Betting on 3 things to make a good property investment

Renovating a run down 1930s three bed end terrace property has involved a large stake from me, my time, effort and money. How did I improve my odds of success? Three things where attractive about the property, location, land and condition.

Location. A cul de sac location was chosen because kids can ride bikes and play without busy traffic. Also traffic noise is not a problem. A Location within the inner bus zone for the city had merit because fares are cheaper and commuting times are reduced. Being 20 minutes away from the central business district would serve commuters well.

Located close to a cycle path that was converted from a disused railway line by the Sustrans Cycling charity it provides another option for getting to the city centre or travelling out of town for leisure.

Lastly there is a large well managed park nearby which is excellent for children and people looking to enjoy open space, trees, tennis, skateboarding and more.

Schools and nurseries within walking distance where also a consideration.

These are not an exhaustive list of attributes that make a good investment in property, but, should help with forming your own list depending on personal circumstances.

Land: Potential for 3 cars at the front of the property. Space to the side of the property and a large garden. Giving potential for future development of this land.

Condition: outside the property existed potential to make relatively simple changes to add value. Inappropriate masonry had been used making a boundary wall and flower beds at the front of the property consisting of a design where rectangles where laid at right angles to one another. The garden was laid to lawn with a wild part at the end which had drainage problems.

The Brief

As an amateur property renovator I decided to set myself a brief which used the following factors to guide my thought process. Unfortunately my creative inclinations where severely clipped by one overriding consideration. Let’s keep it real, it was cost. Second most important was to reduce the waste produced where possible and to reuse as many materials as possible working with the existing design to the outside and inside of the property. The remainder of this post will focus on one element of the property renovation.

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Black ash mortar for repointing a 1930s property

Renovating a 1930s terraced property in the UK has been a big gamble. One of a long list of jobs was to lay paving to the front of the property. Whilst preparing it became obvious that new pointing was required below the damp proof course.

Black ash mortar was used in the construction of 1930s properties in the UK. Crumbling black mortar can be seen in the mortar joints to the front of the property.

How can you tell if you have black ash mortar?

It’s black and softer than cement mortars. Modern bricks are likely fired at higher temperatures making them harder allowing harder mortars to be used in modern buildings. Whereas older properties benefit from less dense and more flexible mortars. If Black Ash mortar is disturbed by using an angle grinder or mechanical action like scraping and gets in the air is smells and tastes like ash.

Due to the colour and chemical composition black ash mortar is not compatible with cement based mortars. Cement mortars will not look very good and weather more quickly.

black ash mortar
Black ash mortar

A throw back to the United Kingdom’s industrial past from Victorian times to the late 1920’s and early 1930’s black ask was taken from collieries and added to mortar. Utilising a by product of industry by using it in construction solved a problem and was cost efficient. A good solution to the problem of getting cheap building materials when the country didn’t have a supply chain of commercial cement available. Furnace ash was commonly used in black ash mortar and ash lime mortars.

Portland cement was being developed at the same time but wide spread commercial use had not been initiated, probably due to the high barriers to entry for manufacturers, and was only used in ad hoc projects. One of the first uses of Portland cement was Eddystone Lighthouse. John Smeaton, the engineer, experimented with traditional methods of creating mortar.

Without sending a sample of my house mortar for testing it’s difficult to know if it is a cement, sand, black ash mortar or a lime, sand, and black ash mortar mix. Based on reports of other 1930’s properties I suspect it’s a lime, black ash and sand mix.

Black ash mortars have attracted some criticism because the ash used often produces weak sulfuric acid. Speeding up the corrosion of ferrous metals often used as wall ties for cavity walls.

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Betting on a house rennovation

Not your typical bet or at least not one that most people think of when it comes to betting. During a cold December in 2012 my partner and me decided to buy a new house. It was the worst house we could find in the nicest street. Close to a park, a cycle path into the city centre and in a cul de sac. Later it’s been great watching the kids play with others in the street without worry about through traffic.

At the time this was a big gamble due to job insecurity (well that’s not something that’s gone away!) which was a concern at the time.

Walking around the house I noticed that it was going to need a lot of work, it was going to be a tough job, time consuming, but it had real potential. Boy did I under estimate the time involved.

Why was this the right bet to make? I didn’t exactly have employers chasing me for a promotion at the time and it dawned on me my career aspirations where not panning out as hoped.

Knowing a bit about financial history the timing seemed right. A good investment for the money. Knowing that we are living through a period of monetary inflation I realised that land prices is where a lot of that money is going to end up. Living on a Island like the United Kingdom land for housing is always going to be in short supply with high demand.

Immigration has been a primary driver of UK housing demand and has helped with some of the countries demographic issues. Government policies have also encouraged demand for housing, including low mortgage rates and bouancy in monetary conditions.

As it happens, as currency units have been created the value of my land and house have gone up, much more so than I could have hoped for from wage inflation.

Unfortunate consequences of my decision to bet on rennovating a hosue are that my business opportunities seem to have suffered as a result, I won’t go into the details, but, anyone making a bet on rennovating real estate should consider this. Perhaps keep it under raps in some way especially if have clawed your way out of being part of the proletariat.

Let’s Comapare blog has created a new section for betting on housing with a special tilt towards housing rennovation. Speaking from experience topics discussed are intended to give you information which will prove to be indispensible. Helping readers save time, money, and grey hairs.

What if you are reading this and thinking; I don’t have a house, I am part of the proletariat and therefore I don’t have any money for a deposit, and I am at the behest of my employers. Furthermore, house prices are so high I can’t hope to be able to buy a property.

Your answer should be work hard, save some, save some more, make yourself useful to your employers, and wait for a good buying opportunity. Waiting for a good buying opportunity for your primary residence can be a curse because good buying opportunities don’t come round very often. If you are young you have an advantage over older folk. Older folk should do the descent thing and do a good deed for the day and whisper into the year of someone young that they should buy a property to live in as soon as possible. Canny buyers should wait for a good opportunity to buy therefore reaping the rewards of capital growth.

Watch this space.

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Rugby World Cup 2019 where can I watch the games?

Expect some thrilling competitive internation sport over the next 6 weeks.  Japan take over as hosts from England who hosted the 2015 World Cup.   Although the tournament is international (the first truely international Rugby League tournament) it’s the first time the World Cup has headed to Asia. New Zealand are the current holders of the Webb Ellis Cup.

Played in two stages; a pool stage and Knockout stage.  Twelve of the available twenty positions are filled automatically by teams who finished thrid or better in the pool stages of the previous tournament. A region based qualification system is applied to the remaining eight places with the final place awarded to the winners of an international play-off.  Namibia, United States of America, Russia, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, and Uruguay enter the tournament from existing regoinal competitions.  Canada play as winners of the Repechage final tournament.

England face Argentina and France in pool C, meaning that either England, Argentina or France will be going home before getting to the knockout stages.  Matches regularly received an audience of up to 11.5 Million in 2015.  Expect nothing less for these crucial pool C matches for England.

Where are games getting broadcasted?

Both the Japan 2019 and France 2023 World Cup tournaments are being aired on ITV.

Rugby World Cup 2019 groups

Pool A

Ireland; Scotland; Japan; Russia; Samoa

Pool B

New Zealand; South Africa; Italy; Namibia; Canada

Pool C

England; France; Argentina; USA; Tonga

Pool D

Australia; Wales; Georgia; Fiji; Uruguay

These twenty teams will fight their way through these four pools with the top two going forward into the knockout stages (Quarter, Semi finals and a final).

Most matches are being shown on ITV with 10 being shown on ITV 4.

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Members asked and they listened. Profit accumulator have given Acca Catcher and Matcher Catcher to platinum members for free

When I was first told about Profit Accumulator it struck me as being a easy way to get into matched betting. Profit Accumulator provides members with all the information they need to get a nice income from collecting bookmaker promotional offers. Our original review of Profit Accumulator can be found here.

As a member you will be given all the information you need to collect your free bet offers. What we liked about the service is that they teach you how to do it, and tell you which bookmakers to use and what offers are best. Having done this personally I got frustrated with the amount of time taken reading all the terms and conditions that accompanied the betting offers. Find events to bet which where covered by the promotional offers which had close odds available to lay on Betfair is also labour intensive. Put simply, it’s sooo boring. Anyone who hasn’t learned about his should take a look at the original review.

So what’s new at Profit Accumulator

Profit Accumulator got some software engineers on the case to develop web apps to help members make life a little easier. The problems was that these apps where available only to Platinum Plus members at an additional cost of £9.99. After listening to feedback from members both Acca Catcher and Match Catcher web apps are given to Platimum members at no extra cost. Great news and worthy of a post here.

What is Acca Catcher and Match Catcher

Acca Catcher and Match Catcher are apps that run in your web browser available from the Profit Accumulator service, which compliment the service. Problems experienced by existing members include having the odds of certain bets changing quickly even before they’d got their bets on. Creating a delay and decreasing profit.

When a betting trade has been identified between the bookmaker using the free bet offer and the betting exchange (normally Betfair) members still have to use the calculator provided to work out what stakes to use.

Members who decided to find their own events to bet on soon found out how time consuming it can be find the event, and how difficult it is to get the best odds before they move.

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