Recently we stumbled across Future Belfast, a brilliant online independent record and chart of the changing urban landscape within Belfast. We aren’t connected to the project but find it really interesting and you might too!
During our browsing around Future Belfast it got us thinking about how useful a resource this could be to experienced property investors and those wanting to progress further than their current standing.
Property investing is a long and winding road and at some point, depending on where you are in terms of experience, ambition and finances, you may feel that itch to make the bigger leap in your own journey.
As with everything, in property you need to go through the process of learning the basics and managing your numbers in a sensible fashion before you can make that leap but, if you’re ready, we have a few pointers on this subject to consider.
Where to Look
The old property adage “location, location, location” rings true no matter what level you operate at but awareness of the surrounding area and future plans and developments is crucial when you start to move up the food chain.
Making a move into the commercial world, HMOs or even serviced accommodation, amongst other options, could be seriously impacted in a multitude of ways by plans you have zero connection to.
A local example, here in Northern Ireland, is Ulster University’s move from a Jordanstown campus into Belfast city centre. This move includes custom built educational facilities and student accommodation and could prove a positive or negative for property investors in the city centre area. This is a judgement call and just one example of how an awareness of future developments can determine your next move.
This type of information can be found on Future Belfast alongside council sites and links and the same can be said of other areas of the country.
Information to Consider
As property investors know, everything in the area surrounding your property (or properties) is interlinked and related even when that doesn’t appear to be the case from the outside looking in.
Earlier this year we highlighted a few key considerations for first time property investors but for those of you experienced enough to make the next big leap, a greater awareness is necessary and warrants your consideration.
Another local example of this in action would be the proposed Belfast Transport Hub project. This project, currently in the pre-application phase, proposes a massive 1 million square foot Translink transport hub to be built at the Great Victoria Street site by 2020.
This site would obviously result in a massive increase in footfall and accessibility needs in the area and even during the pre-application phase this proposed £175 million development should be a huge consideration for any investor thinking about investing in that side of the city centre and surrounding area.
Using a tool like Future Belfast, or studying and participating in local council development plans in your area will provide you with more knowledge and awareness that can then be applied in your own property investing actions.
Building your property power team should also be another key consideration. If you focus on adding the right personnel (solicitor, JV partner etc.) they will be able to guide you and provide more than just what their title suggests.
Finally, another key tool, often underutilised by solo operators, is networking and we would highly recommend coming to the next Belfast Property Meet. As the largest and longest running property investment event in Northern Ireland you can be sure to talk to those that have been there, done it and got the t-shirt alongside new up and coming investors.
As we said at the beginning, property investing is a long and winding road but there are plenty of signposts out there ready to guide you when you’re ready.