383: 3 years to retire from corporate life – our HMO story

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This week, I’m sharing our story of how we got into property full time – thanks to HMOs. 

During the episode, I share our background before we discovered HMOs, including our corporate jobs, early flips, and our limited single let experience, as well as the progress we’ve made with HMOs – from our first accidental 3 bedroom HMO in 2009 to our first intentional HMO in 2015, and beyond.

I talk about the time required to create career replacing income from HMOs, and tackle the question of funding. I share our own experiences with different finance options, including using our own money, taking on debt, and working with joint venture partners.

Our HMO Timeline

  • Our First HMO – ‘accidental’ 3 bedroom flat – September 2009
  • Our First intentional HMO – May 2015
    • Residential house – 2 bed semi-detached to 6 bed HMO
    • Income – £1,200/month
  • Our First large HMO – August 2017
    • Commercial to residential conversion
    • Planning refused for 12 bedroom conversion; resubmitted and accepted with 9 bedrooms
    • Income – £2k/month

When We Quit 

  • I (Mike) quit first, without any significant property income – Victoria stayed behind to keep us mortgageable, but we knew we could get to our goals quicker with one of us full time, and we didn’t have any major responsibilities (financial or otherwise). This was very fortunate, and now I’m less keen to advise walking away from the day job unless this early unless you really need to.
  • Victoria left in 2017 – we’d replaced her income and had a couple years of accounts running the property business to help with future mortgage applications.
  • In total, it was about 3 years from the decision being made, to us both being out of the corporate world
leaving cake

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