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Four things to consider for successful property development

8 May 2024

The UK property market offers exciting opportunities for independent developers. From transforming tired terraces to crafting innovative mixed-use spaces, there's a niche for everyone. But before you dive into the world of bricks and mortar, careful planning is essential.

Find your niche

Understanding the local market is crucial. What types of properties are in demand? Are there areas with a shortage of student housing, family homes, or office spaces? Tools like local council planning reports and property market data can be invaluable.

Work with the local area to build your reputation. High-quality, sustainable developments that enhance the local environment will improve your standing as a developer.

Don't try to be everything to everyone. Focus on a specific property type you understand well, whether it's conversions, renovations, or new builds.

Property development financing

Securing funding is a major hurdle. Explore options like bank loans, specialist property development and mezzanine finance (as offered by LandlordInvest), or joint ventures with investors. Each option has its pros and cons, so careful research is necessary.

Factor in all costs - purchasing land, planning permission, construction materials, labour, legal fees, and unexpected contingencies. A buffer of 10-15% is recommended to avoid financial strain mid-project.

Also, consider the possibility of obtaining a government or local authority grant for certain qualifying projects. Grants might encourage development in specific areas, or for purposes such as affordable housing, or prioritise renewable energy initiatives. There are various schemes for which your project may be eligible, including the Brownfield, Infrastructure and Land Fund, Affordable Homes Programme, UK Shared Prosperity Fund, and The Boiler Replacement Scheme.

Planning and legal considerations

Assemble a team of skilled professionals. This includes architects, surveyors, builders, and legal advisors. Look for those with experience in your chosen niche and a strong track record.

Having a clear project management plan is essential. This outlines timelines, milestones, budgets, and risk mitigation strategies. Strong communication with your team is key to a smooth development process.

Obtaining planning permission is a crucial step. Familiarise yourself with local planning policies and consult with a planning consultant if needed. Be prepared for potential delays and appeals processes.

Ensure your development adheres to all relevant building regulations regarding safety, accessibility, and energy efficiency. Non-compliance can lead to costly fines and project delays.

Beyond the build

Develop a strong sales strategy to reach your target market. Consider working with a local estate agent or property marketing specialist well in advance of the developmentā€™s completion.

If you plan to exit an existing loan by refinancing, make sure to start the new application process early to avoid penalties for late repayment. If you are concerned about the timescales of refinancing, speak to your existing lender, as you may be able to come to an agreement on a loan extension, and doing so sooner rather than later will demonstrate professionalism.

Advertise or build your professional record to help with marketing. Delivering high-quality projects on time and within budget builds trust with potential buyers and future investors.

Network with other small developers in your area and online. Share experiences, learn from each other's successes and failures, and build valuable connections within the industry.

Our blogs are for information purposes only. This content is not financial, legal or tax advice. Should you require any advice in relation to the earnings you make from LandlordInvest we recommend seeking independent professional advice. Links to other sites are provided for your convenience but LandlordInvest accepts no responsibility or liability for the content of those sites or of any external site. The information in this blog is correct at the time of posting.

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Don't invest unless you're prepared to lose money. This is a high-risk investment. You may not be able to access your money easily and are unlikely to be protected if something goes wrong. Take 2 mins to learn more.

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