Sunday, 19 January 2014

Client Case Studies - Looking back at success

Midas Property School
Midas Property School

We took some time out to capture the kind of experiences our clients have had with their property investments, before and after they started their Midas journey.

So here are just a few of our clients who were happy to share their experiences. We hope you find this useful.

Liz Hodges, business owner and mum, 47, runs her own catering business in Topsham, and has for some time had a property portfolio. However, with growing demands on her time with children and her expanding business she realised that she was not able to manage all her properties as well.

Midas Estates have been helping Liz manage her existing portfolio and expand it by adding a property in London. Liz sees this London property purely as an investment as all her others are close to home, and she looks after the tenants herself. Her long term plan is to continue to build the portfolio so that she has some security for her children in the future, and a nest egg for herself.

As a business owner, Liz has used the income from her existing portfolio to help build and expand the business which now includes a café, bar, apartments and bicycle hire.
Liz Hodges

Liz says “I had known about Midas for a long time, and when I realised that I need some help and support, they were the obvious choice. Their contacts and support have been invaluable, and the all inclusive package has meant that I have not had to worry about anything.”

Malcolm Wilson, 47, is an Engineering and Management Consultant in the Rail Sector and would probably say that he fell into Property Investment by accident.

By 1999, having moved jobs a couple of times and let out his previous house, Malcolm had accumulated a couple of rental properties. Realising that property could provide the passive income and financial freedom he desperately wanted, he and his wife Suzy had assembled a portfolio of five properties by 2005.

Then he became stuck! The portfolio wasn’t yet large enough to provide a retirement income, and yet the repayment type bank loan already required extra cash every month. Adding more properties would simply mean more stress on the couple’s finances. Malcolm couldn’t see a way forward and felt like he was on a hamster wheel!
Malcolm Wilson

In 2011, Malcolm and Suzy’s property experience turned a significant corner. Malcolm was introduced by chance to Midas Estates whom he quickly realised had knowledge and expertise that he was missing. Although sceptical by nature Malcolm probed the Midas team and became excited at the possibilities available from the existing portfolio given the right expert advice.

The Midas team set to work, restructuring the existing portfolio, switching to interest-only mortgages and releasing equity as a deposit for three more properties. Midas showed Malcolm and Suzy how they could help them build the portfolio to provide a nest egg for retirement, without requiring constantly topping up with cash.

Malcolm’s confidence in his investment portfolio grew, helping him to overcome his scepticism, and he quickly became happy to let Midas handle everything. Research into his and Suzy’s next purchases took into account vital factors such as location, amenities, demand for rental property, and confidence in good capital growth – exactly the priorities on Malcolm’s list, and freeing up time for Malcolm to concentrate on his day job. He realised his portfolio could be productive, low-stress and fun despite his having limited time and knowledge.

Now Malcolm and Suzy have a portfolio of eight properties, including a show home, flats in Bristol, London and Newquay, and they have a solid retirement plan. The last 18 months have been a lot easier than the previous 17 years! Malcolm’s long term plan is to continue to build his portfolio, working closely with Midas who will monitor his investment and help him ensure that it continues to perform and build his retirement fund.

Mike Anthony, a High Performance Player Development Manager for NZ Rugby and his wife Jane, a Marketing Manager currently based in New Zealand have been building their property portfolio since 2006.

Mike says “We were living the UK at the time and looking for a good sound investment project that could be managed from overseas. A friend had been working with Midas and recommended we talk to them, he was very positive about their services.

"We have now been working with Midas Estates since 2006 and have four properties in our portfolio. It is a secure investment but has been challenging with the economic decline a number of years back. That said things are gradually picking up so if you stay in for the long haul then returns can be good.
Mike & Jane

“Midas helped us from the outset; giving us advice on purchasing, dealing with the developers and helping us arrange the mortgage. They introduced us to their lettings agency, and now manage our two UK properties in Winchcombe and Cardiff. We have another two properties in New Zealand.

" We have found that the easiest thing is having one point of contact for our rental management, receiving regular updates and I'm pleased to say that our houses have always been rented out. The team is extremely helpful, and nothing is too much trouble. Being the other side of the world, it is important that we have peace of mind.”

Mike and Jane plan to use their property investments to facilitate a change of lifestyle for their family. He says “We are in the process of consolidating things, having recently sold a piece of land in New Zealand, and we are selling one of our UK properties. We are looking to buy a reasonable sized piece of land and build a house in New Zealand in the not too distant future.”

Sarah Rousselle, 35, is a solicitor and had saved through an ISA whilst living in England, before moving to Jersey in 2005. She realised that she had a lot of capital sitting in savings accounts and that this money wasn’t actually working for her, given the low interest rates currently paid on savings.

Sarah had also contributed to a pension and made other investments but started to question this ‘accepted’ form of retirement planning when she considered the fees charged and her projected pension income.

With a young family she wanted an alternative form of investment that she could pursue in addition to the more traditional approach, and looked for something that would offer her flexibility, as she did not want to tie her money up until retirement age.
Sarah Rousselle

Sarah began researching alternative forms of investment for her money and read a book on property investment given to her by a family friend. This led to an introduction to Midas Estates, the property investment company.

Managing a property portfolio needs time and experience, and following extensive discussions with Ian Clarke, MD of Midas, she realised that they would be able to help her through the process of not only buying a property and building a portfolio but managing it too.

Sarah says “I had the money to invest and knew that it made sense to build up a buy-to-let portfolio in the UK, but I also knew that it would not really work if I tried to do this myself from Jersey.

" I was concerned that I did not have the time or sufficient expertise, and it was clear that I needed guidance. When I spoke to Ian I knew he had plenty of experience and we discussed a long term plan to gradually built up a portfolio. He explained the need to maintain a buffer of money so that I didn’t overstretch myself. This reassured me, enabling me to take the plunge and buy my first property.

"I look forward to the future and feel confident that, at some point, our family will have more options. As my husband is French, we may decide to go and live in France for a while.

“Being offshore restricts us somewhat as many saving opportunities are only available to UK taxpayers. My employer does not have a pension scheme, and there is a very limited choice of personal pension schemes locally. In a low tax jurisdiction, the tax benefits of investing in a pension are also less clear cut. All of these reasons and the fact that property is a more tangible asset meant that investing in property was a sensible choice for me, and our family.”

Sarah has now bought two flats in London, both of which were recommended to her by Midas Estates. She and her husband plan to continue building their portfolio working with Midas.

Sara says “When you are busy working and raising a young family, it is vital to have a company that covers all aspects of the process, which is fairly time consuming and complicated.

"Midas has been fantastic in holding my hand and ensuring that everything has gone smoothly. Ian and his team have sourced some great properties for me and have been extremely helpful and responsive, making sure that all the different parties involved – including developers, solicitors, letting agents, contractors - have been kept informed and that everything happens at the right time.”

Ian Summers, 65, is a paramedic from Cheltenham and had spent some time researching what would be the best investment, not only to secure his future, but also to provide an income for his wife, who is younger than him, and also a step up the property ladder for his children.

Ian decided upon property investment as he feels strongly that it is important to know where your money is, the value of your investment, and that it is accessible with no hidden extras.

In the past five years, Ian has built up a portfolio of six properties, two in Cornwall, two in Cheltenham and a further two in Spain – one of which is being renovated and which he retires to in March.
Ian Summers

Ian says “The one thing I did find was that I needed help in researching and then managing my portfolio. The most difficult thing for me was to get a mortgage at my age, but Midas helped with all of this. I had tried to start the whole process by myself but found that I did not have the knowledge, contacts or expertise.

“An important aspect of property Investment is finding the right property to invest in that will hold its own and produce an income. My investment portfolio has given me another five years of my life and financial freedom. Without it, I would surely have had to work for at least another five years.”

Elizabeth Sama is a translator/interpreter in semi retirement and also works in online marketing. In August 2012, she attended a Midas Estates property school because she was looking for help with her existing property portfolio.

Over a number of years her portfolio, mainly based in London had been managed by a number of estate agents, that had crippled her financially, so it was time to find a company that could offer a full service.

Strong family beliefs in property investment led Elizabeth to start her portfolio. From a young age, she was given a small plot of land in the village she grew up in. Now her portfolio numbers five properties based in London, Bristol and Cheltenham.
Elizabeth Sama

Elizabeth says “I met Midas, or more importantly Ian Clarke just at the right time. My existing portfolio was poorly managed and costing me too much money to run. Having had a consultation with Ian, I moved all my properties to Midas and the team got to work on sorting it all out.

"Their work involved carrying out outstanding repairs, transferring or renegotiating tenancies with more transparency, collecting rents, and more importantly, paying the income into my account without spurious deductions".

Midas now sends Elizabeth end of month accounts, which she simply forwards to her personal accountants for her tax return. Most importantly she now has some money in her bank account.

Elizabeth says “I will always be involved in property investment and look forward to continuing to build my portfolio working alongside Midas. So much so that I have joined the Midas team as an Introducer as I feel very strongly that the advice that is being given by estate agents is so often incorrect.”

Paul Bray, 41, is a workshop supervisor from Bristol. He and his wife Sarah decided that they wanted to move house and attended a Midas Property School to get some ideas. Midas suggested that Paul and Sarah kept their original house, rent it out and buy another property.

Having not previously considered property investment they decided this was a great idea. Paul does not have a particularly good pension and is keen to build a nest egg for retirement and have something for their two children.

Paul says ”When we decided to embark on this it was quite daunting. However, having a specialist company who could guide us through the process was invaluable. Midas helped us with the mortgages, solicitors and we made use of their whole team. With our investment in property we are on our way to financial freedom, something I had never thought was possible.”
Paul Bray

Paul now owns three properties in and around Bristol which include the house they now live in. He plans to continue building on his portfolio.

If you have any property related questions then please do not hesitate to get in touch. No question is too trivial for us, and we'd be delighted to help you.

Wishing you every success.
Robin Campbell (Director @ Midas)
....helping people profit from property and design a life of choice

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