Reading provides real potential for Roscommon investors

If you’re thinking about investing abroad, then a number of questions will always be to the fore. What return will I get on my investment? How secure is my investment? What are the planning laws which pertain in the country involved and how secure is the future of the country economically? Lanesborough-based property investment advisor Steve Peters has found that Reading in England has huge potential for investors, in terms of financial reward, security of the investment and ease of investing. Steve moved to Lanesboro a year and a half ago, as his wife’s family, the O’Sullivans are based there. ‘Before that, I spent 19 years as an auctioneer in Reading, 14 of that with my own company. I specialised in investment property for local investors. I moved here last year and wanted to get involved in property and make investments myself.’ After an extensive search for a suitable investment property, Steve found himself back in his native Reading. ‘It gave the best market and the best return for the money and when I made it known to people here, they suggested that I find investment properties for them.’ Why Reading? ‘Reading is booming. There is zero unemployment and it has the busiest railway station outside London. Many major IT companies have located there. It’s 25 miles to Heathrow and 23 minutes on the direct train to Paddington, which leaves every ten minutes. It’s a commuter town for London and the new shopping centre is in the top ten in the UK. Another new centre is now being planned. Reading is 30 miles from Oxford, being on the river Thames and close to London. ‘It’s very beautiful countryside and the town has a leading university, so it’s got a wealth of post graduate students and people tend to rent before buying, so we let property to young professionals.’ ‘It’s easy to buy property, it’s a bit simpler than here and stamp duty is one percent. I have fixed fees, and discounts negotiated with solicitors and surveyors. I go and find well priced property and negotiate on behalf of the client and deal with the legal process from start to finish. I then meet the Irish client and approve the contract with them. Once the property is bought I liaise with the property management firm and suprvise the management and rental.  ‘The clients here just writes a cheque when they’re asked and receives the rent direct into their banks from the UK. Because I live in Lanesboro, I am available to give advice and deal with queries locally and with 19 years’ experience in the business in Reading, I know what streets are good and where people want to rent.’ ‘You can spend anywhere between £130,000 to £200,000 STG and you should be renting for between £600 and £900 STG. That’s €200,000 to €300,000, with a rental income of €900 to €1,200. You don’t furnish the homes, they’re all unfurnished and all the tenants are vigorously referenced, by the bank, the previous landlord and the employer. A large deposit is taken and the tenancy agreements are for 12 months. What has been the response to his business? ‘The response has been fantastic. I started in Longford and have several clients there on their second or third properties. I can also arrange mortgages in Roscommon or in the UK. In an investment only mortage of £130,000, the rent pays the mortgage.’ ‘I sit down with the client and find how much they want to invest and work out within that which property suits. We have some clients who want half a dozen properties and they have no mortgage in 20 years and will have a super income then from their mortgage. I only recommend houses that I would buy myself.’ ‘With the English legal system, when you own it, you own it and there’s no language barrier. I didn’t feel safe investing in Portugal and Bulgaria and having someone with their own agenda. We now have a house here in Lanesboro and we’re here for life, so people know where they stand with me. ‘In the south of England there’s a high turnover of houses, so there’s always a high demand. The population of Reading is 450,000. Sports are very big there. London Irish is based there and the local soccer team Reading FC play in the premiership. Indeed Irish players such as Kevin Doyle and Stephen Hunt play for Reading FC.’ To contact Steve Peters, call (086) 8212732 or email stevepeters@eircom.net . Steve can also be contacted by post at Gurteengar, Ballymahon Road, Lanesboro, Co. Longford.