041: Jane Skynner started buying property at only 21, but progressed through careers in interior design and film production before making investing her full time focus

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Jane Skynner Jane WalkerJane is a highly experienced property developer and landlord with an impressive portfolio of investment properties consisting of both residential and holiday lets.

Despite a very different professional background in design where she started as a fashion buyer before stints in interior design as well as film and video production, her passion for property has always been strong which led to her first purchase at only 21 years old.

It made sense then when she made the decision to move in to property investing on a full-time basis, where she prides herself on her ability to see potential and maximise the revenue per square foot on each of her deals.

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Investing Strategies

Jane’s time is split between a standard buy-to-let portfolio in London that she’s looking to refinance in order to increase her portfolio – specifically ex-local authority properties that she intents to renovate to a high standard and hold for the long term – and continuing to grow her UK holiday let portfolio as well.

Biggest Success

Jane bought a house just as we entered the recession so was able to get £50,000 off the asking price. It was a chalet-bungalow in South-West London on a large plot. She rented out the house straight away to start generating an income whilst she applied for planning to build another house on the land.

Planning was granted so the title was split and building commenced. The problem was that as it was during the recession, finding finance was difficult, but she eventually found a JV partner who helped with the funding.

She did very well from selling on the new house, at which point she removed the tenants from the house next door, renovated that and lived in it for a while before selling that as well and again making a good profit.

Biggest Difficulty

One of the nicest developments Jane’s been responsible for was also one of her most difficult. The property was bought as a 2 bed, 2 bath chalet-bungalow (are you noticing a theme here?) without planning permission, but that was granted after purchase without any major issues, allowing it to be converted into a 4 bed, 3 bath beach house.

The first problem was the weather which resulted in a delay to the build by 3 months. This was followed by a builder who misread the drawings which resulted in a 50% cost increase on the project from day 1. To top it off, the construction industry was starting to take off again following the recession and material costs shot up by 25% over initial estimates.

It took a lot longer and cost a lot more than Jane had planned for, and whilst she still sold it for a profit, it was a lot less than originally expected.

What’s Your Favourite Book?

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Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill

Jane Skynner’s Links & Resources

JaneSkynner.com – Jane’s personal property website with information about her, property case studies, and contact information.
OreganWalker.co.uk – Oregan Walker is the ‘Turn Key’ property investing service that Jane runs with her business partner Keith O’Regan

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