why invest in US property?

I was talking just this morning with a friend of mine who’s recently been made redundant. He’s an electrician so it’s no suprise really. His father has also been made redundant, both of them are living in the same house. I went round to see them and we spent about an hour talking about the ecomony and where it’s all heading. In all the years I’ve known them it’s first time we’ve had a debate that’s not about football!

It got me thinking about the days when I was an employee and I thought financial freedom meant having a good job with benefits that paid well…boy I was wrong!

If we should learn anything at all from 2009 is that regardless of how you earn a living, you cannot rely on others to pay your way. Job security means very little these days, and the more you have, big house, nice cars, etc the harder you fall when things out of your control go wrong…like a country in a recession.

As many of you know I’m a UK landlord as well. All my mortgages here are interest only. Up until a year ago I didn’t mind, so long as I get the rent every month i really am not bothered about house prices…that is until now.

With my property in the USA it’s different. If I buy on finance it’s a repayment mortgage, after 5 or 10 years I will own the property outright. That feels very good. I am securing my future in a way I simply cannot do here in the UK. I will not be at the mercy of interest rate changes and changes to borrowing criteria. My properties will be mine, all mine.

This is great! I will be the master of my own financial destiny! I can control my property, and whether I get paid my rent on time every month for very little work on my part. I will be at the mercy of noone other than myself.

Next year, when the UK market picks up my plans are to sell as many of my UK properties (assuming I can!) and simply buy as many properties in the US as I can find. I know I will be putting my financial future in safe hands.

If you feel the same way about investing in property for short, medium and long term gains get in touch

back to basics

I think it’s easier to make money if you don’t crave it. In my days as an IT consultant I had a very good job and lifestyle working for IBM. I’d earn 40k a year work from home and pretty much suit myself day to day. During this time agencies would call me up every week and try to entice me to leave and go contracting for more money. I resisted for a long time but eventually the lure of 100k+ a year following the work around the world was too much to take and i left the ‘day job.’

Strange, I owe that decision to the life I have now despite the fact it was the most unhappy working days I’ve ever had. My time as a contractor was short lived, my health suffered and my lifestyle was, to put mildly shallow and disfunctional. But like any human, when the back’s against the wall that’s when we prevail – and I did!

Going back to my ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ books I remembered the ‘cash flow quadrant': employee, self employed/contractor, business owner, or investor. I’d now been two: an employee – not for me, and a contractor – nope!

I started investing in property amongst other things and soon realised my passion was rooted in investing for my lifestyle NOW and my future (and hopefully my family’s future.)

I promise you this is true: there is no better way to earn a living then waking up every morning and deciding when and where you will work…I could literally be anywhere with an internet connection and a laptop – what an age we live in, I’m so glad I exist in these times. Sometimes I think there is no limit to what can be achieved using technology.

So now I’m here writing this I feel a warm sense of (almost) completness ;-) I don’t crave the greenback, but I understand how important it is. I don’t work 15 hour days, but I don’t mind hard work. I don’t work on things I hate doing, but I know sacrifices have to made in life from time to time, and I don’t spend hours in the rush hour commute. And, I suppose ironically, I WANT and CAN work until I’m a 100 years old – just because I have the ‘choice’ to.

So, as far as my plans for my future go, I plan to continue investing in property mostly, but also expanding into other investment vehicles as I learn more every day and become a older, wiser, and better person in all areas of my life.

viva la choice!

who suffers the most from low interest rates?

Who are the people that suffer the most from low interest rates?

Savers.

Interest on your savings is now at a record low at 0.5% and it’s likely we’ll see this hit 0% before long! who’d have thought….

So the banks are now offerings us pretty much nothing on our money in a volatile market place where we don’t feel the banks can be trusted anymore, and as a kicker they charge us disproportionate fees.

So what’s the definition of a bank? Honestly, I’m not even sure anymore.

Sorry, rant over..

Investing in property the only way that makes sense

One of my clients asked me yesterday what the buying process is for buying property in the USA? That’s the great thing about investing here; US law is based on British law. The similarities are very distinct.

Solicitor is called Attorney
Property is called Real Estate
Completion is called Closing
Letting Agent is called Property Manager
Mortgage is still mortgage
Freehold title is still freehold title

And since we speak the same language and (in many cases) have the same capitist values, it’s easy to see why buying here is so easy.

It amazes me why investors struggle to buy in developing countries just because it’s in or close to the European Union. I’ve been there!

My first ever property investment was in Riga, Latvia. Sounded great, and in theory it was. I bought a 2 bedroom off-plan apartment near to the centre of Riga. All the economic indicators said this was gonna be a great investment. In those days I was still learning my trade and invested for (or thought I was investing for) capital growth and NOT cash flow…..big mistake and I don’t mind admitting that.

Up and coming countries are excitable and have itchy feet. This means they are more than likely to make fast changes to policy, travel, work, rates, property, planning and everything else you can think of….and their aggresive when they do it to.

My 1-year build time, lasted 18 months and still wasn’t completed, I’m not suprised and you shouldn’t be either. The Latvian government then forced the banks to stop lending to Foreign investors. This meant I couldnt draw the funds down to complete that I had originally been promised (I use the word promise loosly!) I almost lost my entire deposit after nearly 2 years. Long story short, I sold the property to a Latvian friend of mine for my deposit and and a little extra…I was VERY lucky. I was over there at the time and I know of dozens of people who lost a lot of money!

Since then, I only invest in established markets, tried and tested. I don’t invest for capital growth – if it happens, great – if it doesn’t so what! I invest for passive income, cash flow.

Property investing should be simply: what is the NET yield on this property that I buy: (annual rent – expenses/purchase price)

rule of thumb: Buy low, with high yield.

Through the nineties in the UK this was the only way property investor’s got rich. This is still the only way to do it…except now it’s in the USA.

How many properties a year should you buy?

Answer: As many as you can. Then repeat.

My goal for this year is to buy 6 properties, each one cash positive. Half for cash, and the other mortgaged over 5 years. I know that the cash flow from all 6 will be good. The cash owned properties will bring me fantastic monthly profit, at least £250 a month. The other 3 around £100 a month.

In 5 years time I will own them all outright, thats 6 *£250 (minimum) = £1500 a month. Not bad eh!

For those who don’t know, I own property here in the UK as well from when times were good. When I get the chance to sell them, I’ll be spending my profits on buying more proprty in the USA as well.