If you were born in the early 1970’s or late 1960’s, if you haven’t started to think about it yet, retirement is closer than you think. In fact the number of years you have left to work is less than the number of years you have worked. The basic state pension is worth £115.95 a week for a single person in 2015/16 (or £6,029 a year) and £231.90 a week for a couple (£12,118 a year) as long as your partner has paid their stamp (although there are certain get of jail cards if they haven’t).
As a household, could you live on just over £12k a year?
However, could the property you are living in in Epsom save you from poverty when you reach
retirement? You see, a regular income is vital in retirement and the bricks and mortar you own in
Epsom could provide a way for you to finance life when you retire.
If you are in your 30’s, instead of saddling yourself with bigger and bigger mortgages, going from
your first time buyer flat, to a terraced, to the semi and then the large detached house, you could
instead keep your terraced or semi, invest in a buy to let property and let the rent pay the mortgage
and rely on capital growth to provide you with a lump sum when you sell the property and retire.
One of the biggest plus points of buy to let is what is known as leverage. Let me explain ... say you
have a deposit of 25% and the value of the property rises by 3% a year, your gains in fact multiply to
12%. However, if property prices drop, 'leverage' can be catastrophic, as losses will also be
multiplied. Property values have dropped a number of times in the last 50 years, but they always
seem to bounce back ... property must be seen as a long term investment.
Let me explain how leverage could work for you. If you had bought an Epsom house in Spring of
1983 for £70,000, using a 75% mortgage and 25% deposit, (meaning your deposit would be
£17,500). Today, that Epsom property would have risen in value to £506,653, a rise of 623.8%.
However, when you look at the growth on just your deposit, the rise is even better ... instead of
623.8%, we see a rise of 2795% (remembering that the mortgage would have been paid off).
However, buy to let is not all about capital growth in retirement, income is more important than
capital growth, as rent is the key to a steady income.
So surely the best strategy is to buy those Epsom properties with the high rents (when compared to
the value of the property). These are called high yield properties in the buy to let world because the
monthly return is so much greater. So surely they are the best in Epsom? Possibly, but the properties
that offer these higher yields (in the order of 5% to 6% per year) tend to be in such areas as
Longmead or Watersedge in Epsom, historically they haven’t offered such good capital growth when
compared to the average and sometimes have a higher tendency for void periods and maintenance.
Therefore, if a high maintenance rental portfolio wasn’t for you, another strategy could be buy a
property with relatively smaller rental returns of 3% to 4% per year (i.e. lower yields), but in a more
up market area such as Woodcote. Properties such as these tend to suffer from less void periods (i.e.
when there is no tenant in the property paying you rent) and they historically have had better long
term capital growth when compared to the town average.
Every landlord is different and every property is different. All I suggest to you is do your homework.
As regular readers will know, I am happy to share my knowledge and experience of the Epsom
property market, high yields, high capital growth, what to buy, what not to buy and where to buy in
the Epsom Property market, which can always be found here at the Epsom Property Blog or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.