A Question of Property - Ep 5 - Paul Mahoney, Stefano Lucatello & John Howard - Nova

A Question of Property – Ep 5 – Paul Mahoney, Stefano Lucatello & John Howard

Lucia France:
Hello everybody and welcome to A Question of Property. My name is Lucia France and answering all of your property questions here on our panel today is our panel of experts.
Lucia France:
We’ve got John Howard, he has over 40 years experience in the industry. He’s also the author of three books, the latest one being Buying and Selling at Auction. And I believe you’re working on a new one, John as well, aren’t you, Top 10 reasons to Live in Ipswich? Is that correct?
John Howard:
That’s the one, yes. Well, as you know, a very well known internet company put us as the top 10 in Europe.
Lucia France:
That’s right.
John Howard:
I don’t know how that happened to be fair, but any way.
Stefano Lucatello:
[crosstalk 00:00:43] that one will sell.
Paul Mahoney:
[inaudible 00:00:50]
Lucia France:
Stefano Lucatello, senior partner at Kobalt Law, International Property Lawyers and our go to expert for everything about buying and selling in foreign property.
Lucia France:
And Paul Mahoney, head of Nova Financial Group and our go to expert for sensible, calm, rational financial advice. So thank you all for joining us here today guys.
Lucia France:
We’re going to get started with something that’s not quite property related, but obviously we’ve all been in lockdown now for five million weeks so far. What is the thing that you guys miss the most about the outside world?
Stefano Lucatello:
Having a haircut.
Lucia France:
Yeah, I’m with you on that one. Need the roots doing.
John Howard:
I think I really enjoy the banter and meeting people, and I’ve had to resort to even reading this book-
Stefano Lucatello:
Brilliant book. Excellent book.
John Howard:
I’ve had to. That’s how bad things have got. So there we go.
Stefano Lucatello:
What are you doing? Putting it in the bin, John?
Lucia France:
That’s nice of you.
John Howard:
I much prefer to be… Zoom is great and it’s changed the whole world otherwise what would we be doing? But it’s not the same as meeting everyone and having a banter and a coffee and so on, and that’s what I really miss.
Lucia France:
I agree.
Paul Mahoney:
I think we all miss that, the social contact. Being able to have a coffee or a pint with someone isn’t the same as talking to them on the phone.
Lucia France:
Also, I really miss being able to actually go and sit down in a restaurant because-
John Howard:
I suspect you do. You never pay for it, that’s why. The rest of us [crosstalk 00:02:27].
Lucia France:
That’s not true, John.
John Howard:
Us guys are saving a fortune. Saving a fortune.
Lucia France:
I got a Thai takeaway the other day, and it’s just not the same, is it? Just not the same.
John Howard:
No, not at all.
Lucia France:
Anyway, first world problems there for sure. Let’s move on to our questions. And our first one today is for John, so let’s read this one for you. This came in on our email so if you’d like to email any questions to us, it’s ask@aquestion.co.uk.
Lucia France:
So, dear question of property, I am planning to buy my first main residence in 2020, which I plan to buy and hold onto for the long term, 20 plus years, so I would appreciate John’s thoughts on buying in the current market, and his top three buying tips apart from Location Location Location, with regard to buying my own main residence. Note, I am open to buying at auction, and I have some development experience, one HMO project in 2016. Thank you and regards, J.W. So that’s for John.
John Howard:
Well, J.W, congratulations. I think in the next six months it could be a great time to buy your first home. I wouldn’t jump into it next week, but certainly in the next six months I’d be looking out and finding what you really want to buy. I wouldn’t compromise too much, because if you want to live in it long term, whether you’ve paid 10,000 more for it or not, are you that bothered?
John Howard:
You’re having it for 20 odd years, you want to live in it, it wants to be your dream home. You want make it, when you’re sitting in the garden looking at a lovely sunny day, you’ll be glad if you’ve got on and bought it rather than held on and held on and held on.
John Howard:
The three tips I would give you. I would always check out your next door neighbors when you’re buying.
Lucia France:
[crosstalk 00:04:23] Very important.
John Howard:
Because they can be an absolute blight on your life if you’re not careful. Also check out that there’s nothing happening in that area moving forward. Check that there’s not a new school being built or something like that, there’s going to noise, it’ll create traffic.
John Howard:
If I’m buying a deal on any sort of property, I always try and go back in the evening. Most people view during the day, but if you drive around in the evening, of the area, you get to know a lot more about it. So they’re the three tips I would do.
John Howard:
And actually, I’ve just finished my fourth book, which is on the domestic market, which has all this in it. It’s all about people who want to buy property, a flat or house, because most people only buy once every seven years and there’s 80,000 properties a month normally sold. So it’s got lots of tips like that in there.
Lucia France:
Fantastic. Great answer, thank you very much, John. Any advice for the rest of you guys, Stefano and Paul?
Paul Mahoney:
Yeah, I’ll add to that. So the person said they’re buying their home, so usually that’s quite an emotional decision. As John mentioned, you need to be comfortable and happy with where you live. That’s not usually an investment decision. I think that it’s important to understand the two different decision making processes when it comes to buying…
Paul Mahoney:
It seems they’re asking about getting the best deal, but sometimes when it comes to buying your home, and I think John touched on this, it’s not necessarily about getting a deal. It’s about what you really love.
John Howard:
The other thing I would say is, if you’ve got a partner, of course, you’re buying it together and that’s always a compromise. And you’re always best to let your wife normally make the final decision.
Lucia France:
Absolutely.
Stefano Lucatello:
That’s controversial, John.
John Howard:
Well, there we go.
Lucia France:
Well I think you both have to be-
John Howard:
Or life partner.
Stefano Lucatello:
I think one thing that applies both to English property and foreign property, no matter where you’re buying, you have to identify, clearly, the reasons why you are buying. And clearly, as the guys have said, the reasons for investment buying are totally different from the reasons that you would use to base a lifestyle change purchase.
Stefano Lucatello:
It doesn’t matter where you buy, I think that there are two different sets of rules. One is, do want it to produce an income for you on a monthly or yearly basis? And the other is, you’re not fussed whether it does or it doesn’t, but you’re not using it anyway for that sort of income producing.
Lucia France:
Yeah, exactly.
Stefano Lucatello:
It’s a life style change.
Lucia France:
And they say that you never have everything completely there. There’s always one thing you have to compromise on.
John Howard:
I think, Lucia, it’s like a man. You’re never completely happy, if you’re a woman probably, but it’s all about compromise.
Lucia France:
My husband’s in the other room, so I’m not going to say anything.
Stefano Lucatello:
I’m not interested in men.
Paul Mahoney:
That is true though, with property, in my experience anyway, there’s always a concession to make in some way. You wish it faced a different direction, or had a slightly different floor plan, or you get it slightly cheaper, but you have to get comfortable with those concessions you’re making.
Lucia France:
Yeah, exactly.
Stefano Lucatello:
Well in that case, get a plot of land and build the house that you want facing the right direction with all the things that you want. With a double aspect like John has.
Lucia France:
That’s the right idea, yeah.
John Howard:
But to be fair, that’s even more torturous. That’s another story altogether.
Lucia France:
That’s for another question. Okay, lets move on to Stefano’s first question then for today.
Lucia France:
My partner and I have seen a number of project properties in France, Spain, Italy and Portugal. What advice can you give us for matters to look out for when taking on a project property? And, what would you advice on such a course of action?
Stefano Lucatello:
Okay-
Lucia France:
Can we just say what’s project property? Something they have to renovate and things like that?
Stefano Lucatello:
I define a project property as something that is part built, which someone has run out of money usually, and they’ve now decided for whatever reason, they need to sell. Either because they need to return back to the United Kingdom, or because they’ve run out of money, or they’ve had a divorce, or they’re about to have a divorce. Something financially negative or lifestyle changing which has meant that they had to stop doing whatever they were doing to the renovation, and leave it basically.
Stefano Lucatello:
We’ve all seen in the United Kingdom market and in the foreign market, all these properties which are for sale. I see them on a regular basis in Italy, in France, but France especially, where people have taken on a big project, a big property…
Stefano Lucatello:
Lets identify France, I think that’s probably the best market for me. France is probably one of the cheapest markets in Europe to buy in, and you can get some fantastic big properties. And people go into these big properties thinking, fantastic, I’m 350 square meters of internal space, it’s got three out buildings, it’s got a lot of fields, I can put the horses. I’ve got all these big plans.
Stefano Lucatello:
Then they realize that it’s going to take a lot more than they thought that it was going to take. Why? Because they haven’t investigated. They haven’t done the due diligence. And this doesn’t matter whether you’re buying property in England or buying property abroad, you’ve got to do your research and your due diligence beforehand.
Stefano Lucatello:
So the fact that this guy has seen property in different countries, all different countries will have different things that apply to all the different properties in each country. All the regulations are different in each country, so you can do something in Portugal whilst in France you can’t do it, in Italy you can do it, or whatever. So you’ve got to be careful.
Stefano Lucatello:
The first thing he’s got to identify is, how much he’s got to spend and, on buying the project, let’s call it a part restored property. And, I would say that, the same applies in England, he’s got to get someone who is local to be his manager, his contract manager, his architect, to say to him, this is what you’ve got, you want it to go to here, it’ll cost you X thousands, hundreds of thousands in some cases, Euros to get it to where you want. Do you have that money?
Stefano Lucatello:
People don’t do that. They do it back to front. They buy the property, start plowing money into it, and then they realize that they haven’t got enough money to do what they wanted to do. So they either end up with half a project, and they say, okay we’ll leave it for the next few years and it never gets done and then it gets sold. Or, they say, I’ve had enough, I can’t do this. And many of the times, it’s the planning that lets you down because you think you can do something, or, the other thing is, you find out that the guy you bought the property from has done things in breach of the planning laws, therefore you’ve got to go back to the planning authorities and put it right. These are the little things you’ve got to think about.
Lucia France:
Would you not say as well, Stefano, he talks about four different countries there. Is it not worth narrowing your search to at least one country before you even do anything else?
Paul Mahoney:
Guy seems to have a death wish.
Stefano Lucatello:
Literally. It’s clear he’s not sure which of the… I think the first thing you need to do, you’re quite right, is identify the country. And in many cases the country will match your budget, or should I say, the budget will match the country. I think if you want a cheap property, go to France, then Italy, then Spain, and the most expensive of the four, I think, is Portugal. You get different things with each different country.
Lucia France:
Yeah. So that could immediately exclude auctions for him in the first place.
Stefano Lucatello:
Well, yeah. Before he’s set down what his budget is. If he’s 100K to buy the property and then he knows he’s got another 200K to do it up, fine. But he’s got to do his research, and ask an architect in whichever of the four countries what it is that needs to be done. Sorry John.
John Howard:
There’s so many cases. I know so many people who’ve been to France and what they’ve done, they’ve sold their property here, gone to France, not liked it for whatever reason, not managed to get the work done cheap enough, and what’s happened is…
John Howard:
They’re far better to start, what I think, is to rent the house out in England, go to France, rent a place, see if you like it all first, get to know the areas, get to know the people, and then make the move permanent if you want to. I just think it’s a big problem.
John Howard:
Just a real quick question, why is Portugal, out of those four, the most expensive?
Stefano Lucatello:
Portugal is the most expensive, John, because it’s the smallest territory, smallest number of properties, and therefore each of the properties is worth much more than Spain, bigger territories, Italy, bigger territories.
John Howard:
[crosstalk 00:12:52] Got you. Yup.
Stefano Lucatello:
That’s the reason why.
John Howard:
Portugal’s my favorite by the way.
Stefano Lucatello:
I have to say, that in this lockdown period, we’re still getting instructions to buy property in Portugal. Portugal is a very strong property area, it maintains itself above the others. France, you’ve got a load of properties, but they’re not selling very well. Italy, also the same thing. Spain, yeah it’s doing all right, still doing all right. Portugal though, smaller properties but more expensive.
Paul Mahoney:
I’ll just throw in my two cents there.
Lucia France:
Of course.
Paul Mahoney:
In my mind-
John Howard:
It’s pounds by the way, not cents.
Paul Mahoney:
Oh well, whatever. Call me conservative but diving into a development project in a foreign country that you’re not familiar with seems like absolute madness to me, unless you’re very experienced in doing that, at the very least in your own country, you’ve got an awful lot of time to apply to it, and you’ve probably got double the amount of money you think it’s going to cost you. I assume that’s probably why these people get themselves into so many issues because they see these TV shows about moving abroad, and renovating a lovely-
Lucia France:
Escape to the Chateau, all of those ones, yeah.
John Howard:
It’s romantic isn’t it?
Paul Mahoney:
[crosstalk 00:14:08] I’m certain it’s not that easy.
Stefano Lucatello:
It isn’t. It is romantic, and the problem with the many programs that our friends that we all know do, is that they not only romanticize it, but make it look very cheap.
John Howard:
And easy.
Stefano Lucatello:
And easy. And it’s not. Because the first thing you need to do, as I said to you, is to get a local expert who will the review what’s been done and tell you whether what’s been done is good, bad or indifferent, and whether it needs to be gone over, and you need to go backwards before you go forwards before you go anywhere.
Stefano Lucatello:
But planning, regulations, country regulations are all different. So you need to, first of all, choose a country, and then start with your project property, and make sure you’ve got enough money, and a buffer because things will not always go right and instead of spending 100, you’ll end up spending 150 or 200.
Stefano Lucatello:
I know of our great friends that John and I do property shows with, Joanna Leggett, she always says that people go with fantastic dreams. They go with spending 100K, another 100K, and it ends up costing them 400K because they don’t know when to stop. And they never get the money back when they come to sell it, Lucia.
John Howard:
That’s the problem in these countries, yeah.
Lucia France:
Sorry, John. But there can be so many things that you don’t think about that you have to apply for certain licenses to the local councils and things like that. If it’s within a community there’s often rules within that itself. And one thing that we found when my husband and I were renovating in Spain, is there’s laws about working on the weekends as well. So you can’t make noise between certain times because of the siesta, and you’d think that you can get things done a lot quicker and you can’t. Lots of stuff to think about there.
Lucia France:
Okay, let’s move on to Paul’s first question for today. I have £100,000 saved… This is the person asking the question, not myself. I’m interested in investing in property for the long term, do you think I should put all the money down on one property, or try and buy two? Sorry, that’s for Paul.
Paul Mahoney:
Yeah, good question. It obviously depends where you’re buying. For example, if you’re buying in London or anywhere close to London, £100,000 probably isn’t going to be enough to get a decent property, certainly not an average priced property anyway, so a below average priced property.
Paul Mahoney:
It’s a bit of a balance you have to I suppose, some people would say to split it into two to go for diversification, but in my opinion you shouldn’t be diversifying just for the sake of it. You shouldn’t be going for a worse investment for the sake of diversification when you could get a better investment if it was all in the one.So I think it comes down to the opportunity. What locations you’re looking at, what price points you’re looking at?
Paul Mahoney:
The average price points we’ve been looking at lately, in the northwest predominantly Birmingham, Manchester, type areas, is about £250,000. So that would require a total cash of about 70 odd thousand pounds, so it wouldn’t allow them to get two but they would be left over some cash, you could potentially save some more money to work towards their second property. Or potentially go for a slightly cheaper property, you could split the £100,000 into two lots of 50, and buy two properties of about £180,000. Which, there are some good properties around that price point dependent on location.
Paul Mahoney:
So, I think there’s a few things to consider there. What locations are you looking at? Well actually, forget the locations. What’s your goals and your personal situation? What are you trying to achieve? And then work out what’s the best locations or best properties to be acquiring at this point in time.
Lucia France:
Would it actually help as well, in terms of getting another mortgage, if you already had one mortgage, if you were going to split the money into two properties?
Paul Mahoney:
So they didn’t mention their current situation. But if they’re a first time buyer… They’re a first time buyer overall, so they don’t actually own a home, then there are limited mortgage products. There are products available for first time buyers, first time landlords, but they are more lucid than people who already own property.
Paul Mahoney:
Then if you own a home, that puts you in a slightly better position again. And then if you’re an existing landlord, then pretty pretty well, everyone will lend to you. So yes, that is a point. If they were, split it up. Although there’s limited number of lenders, there’s not a huge difference in cost. So it’s not like you’re saving yourself a fortune for having already had a property.
Lucia France:
Yeah. Okay. Great. Any thoughts on that question there, from John and Stefano?
John Howard:
I always like to spend my wispy bits, so if I could buy two, on Paul’s advice, I might buy two different locations. So spread it a little bit. So, if Manchester goes up more than say Birmingham, great, or the other way around. So I’d spread it a little bit.
John Howard:
In the early 90s, I had quite a big sized property company in those days, I have now I suppose, and we were fortunate because the market dropped in East Anglia, probably 35%, but in the north it only dropped 10 or 15%, and we had a mixture of properties in the south and the north, so that really helped us survive a recession at that time.
Lucia France:
Okay. Great. Surprised you didn’t mention Ipswich there, John.
John Howard:
Well, I said East Anglia.
Lucia France:
Oh okay. Sorry.
Stefano Lucatello:
I suppose the best thing is to not put all your eggs into one basket.
John Howard:
Yeah, if you can. If you can’t, it’s not the end of the world. But if you can spread it, spread it.
Lucia France:
Yeah. Okay. Thank you guys. Let’s move on then, back to John for your second question for today.
Lucia France:
Everybody seems to be panicking about the property market on all of these podcasts that I’ve been listening to. I have 10 investment properties, so should I be as concerned as everybody else seems to be? That’s for John.
John Howard:
A lot of people are concerned because they’ve got Airbnbs they can’t rent out, they’ve this they can’t rent out, they’ve got that, they’ve got commercial property. Only 30% of my commercial tenants have paid. So, that is a bit of a problem. However I think some of this could be fairly short term, and if I was them I would be as relaxed as you can be.
John Howard:
We don’t know what’s going to happen. We think we might know what’s going to, but we don’t know. If you’ve got tenants that are paying their rents, I would just relax, do your best to get all the money in every month, and just see what happens. There will be opportunities. I’m not saying there will be opportunities the day we’re allowed out, it might take some time, and we just need to see what’s going to happen. So, don’t worry about it.
Lucia France:
Great. Okay. Great advice. I’m very happy [crosstalk 00:20:59].
Paul Mahoney:
I think it depends on what their properties are. Through bad times, in my opinion, it all depends on the rent-ability of these properties. If these properties are going to be empty, then there probably is something to worry about, especially if he doesn’t have the cash to support those properties.
John Howard:
I got the impression, Paul… He said, should he worry, on the basis of, presumably, most his properties are let, but I might be wrong there. But that’s how I understand the question.
Paul Mahoney:
Fair enough.[crosstalk 00:21:32]
Paul Mahoney:
If they’re let then there’s nothing to really worry about. If they’re not, or if there’s a chance of them not being let, or the tenants not paying, then there is probably something to worry about.
Paul Mahoney:
But keeping in mind that mortgage lenders are giving mortgage holidays as well, so if you’re not getting your rent, you should be able to not pay your mortgage for a period of time, or at least offset those payments, so that eases the pressure a little bit. But it does very much, I think, depend on the properties that he has and how sustainable they are if things go wrong.
Lucia France:
Right.
John Howard:
You’ve answered that question better than I did, Paul. I’m gutted.
Stefano Lucatello:
Did the guy say it was commercial properties or residential?
Lucia France:
He doesn’t say but it seems to be residential. Sorry, I have 10 investment properties, so-
Stefano Lucatello:
It could very well be he’s got a parade of shops, some of which are not allowed to be open as they are not essential shops, so it’s not a grocery shop. So if he’s got 10 hairdressing shops, he’s got a problem. But if he’s got 10 grocery shops, he might not be so problematic.
Lucia France:
Yeah, so we need to know a little bit more about that for that one, don’t we?
Lucia France:
Okay. Let’s go to Stefano then, for your second question for today. I’ve got a small pension that has matured of about 150K. Can you advise me which country is easier, legally, to move to? Spain, Italy or France?
Stefano Lucatello:
She’s got 150K, I think the country I’d be gravitating to would either be France or Italy, because they’re the cheapest two. 150K doesn’t go very far nowadays. And remember-
John Howard:
It might do soon.
Stefano Lucatello:
Sorry?
John Howard:
It might do soon.
Stefano Lucatello:
It might do soon, yeah. 150K doesn’t go very far, and if he’s only got 150K, he’s got to also include 10-12% of that as taxation on the purchase, so he can’t pay 150K for what he’s buying. He’s going to paying 120, maybe 130K at the most, so he’s gone down, so he’s got to tailor his needs to what he’s got.
Stefano Lucatello:
I would go for France or Italy. It also depends whether he wants a longterm investment where he will stay as a lifestyle change, or whether he just wants to invest with a rental return on it or a yield or whatever. So it very much depends.
Stefano Lucatello:
I mean, again, go back to what I said in the other question, you’ve got to chose your country and you’ve got to see whether you want countryside or seaside, whether you want a rental yield, whether you don’t want a rental yield, you want a lifestyle change. All these implications, they’re all set out in my book, by the way, which I do have a book.
John Howard:
And which I’ve now read.
Stefano Lucatello:
Which you’ve now read, yes, John, good. It’s all in there, and you’ve got to do a lot of research, a lot of thinking, I would say 12 to 18 months before you buy a property abroad, because it’s no different to buying a property here. People think that going abroad and buying a property, because it’s been so romanticized by people’s programs on the television, it’s easy. And you don’t need an agent and you don’t need an architect and you don’t need a joiner and all the rest of it. And people forget.
Stefano Lucatello:
I always say when I do my seminars, that people leave their brains in the carpark with their car only to pick up their brains with the luggage when they come back from their holidays and their stay abroad. And the other thing I’d say to people is, don’t go out and buy a property when you are on holiday, because you’re not in buying mode, you’re in holiday mode. If you want to buy a property abroad, go with intention of looking for a property. See it, as John said, at it’s worse.
Stefano Lucatello:
I would say to people, take 12 to 18 months at least. Why? Because you want to see it in all different four seasons. You want to see it at it’s best. Agents always sell you something in the summer and the spring months. They never sell anything to you in September, October, November, December time. So, see it in all it’s different types of months. See it for its best, see it for its worst, go out regular times, talk to people, go on forums if you’re buying a new development property. Do the necessary research, otherwise your experience will be bad one.
Stefano Lucatello:
The number of people that come to me over the years and said, my experience buying property abroad is rubbish. Then when you actually analyze it, you’ll see that they’ve not done the necessary research. Like Paul and John do when they go out and buy property, they don’t go and spend 200 grand on the first property that comes up, they realize what the property is, where it is, whether it could render an income for them, whatever.
Stefano Lucatello:
You can’t just go out to Italy, Spain, France or Portugal and just buy property like that, you need to make the necessary research and do the necessary due diligence. Otherwise, you will lose that pot, and especially if it’s his pension, you’ve got nothing else to go on.
Lucia France:
And surely it’s worth maybe renting there for a little while as well?
Stefano Lucatello:
Always. John was right, I’ve said this in my book as well, did you know that there’s a statistic that 80% of people who move, having sold their properties in the United Kingdom, they move abroad, whichever country they go to, 80% return within the first two years. Why? Because they’ve not done what John said, which is to rent a property, and I always say that to people.
Stefano Lucatello:
Rent a property for the first six months, or even 12 months, and before you rent it, if it’s the property you may want to buy, ask the landlord whether you can enter into an agreement with him that says that the rent you pay or have paid him at the end of the 12 months can be deducted from the purchase price. And many people who can’t sell a property are doing that.
Lucia France:
Great advice there, thank you very much, Stefano. Okay let’s move onto to Paul’s last question. We haven’t got too long left for today.
Lucia France:
So the question for Paul is… What are the chances, do you think, of the market dropping in the next two years? Should it affect my decision to get on and purchase a buy-to-let property right now? So that’s for Paul.
Paul Mahoney:
Yeah, okay. I think before all of this COVID-19 stuff came about, it was pretty much a general consensus that 2020 was going to be one of the best years for property in quite some time. And I think most people in the industry would agree with me on that.
Paul Mahoney:
We had uncertainty clouded by Brexit, and then also political uncertainty. Brexit was starting to get resolved, we’ve got a Tory majority government which is usually very good for property, and certainty was starting to return. Pent up demand was starting to return as well. And now this has kind of put everything on pause.
Paul Mahoney:
This has created a bit more uncertainty, again, of course. There’s no real indication what impact it’s going to have. I think the worst possible thing you can do in situations like this, is listen to the media, because they’re almost always wrong. They sensationalize everything. And pretty much when they say things are doing well, you should probably be a bit concerned. When they’re saying things are really bad, you should probably be out there buying. There’s strong history of that.
Paul Mahoney:
Don’t worry too much about the economic forecast and things. No one knows the direction of the market. Anybody who tells you they do is lying. No one knows. There’s so many different things that determine the direction of the market. You can guess it, but it’s a guess. It’s exactly that. No one knows.
Paul Mahoney:
So my take is, if you’re buying good properties in good areas with all of the right fundamentals… Briefly on that, large tenant pools, strong tenant demand, a broad range of industries and employment that give people reasons to want to need to live there, facilities, amenities, infrastructure.
Paul Mahoney:
If you’re ticking all of those boxes, and therefore there’s really strong reasons for people to rent your properties from you, and people to want to live there and therefore buy from you in the future, then you should buy it now, regardless of where we are in the cycle. There’s never really a bad time to buy especially if we’re talking mid to long term buy-to-let, there’s never really a bad time to buy because even in the worst possible recession, if you’ve still got a tenant, you’re still receiving rental income, and you’re still making a net profit.
Paul Mahoney:
So it doesn’t really matter what happens to the price variations, and you shouldn’t be trying to time the market. There’s a saying, a quote, which I’m sure I’ve stolen from somewhere along the way somewhere, but I’ve claimed it as my own, and that is that property investment is not about timing the market, it’s about time in the market. So if you’ve got resources available, buy now, buy well and therefore you shouldn’t be too concerned regardless of the short term direction.
Lucia France:
And I guess another phrase could be, there’s never a wrong time to buy, as long as it’s in the right place.
Paul Mahoney:
Exactly right.
Lucia France:
Anything to add to that guys, before we wrap up for today?
John Howard:
[crosstalk 00:30:20] I would try…
Stefano Lucatello:
[crosstalk 00:30:21] area.
John Howard:
I was going to… You know what? You must have read my book. Absolutely.
Lucia France:
So many book plugs going on today. It’s great.
John Howard:
And Paul’s book.
John Howard:
The best advice I can give in this market, if you want to get in and buy, is pick the best area, the best location, the best roads in that area that you could afford. Because the better quality stuff goes back up, if it’s going to go down it goes up quicker. Always.
Lucia France:
Also, I guess you’d recommend a dual aspect to any…
John Howard:
A dual aspect like my office. Front and back. [crosstalk 00:31:02] One over looking my stables.
Paul Mahoney:
I feel a little bit left out, I’m the only one that hasn’t given a shameless plug to my book, so… [crosstalk 00:31:17
Lucia France:
Hold on, I didn’t see it there Paul. Could you just tell us a little…
Paul Mahoney:
Here you go. Do you want to see it again?
Lucia France:
Yes.
Paul Mahoney:
It’s an international best seller.
John Howard:
[crosstalk 00:31:23]
Stefano Lucatello:
Can I have a copy please?
Lucia France:
Brilliant.
Paul Mahoney:
You can have a copy, yes.
John Howard:
May I just say, I never got my books out to show you. All I did was I got Stefano’s book out.
Stefano Lucatello:
Can you get it out again, I don’t think we’ve plugged it enough.
Lucia France:
Let’s wait until next episode and we can have all three and mine as well. So thank you so much to our panel of experts here today. Paul Mahoney, Stafano Lucatello, and John Howard. Great to see you all again.
Lucia France:
If you do have any questions, please do email us. Ask@aquestionofproperty.co.uk. That’s ask, A, S, K, @aquestionofproperty.co.uk.
Lucia France:
I am Lucia France and we’ll see you next time for episode six. Thanks for watching.

A Question of Property

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