Dear Blue Bricks Magazine,

I entered this year by far the most positive, organised and up for it than ever!

Long and short term business plan all sorted, vision board and list of big goals at the ready!

One of my main goals for 2020 was to buy, refurb where necessary and let out 6 houses, having done 4 last year I felt this would push me but still be achievable.

In January I bought a repossession at a negotiated price of £60,000, £6,000 refurb budget, £3,000 fees even allowing a bit of over spend the £70,000 mark was a happy place and as I already have several houses on that estate I knew I could achieve £550 rent for a newly refurbished 2 bed house. So a great start and everything went to plan, on time on budget and I even got a tenant lined up just before I got it finished… The dream start to the year with BTL.

While working on that house, I was viewing all over the Gateshead area and finding that houses were all getting snapped up at asking price and above, this was in February, I put quite a few offers in but they didn’t get anywhere, then one agent rang back with a deceased estate house being reduced by £10k, I viewed and tried to get it further reduced however there was other genuine interest and my good relationship with the Estate Agent led me to understand £75k was the price to get it.

I was really pleased as it was going to be a fast sale and would be timed perfectly for me finishing other projects.

However, what wasn’t in my plan for the year was coronavirus?

I was meant to complete the purchase on the Friday before Boris announced the lockdown however due to the family not emptying the house I was told we would need to complete on the Monday instead, no problem really however there was a lot of media attention about this lockdown situation coming and I didn’t fully understand the impact it could have so I took a lot more notice over the weekend and of course by Monday morning when it was all over the news I became very concerned that I was not clear on the impact this could have on my purchase and as I was using a bridge of £50k I became uncertain of how I would get trades there and even if I did would I definitely be able to get materials?

Going with my gut I no longer felt comfortable so I rang my solicitor by 11am and said I am not pulling out of the deal but I want you to tell the other side I want to put it on hold until the coronavirus and the impact it may have on us  is clear, and please explain the reasons why. I have always found that if I’m in doubt it’s better to do ‘nowt’!

So ‘nowt’ it is, I am watching and waiting and taking an overview of the entire situation and until I know I can develop and invest with confidence in all areas that play a part in my business I am on hold.

All my rentals have paid me without a problem or without up to now asking for a reduction so all the hard work I have already put in over the years has paid off and other than minor maintenance issues I can deal with either outside or when people are out of the properties I am spending the coronavirus time with my Sons and continually educating and developing myself.

Being realistic I am not going to achieve this year’s goals in the time frame originally set , however I will still achieve them, I have no doubt about that!

I have had many, many outside influences cause all kinds of problems to my business over the years, I just see Coronavirus as the latest problem to get around and after this has all settled down there will be some other problem crops up, you just have to keep monitoring the situation, make informed decisions and carry on, sometimes in a different direction but you must carry on when it is appropriate to do so.

Stay safe  x


Rachel Tasker

Northside Homes Limited