Craigleith Hill Cresent | Edinburgh

Deal Figures


Purchase Price:
£200,000

Renovation Costs:
£45,000

RICS Valuation Post Refurb:
£325,000

Estimated Profit*:
£70,000

*Cost of finance not factored into profits at this stage, however legal fees and stamp duty deducted before profits estimated.

Craigleith Hill Cresent

We’re delighted to show you our latest project at Craigleith Hill Cresent in the sought after area of Craigleith in Edinburgh. The property its-self is a two-bedroom bungalow located on a quiet leafy street. The property offers all the ease and convenience of single-story living and provides exciting development opportunities for the next owners to extend upwards with the addition of dormers.

The previous owners occupied the property for a long time (around 50 years). So as you can imagine, there was a lot of work to be done to the property. The first job was to strip out the property – carpets, textured wallpaper, bathroom and the kitchen, giving us a blank canvas to visualise our plans.

Dining Extension to Kitchen Living Space

We purchased the property as a two-bedroom bungalow but spotted the potential to convert it to a three-bedroom. The property benefitted from an extension to the rear of the property, which the previous owner had used as a dining room. We decided to remove the wall separating the dining room and the kitchen to create a lovely bright open plan kitchen living area.

Altering the kitchen/living space allowed us to convert the old living room into the new third bedroom. We thought having this property set up as a three-bedroom would appeal to many buyers in this area’s price range. The room would also be perfect for other uses depending on the buyer – a dining room, home office or even a second living room.

Before
After

Bathroom

The old bathroom was stripped out and modernised, but no structural changes were needed. We picked a modern yet timeless look for the bathroom with a tiled floor and underfloor heating, full-height wall tiles, and an LED mirror. We always have the end-user (the potential buyer) in mind when renovating a property. Therefore we installed a bath with a shower over it to ensure suitability for the many families looking for homes in this area.

Before
After

Living Room to Master Bedroom

Having opened up the kitchen into the previous dining room to create an open plan kitchen living space allowed us to turn the living room into a big third bedroom. And what a difference with the walls skimmed, painted with a lovely Farrow and Ball colour and fresh carpets to bring this room back to life.

Before
After

Garden

Part of taking on a project of this style means there is usually a garden that needs some TLC. We decided to remove all the foliage and leave a nice clean blank canvas for the new owners. The garden was levelled, and fresh turf was laid, ready for the new owners to make their own.

As you can see here, we widened the windows from the living room with large sliding doors to tie the outside with the inside. In addition, we installed a new decking area outside the rear of the property for outdoor living, which we think works well.

Before
After

Driveway

The final part of our renovation included freshening up the front of the house. We painted the front door one of our favourite Farrow & Ball colours, French Gray, and tied the flower beds in the front garden. To modernise the look of the front of the house, we removed the previous slabbed/gravelled driveway and laid new stones on the driveway. Although this part of the renovation didn’t take too much time, we certainly feel it made a big difference to the first impressions!

If you’d like to find out more about investing with us, check out our investor brochure by clicking the button below.

Download Our Brochure

Investing in Property Amidst the Pandemic

Investing in Property Amidst the Pandemic

 

The global pandemic has caused so much fear and anxiety in everyone. It has brought fear not only over our physical health, but it has affected businesses, jobs, and the economy in general. And the property industry is not exempt.

Surprisingly, the Scottish property investment market has been thriving. Buyer and seller interest remained not only prominent but increased.

 

Adapting To Facilitate Consumer Demand

When restrictions were put into play at the end of March 2020, the Scottish government was able to implement new rules in property viewings. In-person property viewings and valuations were no longer allowed, however, after two weeks of lockdown, the housing market introduced virtual viewings. A new way of viewing property, despite restrictions.

 

Scottish House Prices Rise: Including Edinburgh

Official figures by HM Land Registry found that the average house price in Scotland increased by 8.4% over the year, with transactions rising by nearly a third. And the City of Edinburgh, projecting an increase of 5.3%. 

 

What Has Caused The Increase In Prices?

Industry leaders believe that lockdowns have led to people seeking more space. In the last quarter of 2020, the number in ‘sales agreed’ was 36% higher than the same period in 2019.

Paul Hilton, CEO of ESPC, said: “The first three months of 2021 has seen a real spike in property sales compared to the previous year. This is to be expected given how busy the market was at the end of 2020, but the LBTT holiday coming to an end in March may also have contributed to increased sales.”

To aid the financial struggles of COVID-19, the Scottish Government introduced an increased nil threshold on LBTT. Raising it to £250,000 for buyers in July 2020. However, the LBTT holiday ended in April 2021 in Scotland. The Scottish Government provided relief by introducing the three-month mortgage payment holiday for homeowners in March and extending the emergency law eviction notice period to protect renters.

With homeowners looking to upsize, LBTT relief and solicitors and agents’ ability to deliver service virtually, the number of people looking to buy or sell during the pandemic outweighed any negative impact from the pandemic on the property market.

 

What Does The Property Market Look Like In The Future?

Industry leaders, such as Savills and ESPC, predict a strong property market in the coming months. As the country works towards the new normal and the restrictions ease, the property market looks promising. The average Scottish house price is expected to grow further by 3% in 2021, with the overall property market growing more than 22.8% between 2021 and 2025.

Despite initial concern for the property market, Scotland continues to thrive, which is believed to continue for 2021 and the coming years. 

The pandemic might have caused a lot of changes, but what comes with change is our ability to adapt. And as the property market continues to evolve, it will remain to find ways to survive any challenges. So YES, now is the perfect time to invest.

 

Investing in Property

We make property investing simple for people who want to benefit from high-quality property investments without investing their own time or resources. Our investors can benefit from a passive income on a fixed term, backed by a brick and mortar asset and a team of experienced property investment professionals.

Are you interested in finding out more?

Download our investor brochure by clicking the button below.


Money In The Bank Or Money In Property?

Money In The Bank Or Money In Property?

 

Nowadays, more people are becoming wiser in handling their hard-earned money. To secure a better future, investing is a popular option for business-minded individuals. However, we have different risk appetites. For conservative investors, keeping money in the bank and investing in property are options they can consider.

But which is better? To better understand, here are the facts to help you choose which works for you.

 

Money In The Bank

This is what we identify as a savings account. In reality, keeping a savings account is not for building wealth, it’s having a safe location to just keep your money. It can increase your net worth, but keeping money in the bank with low-interest rates does not make good investments.

In a recent article, the Bank of England forecasted inflation to hit 4% this year as Britain’s robust recovery from the pandemic accelerates at a blistering pace. In comparison, the interest rate from the bank is only 0.01%.

That means that if you’re saving in the bank for investing purposes, you are losing money. The number may stay the same, but the buying power of that money is decreasing every year with inflation. 

Saving in the bank provides you with a spot to keep some money for reasons other than investing. A healthy savings account is one of the best ways to protect your investments.

In essence, a savings account is good for protecting your investments, preparing for emergencies, and peace of mind in your financial life, but it is not an ideal option for growing your money.

 

Money In Property

A more popular means of investing, with sure returns, is investing in property. Investing in real estate, when done correctly and strategically, can generate wealth. It is tangible, and there is more than one way to earn money. 

That being said, we’ve narrowed down some strategies for investing in property.

Rental Properties

Owning rental properties can generate a steady cash flow for an extended period of time. There’s always a market for this. Young families, young professionals, and immigrants are some of them. If you have the patience to manage tenants, this is for you.

House Renovation Flip

The fix-and-flip culture has exploded. Thanks to the popularity of home renovation shows. There’s a massive opportunity for income in this strategy, but you also need to find the perfect properties to flip.

Vacation Rentals

Airbnb is a perfect example. Vacation rental or short-term properties are accommodations that travellers can rent on a short-term basis. These accommodations range from high-end luxury properties to spare bedrooms in other people’s apartments.

HMO 

HMO’s are very attractive investments. HMOs, include residential accommodation, which is the main home for three or more unrelated people. The multiple occupancy/student market continues to grow. It produces high rental yields and is in demand due to the rise of the population.

 

The Bottom Line

If your purpose is to grow your equity and have a steady income stream, then property investing is definitely for you. Depending on how you prefer to invest, there are several options to choose from. However, in every investment, you should do your due diligence in knowing all the risks, facts, and numbers. Successful investments involve dedication, commitment and patience. 

On the other hand, if you only want to save for emergencies or want a spot to store your money for unexpected expenses, money in the bank is a safe place to keep it. 

Again, it’s a safe location just to keep your money, but it is not an ideal option for growing your money.

 

Investing in Property

We make property investing simple for people who want to benefit from high-quality property investments without investing their own time or resources. Our investors can benefit from a passive income on a fixed term, backed by a brick and mortar asset and a team of experienced property investment professionals.

Are you interested in finding out more?

Download our investor brochure by clicking the button below.


Why Invest in Edinburgh?

Why Invest in Edinburgh?

 

Edinburgh, without question, is a beautiful place to live in. Its rich history, innovation and creativity, iconic architecture, and vibrant culture make Edinburgh a desirable place to live, work, visit, and study.

This is exactly the reason why Edinburgh remains to be a hotspot in property investment. Seasoned property developers and investors have firsthand experienced success in investing in Edinburgh, while aspiring property investors see the potential towards building equity and wealth. 

There are numerous other reasons why you should invest in Edinburgh. The obvious reason is just the beginning. Let me dive in deeper and tell you why it is wise to invest in Edinburgh.

 

World-Class Education

Edinburgh is home to The University of Edinburgh, a high calibre university that is consistently on top. Currently occupying the 16th in the 2022 QS World University rankings. Other high ranking and performing universities are Edinburgh Napier University and Heriot-Watt University. This alone attracts local and international students that make up 20 per cent of the population.

 

Booming Tourism

Edinburgh is the 2nd most visited city outside London, with over 13 million visitors each year.

From family days out to cultural discovery, Edinburgh has many top attractions to satisfy everyone, including some of Scotland’s most visited free and paid-for attractions. In addition, the city’s backdrop of Arthur’s Seat, the Pentland Hills and Edinburgh’s Waterfront make the city an amazing place to live. 

 

Green Space

Edinburgh has more green space than any other UK city. The city’s well known green spaces include Holyrood Park and Royal Botanical Garden. In addition, the outskirts of the city feature major green spaces such as the coastal Dalmeny Estate, the semi-natural Cammo Estate, and the Pentland Hills Regional Park. 

To make sure Edinburgh remains the beautiful green city that it is, the Edinburgh City Council has approved plans to spend over £4m improving parks and green spaces across the capital. Thus, attracting more tourists to the city.

 

Population Growth

In terms of population, Edinburgh currently has around 542,599 residents. But, according to National Records Scotland, Edinburgh is growing fast. They say that within 25 years, the population could rise. Edinburgh City Council says Edinburgh could be bigger than Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow, by 2032. Foresight into the demand of property prices and rents in the future.

 

Regeneration

The ongoing projects and plans for the city are one reason why Edinburgh is currently thriving and why so many investors and residents plan to put down roots here. 

Regeneration will help to modernise the capital and promote the already existing features the city has. Many redevelopment plans are in place for the capital, including the St James Quarter and The Johnnie Walker experience. These upcoming builds will attract even more visitors, tourists, and tenants to Edinburgh.

 

Efficient Transport System

According to Andrew White, head of residential at Collier’, “The city’s compact size means that for business or pleasure, Edinburgh is easy to traverse by foot or the efficient transport system.”

Ease of transportation is a factor in choosing a home, and Edinburgh is a city that can be easily accessed and travelled. Either you travel by foot or travel using their transport system, you can be sure to reach your destination with ease.

 

The Future is Even Brighter…

The future of Edinburgh is looking optimistic. New developments are underway to improve the capital. Population and opportunities also keep on growing. With these factors and the reasons mentioned above, property investors are looking into a brighter investment future. 

And despite the global pandemic, Edinburgh’s property market remains resilient and continues to thrive. 

 

Investing in Property

We make property investing simple for people who want to benefit from high-quality property investments without investing their own time or resources. Our investors can benefit from a passive income on a fixed term, backed by a brick and mortar asset and a team of experienced property investment professionals.

Are you interested in finding out more?

Download our investor brochure by clicking the button below.


Daisy Terrace | Edinburgh

Deal Figures


Purchase Price:
£200,000

Renovation Costs:
£45,000

RICS Valuation Post Refurb:
£325,000

Estimated Profit*:
£70,000

*Cost of finance not factored into profits at this stage, however legal fees and stamp duty deducted before profits estimated.

Daisy Terrace

We’re delighted to show you our latest project at Daisy Terrace in the conservation area of Shandon in Edinburgh. The property its-self is a one-bedroom ground floor colony flat located in the Flower Colonies at Shandon, and it’s bursting with character. For anyone who doesn’t know about Colony properties, these rows of beautiful lower and upper apartments were built in the late 1800s for skilled workers. The Colonies were known to be bustling areas with a real sense of community, and this is still the case to this day.

The previous owners occupied the property for a long time (around 50 years). So the first job was to strip out the property – carpets, textured wallpaper, bathrooms and the kitchen. This gave us a blank canvas to start working with.

Box-room to Kitchen

We purchased the property as a one-bedroom colony flat but spotted the potential to convert it to a two-bedroom flat. The property benefitted from a large walk-in box room which was accessed from the hallway. We converted this box room into the kitchen and were delighted with the finished result (not to mention the kitchen’s functionality).

The previous kitchen was stripped out to leave a good-sized double bedroom. We thought having this property set up as a two-bedroom flat would appeal to many buyers looking in this price range in the area. The room would also be perfect for other uses depending on the buyer – a guest bedroom, a dining room or even a home office.

Before
After

Wash-room

The old WC was stripped out and modernised with a tiled floor, half-height wall tiles and an LED mirror.

Before
After

Master Bedroom

The master bedroom is a really good size in this property and benefits from all-day sunlight with its south-west facing windows. And what a difference with the walls skimmed, painted with a lovely Farrow and Ball colour and the original floorboards sanding and brought back to life.

Before
After

Livingroom

Part of taking on a project with as much character as this property had, was to enhance the original features. Therefore, rather than removing any original features, we thought it was best to restore them where possible.

When we pulled up the carpets in the property, we found the original fireplace hearth in the living room. While a small number of the tiles in the heart were slightly cracked, we thought it still looked great and decided to keep this original feature but with a modern twist. First, we lined the chimney and installed a wood-burning stove, which is always a huge attraction when selling a property.

We were very fortunate with the condition of the original floorboards in the property, so we sanded and lacquered the original flooring for it to be enjoyed for years to come. We think it looks
fantastic!

The cornice throughout the property and ceiling rose in the living room were also in excellent condition, so our decorator worked his magic freshening these up.

Before
After

Old Kitchen to Bedroom Two

Because we were able to put the kitchen into the big box-room off the hallway, this allowed us to remove the old kitchen and add a second bedroom and add significant value to the property.

Before
After

Shower-room

The bathrooms needed some attention but thankfully, no structural changes. We picked a modern yet timeless look for the bathrooms and maximised light in these rooms by fitting LED mirrors and replacing the old patterned glass in the doors with modern frosted glass. In addition, by replacing the glass in the door frames, we could increase natural light in both rooms while keeping the original doors in the property. Once the property went on the open market, we were amazed at how many viewers complemented the bathrooms.

Before
After

If you’d like to find out more about investing with us, check out our investor brochure by clicking the button below.

Download Our Brochure

Lanark Road | Edinburgh

Deal Figures


Purchase Price:
£200,000

Renovation Costs:
£45,000

RICS Valuation Post Refurb:
£325,000

Estimated Profit*:
£70,000

*Cost of finance not factored into profits at this stage, however legal fees and stamp duty deducted before profits estimated.

Lanark Road - Under Offer

Our property at Lanark Road is located in the historic conservation village of Juniper Green, just on the outskirts of Edinburgh. The property is an old farmhouse style property, with the ground floor converted into a commercial property and the two upper floors as a maisonette. The property we purchased covers the first and second floor and is a large three-bedroom, three public room maisonette. 

Stage 1

While at first glance the property appeared relatively well maintained internally, unfortunately the previous owner had neglected many of the larger repairs required to the property. Firstly the property’s roof had been leaking for many years, causing damp and ultimately multiple areas of dry rot. The first job was to overhaul the roof to ensure the property was water tight. Following this we used a reputable rot specialist company to treat the dry rot throughout the property. 

Once these essential repairs were completed, it was time to start on the inside of the property.

Before
After

Stage 2

We involved our architect following the initial external works to see how we could maximise the usability of the space within the property. The property only had one bathroom located in the vestibule area, therefore we converted a dressing room off the master bedroom to a main bathroom. All bathrooms required replacement, as did the dated heating system. The electrics had been updated in places but to ensure the property met our standards for sale (and as a backup plan, for rent), we fully rewired the property. 

Once the bigger jobs of the property were completed, we were on to the more cosmetic renovations we all love to see the before and after pictures of! We replaced the kitchen with a modern shaker kitchen, and fully redecorated throughout in neutral tones. We also pulled out the slightly retro fireplace and replaced it with something more in line with current trends.

Before
After

Stage 3

We’re firm believers in staging properties for sale. Staging a property can turn it from a relatively blank canvas into something eye catching. We fancied trying something different for this project: virtual staging. You may, or may not, be able to tell but the property was staged virtually! We think the computer generated images of the furnishings in the property made an incredible difference to the feel of the property, and really opened our eyes to what the property could look like with the right finishing touches. The property was put on the open market but luckily didn’t stay for sale for long… we accepted a fantastic offer after one week on the market!

Before
After

Coillesdene Drive | Edinburgh

Deal Figures


Purchase Price:
£305,000

Renovation Costs:
£130,000

Estimated End Market Value:
£550,000

Profit:
£115,000

Coillesdene Drive

Our Coillesdene Drive project was a derelict bungalow located in the popular area of Joppa, in east Edinburgh. With views over the Firth of Forth and a stone’s throw from the beach, this property was a rough diamond. The property had been empty for five or more years, and it was evident that even when it was occupied, the owner had neglected many maintenance issues in their property. We could see the potential to turn this property into a show home, with endless possibilities for extensions and internally reconfigurations.

Before
After

Stage 1

Many works were required to bring this property back to liveable condition, but a high level of exterior works was required before we could make a start on the interiors. Firstly the removal of the crumbling garage and boundary wall was essential for safety purposes, followed by weeks of excavation of the back garden. A boundary wall had collapsed into the back garden, leaving mounds of rubble, concrete and a huge amount of overgrown vegetation to be removed. 20 skips or so later, we managed to see the full size of the back garden and get a list of exterior works required together. Some windows were replaced due to a previous break-in, and the roof and gutters required overhauling.

Previous neighbours kindly gave us background information into the property, highlighting drainage or plumbing issues. Due to the nature of the issues, we replaced all plumbing inside the property. After using the facilities for a few weeks, we realised the drainage outside also required investigating. Replacement pipes for all drainage were installed, which required deep excavations at the front of the property.

Before
After

Stage 2

We got to work on a plan for the inside of the property. The property had two bedrooms and three public rooms, therefore we discussed usage of these rooms with our architect and made plans to convert the bungalow to a three-bedroom two public room home. We opened up the living room with the kitchen, providing a large and bright west facing open plan living space. The existing lounge was changed into the master bedroom with built-in storage. The property required rewiring, which took place at the same time as the heating (and plumbing) overhaul. As the property had been empty for many years, the property felt damp and had many areas of mould. We investigated these potentially worrying damp areas and sorted any ongoing issues, which included historic burst pipes due to the cold. We installed a new kitchen, new bathroom and fully redecorated the bungalow (inside and out). 

The landscaping of the garden made an incredible difference to the feel of the property, turning it from a rather dated property into a modern space. The before and after pictures really show the huge transformation of this property, enjoy! 


Bonnington Grove | Edinburgh

Projected Figures


Purchase Price:
£180,000

Renovation Costs:
£39,000

RICS Valuation Post Refurb:

£275,000

Potential profit*

£43,407

Bonnington Grove

Bonnington Grove is a beautiful quiet street located next to Victoria Path, in North Edinburgh. The property has some wonderful original features, including high ceilings and intricate cornice. The property was a large one bedroom property, containing a lounge with a box room off it and a large dining kitchen. We felt the property could be rearranged to form a good-sized two-bedroom property. With a south-facing living room and small garden to the front, the property had a lot of potential for a range of buyers.

Before
After

Stage 1

The property had been neglected for many years, with the previous owner not carrying out any maintenance work for some time. When we purchased the property it had been partially rewired and had a very dated (and dangerous-looking) heating system. A full rewire and heating system upgrade was first on the list of renovation works. 

The box room off the lounge was not quite large enough to have a new kitchen fitted. Therefore we required architects and engineers input to move one of the walls (load-bearing) in the box room to create more space, by taking some space out of the previous large dining kitchen. This created a small but practical kitchen off the living room.

Before
After

Stage 2

By creating a new kitchen, we had two bedrooms to decorate. We relocated the boiler in the property from the existing kitchen into the new walk-in wardrobe in the newly formed bedroom. The property required a new bathroom, new kitchen and full redecoration throughout. We were very pleased with the end result, and hope you enjoy the before and after pictures.

Before
After

Western Terrace | Edinburgh

Deal Figures


Purchase Price:
£370,000

Renovation Costs:
£100,000

Sold Price:
£639,500

Profit:
£169,500

Western Terrace

Western Terrace was a large three bedroom terraced house. The property had some incredible original features, and this was one of the major factors that swayed us during our search for a property to renovate. Bringing this unloved property back to its former glory was our main objective our the renovation works.

Before
After

Stage 1

This property required some major works. The property had some of the worst dry rot seen by the rot specialists, which spanned the four terraced houses on the property. Unfortunately, the previous owner of this property had let the roof fall into disrepair over many years, and as a result, allowed water to ingress and cause extensive rot work. Treating the rot and replacing the roof was first on the list of must-do jobs. Many of the original sash and cash windows were cracked, and sills rotten. These were also replaced urgently once works got underway. Unsurprisingly, the property had extremely dated electrics and heating system, so both of these were replaced before moving on to the more cosmetic side of the renovation.

Before
After

Stage 2

Once the essential works were completed to make this property wind and watertight, we got to work making internal alterations to maximise the space. We opened up the dining room and kitchen to give a wonderful large open plan living space. Off of this room, we turned a dark unused pantry into a light and airy laundry room. A large hall cupboard was converted into a downstairs W/C, always a great addition for when you have guests round. Upstairs remained a similar floor plan, however, we used a large pantry cupboard in the hallway upstairs to convert a Ramsay ladder into the loft into a property staircase. Part of the loft was sectioned off and made into a home office. 

From here, we redecorated the full property including plastering every wall. A new kitchen and new bathroom were installed to add the finishing touches to the property.


The Property Rollercoaster

The Property Rollercoaster

 

Last week’s blog was a swift update on everything going on with Nichol Smith Investments. We’ve managed to catch up on ourselves and thought we’d take a moment to summarise what we like to call ‘The Property Rollercoaster”, which we feel has been going on for a few weeks.

 

The property market where we invest (Edinburgh), and I’m sure true to many UK cities, have been through many changes in recent months. The market got off to a flying start at the beginning of 2020. Properties were coming on the market and attracting a lot of interest. We saw many offers for every property, with practically every property on the market going to closing dates.

 

We’ve gone from a very strong property market to a very variable market. Some properties are still flying off the shelf, and some properties have had no interest whatsoever.

 

In the space of two weeks, we’ve seen dramatic changes.

 

We’ve even experienced properties gaining a lot of interest and notes of interest, and going to closing dates. At the closing date, there are no offers from the interested parties. This is unheard of!

 

We recently picked up a property as all the other interested parties pulled out. We were due to collect the keys tomorrow but the Registers of Scotland (where the title deeds are held and updated) are temporarily closed. Again, this is completely unheard of.

 

We also submitted a very low offer on a property at a closing date. We were notified on Friday that our offer was successful as the other eight parties interested dropped out. We’re delighted with our purchase and can’t wait to get working on it. It’s really a wild roller coaster ride at the moment.

 

As Warren Buffett rightly says “Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful”. It’s in times like this where we really leverage our buying power, as these are the times when wealth is created.

 

Many things in the property world can be out of our control. We like to plan out strategies A, B and C to cover all eventualities. I feel we may only be at the start of this new rollercoaster ride due to the difficulties facing the stock market and the global pandemic.

 

Investing in Property

We make property investing simple for people who want to benefit from high-quality property investments without investing their own time or resources. Our investors can benefit from a passive income on a fixed term, backed by a brick and mortar asset and a team of experienced property investment professionals.

Are you interested in finding out more?

Download our investor brochure by clicking the button below.