Today I was again reminded of the importance of doing your homework. I have been umming and arrhing about what to buy at auction and having viewed loads of properties in London and checking the values I finally decided I didn’t like the London flats that much and decided on a cheapie flat in Shrewsbury.
It wasn’t really an area I knew much about, but the figures made sense – guide of 33k against an end value of c. 60k and a rent of £300-325pcm meaning double digit yields. I decided at the last minute to go to auction and buy it – but just before I left I thought I better take a quick look through the legals. All looked in order apart from a paragraph in the lease which I didn’t fully understand…not wanting to take a chance I emailed it to my solicitors to get them to explain it to me.
The auction was about to start so I raced to the train station. 5 mins into my train journey my solicitor called and told me what the paragraph meant “If you buy that flat you have to live in it – you can’t rent it out”. Shit – I was about to buy it for the double digit yield! Not only would it impact me, but it would also have an impact on the resale as I thought it may appeal to another investor when the time came to sell – but this would cut out a huge part of the market.
Bugger I was now on the train but with nothing to buy…and I didn’t trust myself to go to auction and not buy anything! Then I remembered there was a viewing for a property that I liked in an auction next week – so I jumped off the train at the next station, raced home got the car and made it into North London just in time to see a lovely flat – now on my hit list!
Having just checked the results for the flat in Shrewsbury it sold for just £32k…great price as long as the buyer intends to live there!