I bought five houses in the UK by the time I was 28 – here are my tips so you can get on the property ladderJanuary 11, 2021
A BLOKE who managed to buy five houses in the UK by the time he was 28 has shared his top tips to get on the property ladder – and the key is checking websites every day.
Kyle James relocated from London to Portsmouth for the cheaper house prices – and so far he’s managed to snap up five properties in the seaside city.
Kyle bought his first home in 2016, a two bed flat for £120,000, when he was just 24 and lived in it as he renovated, which he admitted isn’t for everybody.
Speaking to Fabulous, Kyle, who’s set up a TikTok account, That Property Guy, revealed he started saving as a teenager, and put away £18,000 over six years for his first deposit.
He said: "I'm very strict with saving and try not to spend unnecessarily. Don't get the latest phone, shoes or blow loads of money every weekend."
His first flat only needed basic refurbishment, such as painting, and he flipped it for a profit in 2017, making £15,000, which he invested, along with more savings, into his next home.
Kyle, now 29, explained: “The next properties used a combination of savings, I carried on saving once I'd bought my first place, money from my salary and equity from each earlier property sale/refinance.”
The second property Kyle snapped up in 2017, for £160,000, was a three-bed house, which he described as in ‘bad condition’, which needed a full refurbishment.
He spent around £8,000, using savings and refinancing, on plastering, the bathroom, flooring, the garden and decorating, with Kyle, then aged 26, saying he did as much as he could himself – learning from YouTube.
Kyle, who works in marketing, said: “Major jobs were done by plumbers, plasterers and electricians. I did the decoration work and some of the smaller tasks (skirting, painting, basic plumbing and electrics).
Kyle’s top tips to get on the property ladder
- Use Rightmove every day, look at sold prices, attend viewings and set up property alerts. You want to know property values as well as estate agents do.
- Do your research upfront. Look at the survey in detail and potentially view the property with someone who knows what they're looking for.
- Make a budget when you're viewing and always get a survey. You want a sound foundation with fixable things in the property that aren't going to break the bank.
- First, mortgage affordability. Know what you can afford before you look to purchase. Speak to a mortgage advisor then start researching properties. Not the other way around.
- Start young saving for a deposit. The money you spend is as important as the money you save.
"It would be very helpful to have DIY knowledge – I didn't and I picked things as I went. Also learnt from tradespeople over the years and YouTube has a huge amount of helpful tips on it."
After transforming the second place, he got it valued and refinanced at £200,000, and rented it out but used the equity to buy his third property in 2019, aged 27.
He paid out £95,000 for a one-bed flat, which he described in ‘bad condition’, which also needed a full refurbishment.
Kyle forked out £9,000 – again using his savings and profit – to transform the ‘kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and living space’, but he got an incredible return on his investment, selling it for £138,500 last year.
Kyle used the equity and savings to purchase a further two two-bed houses last year, costing £148,000 and £171,500.
He's set to get the keys this month after delays due to Covid, and he plans to live in one house and rent out the other.
The property guru now shares his tips on YouTube and Instagram, telling Fabulous: “I've used mortgages on all of my purchases. My catch-phrase should be 'do your research'.
“Speak to the professionals and make sure you understand the financial sides, responsibilities and risks.
“Use financial websites to better understand the other admin and financial sides of purchasing, this is what I did and still do.”
He confirmed you don’t need to be a whizz at DIY to buy a home in need of renovation, although it helps to “learn a trade”, adding: “Always worth having some good tradespeople on call for the things you can't fumble your way through.”
And Kyle did his homework before buying each of his houses – scouring property websites daily.
“I check Rightmove religiously every day/week so I know what sort of properties are selling for what prices,” he explained.
This knowledge tells him if a house is overvalued, or ‘below market value’ – which he knows he can make profit on.
He said: “I spent months looking for my first flat and when I bought it for £120k I knew I'd already made money as I knew it was worth more than what I purchased for and with the right paintwork, photos and marketing.
“The second 3-bed house was a below market value property as well.
“Whilst looking at the property and during the viewing process I make a budget from looking at the rooms and deciding how much work is needed.
“If the costs are considerably less than what I think the potential re-sale value will be (and deducting fees) then it looks like a good option.”
Speed is also crucial, with Kyle revealing: “I make sure I'm one of the first people through the door when viewing so I can make an offer and get it snapped up.
“A lot of my journey so far has been down to spotting opportunities and grabbing them.”
Kyle, who calls his property empire his ‘side hustle’, shared his pearls of wisdom, saying: “For me, relocating was key. It was the only reason I was able to buy at 24.
“It would have taken me years of saving or getting a huge pay rise to be able to consider buying in South London.
“If you are able to be flexible when it comes to location, then it can be a HUGE benefit.”
He also encouraged people to look at Government schemes, such as Help to Buy initiatives to Shared Ownership.
Kyle stressed the key to a successful purchase lies in the ‘research’, and you need to be up to speed with the ‘property market, mortgage advice, costs, taxes and fees’.
Kyle’s key questions to ask when buying a house
- How long has the property been listed, if it's a long time, ask why.
- Why is the vendor selling. Is there a good reason or does it sound suspect.
- When were the boiler/electrics serviced?
- Is the seller open to offers?
- Is there a chain?
- Has there been much interest?
He added: “Don't be put off by confusing terminology or aspects of owning a home. Ask the professionals.
“Save! So important. If you can start young, do. The money you spend is as important as the money you save.
“Shop around, budget and don't spend unnecessarily. Get stuck in. Be prepared to pick up the paint brush.”
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