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Clapham First Time Buyers' Mortgages taking 46.1% of their Wages

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I received a very interesting letter the other day from a Clapham resident. He declared he was a Clapham homeowner, retired and mortgage free. He stated how unaffordable Clapham’s rising property prices were and that he worried how the younger generation of Clapham could ever afford to buy? He went on to ask if it was right for landlords to make money on the inability of others to buy property and if, by buying a buy to let property, Clapham landlords are denying the younger generation the ability to in fact buy their own home.
Whilst doing my research for my many blog posts on the Clapham Property Market, I know that a third of 25 to 30 year olds still live at home. It’s no wonder people are kicking out against buy to let landlords; as they are the greedy bad people who are cashing in on a social woe. In fact, most people believe the high increases in Clapham’s (and the rest of the UK’s) house prices are the very reason owning a home is outside the grasp of these younger would-be pr…

Is Buying Through Auction the Way Forward for Your Next Investment?

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I've won If you follow me on social media you'll probably already know that I was the winning bidder at a nice property in Crystal Palace yesterday. Instantly you may think "but you're a Clapham investor?" This is true, but as you will know from other project I have on the go one must look slightly outside of their core area to snap up a bargain or two.

What? The flat I put my hand in the air for is a short lease flat. Again, you may baulk at the thought of purchasing a leasehold with any less than 80 years remaining. There is, however, a little thing called the  Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993. This little piece of legislation allows the leaseholder to serve notice on the freeholder that they would like to purchase a lease extension. Something the freeholder can then not refuse...! It's the legal equivalent of the gun to the head; quite contrary to olden days where freeholders would dig their heels in and either not sell an extension …

Should you be scrappping deposits for your properties in South London?

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Well, some interesting news in the world of property at the moment: Get Living, the company behind the UK's biggest rental scheme in the private sector in the Olympic Village is going to be scrapping deposits altogether from today. They reckon that the average deduction equates to a few days' rent, so for them it's not economical to register the deposit, comply with various bits of legislation and then have to account for returning it later. Amazing!


Red tape? Yes, red tape. When you take a "holding deposit" as we used to call them, many a landlord and agent fell foul of the regulations already. After all, the Housing Act (amended 2008) states a deposit must be registered within 30 days of receipt. Furthermore, prescribed information must be given to the tenant. What's this? Well, it's just a paper trail that the landlord/agent is obliged to serve on the tenant to ensure they've been told where this deposit is held. If this isn't done in the right…

4 Important Things to Check When Purchasing an Investment Property in Clapham

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As you will know I've been investing in residential property for some time now. I thought I'd share a few useful tips; things that I do on a viewing to ensure what I'm seeing is what I'm getting and to make sure I have a solid investment!

1. Is the floor plan correct? Often times the properties I'm attracted to are advertised with little more than an exterior photo and a sketch floor plan. Obviously an internal inspection is required, but is what you're seeing adding up to what you think you're getting? I, more often than not, measure up myself to eliminate the risk of an "optimistic" measurement from the agent. Here is the link to the laser measuring device I use, only £20 from our friends at Amazon. With the proper measurements I can be sure the surface area is on par with what I believe it to be. Believe me, it can swing either way. The last one I measured was 75sqm and the agent had it listed as 46sqm. It doesn't take a genius to work out…

8 Amazing "Urgent" Repairs That are Reported to Clapham Landlords

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Naturally as an investor/estate agent/property professional I speak to a lot of people in the trade. I thought I'd share some of the most outrageous repairs we've been called out to - and when I say "repairs" I actually mean a massive non-emergency! Needless to say there were no emergencies and most can be solved with common sense.
So here we go, hopefully you'll find the tales as entertaining as I have!
Daniel White, local estate agent recants his tale - "...recently had a tenant kick off because his boiler was not working, I popped around before considering getting a plumber. When I arrived he was angry and was acting if it was my fault his boiler broken down but after 2 minutes minutes investigating, we found his gas pre-paid meter had run out of funds!!!! Apology, of course not.

Mandy Wilshaw, landlord recants she "had a call out to a property because there was no electric - the whole area had a power cut!"


Tradesman - Ally Menzies shared how …

Where to find the best deals - in Clapham?

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A lot of regular readers ask me where I source my property investments from. The truth is I'm something of an expert in finding deals "in plain sight..."
In plain sight? You mean through agents? Yes, often times the properties that are the most attractive are the ones that have been sitting around for ages. The agent has lost interest, the owner disheartened about achieving the once "very realistic price" the agent pitched the asking price at. So then it's time to get to work...! Rightmove and Zoopla are your friend!
There are many other methods of finding great investments though, and a lot of good systems exist in order to have sellers calling you! Believe it or not there are people out there that make this a business (called sourcing). They could be property investors in their own right, like myself, who don't want to take a particular property because it doesn't fit their strategy (maybe capital gain vs cash flow, who knows) and they sell on the…

Buy to Let - is it still viable in south London?

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An interesting question this week - I had a long standing client phone me and discuss why rents were on the slight decrease throughout his portfolio. It would seem the aftereffects of Brexit, stamp duty changes and many more things are still lingering in the south London rental market - he had to reduce some of his rents by £10pw or so. It's not massive, but a sign of the times still. 
First time buyers Some may say that renting is less popular now than it was 12 months ago; more tenants are flocking to purchase their own home and stop spending (wasting?) money on rent. Let me tell you that this isn't true. Research suggests that the average age of the first time buyer has stayed fairly stable through the years, as the graph will illustrate. My common sense also tells me that tenants haven't suddenly saved enough for a deposit to go out and buy a property. 



What?So what has caused rents to stagnate? Well firstly we find ourselves in late spring-ish time, which is not quite pe…