷 💷 💷

Investor Concern: No time or knowledge to invest funds

Whilst it’s important that you have an overview of how the investment process works, it’s not always necessary that you know everything about property: the area, the strategy, the tenant type, the project type, the refurbishment works, and the refinance process.

Add to that that you may not physically have time to research all the above – nor the inclination!

It is quite acceptable, and actually very common to be an armchair investor.

That means you are someone who invests passively, with as a hands-free option i.e. you don’t get directly involved in the project’s happenings day-to-day.

You just invest, then sit back and watch the big picture unfold, knowing the project is working to build your wealth.

So no, you don’t have to be a property expert in order to invest in property.

You just have to find someone who is!!

Investor Concern: How secure and safe is their money?

This is a common concern for people, because with the volatility of other investment methods, you want to be sure that you will get your money back.

Stocks and shares go up and down in value, and you may end up losing money.

Ditto with cryptocurrency and trading.

Banks are relatively safe with your funds (assuming they don’t go bust!), but your interest rate is poor.

Property is safe because it is a tangible asset, built of bricks and mortar. It really exists – so should the worst happen, such as the developer unexpectedly dying during the project (cheery!), at least the investor will still be able to sell off the property to recoup their funds.

Not only that, property consistently increases in value over time, meaning your money really is secure within a property deal.

Ever heard the term “safe as houses”?!

That applies to your property investment too!

Investor Concern: Not knowing who to trust with their money.

This is without a doubt the most important part of any investment.

Anyone can say anything to anybody in order to extort money from them – don’t let yourself be fooled and taken for granted by people who do not have the best of intentions for you.

If you are investing finance with someone for a property project, please ensure they are confident and competent at bringing to the project:

– knowledge
– skills
– education
– experience
– network
– power team
– problem solving
– focus
– time
– energy
– honesty
– integrity


If you’re not sure that they can provide all this, then walk away from the deal!

▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️▪️

𝗧𝗼 𝗶𝗻𝘃𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘀𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝘁𝗿𝘂𝘀𝘁 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗺𝗼𝗻𝗲𝘆, 𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗼𝘂𝗰𝗵 𝘁𝗼 𝗳𝗶𝗻𝗱 𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗵𝗼𝘄 𝗜 𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗵𝗲𝗹𝗽 𝘆𝗼𝘂.

The Credibility of People You’re Investing With.

I love property, but sadly the property investment industry is rife with sharks and peddlers, out to separate you from your hard-earned funds.

Most people active in property know of many other property people across the country – and now that social media is a key part of business, it’s very easy to see what other people in the industry are doing – and how they are behaving…

Here are a couple of examples of investment horror stories. Obviously it wouldn’t be fair to name them, but I suspect other property people will know of them.

# A development guru who promised big things with investors’ funds; took lots of finance from people for large projects, and then disappeared into oblivion – absconded from the UK, now suspected to be in south east Asia.

# A property training provider who delighted in showing off an expensive car, all the while having not paid back hundreds of thousands of pounds to investors they owed money to.

# A charismatic and seemingly successful developer – having made a series of choices and mistakes leading to debt and disaster and personal crises, which ultimately led to their downfall and incarceration. (Although I will add that it is good to see them claim they do intend to repay all debts as a moral obligation to their conscience)

So with all these sharks infesting the waters with their seeming greed and lack of morals and ethics, the key question here is, before you invest your money with them: what do you really know about them, and their knowledge, experience and credibility?

And most importantly: their integrity as a person?

Thank God evil, devious, and greedy Mr Burns is just a cartoon character!

Here’s a couple of ways in which you can check out the credibility of someone you’re considering investing with:

  • Watch them. And not just for a short while; for months and months, or longer if necessary. As long as it takes for you to feel comfortable that they are who they say they are. Meet them in person if possible, several times.
  • Stalk them from afar. I fully expect that anyone considering me will have checked me out in the ways I’m about to suggest. I encourage it. And that’s absolutely fine, because if you’ve nothing to hide, you’ve nothing to worry about.
  • Does what they say and do seem real? Can they prove it? It’s all very well them saying they’ve done this, that and the other, but where’s their evidence? They should be able to show you case studies, legal documents, Land Registry certificates and so on. I am happy to showcase any of my projects, and always ask if anyone wants to visit – obviously that’s easier to do during the refurbishment stage when there’s no tenants living there to pester!
  • Companies House should show you a few things about them – but remember it doesn’t show you everything, and it’s not always fully up to date. For instance, it shows you the properties I have within my limited company, but it doesn’t show the ones in my personal name. If in doubt, or if something doesn’t tally up with what they’re saying – just ask them!
  • Their credit file score and credit report – are they willing to show you it? Be aware of missed payments, unserviced debts built up, county court judgments and so on. It is best when they have lots of ticks every single month, and a nice high score. And if there is some minor blip, can they explain it? For instance, credit card balances might be down to buying a new boiler, not just simply a bad spending habit on shoes and handbags!
  • The deal they are offering: does it actually stack up? Can you see exactly how and when your money will be returned? Is it realistic? Openness and honesty is key here. Last year I had to tell an investor that the deal simply couldn’t afford to give them the interest rate that they were looking for – there wouldn’t be enough in it to make it viable. What’s the point in making fake promises you can’t deliver on? No point – so make sure you ask lots of questions, even the awkward ones.
  • Recommendations, referrals and testimonials. Now in the work I do, it’s easy to get feedback about my property and tenancy work – but not so easy to get angel investor testimonials. Why? Well put quite simply, it’s not really fair to ask someone who has invested with you to publicly admit to the world that they’ve lent you money – even though you did a good job and returned it in full and on time with the agreed rate!
  • We’re still a little shy in the UK about talking about our money, and I fully respect that my investors probably won’t want other people harassing them to lend them funds.
  • However… do they have people willing to tell you about their personality and character? The length of time they’ve known that person, and in what capacity? The work they’ve seen from them? Dig dig dig for that information, especially if you’ve not known them very long!

I hope all this helps you, no matter who you choose to make an investment with.

If you don’t know, like and trust someone, you definitely shouldn’t be working with them.

It’s vitally important that you protect your assets at all costs, and you’ve every right to be suspicious and cautious – in fact I strongly encourage you to be!

Because it’s very likely that you’ve worked hard for your funds – so don’t let some wretch disappear with them.

Thanks for reading, hope you found these top tips helpful!

Kellyann Martin: just a very ordinary, normal girl from Leeds trying to make an honest living… sorry to disappoint!

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: Project Complete!

The Throstle Lane project is now fully complete, tenanted and making rental income.

There’s some transformation shots of the works included in this post, because everyone loves seeing the before and after differences!

The final tally of the refurbishment cost for this house has been my most expensive project refurbishment yet… but there was a vast amount of things to put right in order to make the property safe and lettable.

The missing lintel structural wall defect fix and gaping hole in the roof definitely played their part in stretching the budget! 

However, there are always unknowns and unforeseen extra works which pop up in any property project – the only thing you can be guaranteed of is to expect the unexpected!

So it is always better to pay the cost of getting things fixed right at the start to ensure a safe, watertight home for the tenant, and thus lessen the likelihood of problems arising once the property is occupied.

The tenant family are settling in nicely and really enjoying their new home – which has been a fabulous fresh start in a new area of Leeds for them.

Leeds City Council are paying the tenant’s rent as she is a single mother claiming benefits – and to lessen the risk for me, they are paying the rent direct to myself every four weeks. A win-win for all!

This superb story has been made possible by the kindness of the private investors for trusting me with their funds:

# A dilapidated property brought back into use

# A tenant family housed

# A great return to be generated on the private investment funding

# …and a superb example of social responsibility beneficial impact in the local area.

What’s not to love?!?

Thanks for reading!

If you’d also like to be involved in a future project where your funds can be deployed in a socially responsible investment creating great homes for local families, get in touch for a discussion.

IT’S CARPET DAY!

 
Ever since I can remember, I have loved the smell of a new carpet.
Call me weird, but there’s something distinctly pleasant about laying down on a new carpet and breathing in its delightful fresh scent.
So you can imagine how excited I get on carpet day – that is, the day of the refurbishment project when the fitter turns up with his vanful of wares – ie the carpet you chose the week before.

I readily “roll out the red carpet” for him, and by the way, it really is worth paying extra to have them professionally fitted. I have tried the DIY carpet fitter role myself, and it just ends up looking like a bodge job. 

Bizarrely, no matter how much other refurb work you do in the house, it still always looks unfinished until the floor coverings go down. This covers up a multitude of sins; mainly old floorboards covered with scruffy paint splashes for the decoration.

So fitting the carpets is pretty much the last stage in the project schedule, meaning the end is nigh; your house renovation is nearly finished!
But, some people get their rug in a twist over what sort of carpet to buy for a rental property. If that’s you, don’t worry: I wouldn’t let anyone pull the rug from under you – I’ve got you covered! (groannn…)

Let me take you on a magic carpet ride to Carpet Choice Kingdom…

Points to consider when choosing a carpet for a rental property: 

1. Pick one that’s tough and hard wearing. You don’t want to be replacing it quite imminently.
2. Make sure it is felt-backed, as it feels softer underfoot.
3. Bleachproof is best, as the inevitable always happens! So at least give the tenants a chance at getting their stains out.
4. Pick a neutral colour, but not too light – it hides minor stains.
5. Pick a pattern at your peril! They date quite quickly, and often have the effect of making a room look smaller.
6. Underlay, underlay?! Arriba!! It depends on your budget and the smoothness of the floorboards underneath, so I don’t think it’s always a necessity. Make a judgement yourself – and don’t let the carpet salesmen walk all over you!
7. Finally, get a pile fabric instead of a loop style carpet. The reason for this is that if a tenant has a pet, if their claws catch on a loop, it snags and rips an entire thread out of the carpet, meaning you’re left with a long, unrepairable threadbare snag line.

And that’s it!

I’m sure you’re not too floored by these revelations, but I hope you hoovered them all up and that these tips help!
PS – Don’t be shy about protecting your new carpet – you want your expensive asset to last as long as possible after all.I have no qualms at asking potential new tenants to remove their shoes on house viewings. If they get stroppy about that, then perhaps they’ve done you a favour in showing you that they’re not the type of respectful tenant you’d want living in your investment anyway!  PPS – I can only apologise for my excessive use of carpet-related puns in this blog. I’m sure, like an old carpet, you’re a little worn out by them, but I’m on a roll; I just can’t help myself! I got all these terrible puns from my other carpet-loving friend. Polly Esther.  Definitely it now, take care… and carpet diem x

But What About The Refurbishment Project During This Covid Chaos?

 


But What About The Refurbishment Project During This Covid Chaos?

My last update mentioned the good progress we were making on the project at Throstle Lane in Leeds.

If you’ve not yet seen the pictures, it’s a dated ex-council house, where I was undertaking the buy – refurbish – rent out – refurbish model. The intention is to keep the property long term, and it has been bought with private investment funds, to give the investors a fixed return on their capital.


It was going all well… I had a Selco delivery booked for a large amount of large and heavy materials – and then BOOM, Coronavirus hit.

I’m not sure if you’ve heard of this Covid-19 virus that’s sweeping the globe? It’s only been mentioned in the media once or twice…?!!

Effectively, the country has ground to a halt, whilst we all combat this terrible and dangerous disease.
Life as we know it is on hold…

But what does this mean for the project?

Well, having studied carefully the Government guidelines and advice, and thought about the pros and cons of pausing the project, I decided to continue with the refurbishment as best and as safely as I can. Refurbishing a house is obviously not the sort of work that one can do from a desk at home.

Gladly, I am not an imbecile, so I have found it reasonably simple to assess the risks, put into place a safe risk assessment plan to manage them, and have cracked on.

After all, there’s a family waiting for this house. And also, time is money, and when it’s somebody else’s money at risk, I’m not prepared to let them down either. And plus, I’m an eternal optimist; I know this dreadful pandemic will be beaten soon, and then we can all get on with our lives and resume some sort of normality.

Some of my planned contractors, labourers and painters have had to be cancelled, due to keeping the guidance of us all keeping socially distant. So that just left on the project the handyman, and er, me.

Luckily my handyman is a recluse anyway, so he poses no risk of interacting with others outside of work hours. The other bonus is that he is superbly multi-skilled, and has already done a vast amount of work himself within the house.

Now the bad news: me…



I’ll be honest, I’m generally just a supervisor on my refurb projects.

I have no manual skills, I am appalling at DIY, and I am physically as gormless and clumsy as they come.

Generally with DIY or garden work in my own house, I start a task, get bored within minutes, regret starting it and not just outsourcing it, and then get stroppy and frustrated and then do a half-arsed slapdash rush job. It’s no coincidence that all my rental properties are in a far better condition than my own house!

But, needs must in this time of shortage, so I have had to dry my eyes, get my hands dirty, and gerronwi’it.
I’ve got to keep the end in mind: ie this project is going to be a home for a family, so I can’t let that future family down.

Thus, I have been assisting with the following:

 – sweeping and removing rubbish (hey, start slow, earn those labouring stripes!)

 – scrabbling about for materials, because my Selco delivery got cancelled. I’ve been desperate for plaster for two weeks now, as all the major suppliers are either closed or out of stock! My own shed has been heavily raided for resources; a supreme bit of luck that I had some kitchen worktops that fitted perfectly!

 – mixed some mortar for the roof patching work! Hoiking heavy bags of sand and cement about for it: not so much fun for a weak pathetic Leeds lass with no muscles.

 – painting: walls I’m ok with a paint pad, but ceilings are the work of the devil, I can’t see where I’ve already painted!

 – helping with dot and dab plasterboarding! Until the handyman realised within seconds I was crap at it and took the trowel off me!

 – and the bit I’m most impressed with myself with: apprentice glazier! After the new supporting brickwork lintel had been fitted above the living room window, we took out the window to fill in a large gap above the frame, and I’ll be honest, I was terrified about doing this, knowing how gormless I am.

But although the thought of potentially dropping the very large glass window pane unit terrified me, what scared me more was knowing if I did drop and break it, it would cost me more money to have to buy a new one! So I calmed my panic, composed myself and helped remove and replace that glass with the smoothness and sleekness of a, erm, newborn baby giraffe…

But no glass was smashed, woohoo!



So yes, I have done far more manual work on this project than any of the others. My hands are red raw, and every single day last week I gained a new cut or injury on them, the most unpleasant one being when the naughty saw bit me…
 



But on the plus side: 
– I’m doing lots of daily Fitbit steps!
 – Thus I’m not putting on additional weight during this quarantine!
 – I’m keeping my labour costs down.
 – And best of all, the house is getting completed, albeit bit by bit, and slower than expected.

But better to go slow, than have to stop.
Remember that the tortoise still won that race!

Upstairs is pretty much finished, all the living room artex has now been plasterboarded over, awaiting some elusive bags of plaster, and we’ve just made a start on the kitchen units, which is always an exciting bit to do.

Don’t forget, if you’d like to see the progress of the refurbishment, then the album for it is on my Facebook page here:

https://m.facebook.com/kellyann.martin.10/albums/947238585671044/?ref=content_filter
 


And although I’m not currently viewing any properties for future projects because of the social distancing rules, as soon as they are lifted, I’ll be back on it.

So if you’d like to consider being a potential investor for the future, do get in touch for a discussion on what I can offer you return-wise on your capital – which I guarantee is better than the banks’ abysmal interest rates!

All my contact details can be found on my website www.kellyannmartin.co.uk

Thanks for reading the update, and I hope that you and your family, are all safe and well, and have an absolutely lovely isolated Easter!

Hey, even Jesus had to spend it alone in his cave…

My very best wishes, 

                         Kellyann Martin


PROJECT UPDATE: Throstle Lane

PROJECT UPDATE: Throstle Lane.

It’s been a few weeks since I posted, because I’ve been busy entertaining myself with the latest refurbishment project in Leeds.

This is a residential house in my area, an 8 minute drive from my front door, and a prime property for a family, a large, roomy ex-council end terrace with front and rear gardens.

The house was very dated, seemingly not having been touched for at least thirty years, due to the deterioration of inside and the décor – which included an old 70s/80s style stone feature fireplace and a 60s style kitchen cabinet!

There were two bedrooms initially, but with clever use of an insulated stud wall, and making good use of the large bedroom with two windows facing each other, this house now has three bedrooms. The new rooms are still decent sizes; and the interior structure of the floor plan has worked out way better in real life than I visualised it in my head, so I am very pleased with the way it has turned out.

As we’re patching the house back up, we’re finding that due to the age of it, more ‘contingency’ work is cropping up – but this is usual in such a dated property, and nothing to panic about.

These unexpected items include a lot of rebuilding of interior walls, as much of the old blown plaster was just coming off in chunks, so we’ve had to go back to brick in lots of areas. The roof also took an unexpected bashing in the recent storms, and many slates have had to be replaced, but that is patching up nicely to become watertight again.

My biggest concern though is the living room window. On looking at every other house surrounding my property, it is clear that when the council replaced everybody’s old wooden windows with new PVC ones, none of the houses had a supportive lintel put in. So my property, along with everybody else’s external brickwork above the window, has dropped, and that is what needs fixing.

The structural engineer has been out to survey what needs doing, the builder has been informed and booked in, so that’s the only major job I’m concerned about – fingers crossed!

On the whole though, the project is going well. First fix electrics have been done, and the rooms are starting to come together and emerge as liveable spaces!

As for the figures for this project, here’s they are:

Asking price on open market: £77,000

Purchase Price: £60,000.

Refurbishment budget: contingency having to be kicked in, so I’ll let you know in due course! But hopefully no more than £12,000, which includes the structural work, roof repairs, full rewire, complete new central heating system and boiler, loads of bonding and replastering, new kitchen, new bathroom, décor and flooring throughout, waste management (including some fly tipped rubbish and cannabis farm which somebody else kindly donated to my drive!) and then finally sort out that jungle of a garden!

Estimation revaluation: £105,000.

I own a near-identical property same street around the corner, 22 doors down, which revalued up at this figure – plus another round the corner sold recently for the same price, so I am confident it will achieve the new value after refurbishment.

This project has been purchased with the assistance of private investor funding.

They are helping me bring the property back into use for a local tenant family to rent out as their long-term home.

In return, the investor is getting a great fixed return on their investment, returned within twelve months – as soon as the property has been refinanced for the uplifted equity value.

If you would also like to invest in a property project for a hands-free passive income – and you love the idea of socially responsible investment in developing homes to enhance the socio-economic welfare of low income families – then do get in contact with me to discuss future projects which need investment.

All my contact details can be found on my website www.kellyannmartin.co.uk

Meanwhile, if you want to have a look at the progress of this latest refurbishment, then the album for it is on my Facebook page here:

https://m.facebook.com/kellyann.martin.10/albums/947238585671044/?ref=content_filter

Thanks for reading, and do make sure you have a great day!

PS – want a VIP tour of this project to see a real life ‘Homes Under the Hammer’ refurb, and to meet me in person?!
Just give me a shout!

Don’t Ever Give Up Hope… A Tale of Some Little Piggies!

Today I’m going to tell you a story that spans more than thirty years.

A story of a child’s unfulfilled frustration and disappointment.

A tale of never-ending hope.

But to begin our story, let me take you back to the mid-1980s…

Our story begins in Leeds, with an only child, a shy little poor girl from a single-mother family: me.

I’d always dreamed of having a better life.

Of being as lucky and wealthy as the rest of the kids in my class.

Of actually being able to have some money of my own.

So when the National Westminster Bank ran a campaign which encouraged children to save money in their own account, I saw my chance to make a start.

The incentive to save was strong; you received a new ‘piggy bank’ for coins in the form of pottery pigs every time you reached the next saving milestone.

I opened an account with my £5, received the first pig: Woody the baby, and got cracking collecting my coins.

In time, I saved £25, and Natwest sent me Annabel the pig through the post. This was great.

I kept going, saving my limited pocket money, and finally reached £50, put my savings in the bank, and the next pig Maxwell arrived to reward me for my efforts.

All was going well.

I kept saving hard for the last two pigs; you needed £75 to get Lady Hillary and then £100 meant you received Sir Nathaniel Westminster and thus completed the set.

And then we hit a stumbling block.

Which meant I never ended up getting the last two pigs.

I don’t quite remember exactly what went wrong, because I was young and it is over thirty years ago. But although my saving continued to go well, alas, mine and my mother’s lives did not.

I did have my money saved up for the next pig, but sadly, the savings never reached the bank – because I had to keep lending my mum them to pay for food and living costs. And this pattern kept repeating.

So I never completed my planned set of piggy banks, and then the campaign offer ended in 1988, meaning my set was to remain incomplete forever.

Somehow shit just goes wrong in life – and I hold no resentment against my mum; children can’t be fed on fresh air, she did what she had to do.

I felt sad and disappointed about this, but I also learnt a valuable lesson about life’s priorities and financial management.

But have you ever felt such burning disappointment of failure?

So strong that it still causes you bitterness thirty years later?

That is how I felt about my incomplete set of pigs.

Meanwhile my three little piggies followed me around as I grew up, surviving 8 house moves into adulthood, but always having pride of place in my bedroom.

A reminder of what I achieved, and of what could have been.

And although circumstances meant it wasn’t my fault, those three little piggy children were seemingly nagging and taunting me of how I should have done better.

I should have tried harder. Somehow.

And I know this probably sounds ridiculous to you, readers: getting annoyed over some piggy banks?

But for me, they represented one major feeling: failure.

If you’ve met me in real life, you’ll know that I hate failure.

Leaving things incomplete.

Not finishing things, not doing what I said I would.

It just does not sit right with me – and so I always do my best to achieve things.

And just like in childhood, many things often go wrong for me, no matter how hard I try – but I continue to try, because it’s a better option than giving up.

Failure’s only permanent once you stop trying.

So bearing this in mind, I decided a couple of years ago to try and complete the set.

I looked in charity shops, on eBay, and continued to witter on to my friends about these pigs.

But because Wade Pottery didn’t make as many versions of Lady Hillary and Sir Nathaniel – they were in fewer demand because not many children reached the coveted £100 – these pigs were few and far between.

And if you reached the full set, then like me, you probably wouldn’t have wanted to part with them either. And those people that did want to sell them were charging an extortionate amount for them.

So time, patience and persistence were required.

On Christmas Day 2019, I was absolutely delighted to unwrap the final two pigs Lady Hillary and Sir Nathaniel.

A gift from my friend Nicola, who, having known of my pig-wittering for nearly three decades, had managed to source them somewhere.

I’ll be no-holds-barred brutally honest here: I was utterly fucking delighted.

This was a big deal to me.

Sometimes, although you know it will make no logical sense to onlookers, there’s some things in life that mean a great deal to you – and Nicola helping me complete my set is one of those occasions.

So I’ve wanted to write this blog since Christmas day.

And, as I rightly predicted I would, I have beefed all over the keyboard.

I can’t even tell you why.

Delight of completion, thirty years of disappointment over, the finishing touch to success, maybe?

My five pigs, all together now as a happy family, a complete set.

And I’m superbly chuffed about it.

So, what’s the moral of the story?

What lessons can we learn from this little piggy anecdote?

Let’s see.

Money management is a key skill to master in life.

Sometimes life goes wrong. We have to gerronwi’it anyway.

Things don’t always get completed as quickly or successfully as you would like. Expect the unexpected.

Time, patience, and persistence will eventually pay off – even if it is thirty years later.

Only death is unfixable. Everything else can be fixed, in time.

If something is important to you, you’ll find a way to make it happen.

Don’t ever, ever, ever give up on what you want. X

Thanks for reading!

If you’d like to know more about the history of Natwest’s pigs, see here.

https://www.wade.co.uk/general/brief-history-of-wade-natwest-pigs/

Finally, one massive thank you to Nicola for helping me finish my piggy bank set.

I really appreciate it.

And another thank you, to all my friends and family who always support me and my plans and ideas… no matter how crackers some of them might be….

….THANK YOU!!!  x x x