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First invest yourself…

The Hobbit in Sowersby Bridge - my first UK investment

The Hobbit in Sowersby Bridge – my first UK investment. Now providing a 14% return.

It all started in 2011.  I wondered whether there was any better investment then the Belgian house I owned as a “buy-to-let”. With an average 2.5% yield and an appreciation of 2.5%, the return wasn’t fabulous. And other real estate in Belgium didn’t look any better. So maybe I should look over the borders? I fortunately speak a few languages, so it was not that difficult to start scouting around.

To my surprise, I found that UK properties (outside of London that is) gave a significant higher yield then Euro-zone properties. It took me the best of 6 months to convince myself that this was normal in the UK market, not the result of a lucky shot or – worse – a “too-good-to-be-true” story.

Portfolio building

As I believe ones investment portfolio should have a good part real estate and foreign currency (the EURO has a few difficulties of its own), I started to put part of my own savings into UK real estate. Which – a bit to my surprise – indeed started yielding the returns promised. In the meantime – and with the help of two few Belgian banks – I have gathered a small portfolio of UK assets and I have learned a bit more on the possibilities on the market, partners, locations, residential vs commercial, valuations, tax, value appreciation,…

Having luck is nice, but you don’t build portfolio’s on it. I believe in assets that give a stable (and high) annual yield; I believe in bank leveraging to pull ones returns up to above 10% and I believe that normal real estate will always at least beat inflation. Appreciation above inflation is nice and a great bonus, but not something one should count on to provide a pension.

Then tell others

Out of this experience came the idea to provide these investment to international friends and family and to other investors worldwide that have the same questions and difficulties. Although it can be a lot more rewarding, real estate investment outside your home country is definitely more stressful then a local purchase. Paperwork is complicated, local friends and family cannot advise and you are far away if something goes wrong.

So UK-realestate.com wants to help investors who – just like me – need to work from a different country. This translates in a specific additional service, a particular choice of projects and of course a strong after-sales service.

What projects?

Our projects therefore need to comply with a no less then 5 criteria:

  1. Reliable long-term partners: developers that have a track record in what they do and in handling cases for foreign investors.
  2. Market conform prices: a price level that is conform with of slightly better then market prices. Fortunately, you can check prices easily through internet comparison.
  3. High annual yields: we normally put a minimum level of 6% net at the projects we propose. Appreciation is nice. Yield is better.
  4. Minimum management time: as foreign investors, we can’t be bothered. So every projects needs a reliable partner to manage the asset.
  5. If possible, a pre-programmed exit: For residential flats in downtown areas, there will always be an easy exit. For commercial assets, we prefer a pre-arranged exit.

Our Service

UK-realestate.com helps you with all stages of the purchase:
– Selection and documentation of the projects
– Advice and suggestions with partners, lawyers, bank, management companies
– Understanding the total financial picture
– Advice with the paperwork
– Resale
– Visit to the projects and the partners.

At your Service – UK-realestate.com

 

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Dirk Laeremans (48) lived and worked 16 years in China, setting up Orientas, een sales organisation for European Real estate.

Dirk travels to UK 6-10 times per year to discover new projects, talk to partners and of course to check on present investments.

To share this knowledge and expertise, Dirk also helps other non-UK residents to invest safely into UK real estate projects. Welcome to UK-realestate.com

Feel free to contact me to discuss possibilities, risks and questions over the phone. You have nothing to loose. Except bad investments.

Dirk has an engineering degree (Belgium) and two master degrees (South Africa & Ireland) and is approved real estate broker under Belgian law (BIV #511102).

Contact me