De-Haviland Road - Where it all began …
This was a conversion of a large 3 Bed Semi-Detached into a 5 Bedroom HMO for 6 people. It was a big learning curve! We purchased this on 18th December 2014.
With both of us working full time in retail over the festive period it was a very stressful first time project. But it also taught us a lot by making a few mistakes on the first project we quickly learnt how to overcome the problems and make it right.
Being new to HMOs we contacted the Housing Officer at the local council for advice on what to provide for the tenants. With their guidance and the advice from the Fire officer we created our first HMO.
Four and half years on this HMO is still the best cash flowing one in our portfolio. It’s in a great location close to the town centre so we don’t have many voids with this one. Not a bad first find!
Weasenham Lane - The start of the cookie cutter!
And onto the next one! We purchased Weasenham Lane in July 2015. This was also a 3 Bed ex-local authority Semi-detached property which with our knowledge from Dehaviland Road we quite quickly turned this one around as Glenn was now working full time in the business. With large rooms, a low maintenance garden, lots of parking and located close to the factories within the town this was a great second 4 Bedroom HMO for 6 people.
We also took on the letting of the rooms ourselves after a bad experience with a local agent and immediately saw a difference.
Colvile Road - Taking every opportunity.
We purchased this one August 2015 with the intention to flip this as it was quite a large 3 Bed detached in a lovely area. However as this deal came in quick succession after Weasenham Lane we decided that although dated it was in good condition and we would tenant the property for some time while we concentrated on our income strategy of HMOs.
We tenanted the property for just over a year then we decided that instead of selling the property on, it also worked as a HMO. So we refurbished the property as a 5 bedroom HMO for 6 people and kept it as a cash flowing asset. It works well as its close to the town centre, in a lovely area and has plenty of parking for tenants.
Seabank Road - The first one!
We purchased this property on 23rd December 2015. And upon viewing it the next day - Chrismas Eve! We found a fence put up on the right hand side of the property separating the driveway and the garden. Also with a caravan parked on it. A little worried we contacted the solicitors, who assured us we had purchased this piece of land too. After a nervous wait over the festive period we waited for the previous owners to move their caravan off the property. The had believed as they purchased the land separately they still owned it. A golden rule in property - ‘Never assume"‘. We went on to turn this 3 Bed Semi-detached into a 3 Bedroom 6 person HMO. This property is situated a little out of town so doesn’t fill as quickly as the other so tenants usually own a car and can benefit from the many car parking spaces outside.
Ramnoth Road - Who knows when an offer will be accepted?
We purchased Ramnoth Road in April 2016, a year after our original offer was put forward through an Estate Agent. The vendor emailed us to see if we were still interested. Its the smallest of our HMOs having only 5 tenants but again is close to the town. Once refurbished one of the original tenants asked to have the room back she was previously renting. When we viewed the room with her she burst into tears as she couldn’t believe the difference. She is still a tenant of ours today.
Seabank Road - The second one!
We purchased our second house in Seabank Road in April 2018. It was definitely on our property bucket list to buy more than one in the same street so it was a massive achievement for us when we did. It was exactly the same layout as the other one we had so we made a few tweaks adding an ensuite instead of making it a second bathroom and slightly updating the range of kitchen we used to make it look more modern. This was an ex local authority house of non standard construction so some lenders wouldn’t lend but from the previous one we knew this.
When refurbishing the property we had to take down and additional wall made by the previous occupants - they had put this up as they had noisy neighbours and lost about a foot off each of the adjoining rooms to the neighbouring house.
Again we turned this into a 3 bedroom 6 person HMO.
Opportune Road - Keep going when others give up.
We purchased Opportune road at the end of August 2018. It was again 3 bedroom property which we turned into a 4 bedroom 6 person HMO. As with all the property we buy it wasn’t without its problems. Even viewing this one was difficult due to it being tenanted. However when the purchase was finally going though we were again informed from the survey that due to an ongoing issue with drainage the property needed repairs to the damp course. We used the same specialist company as with North street.
We then set about to refurbish the property and turned this one around within 3 months! Its one of our smaller HMOs but with it being close to the town centre and offering a discount on the smallest room we let out all the rooms.
Lonsdale Terrace - If the numbers work buy it!
We purchased Lonsdale in March 2017 it was too small for an HMO but as the numbers worked as a BTL property we would still purchase it and try to balance out our HMO heavy portfolio. Works for a permitted development extension had already begun on this property so we brought in Building control and continued with the extension which would house the new bathroom downstairs. We then made the bathroom into bedroom 3 and let it as a 3 Bed Semi. Its not all been plain sailing with this one as the first tenants didn’t look after the property and after 4 months wanted to move out. However having a detailed inventory and a guarantor meant we could claim for the damages and put the property right for new tenants to move in.
North Street - From ugly house to lovely house
Purchasing this one was the most difficult purchase we had done so far. The house had quite a number of problems and the lender decided it was inhabitable for tenants so wouldn’t lend. We then set out to do an exchange with delayed completion.
We exchanged at the end of November 2017 with 8 weeks to complete the works including repairs to the damp course and floor boards, install an up to date heating system, re-plaster and decorate throughout. With the weather conditions in December the worst we’d seen for years and a newborn baby this was quite a stressful project. But we managed to complete all the works within the 8 weeks and complete on the property in January 2018. Upon the revaluation by the lender he was surprised to see how much additional works we had completed and by the time we refinanced the property it was an infinite return on Investment.
Princes Road - Always follow up on your offers!
We purchased this property at the end of January 2019. Again it wasn’t without its issues but we found solutions to all the problems and moved on with the purchase. It was a very large 2 bed mid terrace property very close to the town centre and in a good area of the town.
With this being number 9 we had lots of systems and processes in place to make this the most streamline refurb yet. However it wasn’t without its problems having tradesmen cancel on us at the last minute we drafted in help from our families and rolled our sleeves up to make sure the job got done!
We split the large upstairs bathroom in two and created 2 further bedrooms downstairs to become a 4 bedroom 6 person HMO.