March 17

“Not in my back yard” property investing


There comes a time when people need to stand and be counted, yet often a lot of what seems to come across from the media is talk about how the vunerable in society are being used and that we should all stand against the vultures of capitalism.

A case in point merits further explanation on a place dear to many seasides visitors, Southend.

Apparently developers are moving in on large victorian houses which front the sea, trying to buy them and then converting them into flats or worse still – multiple-occupancy homes. (I clearly say that tongue in cheek as this blog is all about HMO’s and more!).

An MP bemoans a company that leaflet drops targetting these areas (one elderly gentleman threw his in the bin), a local says – why don’t they refurbish the high street and the office blocks that have been left standing – lets have a moratorium on new-buildings.

Alas, I fear that none of these folks in their misguided attempts to do “the right thing” fully understands the meaning of “not in my back yard” and here is where it shall be explained.

Not in my back yard actually stands for:

  • No progress
  • Idiotic decisions based on emotion or money; not fact nor reason
  • Many cooks poking their noses in, getting paid and moving on
  • Bureacratic planning laws impeding progress
  • Yesterday’s property left to rot whilst tomorrow’s property is yet to be dreamt up – at the expense of today’s property being under lock and key.

Everywhere you see it – whether it be a new block of flats, a neighbours garage, a schook, a runway or even a wind-farm.  The people that extoll the “not in my back yard” mantra are the people that are impacting the rest of society – not the other way around.

Harsh words perhaps but lets face the facts.

  • councils approve planning applications based on their own “local” plan.  This is often put together by “professionals” and “amateurs” who have no overall strategic overview over what they are agreeing too.
  • the grants offered to turn empty derelict buildings into modern tenanted buildings are infrequent and often poor.  And even if you do get them, they often come with many onerous terms and conditions which hampers, rather than helps.
  • the focus on a quick buck is always the media angle on this but why would a development company enter into a development that lost them money?  That just wouldn’t be good business sense.
  • the British-way seems to be more and more to be jealous, suspicious or plan envious at anybody who is running a successful business.  Why is that?  If somebody has taken massive action, then all credit to them.

So, lets all look to the future and work together to figure out what needs to be done at a local and national level to turn this once great country of ours, back into the bastion of civilization and respect that it used to be. 

Rather than “opposition” groups, lets have “co-operation” groups; rather than “not in my back yard” groups, lets have “change for the better” groups.


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Should I invest in property?

Should I invest in property?
  • Hi Matthew I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation on Saturday and thanks for stopping to talk to us. There are a few comments/ reviews here:

    Your talk interested me the most of the 5 I attended, because in the new financial environment, mid to high level HMOs seem the best way for me to go.

    Yes I know the attitude you describe above exactly. I had a real battle to obtain planning consent to convert the house I am developing now into 3 flats as a BTS. The neighbours complained bitterly that it would be noisy, unhygienic(!), and dangerous (more cars). The next door neighbour has even told me he thinks I’m immoral for not having considered his feelings!

    The first 2 bed flat is now let and guess what? None of the 3 tenants has a car!

    I can understand the psychology of their resistance as, quite simply, change scares people. But my argument is that if developers stopped developing every time anyone objected, nothing would ever get built! And there is a very well publicised shortage of housing in this country.

    By the way, I did ask to buy the materials you were selling at the event, can you send me contact details so we can go ahead please?

    Richard Greenland

  • Hi Richard

    thank you very much for your comments and keeping this little gem alive and kicking!

    Many thanks also for your compliments and am glad that you enjoyed the seminar. Its always difficult knowing exactly where to pitch it so that you can give enough information to everbody there so they feel that they can walk away knowing a lot more than when they walked in.

    In terms of the NIMBY mentality, its everywhere I’m afraid but if the UK is to meet its housing needs, we MUST develop more brownfield and some greenfield sites to keep up with demand plus bring back into use the 500K+ empty homes in our towns and cities.

    I’ll be in contact later today about the follow-on materials – my apologies, it’s been mad here catching up after the weekend.

  • It usually dedenps on how much you invest. For example, say two of your friend put in $500 each and now you come along and put in, say, $200. In that case, you should get ($200 / $1,200) of the profits, or about 17%.If you also put in $500, then you are all equal parents and you should get 33% of the profits.

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