076: Howard Bowes is a highly regarded mortgage broker specialising in helping property investors, as well as investing in his own successful deals to test different strategies.

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Howard Bowes Harvey Bowes Mortgage BrokerHoward is the director of Harvey Bowes Mortgage & Finance Brokers, offering a whole of market service but specialising in mortgages for the self-employed and business owners, as well as arranging and advising on development finance and bridging loans.

He’s the host of the Cardiff Property Investors Network, proving that property and finance are genuine passions of his rather than just a way to make money, and he’s also a very successful investor in his own right.

You’ll most often hear him talking about his investments that required more creative finance, that he did just to prove the method was possible. Not many other brokers can offer that level of advice having personally gone through the scenarios you’re currently trying to navigate.

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Investing Strategies

Howard’s goal with property investing is to find property where he can do a legal but creative finance arrangement on, particularly where there are multiple opportunities to add ‘gain’.

He likes to test the products and strategies he is advising his clients on, rather than focussing on a single type of property deal.

Biggest Success

His current deal is by far the most successful so far. He purchased a block of flats in West Wales, overlooking one of the finest beaches in the region.

The building is on a single freehold, and contains 5 1 bedroom flats (all with terrible layouts). He has converted the basement flat into a 3 bedroom, the ground floor, first floor and second floor from 1 bedrooms to 2 bedrooms, and the loft studio is also being transformed into a 2 bedroom flat, all of which will have at least one en-suite bathroom.

He bought it for £350,000, and he has a RICS report that states it will be worth £875,000 when the work is finished. With a £200,000 spend, it’s clearly got huge profit potential.

Biggest Difficulty

During 2005, Howard bought a property in Dorset for £256,000. He almost walked away from it because he couldn’t get the price under £250,000 to save on stamp duty costs, but he persevered after realising there was still a lot of profit potential in it.

He planned on building 2 bungalows in the garden as his first development project, but it took him almost 2 years to get the application submitted due to having too many other projects on the go, and being over-stretched.

When he finally came to apply for planning permission, he realised they’d changed the borders of an area of Scientific Special Interest, meaning there was no chance he would be able to get planning now.

The original property is rented out, but doesn’t even cover its own costs and is worth less now that what he paid for it.

He learned from this deal not to overstretch himself again, so he can take action on his projects in a timely manner.

What’s Your Favourite Book?

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The Restless Executive: Reclaim Your Values, Love What You Do and Lead with Purpose – Jo Simpson

BGI Strategy on a Page – Deri ap Llewellyn Davies

Howard Bowes’ Links & Resources

HarveyBowes.com – Howard’s company website and the best place to get in touch with him
Linkedin.com/Howard-Bowes – Connect with Howard on LinkedIn
BGI Strategy on a Page – Learn about the tool Howard uses to set his business strategy

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