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Renovating for Profit


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Making Money from Other People's Property


Grant Delmege

The term 'property development', usually conjures up images of buying and renovating old houses for resale or to let. Even today, there are many houses and flats in the UK, which can be bought relatively cheaply at auction and represent a good investment for the new and savvy property developer.

The housing market in the UK has experienced unprecedented growth over the past two decades, confirming the belief that buying into 'bricks and mortar' is a fairly safe bet when it comes to choosing an investment that offers high returns. What makes this market particularly attractive to the new investor is the reasonably quick turn around time from purchase to sale.

It's quite feasible for a property bought at auction, to be completely renovated and be back on the market within 2-3 months. And, with careful control over the renovation budget it is quite conceivable to see a return of around 15% on the total investment.

For those looking to make their property investment pay off over the longer term, the buy to let market should be their prime target. Whilst, letting property offers a regular monthly income, it can also be fraught with many unseen problems. The property owner, or landlord is ultimately responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the property, and is obliged to act on and implement important issues like health and safety regarding the welfare of the property's tenants.

The much overlooked and probably the least understood aspect of the property market is property consultancy. A property consultant simply finds suitable properties and development land for and on behalf of their clients. They don't risk their own finance and the fees they charge can amount to a very considerable income.

In some respects the property consultant operates very much like an estate agent, in that they charge a percentage fee for their part in the property transaction. However, this lucrative operation can be much more rewarding, as the property consultant can be involved in deals worth literally millions of pounds. A 2% fee can and very easily realise an income in excess of five figures per transaction.

And it's not uncommon for a property consultant to arrange 3 or 4 such transactions in a year, on top of the many other opportunities available involving domestic and smaller commercial properties.

Most property consultants will have a number of clients, to which they can match a suitable property for either renovation or redevelopment. The client's requirements may specify property within a particular area of the country and can be an existing building, derelict land or brownfield site. Finding and matching property to the client's requirements then introducing owner to buyer is about as demanding as the job gets.

To start up in business as a property consultant is relatively simple. No qualifications are required. There's no financial outlay and the whole operation could be conducted from a small home office. The key to making the business a success, like any new business, is the 'know-how' needed to operate a property consultancy business for maximum income.

If you're considering the possibility of making a good return from investing in the property market, renovation or buy to let are the usual options. However, you might also consider the very real prospect of making a six-figure income from other people's property.


Grant Delmege is a professional property consultant based in the UK.



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