Always read the small print!

At a family Birthday party at the weekend, my brother-in-law pointed out the promotion on the pack of a popular crisp snack; “Collect 3 packs and get a free Bluetooth speaker***

Except the *** referred to a host of terms and conditions including the fact you need to pay £3 towards postage. Why not just say “Collect 3 packs and get a Bluetooth speaker for £3!?

And it reminded me of some letting agents’ promotions. 0% management fees to landlords, free management and free this and free that. All with the caveat that it’s only for a certain time frame or that other fees apply, making the saving completely redundant.

The simple answer as to why companies do this is it is attention-grabbing marketing, designed to get people to contact the promoter, who then has one foot in the door.

I feel there is a lack of transparency amongst some letting agents in regards to the fees they are charging (to both landlords and tenants), which was one of the reasons we started QT Homes Lettings in 2013.

Even though it is now a legal requirement for letting agents to publish all their fees to both landlords and tenants on their website and in their offices, many don’t comply and the authorities seem to do nothing about it. Price on application or fees negotiable by property type is not permissible and contracts should be free of hidden nasties tucked away in the small print.


It was sad to hear recently from two sets of prospective tenants who were shocked to find their previous letting agent was withholding a reference unless they paid them a fee. I believe in the notion of charging a fair and transparent price for a great service and not trying to make a few extra quid in the short-term just because I could.

You can find a full list of our services and fees on our website –

And that’s my business model – simple and transparent; take on nice properties (there’s lots of these around Nuneaton), choose good tenants (lots of them around Nuneaton too), keep my overheads low and my service levels high.

If you’re a landlord and wish to work with a letting agent who is passionate about providing a good service to everyone at a fair price, without the hidden complexities you sometimes find in the industry, please give me a call.

Nuneaton or Hinckley? Where is best to invest?

Are you looking to invest in property but in 2 minds as to whether to invest in Nuneaton or Hinckley? Well hopefully I can throw some figures at you that might help decide which is the right option for you…

Todays’ house in question will be a 3 bedroom terrace. I will compare 2 properties both done up to the same standards and look at what each house would cost in each town and also what your rental income and annual yield would be from them.

I f we start with Nuneaton: here we have a property that yes, is dated, it would need a fresh coat of magnolia and a new bathroom sweet as a minimum in order to attract suitable tenants. It is on the market for £120,000 with Pointons, in a desired rental location of Nuneaton. I would suggest once said works had been done to the property you could ask a rent of £625 PCM. I would also suggest offering an asking price that would allow you to spend that bit you ‘saved’ on fixing up the property. So, in total, if you were to spend £120,000 on the house including works, and you were getting a rent of £625, your annual yield would be 6.25% for the first year, barring in mind that rents are continually increasing making your expected yield higher also.
property particulars

The same type of property in Hinckley, also dated and in need of some TLC is on the market for £130,000 with Fosse House. Looking at other rentals in Hinckley the achievable rent would be £550- £575 PCM giving you an annual yield of 5.31% at the higher rent rate. I would also strongly suggest making an offer on a property like this that would allow you the money you have ‘saved’ to then do the work needed to fix up the property.

property particulars

Both areas are highly popular for rental, and the way the current market is, any investment in property is a wise one. If you would like to speak to us further about investing in Nuneaton or surrounding areas, please feel free to give us a call on 02477 674545

Star buy of the week in Nuneaton with a 6.5% yield


Its been a while since I’ve found and spoken about a star buy in Nuneaton, mainly because no sooner do they get advertised..they are then SSTC!

However, whilst looking on Rightmove this morning, I did find this 3 bedroom semi-detached property on hill top in Nuneaton, with an asking price of £120,000. The property is currently on the market with Foster Lewis and Co.

Property Particulars

With a property like this you could expect to receive a rent of around £650 PCM which would give you an annual yield of around 6.5% with rents increasing all the time giving this the potential to be even higher.

The house is situated ideally for commuters as well as families looking to get their children into the catchment area schools.

The best thing about this property is you would literally have to do nothing to it in order for tenants to move in, the house has clearly been newly renovated so it would be good to go.

If you would like to speak to us about this property and our lettings management services we offer, please feel free to get in touch on 02477 674545. We look forward to speaking to you.

Why invest in Nuneaton?

After a really interesting morning of Networking with the Nuneaton and Bedworth Business Support Expo, I really wanted to share with you several reason why I personally think Nuneaton is a lot more appealing in terms of property investment than people realise.

Speaking at the Expo were Terry Spall, Commercial Director for MIRA Technology park Ltd on the A5, As well as Lisa Garley Evans, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at Holland Barrett (Head Office in Nuneaton) amongst other very informative speakers on the regeneration and improvement of Nuneaton as a whole.

Both Mira and Holland Barratt are International companies, and are literally on our doorstep! Both companies have had Billion pound investments in order to expand further, meaning, more and more jobs are being generated for the area! Currently Holland and Barrett have 60 jobs available at their head office, and in the past few weeks held a job expo where over 200 people turned up interested in working for them. MIRA and H&B alike will have jobs suitable for local people and also people looking to relocate, even those who are currently commuting from places like London will soon see the sense in Moving to Nuneaton simply for the cost of living being substantially less!

This aside, Nuneaton will always be a hot spot for renting, especially your typically 2/3 bedroom terrace property- they will never have large void periods, ( experience tells us this) but people with slightly more desirable properties or those looking to invest in similar properties shouldn’t be deterred. There are re-location agents who contact us regularly asking us to keep them informed of these types of properties for tenants who will be moving from all over Europe just to come and work in a specialised field at companies such as MIRA. Again, experience has shown us that said properties have never been an issue to rent out – families/working professionals and relocators alike seeking 3/4 bedroom semi detached family homes in the more affluent areas of Nuneaton.

If you are looking to invest, or similarly have rental properties in Nuneaton, please feel free to give us a call or pop in and see us on Bond Street. We are always happy to meet like minded people. Property is a great game to be in, but…you have to be in it to win it!!

We, at QT Homes, have now gone into sales! We will sell your home for £695.

Melissa and I are delighted to let you all know that we have now also gone into sales as well as lettings!

It was a natural progression for us and our business- QT Homes- and since we started a few weeks ago we have already successfully marketed and sold 2 properties, and are currently marketing our third property in Bedworth.

We cover Nuneaton, Bedworth, Hinckley and this side or Coventry, as well as Atherstone and surrounding areas.

If you, or anyone you know, are interested in Selling their property, we do offer a £50 recommendation (upon completion) to anyone you pass our way.

It couldn’t be easier. Just give us a call and we can talk you through what we offer. Our sales package is £695(no VAT) which is paid upon completion.

We look forward to hearing from you and offering you our friendly, professional service.

Nuneaton Buy-to-let is still lucrative investment despite Government Measures

Oh my, oh my, if I had a fiver for every landlord we’ve had on the phone or in the office, drowning their sorrows (in a lovely cup of tea that I made) over the recent tax changes as well as tenant fee ban and anything else the government has thrown at them in the last year or so, I would be sunning myself in Barbados right about now instead of writing for you lovely people.

Those of you who are familiar with the blog will know what super fans we are of investing in property and how, we believe, there’s no better place to invest your well-earned pennies.

For a long time now the buy-to-let market has yielded fantastic returns for all those brave enough to take the leap into the world of property investment and it has beaten all major asset classes in the last five years, hands down!

Yes, I know the Government have gone all psycho loco on Landlords and think that we’re the Devil but, despite the tax changes, investors will still be able to gather pretty good returns. Yes, the days of 7+% yields may be out the window but, according to research carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (who did research into the BTL market on behalf of UK retail and Commercial bank), you’re still looking to get a pretty healthy return so, do not despair.

Word on the grapevine is that the biggest gains for investors will be from profitable growth and it predicts that the UK home average price will have increased by 59% by 2027 against 2016’s level. You may think 2027 is far away but, it’s only 10 years! You may have a few extra grey hairs and wrinkles but you’ll be able to spend the profit from your investment on rectifying those physical signs of aging and have plenty left over.

Not only do you get a good profitable growth, you also have an increased demand in tenants to look forward to. It’s estimated that private rented residences will rise from 21% (2016) to 28% by the end of 2027 (The Office for National Statistics predicts the UK’s Population to rise by 4.4 million over the next 10 years reaching 70 million in 2027).

Investors ask me is it safe to invest in property. The analogy I use is that if you were to go to your bank for a loan, they would go through the formality of asking you what it was for. If you then proceed to tell them it was to buy stocks, in the stock market there probably going to smile politely, tell you they can’t help and then boot you out the door. BUT, When you go and say you’re investing in property, they will gladly continue with you, as they know property is a safe investment for them, which is not the case with stocks and shares.

If you’re prepared to ride the storm and feel strong in your position as a landlord, I say, keep going because it will be worth it.

If you have any concerns or questions relating to your Nuneaton property investment(s) please feel free to give us a call. There’s no question too big or too small.

If you’re finding your Nuneaton property investment stessful but you’re not ready to sell, why not give us a call and ask how we can help you manage the property for you. If you’re not ready to give us a call, feel free to visit our website for more information.

Our first question to you, if you come and see us, is “What would you like to drink”. You’re always welcome to pop in and have a chat so, make the most of it. Look forward to seeing you soon.

Election Special Market Comment…

The unexpected hung parliament might appear to have once again cast a shadow over the housing market. Or maybe not!

We know that the stability and strength proposed by Theresa May might not be delivered after all. But is that really so bad for a market already in danger of overheating? Certainly the lack of available properties for sale in Nuneaton and in general has helped to escalate prices to unsustainable levels in some areas.

It is well known that job security, employment levels and interest rates play arguably the greatest roles in determining the shape of the property market. Yet these were seldom presented burning issues by any party during the election. An increasingly uncertain Brexit does of course suggest an increasingly uncertain future. However, in the twelve months since the Brexit referendum the market has actually risen by a respectable 4.1% (source HMLR) so perhaps its ill-effects were overestimated.

Indeed, even a hung parliament is not necessarily bad news; during the coalition years of 2010-2015 house prices rose by an average of over 3% per annum.

There is a tendency for the media to exaggerate and “spin” all kinds of political turmoil for a cheap headline, especially with something as close to our hearts as property. Yet possibly the most accurate indicator of the British response to such things can best be summed up in the wartime catchphrase and 21st century tea-towel slogan “Keep Calm and Carry On”.

A house move is usually prompted by a genuine change in lifestyle, such as a growing family, a job move, death, divorce, downsizing etc. Most of these will happen whichever political party is in power, and will continue to dominate our motivations long after even Brexit has been forgotten.
With no pressure on the housing market other than a lack of new homes being built to satisfy the continued demand (and both the major parties have similar new-build policies) our advice to buyer and seller alike would be; if a move would suit you, there is no compelling reason why you shouldn’t do it. And if you are thinking of selling, it might be an idea to act straight away and take advantage of the pent up demand caused by the flippin’ election!

Are Nuneaton landlords stifling the Nuneaton property market…?

Following the publication of a recent blog article about ‘Generation Rent’ a local homeowner of Nuneaton contacted me. He said that he felt that the plight of our Nuneaton youngsters (first time buyers), was that like of a novice football player trying to bend it like Beckham! You’re in a minus game playing Beckham at his own game right? Play him a 100 times and you’re bound to lose 100 times!! There is no doubt that buy to let landlords have played a major role in driving up property values in Nuneaton (and the UK) and from that made housing a lot less affordable for the 20-30 somethings of Nuneaton.

Let us look at how affordable Nuneaton is. The best way to measure affordability is to measure Nuneaton property prices against Nuneaton average salary (the higher the ratio, the less affordable properties are). For example in 2014, the average value of a Nuneaton property was 5.94 times higher than the average annual wage in Nuneaton, and in 2016 the average value of property was 5.77 times higher compared to 2002 when it was just 3.98 times higher.

As affordability of property decreases the younger generation find it less appealing to purchase or own their own homes instead…choosing to rent.
But, it’s not the only reason…

The Tories have certainly done much to level the playing field in favour of first time buyers. For nearly a year now, landlords have had to pay an additional 3% in stamp duty on any buy to let purchases and, over the coming four years, tax rules on landlords claiming mortgage interest relief will affect their pocket. It also does not help owner-occupiers that local authorities sold off council houses in the Thatcher years. So, for many on low incomes or with little capital, owning a home has simply never been an option (today or in the past).

It’s easy to look at the headlines and blame landlords. First time buyers have been able to access 95% LTV mortgages since 2010, meaning even today, a first-time buyer could purchase a 1 bed apartment in Nuneaton for around £80,000 and only need to find £4,000 deposit. Yes, a lot of money, but first time buyers need to decide what is important to them. Either, save up for a couple of years for the deposit or go and have two annual foreign holidays, get the full satellite or cable TV package with sports and movies costing three figures a month, upgrade to the latest mobile phone and go out socialising.

However, as a nation did we always have majority owner-occupier tenure? The graph below shows the history of our tenure in the UK since 1918 to present day 2017.

I think we as a country have changed. Renting seems to be returning to be the norm.
So, my opinion is, landlords have it tough. Let’s not blame them for the perceived woes of the nation. To be frank, we haven’t always been a country of homeowners. Roll the clock back to 1964, and nationally, 30% of people rented their home from a private landlord.
That figure today?
It’s only 15.3% nationally.

Are you a landlord concerned about the future? A first time buyer wondering if now is a good time to buy? Feel free to email me for free and impartial advice. I promise not to charge you for an opinion. Alternatively, see how we can help you with the management or sale of you Nuneaton property-

The 2017 General Election and the Nuneaton Property Market.

The past does not equal the future however, it’s as good a barometer as any when it comes to making attempts to predict it, and the Nuneaton hosuing market…

Looking and analysing the past 5 general elections I have made some interesting discoveries on the before and after a general election and how this affects the property market…if at all.

Out of the five general elections (1997, 2001, 2005, 2010, 2015) two were not certain (2010 with the coalition government of Lib-Dems and Conservatives and 2015 with the surprising Tory majority). So I wanted to compare what happened to the number of houses sold and prices achieved between the three certain elections (1997, 2001 and 2005) against the unexpected ones of 2010 and 2015.
Look at the first graph below comparing the number of properties sold and the dates of the general elections….

Looking at the number of monthly transactions (the blue line), there is a certain pattern to the housing market. That pattern has never changed since 1995 (meaning the periodic fluctuations that occur regularly based on a pattern – i.e. you can see how the number of properties sold dips around Christmas, rises in Spring and Summer and drops again at the end of the year).
The red line is a 12 month ‘moving average’ trend line which enables us to look at the ‘de-seasonalised’ housing transaction numbers, whilst the yellow arrows indicate the times of the general elections. It is clear to see that after the 1997, 2001 and 2005 elections, there was significant uplift in the number of households sold, whilst in 2010 and 2015, there was a slight drop in house transactions.

The next thing I did was to consider what happened to property prices. In the graph below, I have used that same 12-month average, housing transactions numbers (in red) and yellow arrows for the dates of the general elections but this time compared that to what happened to property values (pink line).

It is quite clear none of the general elections had any effect on the property values. Also, the timescales between the calling of the election and the date itself also means that any property buyer’s indecisiveness and indecision before the election will have less of an impact on the market.

So finally, what does this mean for the landlords of the 18% of privately rented households in Nuneaton? Well, as I have discussed in previous articles (and just as relevant for homeowners as well) property value growth in Nuneaton will be more restrained in the coming few years for reasons other than the general election. The growth of rents has taken a slight hit in the last few months as there has been a slight over supply of rental property in Nuneaton, making it imperative that Nuneaton landlords are realistic with their market rents (I’ve seen properties on the market with asking prices inflated by 20%!!). But, in the long term, as the younger generation still choose to rent rather than buy … the prospects, even with the changes in taxation, mean investing in buy-to-let still looks a good bet.

If you see a Nuneaton property you think will make a good buy-to-let and need a second opinion, send me the Rightmove or Zoopla link. As my readers will attest, I don’t charge for an opinion.