Good debt, bad debt – the dos and don’ts of long-term property investing

In chapter 4 of my book, I explore the long-term plan in my strategy. I explain how inflation can wipe out debt. I cover how you can create value by buying at a discount, extending, or converting to create extra bedrooms, or replacing things like kitchens/bathrooms or putting in a new central heating system. I also explain that decorating for tenants should be done simply and with plain magnolia-like colours, and that it’s okay to let tenants paint the odd wall themselves. Regarding negotiations, I point out that you must keep as quiet as possible and find out as much as possible before declaring your hand. You should use your ears and mouth in proportion to each other – in other words, use your ears twice as much as your mouth. Open questions are the most effective to use when finding out something – open questions are questions that begin with Wh or H, such as who, what, where, how, and when. About finance, I illustrate the power of leverage to explain how with a 25% deposit on a £100,000 investment you will make a 50% return when the property’s value goes up by 10%.

1. Buy and hold – never, ever sell your property!
2. Borrowing keeps your beneficiaries’ inheritance tax bill down.
3. Get your own home paid for and build debt on your portfolio.
4. Inflation negates property debt.
5. To get tenants, keep colours plain, and for valuers, show real improvements like replacing: boiler, kitchen, bathroom and windows/doors.
6. Make sure your solicitor has a portfolio or has clients who have.
7. Have ID documents verified with the professionals so that there are no delays when your offer is accepted.
8. When negotiating use open questions: what, when, how, where and who.9. You have one mouth and two ears, use in that proportion.

10.Think about what and who you can leverage in order to do whatever it is that you do best.