Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Where have I been for 2-3 years???

I wish I could remember 11th May 2008.
It must have been a pretty slow day if you go by the length of my last blog on here. A great deal has happened since my last article for us all. Maybe your a totally new investor who has never heard about BMV Property, BMV Finance, etc or you maybe more experienced than me. I totally forgot about this blog if I'm honest and in some ways only started it to help with my google rank on my struggling buy to let mortgage business.

There was a good helping of bull sh*t in many of my posts and probably desperation to get client to use me for their buy to let mortgage.

We'll here's a brief run up to what I've been doing since along with what I plan for this site:
  • Continued to struggle growing the buy to let business for a further 6-9 months along with struggle to keep all my highly geared portfolio tenanted and paying the crippling rates of interest.
  • Towards the end of 2008 I realised that making a small proc fee on buy to let mortgages along with the high drop out rates from clients not completing I was working 12 hours a day for an OK salary but high risk business model.
  • Still being fairly young I decided I didn't mind the high risks but I should at least be getting paid well for working under this kind of pressure. I was still being crippled each month with the buy to let mortgage payments on my "millionaire BMV property portfolio". If being a mortgage millionaire was the aim I was sure there but unfortunately many were untenanted and the gearing was at up to 100% real open market value.
  • Being a big fan of property and still, against many negative vibes from property experts, I still felt/feel below market value property is a great place for people of all walks of life to become wealthy. I'm not talking millionaire but rather happy and not worrying about the credit card statement.
  • I fell into looking at trading property myself from developers and vendors to sell to investors I had on my books or via other property clubs. Apart from the odd mortgage for current clients (there were not many) I focused all my efforts on helping find below market value property and structuring the deal with client, bridging lender, etc and making a fee for my efforts. I'd say through a mixture of luck and desperation I pulled off one big development which didn't make me a cash millionaire but did put me into a much, much better financial footing. I went from lots expensive un-secured debts such as credit cards, etc to £0 debt and a good chunk of cash in the bank.
  • 2009-2010 I spent much of the time trying (un-successfully) to replicate the same bit of luck I had in first big deal. Although I did a couple of OK deals and my bank balance was not going down, it was also not going up much either. Probably around mid 2009 I realised that chasing after these big BMV property deals nationwide was pie in the sky and wanted to create a long term business rather than short term high risk gains. Up until this point all the deals I sourced were through third parties which resulted in lots of sharks stealing money, deals falling through, etc so the only way I could think to fix this was going direct to vendor myself.
  • It was during this time I realised that sourcing 1 good local deal a month would make me a living, one a week was a very good business.
  • Property Buyers Wales was born during this time and I started with 1 assistant, a load of leaflets, small website and plenty of mobile credit. It started slow but deals then started to come in and completing the first real deal I created from scratch was the best feeling I had in years. We slowly started to get a good local reputation for helping sellers sell property qucikly.
  • Until late 2010 I have continued the same system and complete an average of 4-6 deals per month. My team has grown to 6 office and field based staff along with our first franchisee in North Wales in 2010. With our North Wales guys we now cover all of Wales. The whole business concept is in my eyes a small local bmv property investment company will look after their investors needs better than some National agent who had no local knowledge.
  • 2011 - This is the year we want to grow out investor database. Up until now around 80-90% of our deals are sold via property investment clubs. I'd like to see us selling 50% of our own deals this year to ensure we can offer a much better personal service to both vendor and investor.
  • During this time I've also become a bit of a builder as sourcing local deals mean you tend to find more referb projects which has given me the opportunity to cash buy horrible little houses fit for rats and turn them into lovely homes for local families.

Where is this blog going?
Not sure yet. Although I don't advise on mortgages anymore I still know a great deal about bmv property finance and buy to let mortgages in general. We run a couple of medium size websites which act as the day to day business so I'd love to somehow bolt this onto our property investors wales brand website to share with readers. If anyone has any ideas please drop me a line. Maybe we all decide this blog is best put to bed and I'll forget about it again for a few years but I do feel theres some good content in this blog so it would be a shame to delete it. In the meantime I set up a free property education portal on our main website. You don't need to pay anything and you may find it answers your questions better than a long post like this.
Please feel free to get in touch.
Kind Regards,

Sunday, 11 May 2008

End of One Day Re-Mortgages

As all you BMV Property Investors are in no doubt aware the party is finally over for one day closed bridging and re-mortgaging with Mortgage Express. I think we can all say we knew they would stop it eventually. Being the only real player in the market it was a risk the current financial markets could no longer pass to one lender.
You still have the likes of Nat West who offer the facility however the criteria is a lot stricter and the Pay Rate is based on Capital & Interest.
The question is what is next for BMV investors who seem to be the new target of lenders wanting to reduce "risk" on their balance sheets?
Any BMV investors who were already using Assignable Contracts or methods where the property was held for less than 6 months will also be aware (hopefully!!) that the CML Handbook has changed.
It now required solicitors to inform the lender if the property has been purchased with an assignable contract or if the vendors have owned the property for less than 6 months. Any readers who have used my company Fruit Finance LTD should be well aware of the issue we now face with the ownership of 6 months. This was the method we used up until 1 week ago.
We do now have new methods however our costs have increased along with the complexity of structuring the whole deal. It used to take me 10 minutes to explain the structure, it now takes me up to an hour.
It is becoming a very difficult time at the moment for BMV property investors and I must warn you all its sure to get worse before better.
However I never end on a bad note. The BMV discounts I'm currently seeing from my own BMV property and that of my clients have increase on average to 22% - 35%. I have not seen a BMV deal of less than 20% for several weeks.
This is good news on two fronts, with house prices set to decline further this year we all need to ensure we are not left in the same position as the vendors we purchased from. Secondly, we are seeing much less competition amongst fellow BMV investors, how many of use have been played against each other by the vendors who end up taking so long they get repossessed?
As I've been repeating in almost all my blogs over the last few months, this is the year to make some great deals in the BMV market. If you can ensure your deals are 25% BMV and work on the few products left on the market then your on to a winner.
Would any BMV investors still consider deals of 17% BMV where the rent just covers the 85% LTV mortgage at 5% fixed? I know none of my clients would!
Lastly we have some pretty good packaged BMV deals discounted to around 22% if any investors are interested. We get in around 5 - 10 per week which are shared between my clients.
The best bmv mortgage I'm currently recommending is at 80% LTV with C&G (one of the few mortgages still below 6%).
Good luck to you all in securing some great BMV property deals and remember to contact me if you require any help with your BMV mortgages and finance.
Daniel Morgan

Friday, 28 March 2008

BMV Financing gets wake up call

It’s almost been too good to be true over the last few months; we have market leading interest rates in the Buy to Let Mortgage market with rates below 5% and rental calculations of 100% of rental income.

BMV investors using one day closed bridging and same day re-mortgages with Mortgage Express were accessing rates of 5.39% which enabled deals to stack well very well.

BMV investors using different financial methods were accessing even lower rates of 5.07% or lower with rental calculations based on only 110% of pay rate. There were very few deals that I and other BMV mortgage brokers couldn’t get to stack up.

Unfortunately like all good things, this has all come to an end.

LIBOR rates

Although the Bank of England has reduced rates twice in recent months, with another cut expected within the next few weeks, the real cost of borrowing for banks have increase. The rates at which banks lend to each other has increased to record levels in recent months resulting in several buy to let mortgages being pulled.

BMV Market

The BMV industry in general has come under the spotlight over the past few months with several banks imposing stricter criteria on borrowers, particularly those buying at discount. One large building society will no longer offer mortgages if they feel the property in a Sell and Rent Back deal.

There are good reasons why lenders don’t like lending to BMV investors, invariably the investor has put little if any money into the deal. The risks to the investor are lower due to no personal capital being tied into the property making it easier for the investor to “walk away” from non performing properties.

LTV (Loan to Value)

There is a lot of focus on LTV’s being offered to buy to let investors in recent weeks. CHL (Capital Home Loans) recently reduced all its range to a max LTV of 80%, down from 90% last year and 85% this year. CHL then went on to pull all rates this week which will have knock on effects to other lenders.

Several other lenders have also reduced their maximum LTV’s in light of figures suggesting house prices are likely to fall further this year. Lenders are actively seeking to reduce their risks on the UK housing market as property values continue to fall and a number of high profile cases involving Surveyors over valuing in some developments coming to light.

Victims of our own success/greed

There are likely to be several consequences resulting from all our success in the recent BMV buying bonanza. Properties are likely to get more difficult to stack as higher interest rates and stricter criteria will make deals more difficult to work.

One underestimated problem faces Buy to Let and BMV investors looking to remortgage recent purchases. If you purchased your property 2 years ago on a CHL 90% LTV mortgage with high arrangement fees and decreasing property prices, how will you re-finance your investment if 80% LTV becomes the norm?

In my eyes this is more important that any other issue effecting Buy to Let investors as we may all be feeding an extremely difficult period.

The good news

Never one to end on a bad note, there is good news to all this doom and gloom.

Investors were more likely to buy bad investments when rates and rentals were so easy to stack. Properties with little positive cash flow or equity were being purchased due to little or no money down being required. The “nothing to loose” mentality has been strife in recent months without thinking above the underlining question on the value of the investment risk you have taken.

Now investors have little choice but to cherry pick BMV properties with more equity and increased positive cash flow. This will lead to a better long term model reducing the risks of a declining housing market or any spells of vacancy.

On the whole the market has become more difficult to stack but when has making money ever been easy?

There are winners and losers in every market change, losers include Lead Generators unable to sell leads without higher discounts. First time investors will find it more difficult to stack deals on offer (not necessarily a bad thing). Winners include buyers who can get deals to stack in the more difficult market – these investments are likely to yield higher returns along with ease of re-finance over the next few years.

Written by Daniel Morgan

Daniel Morgan is a BMV investors and Specialist BMV Finance Broker.

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Sourcing BMV Property Leads in UK

The major problem facing BMV property investors today is no longer the finance but the quality of the leads along with increased competition in the BMV investor market. The more popular BMV purchase becomes with investors the harder it has become to get those big discounts and large cash backs to stack up.

BMV is not exactly rocket science and the problem today is to know which lead providers you can trust and which you should stay away from.

This article is designed to help inform BMV property investors on the various lead sources available to them.
If you haven’t already done so, I recommend you read my articles on BMV Property & BMV Mortgages which will give you a good insight into the workings of this relatively new phenomenon.

Estate Agents
By far the most effective way to source local leads are through estate agents but don’t expect to pick up BMV deals from the shop window. If you have contacts within the estate agents you can achieve some great results from this lead source.

Remember most estate agents will already either be buying BMV property themselves or have investors lined up and waiting for properties. The only way to make this work is through incentives for the agents, if they know that a good lead and quick completion will earn them £500 - £1,000 as a finder's fee then you’re likely to get better deals than just asking for anything that they can't sell.
Either go direct to the managements of independent estate agents or negotiate deals direct with the agents of larger agencies.

• You have professional agents who are in the local area every day dealing with potential sellers.
• Long term relationships can be achieved with constant steam of leads to service.
• Agent can help flip properties for instant profit or negotiate on your behalf.

• Most agents will already have a database of willing investors requiring less than 15% discount.
• Many agents will require larger finder’s fees due to the constant supply of investors.
• You need to achieve a high conversion rate to keep the agents happy and willing to continue sourcing BMV deals on your behalf.

Repossession Leads
Not an easy job but its here you can negotiate deals of 30% or more BMV. It involves long hours, street walking, spending time with people who are often in sad circumstances and then negotiating the lowest possible price before the property is taken into repossession.
This is not a route for first time investors and is often difficult for experienced investors to work successfully although if done right the rewards are often worth all the effort.
The process involves obtaining lists of homeowners due to attend court regarding repossession of their property and carefully targeting these homeowners with information about your services. Many investors will target the local area and hand post notes through the door stating they are looking for property to buy in the area.
The number one rule is not to personalise the letters as this will often scare the homeowners on how somebody else could know their personal business.
Buying BMV property through this process will usually take from 2 – 6 weeks to convert and you have to deal with a lot of time wasters along with homeowners agreeing when it’s already too late. You need to be a fantastic people person and show your empathy with people's situations, you could spend hours with someone only to leave with nothing other than a sad story.

• If successful you can achieve discounts in excess of 25%.
• You can target your local area.
• Opportunity to help distressed sellers avoid repossession.

• Can be extremely time consuming with a lot of hassle from homeowners along with time wasters who are inevitably going to have their home repossessed.
• Many of the home owners have high LTV mortgages which often make the deal impossible for the seller, lender and buyer to agree on.
• Difficult to manage outside your local area as the best results are often achieved with hand delivers notes and home visits.

Unqualified leads
These leads come from a range of different sources and will generally include the homeowners full contact details, mortgage amount, property value, reason for sale and agreement to sell at a discount.
This is currently the most popular form of lead purchase which generally come from homeowners searching online for companies who will purchase property quickly. They will complete an online form and these details will them be sold on the open market.
My warning on these leads would be to find out if the lead generators buy BMV property themselves and if so why are they selling them?
Another thing to remember is that these leads are generally sold for £75 - £250 each which requires an amount of confidence on your part to know the leads are of good quality and will have a high conversion rate. The major problem with these leads involve the homeowners themselves, they will often submit their details to a number of websites, resulting in homeowners playing the buyers against each other for the highest offer.
Getting anything more than 15% - 20% BMV is extremely difficult unless you’re a strong negotiator. Remember that after winning the bidding war the seller could still pull out of the deal at any moment whilst their still contacting every possible buyer under the sun.

• Lower price for leads compared with ready made deals.
• Contain most of the information required to assess profitability.
• Often room for cash back.
• Some providers have lead replacement policies.

• Extremely competitive market with buyers competing with unknown number of other bidders.
• Risk of sellers being time wasters and only interested in what they “could” get for their home.
• Hidden fees often attached such as sourcing fees often up to 2%.
• Number of lead providers will sell the same lead to multiple buyers.
• Leads are often ones which the lead providers are not interested in themselves.

Ready made deals
This is the armchair investors dream, go online, find a ready made deal, accept the terms and the BMV property, finance, lead, and legal fees are taken care of for you. They are packaged as one price with rental and valuation calculations already completed and then sold as packages generally in the region of £500 per lead.

•Deals are ready made, no need to negotiate prices, work out rental & valuations or often arrange the finance.
•Great for first time buyers with little knowledge of BMV market required.

• Deals often carry hefty fees with £500 for the package, 2% set up fee and broker fees added on top.
• Cash back is often little if any and some deals require capital investment.
• Rental calculations are often 100% of the mortgage which could spell trouble if tenants don’t pay.

In conclusion I urge any BMV property investors to research their lead provider thoroughly before committing yourself and your money by getting answers to the following questions;
• What are the true costs including all the fees?
• What experience does the lead provider have?
• Where do the leads come from?
• Does the lead provider also invest in BMV property and if so why are they selling the leads?
If the lead provider requires you to use its solicitor, broker and agents be very cautious as there are a number of rogue traders out there searching for people new to BMV investment to prey on.

Get a good
BMV mortgage broker who understands the BMV market and who can assess possible deals and give you guidance on its merit.
Don’t hunt for the cheapest lead prices; they are often the ones that no one else wants.
Join specialist BMV property forums and lead exchanges before beginning your venture into BMV as they are often filled with peoples experiences and advice.
Personally I use the following websites but remember that what’s right for one may not be right for another.

I hope you found this article useful and I’m more than happy to talk to anyone new to BMV property along with experienced investors. I am a specialist BMV mortgage broker and property investor with a wealth of knowledge & experience of the market.

Written by,
Daniel Morgan
Buy to Let Mortgage Broker & Property Investor

Saturday, 19 January 2008

BMV property mortgages & leads

With the current housing market as it is below market value or BMV property is starting to make big gains in the amount of business I and other mortgage brokers arrange for their clients. My previous article on what is bmv property? explains how the system works and how buyers can benefit from falling house prices.
I receive a number of emails every day seeking advice on BMV property finance and even more on BMV property leads. For BMV purchases to work you need to consider a number of factors to ensure you can get a great deal and secure BMV mortgages.

Open Market Value
Many BMV websites in the UK will quote the open market value, OMV, as being substantially higher than the true amount, often because the cheaper lead suppliers allow the seller to guess what their house is worth. How many people who know they are going to give a discount off their property will give a true reflection? How many people would undervalue an asset which they may have spent over 10 years building and investing in?

I often find the true OMV is only really known often the surveyor has assessed the property, usually after spending over £300 on a non refundable survey report.

You need to do your research, HomeTrack is one useful tool along with RightMove and local agents. Use all of these resources before deciding to pay the mortgage valuation.

Rental assessment & mortgage available
This is the one major sticking point when we try to stack up if a property in worth buying or not. The only real mortgage lender currently offering same day remortgages is Mortgage Express which currently require 125% pay rate to offer the mortgage on the property. Time and time again deals which have looked promising fall through due to either investors or agents over calculating the rental return. To work out how much rent you need to borrow a fixed amount or visa versa there is a helpful formula below based on a Mortgage Express mortgage of £100,000 with an interest rate of 5.39% which is currently accurate and a property which can rent for £575 per month.

What rental would you need
Take the amount of the loan: £100,000
Multiply by the lenders interest rate: 5.39% (100,000 * 0.0539)
Divide by 12 which gives monthly: 100000 * 0.0539 = £5,390 / 12 = £450
Multiply this by the pay rate (125%): 550 * 1.25 = £560
This amount is how much rental you would need to achieve to be offered the £100,000 mortgage.

How much can I borrow based on rental
Take the monthly rental: £575
Divide this by pay rate (125%) : 575 / 1.25 = £460
Calculate annual amount: 460 * 12 = £5,520
Divide by interest rate: 5,520 / 0.0539 = £102,411
This example shows you could borrow up to £102,411 or 85% of the OMV, whichever is lower.

Speak with local letting agents to get an idea of how much you will rent the property out for and even see if its possible to have the letting agent asses the property your interested in. They will often offer to do so at no cost due to potential future business.

Negotiating Property Discount
Some BMV lead providers will negotiate the purchase price for you and others will simply supply the lead details and calculate the open market value. For BMV property investors new or inexperienced then make sure the price have been agreed and fixed before hand, you want to make sure you get the biggest discount available which means you need experienced negotiators agreeing a sale price.

For a true no money down or cash back deal you need to be achieving a discount of at least 17.5% off the OMV and still have the rental stack up.

The current mortgage lenders will offer up to 85% of the OMV on same day re-mortgages with broker, bridging loan and legal fees generally around 2.5% of the purchase price this would mean an agreed discount of 17.5% would mean a true no money down deal minus the valuation costs. Any discount above this and your looking at the possibility of cash back which is why many BMV property investors look for deals which are discounted over 20%.

Sourcing BMV property leads
This, by far, is the most common question asked when looking at BMV property. For true no money down or cash back deals you have to be proactive in sourcing leads. Calling a broker or lead generator and expecting to sit in you home while people bring you deals with 20% is not realistic. Why would I offer you BMV property leads with 20% discount when I'm also a property investor? I wouldn't and neither would most people involved in BMV, I can offer you 100's on 15% deals but that's not a true no money down deal. My best advice would be get out and be proactive in your area such as leaflet drops, local store adds, auction fall through, etc.
For long term success sign up with a data supplier rather than negotiated lead supplier which is far cheaper along with profitable. If your going to use BMV lead providers find out who they are; Do they invest in BMV property? Where do the leads come from? How do they value the OMV and Rental? What is their returns policy?
I know of two reliable lead providers which are and both offer different services by I have spoken or met the owners and can say their business is selling property or leads, not buying and selling the weak ones.

Other financing methods
There is another option to buying and financing BMV property which is through an assignable contract using a third party. It's rather more complex than same day re-mortgages so I wont go into too much detail but you can contact me is you would like to find out more.

A third party will buy the BMV property at discount and sell to the investor at OMV with an assignable contact giving the client for example an upfront rental guarantee of the discounted amount which is paid after completion.
This allows the investor to purchase the property with any buy to let mortgage as its no longer a re-mortgage its a purchase. This type of structure is getting more popular due to the lack of buy to let mortgage lenders offering same day re-mortgages without high fees or rental requirements.

I hope this article on BMV finance and property purchase has helped you gain a better understanding of how it works and what factors you need to consider before deciding on a property, broker or lead provider.

BMV Mortgage Brokers
There's a never ending supply of stories regarding deals gone wrong due to the mortgage broker not truly understanding how BMV finance works. A client will call them and explain what their planning to do and the broker, never one to turn down business, offers their services. BMV mortgage brokers tend to charge higher fees than normal brokers, me included, due to the contacts and experience they have in getting mortgages through and deals completed. People will often shop around for the cheapest broker but "buyer beware" if they are charging NO BROKER FEES as one of two things are generally the case;

(i) They are relaying on the mortgage lenders commission only making them volume brokers, try getting hold of these people when things go wrong. They operate by moving to the next deal as quickly as possible leaving any issues behind. They don't have the time to talk deals through.

(ii) They make their money else wear via bridging lenders or conveyancing. Its the same as a broker fee except wrapped up differently. If they hide how their paid what else are they hiding?

There are hundreds of good brokers and a useful place to start is by looking on the SingingPig forums. Just remember that like most things in life you get what you pay for. Question how their paid, what experience do they have and are they BMV investors themselves, if you don't feel you can build a long term relationship then move on. A good broker can help you succeed in your BMV property investments, its in their interests that you do well!

Here's the sales bit ;)
I'm a BMV mortgage broker and investor myself so if you have any questions or would like to find an experienced BMV broker then give me a call and we can discuss your finance and property needs.
I charge a 1% broker fee and can offer packages where the total costs add up to 2.5% of the purchase price. After the first deal my broker fee is negotiable due to most of the work such as applications, ID, sharing of my knowledge & experience, etc happening during the first deal. My standard fee is 0.5% - 0.75% of the purchase price. I feel this is honest, upfront and fair for my experience and contacts in the BMV market.

Written by Daniel Morgan
Mortgage Broker & Finance Writer

Friday, 18 January 2008

Business Finance & Commercial Mortgages

I recently attended a seminar on commercial finance, which is an area I’ve started to concentrate and specialise in over the last few months. I am still surprised by the number of small to medium sized businesses, SME’s, who do not have access to good commercial finance advice. I have started to work with a Welsh business support company can Business in Focus which runs training programmes through its training arm the BIF Academy throughout Wales. Business in Focus deal with SME’s all over Wales from helping construct a business and marketing plan, sourcing funding for their business, help with business contract laws and regulations along with arranging networking events for the businesses to meet suppliers and clients. I fit in by helping the SME’s recognise business needs in funding and other aspects such as insurance, factoring, cash flow loans, etc. It is fantastic to see a new start up find finance in the form of grants and loans and develop its business over the course of 1 – 3 years.

There first few years are generally the most important in term of getting the right finance and advice as if the wrong advice is taken and auctioned it can have a detrimental effect on the future success.

Business insurance is another any which many businesses fail to consider in enough depth before going into business. For self employed people and company directors what happens to their monthly income if they cannot work for 6 months? If a business partner dies what would happen to their share of the company? There are various forms of insurance to cover these problems such as income protection, partnership protection and key man insurance.

Over the next few days I’m planning to go into more details on the different types of commercial finance available, how it works and what the benefits and pitfalls can be to a business. If there’s any type of
commercial finance & insurance you would like me to discuss then please leave a comment and I will cover it in future articles.
Written by,
Daniel Morgan
Mortgage Broker & Finance Writer

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Interest Rates Stay at 5.5%

It has just been announced by the Bank of England that interest rates will remain at 5.5% resulting in surprise by most of the market. Many analysts predicted interest rates to be cut a quarter percent (0.25%) today after evidence suggesting the UK housing market has seen a slow down with some areas reporting property price reductions.
It is still believed interest rates will be cut in the near future with the next review taking place in February.