Together with the obvious potential for 'reward' the acceptance of a degree of 'risk' has to be acknowledged by anyone investing in property. In a worst case scenario an investor could 'lose their shirt' but anyone joining the Armed Forces as a career does so in the full knowledge that their own mortality could be at stake. This month we look at the progress of two PIN magazine readers who have created success in property following on from their respective lengthy careers in the Army. I ask Mark I’Anson, how did he get started in property investing?
"Upon leaving the Army after 12 years service my Dad asked me where I was going to live,” says Mark. “And I replied that I thought I might live with them for the time being - a conversation that didn't last too long, so it was time to find my own place.
"I couldn't afford to live in Yarm (Stockton-on-Tees) where I grew as it had 'poshed up' so I bought a 4-bed detached 'doer upper' with the intention of living in the house whilst I completed the refurbishment. A strategy that I wouldn't recommend to anyone as it was possibly the dirtiest time of my life. The bathroom, kitchen, some of the walls, decoration and most of the plumbing all had to be renewed.
"It took me a few months to complete the project with the help of some friends and family but I wouldn't do it again. Anyway, it was finally completed and time to sell but I got talking to a big developer (Barratt) and they convinced me to do a swap for a couple of their properties. I ended up with a 2-bed terrace and a 3-bed detached but I had no real plan and wasn't exactly sure what I was doing with two houses, but I was on my way. Unfortunately, I hadn't made any money on the first, or the deal on the next two.