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Development Finance

funding-property-development.

How to Refinance a Property Development Project to Avoid Fees

By Blog, Development Finance

There are a variety of things that can end up not going to plan when it comes to a property development project, even if you have planned the project well and manage things accordingly. For example, common issues that can cause construction site delays can be things such as extremely bad weather (for example, torrential rain) making it difficult for work to continue, an important supplier failing to deliver, or overbooked construction teams.

Unfortunately, these delays can lead to you incurring penalty fees if you have taken out development finance in order to fund the project. However, you  could look at development exit finance to help you avoid potential charges. Wondering how it could help you? We take a closer look.

Should you consider refinancing your development project?

Before going ahead and making the final decision as to whether or not you should refinance your build, you should carefully consider the options available to you.

For example, what are the terms and conditions of your current project, and would you have to pay additional fees for deciding to refinance that could outweigh any advantages when it comes to changing?

What’s more, is there room for contingencies: a general rule of thumb is to consider nine months into the project as the benchmark for potentially considering refinancing as an option (if you have taken out a 12-month development finance loan).

At this stage, it would be expected you were confident you were going to meet the exit deadline promptly, with most work having already been carried out by this point. If you are not confident that this will be the case, this would be when most developers would look at refinancing options available to them. 

Extending the borrowing term

In the majority of cases, property developers who decide to get development finance will have the term of this funding limited to just 12 months. This can make it very difficult timetable wise, should something go wrong with construction, or completing on sales.

This is why it is worth making sure you have arranged your development finance for the longest possible term either by doing it yourself or through an experienced broker. Furthermore, you should also find a provider who will not charge you fees for early repayment, in the event that you complete the project earlier than anticipated.

Reducing the cost of development finance

Exit finance rates can be cheaper than other kinds of development funding, meaning you can potentially save a considerable amount of money on the cost of lending if you are carrying out a construction project. In addition, interest that is accrued on exit finance is retained, which means that you can put all available capital on completing the construction project

Using refinancing to fund your next project

Not only can refinancing your development project reduce penalty fees should your project has delays, but it can also be useful for property developers looking to get their next project started, as refinancing can help fund this.

Many developers who are looking for cost-efficient ways to fund their project use refinancing in order to have site acquisition, design as well as planning all underway whilst currently finishing off a project. This means when the current project is finished, a property developer can immediately get started with the next construction build.

How to Finance Your First Property Development

By Development Finance, Lending, Uncategorized

Getting started on your very first property development project is most likely an exciting but also slightly daunting prospect, especially with so many potential options available in terms of funding. To make the decision process a little easier, we’ve broken down the main ways in which you can finance your foray into the property development sector.

Buy-to-let mortgages

If you intend to buy a single property and renovate it with the intention of then renting it out to a tenant for a number of years, it could be well worth your time investigating if a buy-to-let mortgage would be worth considering.

What makes a buy-to-let mortgage is different from a residential one? In many respects, they are similar: you will have certain eligibility criteria you will need to meet in order to qualify for this kind of mortgage. For example, a certain level of income will usually be necessary as this will determine the amount of capital you can borrow from a lender. Buy-to-let mortgages are also limited to one single property too.

The fact that most buy-to-let mortgages are limited to one property means that it is likely you will need to look for funding elsewhere in addition to the mortgage if you would like to expand your portfolio further than one property, or develop a number of properties at once.

Auction finance

Another viable option to getting finance for your very first property development is auction financing. Property auctions are usually considerably more affordable than if these very same buildings were listed in the traditional way, but the caveat is that they often require a lot of work to be carried out on them before being able to sell them on.

Whilst houses at auction tend to be cheaper, you will need to have all the money available to purchase it outright within a month of the auction ending (and your bid was successful). This can pose a problem for some property developers, who may not necessarily have access to all the finance upfront, but at the same time do not want to miss out completely on the possibility of the perfect property to develop.

Auction financing helps to solve this problem, as it a short-term bridging loan that can be arranged very quickly and helps property developers that cover the cost of the building until funds become available at a later point. It can also be agreed in principle before the auction.

Development finance and bridging loans

One of the most popular funding options for property developers tends to be property development finance and bridging loans. But how do these financing options work? This type of short-term funding can help with not only the purchase of a building but also help with the cost of renovating it too. It can be arranged quickly, and funds can be released to you within a very short period of time (within 4 weeks), meaning that it gives developers a great deal of flexibility when it comes to getting access to finance

For more information about development finance and how Magnet Capital can help, contact our team directly.

Commercial mortgages

Are you or your company looking to expand primarily into the commercial property sector? Then a commercial mortgage may be your best bet instead. However, it is important that you keep in mind that this kind of funding will be limited to commercial properties only: for example warehouses, offices, and shops. In all other respects, it works very similar to a residential mortgage, which also means that if you are looking to develop residential properties or need additional funding then a commercial mortgage may not necessarily be the best option for you.

getting-most-out-of-land-sale

How To Get The Most Out of a Land Sale

By Blog, Development Finance

Getting the most out of a land sale

With the housing crisis affecting people nationwide, it has had a knock-on effect on agricultural land by inflating its value, and it is thought that it will continue to increase further if the government follows through with its promise to build and provide over 300,000 new properties each year.

When it comes to privately owned agricultural land is estimated to be worth approximately £20,000 per hectare on average in the UK. However, this could rise to as much as £2 million per net developable hectare if planning permission has been gained for housebuilding in certain areas across the country.

Consequently, the potential to capitalise on land profit is encouraging many individuals to look at getting planning permission for land assets to then sell on to house builders. However, there are some important aspects to take into account that can affect a land sale, as well as the process of selling and tax implications too.

Things to consider when selling land

  • Land assemblies: most landowners often pool their assets into what is otherwise known as a ‘land assembly’ to make it more profitable to sell land. This is because individually, small amounts of land will not be as lucrative for property developers, who are generally less interested in small sections of land.
  • The time and cost involved: it is worth remembering that it can take some time to get planning permission alongside selling land as there are many different stages that can be involved. On average, this could take 18 months but can take years: the larger the site, the longer it will take.

The process of selling land

It is typically a three-step process when it comes to getting planning permission and selling land to a property developer. This works as follows in most cases:

  • The Local Plan: prior to getting planning permission, you will need to make sure that your land has formed part of the council in your area’s Local Plan: which means the document that refers to your local area’s housing strategy. It may take some time before this is achieved.
  • The application: as soon as you’ve managed to get the land included in the Local Planning you can get planning permission.  To apply, you will need to draw up a housing development scheme, which the land promoter can do on your behalf. This scheme is then put to public consultation.
  • Sale: if the public consultation goes well land your planning permission has been granted the land agent and land promoter can broker the sale of your land.

Tax implications of a land sale

There will be implications with regard to liability on your sale proceeds as well as inheritance tax applications. The exact tax implications will be depending on the type of land being as well as how you intend to sell it.

Main residence land sale: if it part of your main, long-term residence it can qualify for Principal Private Residence Relief (PPR) this will exempt you from paying capital gains tax (CGT) at 28%.

Land assemblies land sale: the tax implications if selling as part of a land assembly can vary, therefore always seek specialist advice for further details.

Separate land from main residence: this will incur income tax up to 45% in total, or capital gains tax at 20%. The tax you will need to pay will depend on the intention when acquiring the land – for example, whether it was a family asset or a long-term investment.

ground-rent

What is Ground Rent?

By Blog, Development Finance

Ground rent explained

The ground rent is the monthly fee that a homeowner pays to the holder of the leasehold property. So if the property you are living in has a leasehold, you can expect to pay a ground rent every month for essentially living on that land.

This is different to if you are freehold, because them you essentially own the land. But you are required to pay ground rent even if you have a mortgage and own the property.

How much ground rent will I need to pay?

The exact amount you need to pay will be specified in your lease, but you can expect this to be around £370 per year. In the majority of cases, ground rent is an amount of money paid either in one instalment or can be asked for on a quarterly or half-yearly basis.

If there is more than one leaseholder, then regardless of whether or not they own the property as tenants in common or joint tenants, every leaseholder has the responsibility to pay the ground rent.

Any details regarding your responsibilities to your freeholders, such as ground rent or other potential liabilities are detailed in the lease. To make sure you are fully aware of the responsibilities you have and to avoid problems at a later date, it is important that you make sure you have the asked a leasehold qualified solicitor to look over the lease before moving in.

How can I avoid ground rent increases?

Making sure you have taken on a qualified solicitor is one way to avoid the potential increase, or at least be aware of them and factor them into consideration when purchasing a house, as many buyers can get caught out, being unaware that it is possible for ground rent to potentially double every few years. This has become very hot in the media recently.

It is vitally important that you know about ground rent increases before trying to purchase a property or trying to gain access to development finance, as it could impact your ability to get a mortgage or other kinds of funding.

What is meant by fixed or escalating ground rent?

There are two different types of ground rent, and these are known as fixed and escalating.

Fixed means that the amount you will be required to pay will not change for the duration of the lease, whilst escalating ground rents mean it will increase over the course of the lease. Whether the ground rent is fixed or escalating will be confirmed in the lease.

What is a ground rent review?

A ground rent review is when the freeholder is looking to increase the ground rent. If a ground rent review is requested, then it mostly works in the way mentioned below:

  • The freeholder informs the tenant that they would like to increase the ground rent, whilst stating what they want this rent to be. It is necessary for the lease to designate how long before the new rent will then become payable if the notice is served (for example 6 months or 12 months).
  • The leaseholder can either agree to new rent or suggest a different offer.
  • If the leaseholder and freeholder fail to make an agreement it will usually be passed onto an arbitrator that has been appointed by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

When is the ground rent paid?

Unless it has otherwise been stated in your lease, this is usually paid at the end of the year or bi-annually.

What happens if you do not pay the ground rent?

There are two scenarios that may result in you not paying the ground rent. This is either because you cannot afford to pay the rent, or you have not been asked by the freeholder of the property to pay the ground rent.

lease-ground-rent

If you cannot afford to pay ground rent and the freeholder demands it, it is possible for them to take legal action to settle the cost.

What do I do if the freeholder has not asked for the ground rent?

Unless your freeholder asks for the ground rent, it is not required for you to reach out and pay. This is because any demand for ground rent by the managing agent or freeholder needs to provide notice. This will need to include:

  • The duration that the ground rent demand covers
  • The name of leaseholder
  • The name of freeholder and address
  • Amount of ground rent required for a period
  • Name of the managing agent if applicable
  • When payment is required

Is it possible to reduce your ground rent?

Yes, there are two ways to decrease the amount of ground rent you pay. You can either extend the lease under the formal process or by collective enfranchisement.

money-saving-property-development

How to save money when developing a property

By Blog, Development Finance

There are many different ways that you could save money when developing a property, each one contributing to the overall cost-efficiency of the project. The development of a property of any scale is always still a considerably large undertaking, that can have a significant impact on your finances.

Therefore, whilst saving money in different areas can help with the overall cost, it is still vital to ensure you have more than enough financial security to go through with a project. Through this piece, we will be exploring some effective ways that can help to save you money whilst developing a property.

At Magnet Capital, we aim to help you get the best value for money when developing a property. In addition to offering development finance, we will be able to provide professional advice including ways to manage your costs and cash flow as effectively as possible.

Saving money when developing a property

One of the main areas of this process that you can save money on is through the building of the property. By trying to cut back where you can through the property’s physical development, you can save considerable chunks of money. Below is a list of some of the main areas to the building process you can save money through:

  • Contractors
  • DIY
  • Reuse salvageable materials
  • Sourcing your own materials

These four areas are vital stages to developing a property, and can collectively contribute a sizeable amount to the costs of this developmental process. By knowing where and how to save on these vital areas of construction, you could save a considerable amount of money on the development of a property as a whole.

Contractors

A contractor is someone who helps in this development by providing the building equipment, materials, and workers needed to construct a property. As a contractor controls many of the major aspects that go into this physical development of the property, it is important to pick one who not only understands your budget, but will also help you to make the most out of your money.

contractors

It is always good to compare different contractors, helping you to get someone who meets your required standards, understands both your budget and your vision for the property, whilst also working for a great price.

DIY

Whilst contractors are there to help you build up your property, by picking and choosing various tasks to construct yourself, you could help to shave off hundreds, and even thousands of pounds from the overall cost of development. Although this can be quite a long and tedious process, by doing a sizeable portion of the handy work yourself, you can help to save money when developing your property.

diy

Whilst this is a great and effective way to save money, it’s worth mentioning that DIY should only be done when you have full confidence in your abilities for each task. Ensure that all projects done around the property that are DIY are done effectively and with the greatest of care.

Reuse salvageable materials

Some materials your contractor will have to order in, however, when developing a property on land that already has building structures on it, it may be good to inspect these structures and see if any of the materials are salvageable for reuse. This can help to cut the cost down of the amount of materials ordered in for the development of your property, and therefore the overall cost of the property’s development.

Sourcing your own materials

Whilst the contractors will, in some circumstances, know where to get you the best materials for the best prices, doing some digging yourself is only going to improve the cost-efficiency of the project. By helping the contractor to look around on the best deals on all materials and features to the property, you can help to improve the cost-efficiency of your property’s development.

See also, typical costs when developing a property.

being-a-good-landlord

How to be a good landlord

By Blog, Development Finance

Tips for being a good landlord

If you are renting out a property that you own to people, it should be one of your top priorities to make sure that you are keeping your tenants happy. This is important for a number of reasons. Why? If you keep those who are living in your property satisfied, you can increase tenant retention, reducing the need for you to spend time as well as money finding new tenants to replace the existing ones. Furthermore, being a good landlord also creates mutual respect, increasing the likelihood of your building being kept in good condition.

But how exactly do you keep your tenants happy? As property development finance specialists, we have a lot of experience in this field, so we have created this guide to talk you through the main things you should keep in mind when renting out a property to people.

Give tenants space

One thing that no tenant likes is to feel as if they are being hassled by their landlord. Do not attempt to try and become their friend or neighbour by regularly visiting unannounced to the property. Not only is this likely to annoy your tenants, but it will also leave them feeling on edge. In addition, it is illegal to turn up as a landlord to a rented property unannounced, without providing 24 hours notice beforehand.

Maintain the property

One of the best ways of being a good landlord is to make sure that things that need to be fixed in the house you rent are quickly dealt with, and properly. Making sure that you regularly maintain the property is a surefire way to keep your tenants happy.

Put safety first

If you are a landlord, you are legally obliged to make sure that the property you rent out adheres to health and safety standards. This means making sure that all electrical and gas equipment has been safely installed and checked on an annual basis by a registered engineer.

Furthermore, you should ensure that there are fire alarms and carbon monoxide alarms fitted in the house, and make sure that batteries are regularly replaced.

Not only does this make you a good landlord, but it also helps you too: if you do not comply with health and safety regulations, you run the risk of not only putting your tenants at danger but also invalidating your landlord insurance entirely.

Make sure your tenant’s deposit is protected

Another legal obligation that you have as a landlord is that you need to keep your tenants’ deposit in an approved deposit scheme so that both you and the tenant are fully protected.

If you fail to choose one of the three main approved deposit schemes in the UK,  then you could face severe financial consequences: you could end up having to face legal proceedings, as well as a potential fine which is the equivalent of three times the amount of the deposit in question.

Don’t do things cheaply

If you have great tenants and want to keep them, don’t try to cut corners by refusing to do things such as upgrade necessary appliances or refusing to repaint when it is needed.  If you fail to reasonably maintain the property for the good tenants you have already, then its worth remembering this work will still be needed to be carried out when you need to replace them.

Think carefully about raising the rent

Another thing you should think very carefully about is increasing the rent, as you could run the risk of your tenants upping sticks and leaving completely. It is worth remembering that change-overs can be considerably expensive if they do decide to leave when you think about the cost and the inconvenience of arranging new tenancy agreements, viewings and credit checks.

Be easily contactable

There is nothing worse for many tenants of finding it almost impossible to contact their landlords when they need to, therefore, making sure you give them your mobile number and an email address so that your tenants can contact you if required. It is worth noting that tenants are only likely to contact you in an emergency only.

Do an inventory

Whilst writing up an inventory can take a long time, it is absolutely worth doing it if you want to be a good landlord. This is because it provides you with details of the contents and condition of the property on the day the tenants move in, meaning that in the event that there are disagreements regarding damage during the tenancy, you have evidence to fall back on. You should make sure that the inventory is as thorough as possible.

See also Gov.uk for more information being a landlord.

funding-property-development.

A Guide: What are the alternatives to mortgages?

By Blog, Development Finance, Lending

Are you looking to buy a home and get on the property ladder? Or alternatively, are you a property developer looking to purchase a building in order to renovate and sell on? You might be immediately considering to get a mortgage in order to buy a property, but did you know that there are other options available to you too? We take a look at some of the most popular alternatives to traditional mortgages.

Cash buyers

A cash buyer refers to someone who has the cash available upfront in order to purchase a property without needing to get a mortgage. It is possible that this can be done on an individual basis, or by a firm. Choosing a cash buyer in order to finance your mortgage can have a number of benefits, including helping to make the house sale process quicker, and it is also possible that it can help prevent a chain-forming beyond the purchaser.

Cash buyers are commonly homeowners who have already sold their home or simply have a lot of disposable money available and do not need a mortgage.

If you decide to use a cash buyer instead of getting a mortgage, you will typically be given a cash offer after a formal valuation of the chosen property. If you accept the offer, it is possible to complete the sale then within a timeframe that best suits your needs.

Development finance

Another option available to you is development finance when purchasing property, especially if you are a property developer. This type of finance is primarily aimed at those who intend to renovate, build up or extend a new property from a plot of land.

One of the main reasons why development finance best suits buyers who intend to develop a property is that the loan values are broken down into construction costs and for also purchasing the land too.

All funds are provided to you in stages during the construction project after a valuation from a surveyor. As a result, this type of property finance can help you to budget carefully during the project, maintain positive cash flow and ultimately avoid overspending.

Bridging loans

Bridging loans are aimed at those who are looking to complete properties on a fairly strict deadline. This includes buyers who are intending to complete on an apartment or building within a 2-to-4 week period.

One of the main reasons that bridging loans are so popular as an alternative form of property finance is that the loan can be sorted out far quicker than is standard with a traditional mortgage, which can take months to go through.

Types of buyers that commonly use bridging loans to buy property including homeowners intend to move but have yet to sell their existing property, those looking to raise finance for business purposes or investments, and homebuyers who have bought a property at auction. Your security is at risk so if you do not keep up with repayments, your property is at risk of repossession from the lender.

Help-to-Buy equity loan

Help to Buy equity loans are also a viable alternative to standard mortgages. This government loan is available in England and Wales and helps people to put down a deposit for a house at a quicker rate, and it is low in interest.

alternatives-mortgages

Mortgages are not the only form of funding available to purchase property.

In terms of eligibility criteria, the house you intend to buy will need to be a new build registered with the Help to Buy Scheme. The purchase price can be up to £600,000 in England or £300,000 in Wales, and it can be the only property that you own.

It is also worth keeping in mind that you will need a 5% deposit in the first place, with the Help to Buy loan then lending to you an additional 20% (or 40% in London) and additional funding will be needed through other forms of finance.

This is designed to help first time buyers or those looking for assistance when getting on the property ladder.

Shared Ownership

In the UK, it is also possible for you to buy a home via the shared ownership scheme, and it is also possible to do this with a housing association or council property.

The scheme enables you to buy between 25% and 75% share of a leasehold property, and then you pay off the remainder as rent. To be able to apply for shared ownership, you need to earn less than £80,000 a year, and fall into one of the following categories:

  • You are a first-time buyer
  • You are an existing shared owner
  • You used to own a home, but it is no longer possible for you to purchase one as you can’t afford to.