Frequently Asked Questions
Please click on a question to find out more.
First of all we will need to sit down and discuss your aspirations and then conduct a financial appraisal.
We can then make an informed recommendation for you and get you on the road to building a portfolio.
For around £25k you can buy a property in the UK that will cash-flow, i.e. generate a monthly profit and discounts be available and be located in a growth area – your objectives of growth first and yield second will usually demand that the properties are in a good location – for instance a 1 bed studio on the water in Bristol will need about 22k deposit.
We have two types of membership available, which are as follows:
For just £1000 per annum Midas will offer you the following benefits
- Our first class "Hold your hand" customer service
- Access to our expert negotiation Midas discounts @ 2.5% commission
- A financial review to maximize your equity and buffer
- A rent review to maximize your rental income
- A portfolio review to recommend new properties to suit your investment plan
Find Only Service
For the more experienced investor we offer a find only service which gives you access to our expert negotiations @3% commission and you can take care of your own mortgage, legal and lettings arrangements.
For either of our services there are always the standard property purchase and lettings costs
- Mortgage Fees
- Arrangement Fees
- Stamp Duty
- Lettings Fees
- Legal Fees
We take great pride in our first class customer service and no question is too trivial. We understand our clients might well be nervous in the early days and we are happy to take queries by phone or email at any time.
You can also come and see us at our office for a one to one at any time. There are no restrictions on you, in fact we are confident that you will grow in confidence over the years and be able to take more and more on the further you grow your portfolio
Buy into a growth story in a good location by the water or in central areas where there is good rental demand. Negotiate a good price at the right time. Hold your properties until you have enough equity to refinance, and use this amount to buy your next property. Top up your buffer each time so you are covered for the risk. Diversify your portfolio in more than one location. Use the professionals: property sourcer, mortgage broker, accountant and lettings agents to do the work for you and don’t cut any corners. Above all enjoy your portfolio and start with the end in mind.
The requirement is typically 10% for 2nd hand buildings 20-25% for new build – though better mortgage rates are achieved the higher the deposit value.
We recommend new build because with the right negotiation a profit can be achieved from day one with the minimum of fuss. Any run down property or older property will need more care and investment sooner than a new build with 10 year guarantees being offered on a lot of the fixtures. It’s also a lot less hassle with new build because no initial works are required other than the snagging before completion. Flats are often the most lucrative and smaller properties are easier to rent. We always find out how many in a block – anything below 14 is open to Housing Association and it is also easier to control the management company.
We recommend the following places in the South West and London – Coastal Devon and Cornwall, Bristol, Bath, Cheltenham, the Cotswolds, Oxford, London hotspots in 2013 have been Hayes & Harlingdon, Lewisham, Blackheath, Muswell Hill and Highgate.
The UK population is projected at 63.5 million by 2013, 65.6 million by 2018 , 67.8 million, 69.8 million by 2026, 71.6 million by 2033, the rented sector – provides to 4.3 million houses. That figure is expected to grow by 20% in next 5 years. We are under supplied by over 500,000 properties nationwide at the moment and building is too slow to meet the current projections so the supply and demand picture is very strong. We have low interest rates, very motivated vendors – therefore best prices and very high rents at the moment. There are 8 applicants for every one tenancy on average in the UK and that’s just the average. In high demand areas you are looking more at 15-20 applicants. In fact tenants are gazumping each other with higher rent offers just to secure the property.
Not necessarily – although some lenders want to see evidence of income to secure a buy to let mortgage – there are still some that are purely interested in the rental potential of the property. They will expect to know what type of property it is and how many are in a block. Large numbers are often harder to secure borrowing on as they are deemed higher risk due to increased competition on the rents.
The maximum age lenders allow to own a buy to let mortgage is 85 so there is no real barrier to entry into the buy to let market.
Yes it is possible for a parent to gift the deposit for their children to buy an investment property. Call us to speak to one of our FSA regulated mortgage brokers who can give you some up to date advice on which lenders can help you and they will arrange your finances with you.
The Midas service offering is truly global.
We have helped many people in their own country benefit from the unique property market in the UK.
Here are the benefits of being one of our valued global clients:
Source top quality properties
Negotiate discounts for you
Arrange your mortgage
Arrange your laywer
Find a tenant for your properties
Manage the properties for you
Provide regular updates on your portfolio
Twice yearly full reviews on your portfolio
Arrange Visa application service
Arrange Foreign Exchange
Arrange private banking
Arrange concierge if necessary
The best way of protecting yourself is to ensure the tenant signs an insurance policy guaranteeing the rent if they fall out of work or become made redundant. As soon as their rent becomes one month in arrears, the policy then kicks in and your rent is paid. We also include £50k legal cover, so if the tenant becomes really difficult and you need to serve a Section 8 Eviction – your legal fees are paid and all damages are covered. We insist all our landlords have this insurance in place because the bigger the portfolio , the higher the likelihood this situation will occur – no-one is immune and it can be devastating when it happens with bills mounting up into the £1000’s.
According to a recent survey – 44% of landlords invest within 15 miles of their home. This is a mistake if the property is not in a good growth area. If you use a good management company you will hardly ever have to visit your property.
43% of landlords only use one agent to get a rent appraisal. Three or more should be your minimum – because your 1st and only one could give you a low appraisal and you may miss out on higher rents. We take an average of the higher half or 20-30 agents in the area to give us an achievable figure.
The number one factor influencing a landlords’ decision to choose a letting agent is proximity to their office. This is a mistake – it has to be the location of the property because the agent with the best database of prospective tenants will be in the vicinity of the property and not your office.
65% of landlords would accept a renewal from a good tenant rather than accept a new tenant on a higher rent. This is a big mistake because good tenants are well behaved because they know they are on a good deal – they know the market rent and will never volunteer that their rent is too low. We had a landlord who said; “But he sends me a Xmas card every year and always pays on time.” when offered another £120 per month more on the rent. We said: “We will send you a Christmas card every year if you gave us £120 per month!! – would you give your sister or brother £120 for nothing? No, well why are you giving £120 to a total stranger?!”
We never allow a contract to expire in a dead time like Xmas and New Year so in June and July we only sign 8,10 or 12 month tenancies so that tenancy end date comes out in the spring – which is a much better time to have a property on the market. We also insist on a 2 month notice period on all tenancies – this means that there is more chance to market the property and serve notice if the tenant won’t accept an increase in rents and process an incoming tenant in time for the end date, making the handover as smooth as possible. Using this method our void periods are kept to a matter of days rather than weeks.We also utilize multiple agents to do the tenant find and tell them about each other so that there is competition and they are therefore hungry for the business –this ensures your tenants are found quickly
Yes – a good accountant should understand the principles of property investment and some are property specialists. Their advice will position you for the mitigation of tax – because you are liable to personal gains on your monthly income and for capital gains on the sale of your properties should you wish to dispose of one in the future. They will be extremely helpful in keeping you appraised of budgetary or legislation changes and they will keep your books in good order. We use some fantastic cloud based software which is open to our landlords to download their annual statements which contain all the income and outgoings on each property. Ask your lettings agent whether they use LettMC or similar software and can allow you to login to your account. This will take the stress out of submitting your annual tax return and keep your books as straight forward as possible.
Developers will be open to negotiation at the beginning and the end of the development; at the beginning because after securing some reservations for the first few they can go to the bank for lending to start the project and at the end they are already thinking of moving on and they are most motivated. Before you start your negotiation, see an independent mortgage broker and get your finance in place – and this means getting approval for your lending figure. Tell the developer you have finance in place and that you can go to exchange in 4 weeks. This will differentiate you from the average customer who will be buying to live and can string them along for 12 weeks and then bail out of the sale for innocuous reasons like a leaky tap. You should check the valuation is genuine by seeking a RICS evaluation and a comparable – check also that you are not competing with lots of other investors on completion for tenants. Once you know this information ask for a discount.
We make use of something called a buffer which is a nest egg set aside to protect against those unforeseen circumstances which it they occur in quick succession across a portfolio can wipe an investor out. This can take the form of a drawdown facility on the mortgage or the use of a high interest account – but we say as a rule of thumb you should have about 5k for every 200k of property invested. Larger portfolios require larger buffers and its essential to keep this topped up using your rental income and ensure that should the worst happen on all your properties you can ride the storms.
We look for good quality universities and schools, tourism hot spots and centres of employment to ensure large demand for rentals and we especially like beside the water as this is prime – so riverside, dockside, lakeside and seaside properties all achieve a premium over properties further inland. We also look for a growth story – so news of an insurgence of investment in the area – like the Crossrail 2018 or the Olympics for instance heralds new demand and investment potential. We make sure the transport links are good – like motorways, rail links or airports. We spend time in nearby cafes, restaurants and bars by day and night to see what kinds of clientele frequent them. These are the future tenants of the prospective property and you should be looking for respectful, civilized people. We ask parents at the schools – “what’s it like to live here?” and we also find out where the local Housing Association houses are. We also go to planning permission websites to check for up and coming changes in the landscape – the last thing you need is a by-pass to come right through your investment community spoiling the views – so it pays to find out first.
We always ask for a Royal Institute Chartered Surveyors evaluation report and a comparable from the market to show the price achieved in the market against the surveyors report. Once this is known we can now be clear on our negotiation on price and know we have a genuine discount being offered. We ask how many have been sold to other investors because if the number is too high, on completion we will have to compete with other landlords marketing their properties to let. Smaller properties of under 14 units make the management company easier to manage and the service charges will be less for things like security and shared amenity maintenance.
We email 30-40 agents and wait for a response on a rental property – if they don’t come back within 2 days – bin them. For the rest – ask them about their service – their attention to detail and hunger for business will show. We look for credit, employers and landlords’ references being taken. We look for the use of all the major property portals for marketing the properties. We also look for flexibility on the finder’s fee – to negotiate this fee down – we promise more on the basis that we are an investment company