A Word From Nick

Nich Face ShotA word from Nick…

Well it has been an exciting, exhilarating and energising time here at Nick Fox Property Mentoring. As you can see, the fabulous new website is up and running and this will be the first of many personal blogs that I will be writing. I have to thank all my team involved in producing such a great visual product.

Please take a look at our new short courses. These useful courses will help to make the most of your current HMO or give you an insight into what will help your future investments work – These courses really can make a huge difference to your profits!

Our monthly Newsletter has had a much-needed face-lift. Each month, I will be giving you handy tips and also the latest property news. There will also be a chance to enter our competitions to win great prizes – Please make sure you register. We don’t bombard you with useless annoying emails and we don’t pass your information on to marketing companies. We hate spam email too!

We have been extremely busy with all our new mentees. What they initially lacked in property and investment know-how, they made up for in passion, desire and focus. They have all moved forward and some are at the exciting stage of actually owning investment property and well on the way to becoming great multi-let investors. They all are a step closer to their future goals of financial freedom. You will be able to monitor their progress on the website under “Success Stories’ This will be constantly updated.

MK Lettings, (my letting company) has surged ahead with the employment of 3 new members to the team to help with the overwhelming work that comes through the office. They are being trained and guided under the ever so watchful eye of Jan Young, Lettings Manager.  As we have over 500 units with an occupancy rate of 98%, you can imagine things can get pretty hectic in the office maintaining that amount of tenants and properties.

I also will be speaking at various national conferences and training seminars over the next few weeks. This will involve a lot of insight into property investing and also how the market is progressing.

Look forward to speaking and seeing some of you soon

Nick Fox (HMO Expert)

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Dress To Impress – Rooms To Let

So you have bought the perfect house to be converted to a HMO and all the work has been done. All regulations have been met and its now time to start furnishing.Its an exciting time as you are almost ready to let the rooms and start seeing an income from your investment. It may seem a tedious task, how hard can it be to furnish a few rooms and get them on the market? Well of course its not hard at all compared to all the work you have probably done so far but don’t underestimate how important it is to get this bit right. How you furnish and present the rooms in your property are vitally important and can be the difference between selling a room on the day it goes on the market compared  to weeks down the line at a discounted price! Just think of the lost rent, extra advertising costs and extra time that could be much better utilised elsewhere.The big question I get asked so often by my mentees is “How do I furnish and dress the rooms?” This is a very important question and one that I will do my best to answer for you. In this series of 6 blogs I will share my experiences of what makes the perfect room, the perfect communal bathroom, the best communal areas and the best kitchen. Today we are concentrating on the Bedrooms.Before you even think about furniture you need to decorate the room. The most important thing here is to completely ignore your personal taste. Its just that, yours and you are not going to be living in the room. You need to think about the practical side. You may be tempted to have different themes in different rooms and explore your artistic side but this will just end up costing you more money. If you have a HMO property you obviously have more than room to let so it makes sense to do them all in a neutral colour like magnolia. That way you can buy a stock of the paint and then every time any of your rooms change occupant and need freshening up you have the paint in stock and can even make use of left overs from last time. Also worth considering where your property is. If your tenants are students and the rooms are priced low then just making sure they are freshly painted will be fine. However if you have a prestige home demanding top end rents and professionals there is nothing wrong with investing a bit more money in a feature wall. We have done this in some of our superior properties to give the feel of luxury and have that homely vibe. Same goes for the carpets, keep them dark neutral and the same. You will be able to get a deal from most carpet suppliers if you order lots of one product as opposed to small pieces of different ones. When considering carpets do remember about general wear and tear and go for something slightly darker than you may want to. These will wear much better and not show so many slight stains. In our rooms we alway opt for a plain carpet with no patterns. Don’t forget that the tenant will bring their own influence to the room so neutral colours will go with any taste.Now for the furniture. For a double room you are expected to provide a double bed and mattress, a wardrobe (either free standing or built in) and a bedside table. These are a must and if the room is big enough we also supply a chest of drawers. The key here is to have all the storage the tenant will need without over filling the room. This can be tricky in some rooms but there are many storage solutions of all sizes out there now, so there is no excuse not to get this part right. Again we tend to go for quite neutral products with clean lines and no fuss. The mattress is important as this will be the part of the furniture that will need replacing the most. You may be tempted just to go for the cheapest on the market but this is not a good idea. You will replace them after every tenant if you do this. If a tenant complains about the mattress you will need to replace it. Go for mid range ones that will be better wearing and ALWAYS use good mattress protectors, these are your new best friend. If you did your conversion work correctly there will be a tv point in each room. If not you need to get one! It is not necessary to provide a television, just the facility is enough. The same with WIFI. We supply free WIFI to all of our tenants but not computers. Lastly you just need to dress the window and the light. At the risk of sounding like a parrot, once again its neutral all the way. The curtains will be staying in the room so just get a neutral pair that go with the walls and carpet, same with the lampshade. Of course in your prestige properties if you have feature walls then picking a colour and matching to that will look great and really make the room stand out.Thats it, the room is ready to let. But there is one more thing to do. Purely for the purpose of letting, you need to dress the room. You are selling a lifestyle so you don’t want the room to look unloved! Invest in some duvet covers, quilt, pillows and bedding. You do not need to supply any of these to the tenant so your investment on these products is just for the purpose of dressing the room for let. You may wish to present a neutral room that could be a blank canvas for the tenant to make their own or add some colour for some character. Either is fine as long as the room is clean and welcoming. Make sure all the bedding is freshly cleaned and pressed, pillows plumped and the room is spotless. We often put some table lamps, candles, vases etc in the room and also some artwork to add to the homely feel.If you have followed all the steps above then your room will be ready to let now and should fly off the shelf. During the next couple of weeks I will be blogging about dressing communal areas, kitchens, bathrooms, thinking about your gardens and also the extras you can incorporate to make your HMOs stand out from the rest. If you would like to follow our blog series then please click here and we will keep you up to date. Please feel free to comment on this blog as we love to hear all feedback.Best Wishes, Nick Fox (HMO Expert)        

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Why Use A Property Mentor?

I have built a property portfolio worth in excess of 25 million pounds and along the way I have tried to learn from books and the internet. All types of property education are valuable, and I’m constantly reading books and going on courses to brush up on my knowledge of property investment. But have you ever been on a course, come away all pumped up, then weeks later failed to take a single step towards action? Or have you ever got started, been overwhelmed by indecision or some small set back, and given up? Yes? Then read on……….

The Benefits Of Working With A Mentor

In my experience, the majority of people who go on courses or read books fail to take action – and it’s normally because they don’t have a plan of action and they don’t have anyone holding them accountable. That’s what makes mentoring so special:
  • You can get specific advice on the questions you have – not just general information that’s designed to apply to everyone and no one at the same time.
  • You’ll have someone on hand who’s been there and done that, who you can call whenever you stumble.
  • You’ll have access to systems and information that’s been hard-won over time – and you’ll have it from day one.
  •  You’ll be held accountable and be inspired by being able to model someone else’s success. Nothing will seem impossible or beyond you, because you’ll be speaking to someone who’s already done exactly what you’re striving for.

My Mentoring Approach

Reading about HMO properties is fine, but it feels too abstract to be the basis for action. How can you set up a HMO property when you’ve never seen inside one before? How can you even go out looking for a property to buy when you don’t really know what you’re looking for?That’s why my own mentoring packages are 100% hands-on. Every student I’ve spoken to has said that actually coming and walking around my HMOs, talking to my tenants and asking questions to my staff has been by far the most valuable aspect and has hugely helped them to take action in their own HMO property journey.By using a Mentor you will avoid costly mistakes and will gain valuable advice from someone that has done it all before. I speak from experience, I can guarantee that if there is a mistake to be made I have made it, learned from it and now have a system in place to avoid making that same mistake again! You will have all this information at your fingertips from day 1!I am currently in the process of designing some new mentoring packages that will appeal to the beginner, those that have not yet bought a property,  through to the advanced, those of you with an established portfolio. If you would like to keep up to date on our new services, course dates and products……..as well as finding out about all our new book releases, then please register your interest here and we will keep you informed. You can also download my free ebook, How HMOs Can Be Your Key To Financial Freedom.Good luck in your property journey and I hope to speak to some of you in the near future!Best wishes, Nick Fox (HMO Expert) 

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The Benefits of HMO Property Investing

There are many benefits of HMO property investing. I am amazed at how many people think HMO property investing has lots of pitfalls and would take too much time. Many even say they are not sure it is worth the effort. Oh how wrong they are. Below I have listed just a few of the many benefits, so take a look and you may just be surprised. Here’s why I think HMO properties are such a great investment for anyone seeking financial freedom:
  •  It’s a huge growth market. We’re in the grip of a housing crisis in the UK, and the government is actively promoting communal living as a way for people to find and afford a place to live. Not only that, but recent changes to the housing benefit rules mean that single people under 35 years old are only entitled to a room in a shared house – pushing tens of thousands more people into the HMO market. People are looking for a cost-effective solution to their housing needs. In every part of the market from people on benefits to highly paid professionals, people want quality shared housing. Unlike when anyone could get a 100% mortgage to buy their own flat, the mindset is shifting towards living with others – but they won’t settle for shoddy standards. The demand is huge for anyone with a quality product.
  • HMO properties generate large amounts of cash. You’ll make drastically more money from a well-chosen HMO property than you ever could for a single let. That means you can pocket the money to live on, save it to quickly reinvest in another property, or overpay your mortgage so you’ve got an unencumbered asset as your pension for when you retire. You can stop worrying about what’s going to happen to property prices. If the capital value improves that’s a bonus, but who really cares when you’re generating money every month? You’re making your profit now, rather than waiting for a possible payout sometime in the future.
  • You’re at less risk from voids and non-payment of rent. People struggle to get their heads around this one, because more tenants equals more risk in many people’s minds. But the way I see it, if you’ve got one tenant in a house of five paying you late, you’ve still got 80% of your income on time. If one family living in a five bedroom house decide not to pay you one month, you’ve got nothing. With an HMO property, even if there’s one problem tenant you know you can still cover your mortgage and bills from the remaining rental income, and not have to service the bills and mortgage from your own pocket.
  • HMO properties offer a lot of personal freedom. Because you’re making a large amount of profit from one property, you’re not constantly chasing around all over town doing viewings, making repairs and solving problems at multiple different addresses. You can work from home, and there’ll be weeks on end where you’ll never hear from any of your tenants – if you’ve been smart and set things up properly, that is.
If you would like to find out more about building a HMO portfolio or converting your existing properties to HMOs don’t hesitate to contact me. I can offer you valuable advice that could save you thousands. Get in touch now! Whats more you can also download my FREE ebook, How HMOs Can Be Your Key To Financial Freedom. Happy reading!Nick Fox (HMO Expert)  

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UK Budget Effects on HMO Investing

Budget tax saving back door left open for HMO landlordsToday saw George Osbourne deliver the Budget, here are some of my thoughts on how it will affect HMO investing in the UK.In a Budget that offers little for HMO investors, Chancellor George Osborne may just have left a back door open a chink to help landlords.In his hour-long speech to MPs in the House of Parliament, Osborne did not mention landlords or property tax.The big taxes stay the same – with no movement on stamp duty or capital gains tax.The good news was the personal tax free allowance for income tax increases to £10,000 from April 6, 2014, so no one pays any tax on the first £10,000 they earn.Corporation tax will align with income tax from April 1, 2015 – at 20% – which means the Chancellor inadvertently confirmed the basic rate of income tax will not rise before the next general election.But that chink of light at the back door may be the new Employment Allowance. Employer Allowance for landlordsAimed at helping small businesses and entrepreneurs create jobs, the allowance exempts the first £2,000 off employer’s national insurance contributions (NIC) for every company.So, if you run HMOs through a company and employ a non-shareholder or property owner, your business should qualify to benefit from the allowance.This follows the general rule that allows property investors to employ partners and family members, providing they are not property owners – and then deduct their wages as a business expense from rental profits.If the Employment Allowance deduction applies as well, that means a saving of £2,000 on their NIC bill that stays in the business and can translate in to profit.The nitty-gritty of exactly how the allowance will work and what, if any, exemptions apply, has not yet been published by the Treasury.However, the scheme does look like a way of helping landlords retain some extra money in their businesses.“For the person who’s set up their own business, and is thinking about taking on their first employee – a huge barrier will be removed,” said Osborne.“They can hire someone on £22,000, or four people on the minimum wage, and pay no jobs tax. It will become available in April next year once the legislation is passed.” Help To BuyOther than these tax changes, the big Budget news was Help To Buy, a government initiative aimed at freeing up the housing market by injecting public money to guarantee deposits for first time buyers and movers.The reason Help To Buy has come about is down to the banks. Despite siphoning billions from quantitative easing, borrowing is tough for many potential homebuyers as the banks are sitting on the cash.Their problem is many can afford a mortgage but cannot raise the 25% cash deposit to buy a home.Help to Buy is trying to bypass the lending pinch point by providing funds to help borrowers raise deposits as shared equity or mortgage guarantees.Whether the scheme will work or not depends on banks and building societies. Government cash will ease lending restrictions, but whether the money available is enough to make a real difference to the market remains to be seen.Nick Fox (HMO Expert) 

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