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There Is NO Such Thing As An Easy Buy To Let: It’s Now A SuperScrimpers Challenge!

When I pondered: Is there any such thing as an “easy” buy to letI did know it wasn’t going to be so “easy”.  However, what I hadn’t planned for was quite how early it would become not easy!

So what’s the story?

Well, as I plan to own this property for quite some time, I decided that I would purchase the property with a buy to let mortgage.  Now, I know a lot of people think you can’t buy a property at auction with a mortgage – but if you’re organised you can turn it around in time.  I have no idea why the media are reporting 10 week waits for valuations when mine was done in just a couple of days.

So happily the paperwork’s in, the valuation has been done and I sit here now with a mortgage offer in my hands.  That took like a few days – maybe 2 weeks tops from application to offer.

But you know there’s a sting in the tale…

easy buy to let

I am chuffed with the mortgage deal I got: it’s a 5 year fix at 4.49%, a £1995 arrangement fee and a £340 valuation fee.

I opted for a 5 year fix because I want certainty of payments and there is only ONE WAY interest rates are going to go and, most other mortgage products are not priced sufficiently low enough for me to take the risk of the future interest rate hikes.  As I see it – with this product I get 5 years of fixed payments and 5 years of security.

Anyway, you know the sting is coming…

easy buy to let

So as I’ve been so chuffed with my latest purchase I have been trying to find more properties which are similar to the one I’ve just bought.  There’s not much on the market at the moment – especially given properties are selling within hours rather than days.

The trouble is, regardless of this fact, and regardless of the fact you cannot buy a property like mine for less than £250k, the valuer has decided the property I have bought before auction is not worth £250k.

He reckons it’s worth just £230k.

Which is a *slight* scorpion fly in the ointment.  Personally, I believe the valuer is wrong and I could show him a load of comparables to prove the £250k value of the property – but they have no discretion.  That means I can’t and they won’t look.

I can either take the mortgage offer or not.

Which is a slight blow, it has to be said.

Possibly more so – and this is the sting – the extra £15k I now have to put into the property to complete the purchase, was my bloody renovation budget.

easy buy to let

Yes – that was it.  And so now I appear to have spent the £15k refurbishment budget on actually buying the property; to top up the down valued bit.

Now – as I have always said, in property, you need to have a contingency budget.  And so what was my contingency would now appear to be my total renovation budget!


This was not how I anticipated my “easy” buy to let starting…and I have to admit at this point – I am rather thinking this is not going to pan out quite as I thought.

I’ve pondered whether I should go with another lender, but to be honest, this deal is so good, and given the size of my portfolio, I have limited options with regards who will lend to me.  Added to that, the clock is ticking and I am due to complete in less than two weeks.

So I’ve taken it on the chin.

The original and anticipated refurbishment is not going to happen, and now I am trying to work out how I can eke out what is left to tart and tidy the property and get it ready to let.


That’s what I’ve told myself I’m going to have to be.  Because I now seem to have a SuperScrimper Challenge on my hands!

  1. Jools

    Exactly the same happened to me. £185k downgraded to £175k. Ridiculous but they have to justify their wages I suppose. I am taking the offer to……

  2. Jools

    I think it is general policy to devalue between 10% – 15% to get the price to a more realistic market price as opposed to the estate agents valuation. I had a property valued recently that I wanted to by and it was devalued from £60k to £42,500K !! Not sure if there is any right of appeal and why should the surveyors crystal ball be any different to yours or mine??

    In the case of the property I was looking at, it was the estate agents totally over valuing and raising unfairly the expectations of the vendor. Quite disgusting really……… and of course very difficult for me to then go back with my valuation!

  3. Sue

    Sam why don’t you take the refurbishment costs out on a short term loan and then get it revalued in the 6 months to pay it back, you could roll up the interest so you don’t have to service it but this would not leave you with £15k to find and the costs can be added to your P&L account.

  4. rentdirectuk.co.uk

    At the height of the credit crunch quite a few valuers got sued and even struck off the panel of valuers by mortgage lenders, whom they working on their behalf . Some lenders especially those who were giving high LTV were at the time stuck with mortgages much higher than the value of the property which was meant to be the security. Basically valuers don’t want to suffer the same fate and are being conservative with their opinions on value.

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