Buy-to-let investor plans long-term growth

By Debbie Megson, real estate manager at Barclays

Since relocating to Lincolnshire from London in 1999, property investor Tom Regis has built up a healthy portfolio of buy-to-let and commercial buildings. His business model focuses heavily on owning rather than selling.

“My business is buying property, making it better, letting it out and then borrowing against it at a higher value,” said Tom. “You can get the uplift having improved it and demonstrated you can make an income out of it.”

This method allows him to release funds to invest in further opportunities, but one of the keys to success is getting favourable terms on lending. Recently introduced buy-to-let loans at Barclays – offering terms of up to 25 years – are helping Tom to continue to grow his business.

Longer-term lending opportunities
Tom’s most recent arrangement with Barclays relates to a new flat conversion in a building in Caistor, Lincolnshire, which he bought through his company Vantage Prestige Homes. Tom and fellow company director Chris Neate originally bought the property in 2010 and renovated it into five self-contained flats, but a separate solicitors’ firm was also operating in the building.
In August 2017, Vantage was able to buy this space too and convert it into two additional flats. Taking advantage of Barclays’ new lending terms, Tom and Chris have now remortgaged the building with a 10-year fixed term loan, amortising over 25 years.

Tom said: “People want longer-term deals because they think that interest rates may rise. It gives you peace of mind that you’re set fair for the length of the term.”

The loan has allowed the business to pay back the existing mortgage on the building, secure a better rate and – as it is now worth more with seven flats than it was with five – release further funds for new real estate opportunities.

The importance of a good relationship
It hasn’t just been the flexible structure of the loans that have persuaded Tom to borrow with Barclays. Simpler financial management and the strength of his relationship with real estate manager Debbie Magson have been crucial too.

“I bank personally with Barclays but until around 18 months ago my business banking had always been elsewhere,” he said. “But having accounts and mortgages in the same place makes it much easier for me.

“And Debbie is very efficient. She’s always around if I want to talk something through. Debbie understands the market and can give answers very quickly. She has very good judgement of whether something is going to work from the outset.”

It’s this property finance expertise that’s likely to be called upon soon. Tom has already got his sight set on new additions to his portfolio.

He added: “I have other properties I can borrow against, so there is definitely scope to do more in the future. It’s just about finding the right opportunities.”