Property Insight - For out-of-the-Box Property think OUTSIDE the box

Posted by Graham Turrell on Wed, Feb 11, 2015 @ 03:05 PM

For many property investors that have no desire to be a full-time landlord, the holy grail of successful property investment is simplicity.

out of the box

Today we look at why received wisdom about property investment shouldn't always be relied on for something this important to your future wealth and health... 

Typical would-be property investors often have this thought process:

Thought 1. The would-be property investor becomes aware of potential in the UK residential property market (also known as Buy To Let). This could be via the media, and popular property TV programmes. 

Thought 2. Interest in this then develops as a way to build a nest-egg and generate better income from their savings.

Thought 3. Search the internet for "armchair" property deals, or spend £1000's on property courses.

Thought 4. Connect with a few online property agents that focus on selling discounted UK residential properties with the promise of high yields and some capital growth.

Thought 5. Mull it over with friends, family, some of whom may have experience.

Thought 6. Decide to dig a little deeper. Talk to local estate agents and engage with a few mailing lists from Below Market Value property providers around the country. Visit local property networking events to try to build a body of knowledge to take the first step. Maybe part with a few £1000's for education from a chosen property "guru".

Thought 7. Buy one or more properties from one of the above routes.

These steps are what I call Boxed-In Property - the way that newcomers are subtly guided by a well-established industry where vested interests abound.  There are many who will carefully guide you through this process, sometimes at the fierce exclusion of all other options, to deliver you a cheap buy to let property in a "hotspot".

This is complicated, hard work and expensive.

I confess I'm not always welcome at traditional UK property network events, as I'm liable to let slip that among the well-tuned systems and seminars in place there to encourage investors buy more flats and houses in ever cleverer ways, the emperor has no clothes, or at least a very skimpy mankini. The seemingly unquestionable assumption from the floor is always that "this is how you make money in property", that there is no other way, let alone a better one. To dare to suggest otherwise is to be met with a frosty reception, as if you were calling their baby ugly. 

The Elephant in the Room 

elephant in the roomTake for example when surprisingly negative cashflow results from all the unexpected landlord purchase costs and expenses. These, along with the litany of UK legal lettings requirements often shock the new landlord investor once they've taken the plunge. Many experts will fail to mention these crucial factors when selling you your first buy-to-let.

The truth is, UK residential buy-to-let everyone that wants to profit from property. It requires a dedication to the cause: an on-going commitment of time as well as money, a considerable risk of putting all your financial eggs all in one property basket. And it may not be right for you.

Here's the twist. Back in the late 90's and early naughties, I became the landlord that did all of the above! My goal was a truly passive income through property, but instead I became the inadvertant manager of what was almost a second full-time job. Hardly passive by any stretch of the imagination.

Was it profitable? The short answer is nowhere near what was promised. Subtle regular charges from a burgeoning support industry built around landlords serve to erode your income and profit and make you wonder why you started. This very week I have a tenant moving out of my one-bedroom Berkshire flat, which requires : new carpets throughout; total redecoration; a new refrigerator and washing machine. Followed swiftly by check-in/out costs and tenant find fees. That amounts to a loss of around six months net profits every 5 years, and that is not untypical.

Being a landlord (or Buy to Let investor) works well for a specific group of people but is completely unsuitable for many, and sub-optimal for most.

I love property investment. But I love doing it right, better!

A simple solution: co-fund a fully-managed very-high-yielding property development that when complete gives you a share of of the rental income, security of property ownership and easy ways to exit your investment when you want to, preferably with guaranteed capital growth. Sounds easy to say but hard to achieve? Not with the right partners to guide you.

Property out of a box?

Commercial hotel and resort property investment has achieved a maturity not seen in the past, and can offer secure NET yields into double digits. The trick is funding a trusted advisor who "tells it as it is" based on specialist expertise and a wealth of experience in all kinds of property investment. Once you have researched your investment options, ownership is easy, inexpensive to purchase and run, and highly enjoyable.

If you're considering property investment and wish to intelligently consider all the options, download our guide and have a chat with us afterwards.


Download HighGround Brochure

Tags: Property Insight, Commercial Property Investment, Hotel Investment

[insight] Why it's so important to diversify your property portfolio

Posted by Graham Turrell on Tue, Feb 03, 2015 @ 08:40 AM

Warren Buffett says to invest only in what you can understand. He doesnt mean this as an invitation to laziness since his own example is to move into new areas, having first put in the time and money to research these new ventures thoroughly - and to understand them.

Warren BuffettEstablished wisdom is that diversification of assets is an important investment tool. A carefully chosen balanced portfolio allows you to spread the risk to your portfolio without necessarily reducing the returns. The same number and  value of eggs, but in different baskets.

How does all this relate to property?

Understanding just one form of property investment would I believe be a disservice to your future. But here's the rub: it's comfortable to stick with doing what you know; you become an expert with a deep knowledge of your chosen specialist property subject.

UK Buy-to-let investors often concentrate on one aspect as THE way of securing their future income. I'm speaking from personal experience when I say that it is easy to be bitten by the bug of building a buy-to-let portfolio, and just going with what you know.

Buy-to-let alone can feel safe enough to put all the eggs in that basket, but it can be risky as like most investments there are many factors outside of the owners control, for example:

  • Lenders' and Bank of England interest rate rises
  • Property market collapse and distressed sale of your property 
  • Legislation changes in favour of tenants
  • Lenders changing their tune when times are hard
  • Rogue / destructive tenants

These are all real examples that have happened and have hurt. Many of these can affect your entire Buy-to-let portfolio and, if you've sunk everything you have (and can borrow) into it, your future well-being.

Having come through the worse UK property crash in decades, many experienced landlords that survived it realise how close they came to a meltdown and are looking to diversify. They're not looking to the traditional financial institutions as there is still a deep mistrust of them. These investors know how powerful property investment is so are looking at other ways to invest in more property, but not just more of the same.

What other ways to profit from property?

Fortunately (and partly as a response to the world banking crisis), there are several new and interesting ways to invest in property alongside buy-to-let including:

  • Fractional Ownership of managed commercial property
  • Shared Ownership
  • Property Bonds
  • Crowdfunding
  • Land Purchase
  • Offshore
  • Hotel Room investment
  • ...

Few of these offer any gearing - 100% of the investment is in cash. Many landlords found themselves stretched by too much borrowing in the credit-fuelled boom of the early "naughties", so this is often seen as a way of reducing the overall portfolio gearing and exposure to interest rate rises and mortgage lenders' well ... shenanigans.

The other key benefit is that each of these property investments types offer pretty pure Passive Income (something that Buy To Let promises but seldom delivers). Just like picking stocks, you do your research upfront and when satisfied, you invest. Nothing more to do during the lifetime of the investment. And unlike stocks and shares there are no ongoing broker charges that frequently reduce your net returns to the tiny interest rates many have come to accept in the UK.

In essence, don't be seduced by those who would tell you that Buy To Let is the single key to property prosperity. The stakes of sinking everything into it are high and the hassle factor stays with you as long as you own those properties.

Diversification in property can mitigate these risks now and build you stream of true passive income to enjoy in your dotage in years to come when owning flats and houses is no longer as much fun as it used to be.

With so many flavours of property investment available today, we teach our clients to plan their own mix to match the life they want to lead both now and in the decades ahead: property for income, for growth and indeed for enjoyment.

Mr. Buffett puts it very well: "Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago."

I'll leave you with one example of alternative property investment: fractional ownership. Find out how it works with our essential guide. Just click on the image below to get your copy.

How to Live Like a Millionaire at a fraction of the cost - Free Guide

Tags: Property Insight, Commercial Property Investment, Hotel Investment, Buy-to-let Hotel Rooms, Property Investment, Property Bonds

[news] HighGround Property Investment buoyant at London Property Show

Posted by Graham Turrell on Wed, Dec 10, 2014 @ 10:02 PM

With the surge of interest in property investment over the last few quarters, we stopped to take breath in October and take part in the buzz of excitement around the Property Investor & Homebuyers Show at London's ExCel centre.

We're glad we did, as it gave us the chance to talk to many new friends about the benefits of hotel room investment and to meet up with some our great customers.

Watch the video to find out why we loved the show so much... 

We took the time during the show to explain how fractional ownership (when correctly applied) can work a treat for all types of property investor, as well as some of the key principles for successful investment.

For a closer look, get your copy of our useful free guide here...


8 Top Tips for Successful Property Investment

Tags: Property Insight, Commercial Property Investment, Hotel Investment, Buy-to-let Hotel Rooms, News

[news] Join us in London for your property investment insight

Posted by Graham Turrell on Mon, Oct 06, 2014 @ 02:32 PM

This week sees one of the principal property investor exhibitions come to London - the Property Investor and Homebuyer Show at the Excel Exhibition Centre.

property investor show

Will you be joining the 1000's of property investors attending over Friday and Saturday?

HighGround Property is joining the party and will be exhibiting, meeting customers and providing free training, and we'd love to see you there.

Come as visit me and the team at Stand 16 for a friendly chat about how to get started or take the next steps building your property portfolio both in the UK and internationally. We're also running a superb competition prize that could see you on a beach in Cape Verde.

On Saturday at 2:45pm I will be presenting a seminar in Hall 6 titled "Passive Income Through Property - Ridiculous or Real?" where I'll be discussing the merits of fully-managed (hands-free) property investment compared to traditional buy-to-let investment. Just scroll down to Saturday and you'll find us there.

HighGround is heavily involved with the work of our governing body the Association of Intenational Property Professionals I have also been invited to join a panel of experts for a panel debate on Saturday afternoon at 1pm entitled "Where in the World to Invest?". Join us for that too if you simply can't get enough of me!

Finally if you'd like to arrange a private meeting with me about your plans and goals for property investment over the next 12 months, you can do this here:


Book an Appointment


If you can't make the show you can still book a call with me. Just drop a note in the extra information box and we'll take care of the rest.

Tags: Property Insight, Commercial Property Investment, Hotel Investment, Property Investment

How to Buy Overseas property Safely - about the AIPP

Posted by Graham Turrell on Fri, Jul 11, 2014 @ 01:25 PM

It's important to feel confident when investing in overseas property - including hotel room investments. The Association of International Property Professionals (AIPP) is a non-profit organisation that exists not to sell property, but to ensure that it is sold correctly.

We've been proud to have been members of the AIPP for several years now and I am personally honoured and delighted to have recently been voted to the board of directors to help build on the successes and continue move the organisation forward.

But what does the AIPP mean for both lifestyle buyers and investors in international property?

Firstly, all member property agents and brokers subscribe to a voluntary code of conduct and disciplinary procedure should anything go wrong with an overseas investment and the member is unable to resolve the situation to the buyers satisfaction. This offers additional peace of mind when choosing who to help you with your search for the right property.

Another benefit to buyers is the annual AIPP Guide "How to Buy Overseas Property Safely" - a handy "must-have" guide for anyone in the UK considering buying property abroad.

If that's you, or even if you're a seasoned investor, they'll be something in the guide for you. Download your free copy of the 2014 guide by clicking the image below.


How to Buy Overseas Property Safely - Free Guide

Tags: Property Insight, Hotel Investment

[news] Property Investment : Please think before you Buy to Let

Posted by Graham Turrell on Thu, Dec 12, 2013 @ 10:32 AM

How much more wealthy do you feel when your own home is rising rather than falling in value? Its a fascinating part of human behaviour that how we see our own net worth affects how we spend.

And indeed how we invest for our future.

House for saleWe've seen this at work as our recent new clients tell us that now is the right time to invest. The interesting part is that our investments offer the same bank beating (and buy-to-let beating) income as they have done for the last five years, during the deepest world recession for decades. We have been building our client base steadily over that time but now interest is growing rapidly.

It is great to see our property investors like those who have bought into the UK at places like The Corran Resort in South Wales, benefiting from all our work in seeking out the highest returns for them. Usually many times more than with their bank or ISA, or their rental apartment.

A few said they considered UK Buy-to-let property as an alternative to us, until they looked at the facts, including:                     

At-a-Glance:  Buy-to-Let vs. HighGround investments
 Factor  Buy-to-let  HighGround Investments
 Status Mortgage Required?  usually up to 85% needed  No
 Typical NET yield (after costs)  3-5%  9-17%+
 Capital Growth potential?  High  Very High
 Who pays for repairs?  Investor  Hotel Operator
 Risk of Tenant problems?  100% with the Investor  Hotel Operator
 Guarantees?  None  Rental income and Capital Growth

If anyone expects Buy-to-let to provide a hassle-free income, I can say from my own experience, think again. I personally have a UK portfolio built some years ago before I knew a better way to invest in property.  With a lot of time, hard work and running as a business, it is now successful, but certainly not the Armchair Investment that most people expected!

Here's a current example from Property Reporter magazine of one of the hassles that buy-to-let owners must accept:

Fastest Growing Debt Problem in the UK is now Rent Arrears

"National Debtline has seen a 150 per cent increase in rent arrears since 2007 and a 13 per cent increase in the last 12 months.".

We feel for these tenants who are no doubt mostly under massive financial pressure, sadly only to be made worse over the Christmas period, but the knock-on effect on landlords is very significant.

Property is arguably the best investment class for many reasons, if done wisely. We know there's a better way than doing it all yourself. Take The Corran resort hotel investment for example. Click the image to find out how to do property investment without the hassle.

The Corran Prospectus

Tags: UK Investment, Property Insight, Hotel Investment

Property Insight - My experience at London's Property Investor Show

Posted by Graham Turrell on Mon, Oct 28, 2013 @ 12:03 PM

This two-day show held every Autumn in London is where thousands of both new and experienced investors gather to see whats new on the marketplace, but perhaps more importantly to learn more and to meet people who will help them profit from property.

excel 1

This year I was asked to take part in the expert panel debate "What to consider when buying a property abroad for investment".

It was a great session with lots of group questions covered and plenty of excellent questions from the floor. The room was full of both new and experience investors looking for property insight and guidance on how to select the property that is ideal for them.

So for those of you that didn't make it here's a selection of some of the topics covered:

After introductions, Graham opened the panel explaining the crucial role of thorough due diligence and how a good investment broker or property agent can work with the overseas buyer or investor. 

  • Beginning with the end in mind
  • Importance of Frequently asked Questions / Should Ask Questions
  • Importance of exit strategy
  • How to research your property investment 


Beginning with the end in mind

This is a classic principle popularised by Steven R. Covey in his book "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People", and is we believe crucial for anyone looking to invest in property for their future. My recommendation when buying any property is to first decide exactly what the purpose of the investment is, buy visualising the desired outcome in the time frame required to deliver those results.

For instance "I would like a luxury vacation property that in five years time is delivering a 10% return on my capital each year with no hassles. In 10 years I would like to sell the property at a 60% profit. During that time I and my family would like to spend 2 weeks a year enjoying the property each year ". That's a pretty clear set of goals, now we work back from that 10 year point to today and become clear on what steps and what help is needed to achieve this today. 

Asking the Right Questions

A successful passive property investment means doing all the research at the outset, with the objective of just enjoying the income and the use of the property thereafter. Overseas property can be a minefield unless the right questions are asked at the outset. Knowing what questions to ask both of yourself and all parties involved in the sale, is crucial. An expert property broker will work with you to do exactly that, and provide the answers that will let you make the informed decision on whether to buy or leave it be and move on! HighGround's expertise is in shortlisting secure property investments and asking not just the Frequent Questions, but also the questions that should be asked but sadly seldom are...

Exit Strategy

Any investment should have a clear path to selling at a defined point in the future. How easy will it be to sell your property in years to come and be comfortable that a proift will be made?


Lack of reserach on a property investment is arguably the biggest source of risk especially when investing overseas. Working with an independent expert should be an essential part of this. The AIPP is a fantastic source of free guidance, which is the perfect starting point. Choosing an AIPP member to help with your research is an important decision but one which will be rewarded if done appropriately. HighGround is a dedicated AIPP member of long standing and if we are not the most appropriate partner to work with in your specific circumstances, we will tell you straight away. If we beleive we'll provide you with exactly what you need we will tell you that too!

HighGround Property shortlists its investment offering using an internal 300-points "Gold Standard" report. Any investment we offer to clients has already been through this rigourous test so its an excellent starting point for most international property investors.

Get our complimentary property investment guide by clicking the image below...

overseas property investment faq


PS. If you couldnt make the show and would like an informal chat about anything we covered, give me a call on 0800 612 6601 for a free property consultation.

Tags: Property Insight, Commercial Property Investment, Hotel Investment, Property Investment

Who says pensions are boring?!

Posted by Graham Turrell on Mon, Nov 26, 2012 @ 07:11 PM

Actually, most people would say pensions ARE boring.boring pensions

And who could blame them?

Boring returns (at best). Attached to boring funds where the investor feels zero connection or control. That has been the story for most of us for far too long!

So how exciting! What a revelation, that out of this boring marketplace has come the rather thrilling Self Invested Personal Pension (or SIPP).

A SIPP turns all the things you hate about your pension completely on its head.

  • You choose where to invest it.
  • You can invest in really exciting opportunities.
  • Investment returns can go from Boring to Soaring 
  • You can invest in real, tangible assets, not a fund floating somewhere in the "ether" that you don’t understand!

Direct tax-efficient property investments, hotel investments, energy, agriculture, gold and many other appealing assets are all available to you when you have a SIPP.

So what is a SIPP?

Here’s the science bit: what our friends at the Pensions Advisory Service says:

"A Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) is a type of personal pension plan. It works in the same way for contributions, tax relief and eligibility. However the main difference is that the SIPP has a more flexible approach to investments.

A conventional personal pension generally involves the plan holder" (that's you and me -ed.) "paying money to an insurance company for investment in an insurance policy. This means the money is invested with relatively little choice or freedom from the plan holder.

"A SIPP allows the plan holder much greater freedom in what to invest in and for the plan to hold these investments directly. The plan holder can have control over the investment strategy or can appoint a fund manager or stockbroker to manage the investments.

So it's official: more flexibility, more freedom, more control. And let's face it, no-one cares more about your pension than you do - so who should really be in control?


Want to find out if a SIPP would be right for you?

mountain climbing

Every week we meet real people with real concerns about their retirement. It could be concerns over a lack of pension performance or a general dissatisfaction with boring, underperforming funds, high charges and a general lack of understanding of where and how their money is invested.

Do some research...

Maybe you have pension funds from a previous job or jobs and don’t know where they are or how to find them? Good news - there is a free service that the government provides for this!

Then let us do the rest

Once you have your pension provider and policy number then we can help you get the funds reviewed. Our free pension review will tell you what you have, how it has performed, what you are being charged and some projections for the future as it stands. No obligation.

How can we offer this?

Frankly because the average pension fund has peformed so badly that the majority of those taking the review get a "wake-up call" and feel motivated to do something about it. In many cases they choose to work with us to make it happen.

The report will be compiled by an expert FSA regulated financial advisory company and you will know exactly where you stand.

Then, you can choose (there’s that word again!) to either:

  • Stay as you are, or
  • Change your path

It’s up to you!

overseas property investment faq

Tags: Hotel Investment, Property Investment, Pension Review