22 minutes on the phone to a client today. I am realising that my world currently revolves around delightfully bonkers and quite loveable clients. I only asked one question “Would someone be able to take you to Ikea to look at those wardrobes?” 22 minutes later and I hadn’t said a single further word, just the occasion murmur. I valiantly tried but didn’t stand a cat in hell’s chance. So I just gave up and listened. By the end of the ‘conversation’ the client had forgotten the original question.
Recovered, then fitted in another major Ikea session getting the kitchen for Project Squeeze, plumping for the Adel White and Lindingo like Project Brighton. I had a little shout at myself at the till when it came to £1200, without appliances. Most landlords would have spent no more than £700 – gone for wall units at 700 high not 920, not bothered with the carousel in the corner unit, just had solid doors instead of glass, put the oven under the hob instead of in a tall unit, but….. it would then have been a shite kitchen instead of a Moregeous one. And when I do take my time on designing them, they rent better and for longer. I told myself this as I handed the credit card over and kicked myself hard.
We’ve a couple of flats on the market for rental at the moment and both are sticking. I renovated them both in around 2004/5 in my post-Beeny years just after I’d been heavily criticised on Property Ladder for being ‘too personal’ and as a result stepped away from my natural instinct to wow homes up. I went down the ‘sensible’ route and kept things simple. Shine on, they’re boring. Dull dull dull. It now proves to me this method doesn’t work for me because the properties I plan, design and put a little Moregeous love into rent so much faster than the ones I didn’t really bother with, the ones I tried to adapt to a formula.
What else today? Well, property people are tweeting madly about Capital Gains Tax rising from 18% next year to be set in line with income tax. It’ll sting, ‘ course it will, but these are tough times, our economy is buggared. It ain’t like the old days when you could do up a house in 4 months and sell in for a £40k profit. People, including me, made cash from it, thanks to an economically lackadaisical Labour government, but those times are gone and that’s a good thing. When tiny two up two down properties in my area started being valued over the £150k mark, I knew we were heading for the poop and they’d another £70k to rise before they started falling!
The NLA are getting excited ’cause they hope the new Conservative Housing Minister will reverse the HMO planning changes Labour started. I think it was one of the few good things Labour did – they actually listened to the full time communities being battered by HMO properties for a bloody change!
And I got an email saying that 80% LTV buy-to-let mortgages are back. With 2.5% fees, interest rates of 4.69%, early repayment 5% and broker fees 1%. Ouch. Not like the good old days, eh 🙂 Everyone is slagging off B2L but if no-one is building houses, no-one can buy to let, there’s no social housing and a growing population….. we’ve a bit of a problem, don’t you think, and it might just be serious long term landlords’ job to bring decent rentable property to the market.