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Investment Property As An Extra Income

Jan 15, 2008
I recently had a nice little win on the lottery. It was nothing to write home about but enough for me to think long and hard about wise investment.

I've toyed with the idea of exotic holidays, fancy cars, even plastic surgery but these all seem so superficial. Those who know of my win are suggesting an investment property.

I have a home already, a comfortable place that I'm happy with and won by a very strategically handled divorce. Because of this, and because I know how much it winds up the ex to see me in it, I am loathe to let it go just because I've come into a little more money.

I've been looking around for a while now, with this idea in mind. There are quite a few properties on the market where I live in the South of England that are in dire need of renovation and I'm quite coming round to the idea of a little project to get my teeth into.

However, I do have a job that I enjoy and I don't want to leave. I had considered working on my investment property in my spare time but don't much fancy giving every weekend and holiday over to stripping, sanding, painting and general hard slog for a house I'm not going to live in.

The other problem I'm encountering is that, given the long working hours I already indulge in, by the time I get round to putting in offers for houses they have already been snapped up. Apparently, this is an up and coming area and with a new university being built in the vicinity, the buy to let property market is really taking off.

After a little research, I found a company that could help me. I have emailed them a brief of the type of investment property I am looking for, the budget I have set and the condition I am willing to accept it in.

They then took over, found my property and quickly secured a deal so that I didn't miss out. I am so excited at this point. Acquiring a house in a divorce was satisfying in a vindictive type of way. Acquiring a house that will be of my own doing actually feels more satisfying.

The company have many services on offer from acquiring the house, brokering a deal, surveying and reporting, arranging and overseeing building works, interior design and even finding tenants and managing the lease.

I have decided not to avail myself of all their services as I don't think I would gain the same satisfaction. They have acquired the house and surveyed the works that need doing as this isn't my field of expertise and in a buy to let property this must be carried out in accordance with certain legal criteria.

I get to do the pretty bit. I get to decide on the interior design, the colours used, the materials used and the furniture that will be put in place. Of course, I won't have the time to do the work myself but when I see the finished article I know it will be from all my own decisions.

The investment property management company I have employed have sourced an interior decorator with a good reputation and six months after my win I am the proud owner of one of the smartest buy to let properties in the area with the ability to command a rather decent rent.

It turns out my investment property was not let to the new influx of students in the area but rather to a city worker and his family. While he was away working all week they did a good job in looking after my property and the management was minimal.

When the family decided on a move to the city themselves, my management company were able to quickly secure more reliable tenants and this has brought me a very respectable second income. The only problem now is that I have the bug and have commissioned the team to find my next investment property.
About the Author
Housing expert Catherine Harvey looks at the buy to let property market as a means of investment. To find out more please visit http://www.investmentproperty.co.uk/
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