How to – Convert a property

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How to – Convert a property

Become a property expert today.

If you are planning to make money converting property into flats/housing then acorn.finance are your ideal partner.

Acorn.finance are able to provide funding for a variety of  conversion projects, from a quick cosmetic conversion, to a full conversion of a commercial property into a House of Multiple Occupancy or multiple apartments.

Why convert?

With house prices soaring, especially in hot spots down south, converting properties is becoming more and more attractive. This is a task which can be hugely rewarding, and due to the extent of neglected and underused properties throughout the UK, it is the perfect opportunity to expand your investment portfolio, whilst raising capital.

According to a review by Empty Homes in 2011, over 600,000 homes in England are empty and 200,000 are empty long-term (for more than six months). Many of these are in the North: Over 3% of dwellings are empty and over 1% empty long-term in the North East, North West and Yorkshire and the Humber.

There’s never been a better time to invest in a conversion project – but a clear plan is important and getting the right property is crucial.

Think before you buy

When searching for a property, you must have your finances planned out along with how long the project will take – bearing in mind worst case scenarios. Although you can often buy a derelict property at an auction for next to nothing, conversion costs can go through the roof – so know what you’re getting yourself into.

Firstly, get an idea of the scale of the development, from light refurbishment to building a new property.

Schedule your development and make sure there are no uncertainties. For instance, if you plan to update heating or electrics this needs to be taken into account. Know what you can do and what you need professionals for.

Always know where you are financially to ensure a profit – how much you have to spend and how much you expect to get back.

What to look out for

Research the area – location is everything!

Get an idea of local prices to know what a good deal is. Keep your target market in mind (looking at nearby schools and parks, shops, transport, crime stats, etc). If you are converting a residential property to let out, families with young children might not want to move in on a loud main road, while the success of retail properties hinges on how busy the area is and how visible the shop is.

The better your research, the better your idea of its potential and the safer you are from running into problems further down the line.

You might be looking to renovate and sell immediately for profit aka fix and flip. This is a common strategy, especially when starting out. In this situation, a fast-moving market is ideal, to sell at a decent profit and move on to the next project.

How to finance property development

Funding options include bridging loans, auction loans, and commercial mortgages.

A common option is to use short-term development finance or ‘bridging’ finance for purchase and build costs. If you need a large sum in a short time span, bridging loans are a great option. Bridging loans are generally more expensive than conventional financing such as longer term mortgages due to the additional risk, but they are considerably faster and involve far less paperwork.

Buying at auction

Bridging loans are a great option to finance auction buyers, as auctions usually require cash within 28 days. Auction finance gives you the chance to buy at an auction, and get ahead on the property ladder even if your capital is tied up in existing properties.

If you decide to buy property at auction, you not only need to have done good research but to keep a clear budget and criteria in mind. Be realistic!

You might choose to use short-term loan types (bridging or auction loans) to convert properties into a state where a lender can provide a commercial mortgage.

Commercial mortgages

Commercial mortgages are longer-term and are normally used to purchase commercial property – shops, offices and warehouses.

Securing a commercial mortgage is normally easiest for a stable existing business, but acorn.finance have lenders willing to secure mortgages for startups.

Where big banks won’t finance your project, Acorn.finance can find the perfect lender to get you off the ground. With over 250 lenders, Acorn have access to whatever funding you need to accelerate your project at minimal cost.

We work with anyone and everything: residential, from single plot to estates, and commercial, from small scale projects to large spec developments. Why wait? Contact acorn.finance today on 01904 693700.
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Thanks for joining the acorn.finance refurb club
To help you make more profit from your refurbishment projects I’ll be sending you regular emails detailing some special lending deals, discounts and case studies for completed projects.
If you’d like to know more or have questions about your next project you can contact me on 0800 6 123 127
I look forward to catching up with you soon.

Kind regards
Paul Thompson
Principal – acorn.finance
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