122: Lizzie Ridgway – 9 months as a Rent to Rent investor, 9 deals done and many more on the horizon!

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Lizzie RidgwayLizzie spent 15 years working in early education as a teacher and manager, as well as being a mother to 4 boys and 2 step-children. With a background like that, she’s clearly someone who can operate under pressure, so it’s no surprise she absolutely thrived when she made the decision to start her own rent to rent business.

In just 9 months she’s secured 9 rent to rent deals and has another one on the way, which is a massive achievement in itself, but she also loves the freedom property investing has given her, and the ability to return to her passion with this financial security behind her, and focus on improving the standards of early education both within schools and at home.

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Investing Strategies

It goes without saying that Lizzie’s focus is rent to rent, but more specifically she is looking for 4-5 bedroom single-let rental properties that are already on the market. She sources most of her deals through high-street agents, building relationships with them so they think of her first when a large property comes on the market.

Turning these family homes into unlicensed HMOs does take some work, it’s not as simple as signing an agreement with the landlord and throwing in the tenants.

Lizzie has her power team well trained now in diving the houses up with some creative stud work, adding fire doors, hard wired smoke alarms, and transforming the appeal with interior design.

A typical renovation budget for one of these properties is £6,000, so it’s not as capital intensive as buying properties, but still requires some funding to get the houses to a good standard.

Biggest Success

Lizzie’s first project still stands out in her mind as her favourite as it really proved to her that this investing strategy she’d left her job for was actually viable and could give her the freedom she was looking for.

She found a 4 bedroom house to let on rightmove with a few en-suites already in place and a large lounge – ideal HMO conversion territory! Despite initially missing out to a family, that tenant fell through so the agent came back to Lizzie with the opportunity.

She jumped on it despite having a holiday booked for the day she’d be getting the keys! Thankfully she was able to rope in a colleague to help and pulled together an impromptu power team to get the house fully converted and 70% tenanted by the time she her holiday was over.

Biggest Difficulty

In November, Lizzie took on her 3rd deal without even contemplating the impact that different seasons can have on tenant demand.

The run up to Christmas and early into the new year can always be a slow time for rentals, and Lizzie quickly realised this, facing some void periods longer than she was used to.

A big push on advertising and some special offers ensured the rooms did ultimately get tenanted, and the process taught Lizzie to be a bit more cautious about the timings of when she’s taking on new properties.

What’s Your Favourite Book?

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Rich Woman: A Book on Investing for Women – Kim Kiyosaki

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen R Covey

Get Some Headspace: 10 minutes can make the difference – Andy Puddicombe

Lizzie Ridgway’s Links & Resources

HarveyRoe.com – Find out more about Lizzie’s great business
Harvey Roe Facebook Page – Pictures and updates on Lizzie’s latest deals
Take 10 App – Learn to meditate in just 10 minutes a day with the Headspace app
Email Lizzie Ridgway – Got a question or looking for some advice? Get in touch with Liz here.

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