If I was starting property development now

I had a consultation last week with a lady who was interested in property development.

She was looking to pick my brain on a number of issues on the topic including finance, leverage, the type of property.

I told her that if I was starting out again in property development as a young man and with limited capital, as I did over 30 years ago, I would focus my efforts on the measures which have been introduced to ease the housing restrictions and boarded up commercial premises in good main street locations.

Then this morning I see a report in the Irish Times about one of the schemes to which I referred: the scheme which allows closed up pubs to be converted to residential properties without the need to go through the planning process.

The Irish Times story tells us that more than 50 such pub owners have applied to be converted to residential properties over a ten month period.

This is the type of scheme that I would focus my attentions on if I was getting into property development now. This scheme, along with looking at commercial/retail shop units that have ceased trading in a main street location in a village or town anywhere in the country.

The vast majority of these premises have the benefit of being well located on main streets with good access to whatever public transport is in the area, shops, schools etc.

Property development is about two things:

  1. Capital
  2. Imagination

A bit of imagination is needed to get good returns from the strategy I am suggesting.

But if you don’t have a bit of imagination perhaps property development is not the correct path for you.