UK born Czech based Investor Simon Tweddle maybe a face familiar to those that have invested in the past through Property Secrets. Simon, whose management company Sim Property Group www.simpropertygroup.com - look after investment properties in not only the Czech Republic, but elsewhere in Central Eastern Europe including Poland, Slovakia & Bulgaria and advises on management issues and developments new and old including those previously promoted by Property Secrets.
Below - in a continuation of similar interviews with fellow young entrepreneurial industry experts Dan Morgan and James Organ, Simon discusses why he invested in property and highlights the location(s) and types of investment opportunities he regularly looks for.
Property is an excellent long term investment. It can provides both cashflow and capital growth, you can borrow against it and is relatively low risk - there are many books written on this subject alone. Overall I just love it.
Where do you Buy?
In the UK and Central & Eastern Europe.
In the UK as I was born there and know the market well. The UK is a very dynamic market, great for rentals and low risk, amongst other reasons.
In Central & Eastern Europe as I live in Prague and run a Property Investment and Management Company in four countries. I know there are some excellent investments to be had and there is still a lot of long term potential in these markets.
What do you look for in a Property?
Good location, close to good transport links. Good rental yields that are likely not to drop. Potential to either add value and/or for the general market to increase in price. I also want something that is not going to suck a lot of money up with maintenance or other (e.g. legal) issues. When buying I'm looking to get a very good price. I mainly buy in cities and avoid resort style properties like the plague. If I'm not investing in my home country I'm also looking for excellent trust worth management companies. As well as a stable legal system and low tax environment.
What are your goals through Investing?
Long term wealth building, strong cashflow. Ultimately financial freedom for myself and my family.
Hands On or Hands Off?
Very hands on in many aspects and very hands off when I'm working with people I respect and trust.
Do you renovate your Properties?
Yes, I've done this many times when the numbers have added up.
Any tips for Investors?
Don't forget the basics of a good price, good rent, good location. Only work with people you trust. Don't be greedy and follow the herd. Make a plan with your goals and stick to it. Don't worry about missing a deal, there will always be another one, better than to buy into something that will cost you a lot of money.
And for those wanting to start out?
Treat it like a business, and for all business you need passion to both hunt out the best deals and weather the ups and downs associated with property investing. Firstly educate yourself and talk to people who've really done it not just those (particularly salesmen) who just talk about it. Start small and focus on the fundamentals and you won't go far wrong.