Location, Location, Location

Investing in property has always been popular and here’s why…

The age-old saying goes that “no one ever lost money in bricks and mortar” and whilst this may not be an absolute truth there is undoubtedly some long term security in property. According to Phil and Kirsty it’s all about where it is, and whilst this is of course largely true when it comes to residential property, for other areas of property investment there are other issues to consider carefully. If ‘location, location, location’ governs residential property decision making then perhaps ‘planning, planning, planning’ rules the day when it comes to property investment as a whole. And let’s not forget that property investment is more than just a residential two-up-two-down. In this article we touch upon the various ways you can get your money into the investment vehicle ‘bricks and mortar’ because (apparently) you can’t lose.

Home

It’s an obvious one but well worth noting that you could be sitting in the best property investment option you have simply by adding value to the house you live in. Subject to certain conditions your main residence is free of taxation on the capital growth it ‘earns’. You could purchase a property in today’s money for £0.3m, sell in 35 years for £2.0m, downsize into something worth £1.0m and walk away tax free on the £1.0m equity gain. Now there’s a thought.

Residential

Okay, you’ve got the builders in at home and capital value enhancement is now safely in the hands of the builders. You then decide it’s time to build up a residential buy-to-let property portfolio. First thing to remember here is that HMRC won’t ‘necessarily’ see this is a trading business, you will pay income tax on any surplus of moneys you make each year and the disposal, break-up and realisation of the portfolio, or part thereof, will be subject to capital gains and will require careful planning.

Commercial

You’re now sitting in your offices at work and you start to wonder why you keep paying rent to your landlord every month. You don’t want to move and so you call Rigsby and ask to buy the building. Rigsby says okay, so you go and see Fred (Goodwin), your friendly bank manager, and Fred says you can have as much money as you want for next to nothing. You buy your freehold commercial premises and put it into your Self-Invested Personal Pension to protect the capital growth.

Holiday Lets

This is all great you think, but tired from your labours you decide you need a holiday, but a holiday that costs you nothing. You like Cornwall or the Peak District and so you buy a furnished holiday cottage, or two or three even, and rent them out. Good news here is that HMRC (for now) regard this as a trading business, losses can be off-set against other profits, and some of the business tax reliefs are available.

And finally

Life is now good but don’t forget that property investment comes with a complex set of financial and tax issues. Always get good advice. Talk to people who have done it and people who are doing it. The return on your investment can go down as well as up. Get it right though, and property can have its rewards. Yes it’s hard to get started, but if you’re lucky enough to get the ‘cash break’ needed then good old bricks and mortar might just be perfect for you. Oh, and one more thing, it beats working for a living.