There’s a lot to be said for playing the long game when it comes to property investment. In years gone by, particularly in booming periods for the sector, it was the trend for people to try flipping properties – buy low, sell high in a short period of time.
However, this sort of sentiment has drifted away in the last few years, and in a much more mature and generally stable marketplace, it has become more common for investors to purchase something with the longer-term goals in mind. Yields from rent take precedent over short term valuation rises, for example.
Of course, yields are not the only metric that matters. In the long term, capital gains on a property portfolio will add up, and even if you’ve started small with a single unit investment from Experience Invest, slowly adding to your property portfolio with additional purchases can leave you with an empire potentially worth millions.
One couple who have proven the value of playing the long game over the last few decades are Fergus and Judith Wilson from Kent. Previously teachers, the two became full time property investors in the 1980s, and spent the next 30 years buying to let – sometimes even buying homes at a staggering rate of one a day.
They hit the news recently when the true value of their property really came to light, after announcing they wanted to retire after selling off their portfolio, which had amounted to more than 1,000 properties over three decades.
After having spent many years letting their properties to tenants, the pair, who live in their own £2 million home, said that they were not selling just to raise money, but because they want to be able to retire. All in, they expect to raise somewhere in the region of £100 million in profit, having already made £25 million in selling 100 of the homes on their portfolio, largely to Chinese and Indian investors who are increasingly turning to the strong British property sector.
The Wilsons’ story shows potential investors two lessons about putting money into the property sector. On one hand, it teaches that no matter how little you think your investment may be initially, it always has the potential, should you do your research and buy wisely, to grow into something highly lucrative.
After all, the Wilsons themselves started with only one property and would go on to add over 1,000 more over the years. As your portfolio’s value rises, reinvesting profits wisely can allow you to expand and grow until you have a thriving business that will stand you in good stead in the future.
On the other hand, Fergus and Judith’s tale shows that rental value is not the only thing to consider when investing in buy-to-let property. While the swathe of properties they owned over the year have allowed them to enjoy a very good lifestyle thanks to the rent from tenants, the long-term value is what will really pay off. Capital gains in the long-term are often seen as just an extra bonus, but if you are unsure whether to put money into property, it can be a very lucrative benefit to consider.