Buy-Refurbish-Refinance

This strategy, if done correctly, is a way to fast-track your returns, increase your portfolio, and provide enough cash flow to retire early, if you should choose to.

Overview

Put simply, this strategy revolves around leverage. Using leverage correctly will allow you to re-use the deposit on your first property to buy another, and then do the same again. The strategy can be used alongside other property investment strategies such as standard buy-to=let investments.

Refurbishing a property soon after purchasing should add value, at which point you would look to re-mortgage. The increased value of the property would allow you to take the original deposit out when you re-mortgage and use that deposit on your next property.

For this to work, you must be able to demonstrate that you have added value to the property. It is easy to find out how much the property was purchased for, and if you’re trying to re-mortgage so soon after the purchase, you’ll need to prove that it is worth a lot more.

To do so, you’ll need to make serious refurbishments and improvements to the property, and record the details of those refurbishments. Before and after pictures, survey reports before and after, and any other documents involved would all contribute to this proof.

Once you provide this information, the surveyor and the mortgage lender should accept that the property has increased in value, and you should be able to re-mortgage, take out your initial investment, and reinvent in the next property.

Time Intensive

Be careful with this strategy. It is a good way to use the same pot of money to keep adding properties to your portfolio, but there are risks too. As your portfolio grows, so do your management responsibilities. Whether that is monitoring refurbishments over multiple properties, managing tenants and rental income, or carrying out maintenance, it can all create large demands on your time.

Of course, you can employ an agency to handle a lot of this for you, but then the trade-off becomes cost instead of time.

This strategy relies upon increasing your portfolio to increase your returns, so you should expect to face these issues as your plan develops.

Additionally with multiple properties, the odds of having unforeseen issues will increase. We recommend that you always keep a sum of money aside for any emergencies.

How Long Should It Take?

The timeframe revolves around how long it takes to refurbish and improve the property to a point where it can be re-mortgaged at a significantly higher value. This is likely to take 9 to 12 months.

It can be completed more quickly, if the refurbishments proceed without issue, but often there are building delays, planning permission issues, and more. It’s always best to factor delays into your plan, especially early on.

There is a requirement now with almost all finance lenders that you must own a property for more than six months before you can re-mortgage. This puts a lower limit on the turnaround time for your property refurbishments. Even if the improvements are completed sooner, you likely won’t be able to move forward until the six month period has passed.

Mortgage rules and products change over time. It is always advisable to speak to your mortgage broker when you are planning to re-mortgage to find out which deals are available. There may even be specific re-mortgage packages for this type of investment plan that you can benefit from.

Some Words of Warning

Be careful if you are not experienced in this type of strategy. There are couple things that can cause trouble and impact your profits.

There are often unexpected costs when purchasing the property. No matter how careful you are, you mind find that the property needs some repairs before you can begin the planned refurbishment. This increases the interim costs and eats into your end profit when you re-mortgage.

Your refurbishments might not add as much value as you would like. Be careful when predicting the new value of the property, and try to leave enough margin that you can still pull your initial deposit amount out when you re-mortgage even if you’ve overestimated the new value.

Watch the markets. If property values are dropping in that location, your refurbishments might only maintain the property price instead of increasing it. While this is still good overall, it won’t allow you to re-mortgage and reclaim your investment.

Remember, your plan will still include rental income, so even if the refurbishment and re-mortgage doesn’t bring in as much as you’d like, you still have the longer investment return through renting the property.

Summary

Buy-Refurbish-Refinance is a good property investment strategy to grow your portfolio swiftly, but there are some serious drawbacks that you need to plan for, otherwise they can force you to rethink your plans.

Investing in property, similar to any other form of investment, involves inherent risks. Our website, services, or products do not constitute financial, tax, or legal advice, and should not be relied upon as such. Before making any investment decision based on the content provided on our website, products or services, we strongly advise seeking independent specialist advice from appropriate professional advisors.
Your capital is at risk. The value of your investment can go down as well as up. Historic performance and forecasts are not a reliable indicator of future performance.

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