Private Client, Solicitor, Gloucestershire
Career Change Story
We had bought a 'shell' house as a project aside from work. We did a pretty good job and when it was finished someone offered us a surprising amount of money for it. After that, rather than buying a new house we instead bought a plot of land and we moved into rented accomodation. A bit of a calculated gamble - we got planning consent for 3 flats, had them built, and sold them. I was able to leave my job and concentrate fully on property development once we had secured the planning and knew the build could start. Once I was full time, we had the time to scour all the auctions and agents, and bought up a factory & a pub and got residential planning consent on these as well, before selling them on. I have recently completed a build in Crete also. I went to my high steet bank as the lender. Interest rates and required deposits vary between lenders, and we are able to backload interest payments until a project is complete. We had to gamble our equity to get the ball rolling - if we had not got planning consent on the initial plot we would have been left with a plot of worthless land and no house! However it has gone from stength to strength since so no regrets. I have a couple of projects on the go at anyone time now, typically one build and one change of use application for turning a plot round for on-sale.
Career Change Reflections
You have to be brave and take the plunge. There are some anxious nights' sleep when it comes to juggling projects and cash flow, and there are no guarantees when it comes to gaining planning consents, i.e. you may have to put a plot back on the market in the same state you bought it and hope the market hasn't dropped. You can get a fair idea of the likelihood of obtaining consents from discussing a position with the council planners prior to a purchase.