Here are a few photos of the reordered and refurbished flat almost complete. We are interviewing tenants as I write.
‘Successful Property Letting – How To Make Money In Buy-To-Let’ by David Lawrenson
If you are only ever going to by one authoritative book on being a landlord then judging by it’s track record this is the one to buy.
Best treated as a reference for specific topics rather than trying to read it from cover to cover, it has lots of references for where to get further information.
It also provides quite specific advice, clearly from experience, on many things and represents excellent value and written to be understood.
Unpretentious, unassuming style a ‘must’ for all Property Landlords.
’The Complete Guide to Residential Letting’ by Tessa Shepperson
Written by a legal authority it is the ultimate in being right.
Tessa runs a legal online advisory service for her members, and has produced an authoritative book for landlords (from professionals with large rental portfolios to people letting rooms in their home), which covers everything landlords need to know in a clear, easy to understand style.
‘The Complete Guide to Property Investing Success’ by Angela Bryant
You often hear about people who have built up a substantial property portfolio and are now, or on their way to being financially independent. This book will help you make the move to becoming a property investor. Written in an easy-to-read style the author clearly sets out the steps to take and the pitfalls to watch out for.
The author has demonstrated that her and her husband have learned the hard and this brings credibility to the information and tips she shares. The personal stories bring an added dimension to the book.
As well as a ‘how to’ element to the book there is also a self motivation section to encourage you to start on the journey to becoming a property investor.
Leading From The Front, Gerald Ronson
Above all this is a Property Story. Amazingly for a man who now holds an iconic status in British business, Ronson quit school before his 15th birthday to work with his father in the family’s furniture factory, and as a young man he and his friends were street fighters, using their fists to take on the British fascist movement. This propelled into a role as a leader in the country’s Jewish community, and he is now considered to b the most influential secular Jew in the UK.
Ronson will forever be associated with the famous Guinness affair, which was the biggest financial scandal of the ’80s. He was found guilty after a media circus of a trial in which the cards were stacked against him and he spent six months in jail. Years later, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled that it had been an unfair trial. True to character, he organised his life in prison, tried to assist his fellow inmates and has since helped many of them find their way back into society.
After Guinness, which Ronson calls the greatest crisis in his life, he suffered a major financial crash that nearly bankrupted him, and he has spent the last two decades rebuilding his empire and reputation.
In For A Penny, Peter Hargreaves
In this candid and outspoken book, the multi-millionaire founder of investment company Hargreaves Lansdown tells the story behind its extraordinary success and gives his forthright views on what it takes to be successful as an entrepreneur and as an investor. Starting from his spare bedroom with a single phone and borrowed office equipment, Peter and his business partner Stephen Lansdown set out to build a business that would consciously be different from that of all their competitors. They have held fast to their unconventional ways ever since, regularly turning the companyâ TMs strategy and business model upside down in their relentless effort to give their clients the best information, the best prices and the best service. Widely recognised as the number one firm in their business, Hargreaves Lansdown was floated on the London stock market in 2007, valued at £800 million. – a great book on investment, building a business / brand and looking after your clients.
I’m onto the final few days of the refurb, odd jobs like finishing the paneling on the bath which needed doing after the décor, and getting rid of the old carpet which had been protecting the floor from splats during re-plastering. The skirting boards can now be painted much more easily than with the carpet in situ. The new carpets are booked to go in on Thursday, that’s always the last job so I have to be out by then. I’m also gradually moving everything out of the flat, materials and tools I no longer need, and packaging and rubbish to the recycling centre. It’s quite a satisfying feelingseeing it come together and getting the space back, it’s such a small flat there really is nowhere to store things that doesn’t get in the way of work. Another satisfying thing is that now everything I do makes it look better. In the early stages of the rip-out, everything I do makes it look worse and the early works effectively devalue the property, always. Then there is a long intermediate stage where the services are going in and any structural issues or changes are being attended to, which makes it look different but not better and doesn’t necessarily increase value. Unfinished projects usually sell very cheaply as it’s hard for someone else to pick up the pieces and know what has been done or to trust
someone else’s work. It’s taken longer than I’d have liked to get to the finishing off stage as I’ve had some problems with another flat that I’ve been dealing with at the same time. Having to re-do the kitchen as detailed in the earlier blog Refurbishing a Flat with Too Much Kitchen! is another reason, as is our decision to sound-proof the ceilings.
I’m also replacing all the old poorly-fitting internal flush doors with new panel doors. I always leave doors off for as long as possible as they get in the way.
There have also been some snagging jobs as is always the case, things not quite fitting right or going wrong in some way. The worst was caused by an incompetent plumber who didn’t test the immersion heater tank prior to commissioning so didn’t realise the drain valve was left open. I filled the system, went to work in another room and came back to find a small
see the photo caption. Sometimes there is a case for doing everything yourself even if it takes longer.
There was another waterfall in the bathroom as I’ve situated the hot water tank in the middle of the room between the two to save space. Fortunately there is very little in there to get damaged.