There are not many people regularly attending property networking events in the UK who will not have heard about or seen Simon Zutshi present at an event. He is the founder of the property investors network (pin) and also of Crowd Property, the peer-to-peer lending platform. He is a very accomplished speaker and has travelled worldwide to speak and learn more at wealth creation events.
As such, he needs little further introduction. Both of his companies are respected, successful brands and his companies’ activities are clearly focused on property investment, mainly in the residential sector.
Recently I met up with Simon to talk about the marketplace and his views on current trends in residential property investment in the UK. But before that I asked Simon what attracted him to property and why?
“My first property was a house that I bought in Selly Oak in Birmingham. It was just down the road from where I had lived as a student. None of my family had been investors in property and looking back I guess the first influencer on me, property related - was the landlord who I rented from back then, along with my student friends. It was a massive house so we were very impressed by the size of the property and I was also impressed when he replied to my question of “what do you do for a living?”
“He told me that he had previously been a solicitor but was now a full-time hands-on traditional landlord, doing the maintenance, sorting out the contracts etc. I subsequently discovered that he had around 100 rental properties in the local area. These days a four-bed house in that area would be £300,000 to put that portfolio value in context.
“I graduated in 1994 and it was not that easy a time for work, so I did some low paid work and lived in a fairly rundown rental property with some students. Some readers might recall that at the time, the National Lottery was a big thing, and I thought that if I won a million I would buy twenty houses and live off the rental income.
“I paid £48,500 for that first investment property and I had no idea at all about mortgages. Thankfully I managed to secure a great job with Cadbury as a graduate trainee and soon afterwards started looking for a property to buy. I found one not far from where I was renting and borrowed the 5% deposit from my grandmother, so she was my first joint venture partner! It was a loan not a gift, she was Scottish and she made it very clear that I was not being given the money and she expected it back.