The Living Dead: How Smart Property Investment Can Keep You Alive

The Living Dead: How Smart Property Investment Can Keep You Alive

Just been reading the book Whoops!: Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay by John Lanchester which is all about the financial meltdown and the lack of credit available to business and home-buyers.

It has a chapter dealing with ‘zombie banks’ where banks are not killed off but neither are they able to flourish as they are forced to reduce their ratio of capital reserves to lending. They simply exist in a sort of limbo land – the Living Dead. Similarly, the newspapers have been discussing “zombie mortgages” of late, where homeowners cannot refinance but will be in deep trouble when rates rise.

But, there are “zombie landlords” out there as well! One magazine recently reported the case of a landlord who had

One magazine recently reported the case of a landlord who had £4 million worth of buy to let property from which he was making a net income of just £40,000 – presumably, because he was so highly leveraged: not an example of smart property investment! That’s just a 1% return a year.  It’s inevitable that rates will increase at some point in the not too distant future, and when (not if) they go up by just 1%, this ‘zombie’ and thousands like him will be in deep doo doo.

The House Crowd’s Advice for Smart Property Investment:

Focus on high yield properties with moderate leveraging (or, better still, none at all) so you are always in a positive cash flow position and so you can cope with interest rate rises when they come.

If you’d like to learn about the smart property investment model offered by property crowdfunding with The House Crowd, register now (you don’t have to invest straight away!) and find out about the vastly better returns you could be getting by investing the smart way….

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Stepping Up To The Plate: Letting to Local Housing Association Tenants

The House Crowd steps up as many landlords step back from Local Housing Allowance tenancies.

More than half of landlords can no longer afford to rent to tenants on housing benefit, according to a survey by the National Landlords Association (NLA), which we at The House Crowd think is a very worrying statistic.

We’ve known for a while that cuts to local housing allowance were happening. But with 53% of landlords now stating these cuts make it untenable to rent to those on benefits, and almost 69% saying they don’t expect to rent to local housing allowance tenants in the future, what position does this leave these vulnerable people in?

It is times like these when property investment strategies such as our crowdfunding model really come into their own. Not only are we stepping in as local housing allowance landlords, at a time when supply is increasingly limited but demand is high, we are also enabling would-be landlords the opportunity to be part of a property investment group, without the worry that issues such as these can present.

Whilst we know that our model is a great way for investors to make good potential returns in the property market, we are a company that – essentially – is concerned with the social good of our country. Alongside allowing a wider range of people to get a foot on the property ladder through the investment of whatever sum they have available, we are also committed to improving the state of the market for those seeking homes.

We work with SPVs who refurbish old properties to improve the standard of living for the next owner or tenant, and we make it easier for people seeking rental accommodation to find a home they feel comfortable in. By cutting out the banks and mortgage brokers, we are able to open the doors to more opportunities, both for investors and for those looking for a home in this environment of supply/demand catastrophe.

If you like the sound of a more democratised property market in the UK, then why not find out more about investing through property crowdfunding?

You can learn more about the work we do by registering on our website by clicking the purple button below. If you just fancy a browse through the properties we have on offer for investment at the moment, click the blue button!

Register Now for more Info

View our Property Investments

If you have any questions, or just want to chat about property investment and get some advice, then drop us a line. We’re always happy to help out!

Could Crowdfunding unlock the property market for millions? reported this week, the average age of Britons being able to purchase a property is now a staggering 37 years old. The research, carried out by also revealed that a massive 41% don’t intend to buy a home at all “ that’s over 8 million of us.

With the number of mortgage products available to first-time buyers dropping by almost 190 products since this time last year, and the average LTV for FTB’s standing at a whopping 78%, we at www. think something needs to be done to help our younger generations get on the, now aspirational, property ladder.

Property Investment For First-time Buyers

We highlighted in our blog last week the opportunity for first-time buyers to invest in property with us as an effective and profitable alternative to traditional savings products. And as Clare Francis of has found, with 40% of FTB’s stating they will rent until they have saved enough for their deposit, and a hopeful 6% saying they will play the lottery in order to gather that deposit, there has never been a more important time for FTB’s to find the best savings tools on the market.

As a property investment group offering low investment and high returns of at least 6% per annum, we challenge any first time buyer to find a better savings plan than ours!

Big investors encouraged into property industry

Members of the property industry are today urging the Government to encourage property investments by big investors  to support ‘build to rent’ schemes.


The Montague Review is looking at whether there are barriers preventing institutional investment in the private rented sector, on the basis that more rental accommodation is needed than the existing buy-to-let sector could supply.


A response by the British Property Federation, Association of Real Estate Funds and the Investment Property Forum says that big investors could be interested in the sector if there were legal S106 agreements in place, which would ensure that all properties on a development would be rented out for at least 10 years and not sold. It also calls for this type of housing to be recognised in the National Planning Policy Framework, so that local authorities could meet housing need through ‘build to rent’ schemes.


We at www. think this news is fantastic – a great way to entice much needed property investment into the sector, while meeting current housing needs at the same time. While this model focuses on building new properties to meet demand, The House Crowd model concentrates on breathing life back into repossessed or distressed properties. Our model will not only bring old housing back onto the market, it will also give high property investment net yield to our investors; and with our low capital investment of just £1,000, we are even a great savings alternative for first-time buyers trying to gather their deposit!

US Crowdfunding industry launches national association

Excellent news for the status of crowdfunding property investments this month as portals, consultants and service providers of the US crowdfunding industry came together to form the National Crowdfunding Association (NCFA).

Members of this professional organisation are united in the common purposes of promoting crowdfunding in America, educating the public about crowdfunding, establishing best practices for the industry and providing networking opportunities often linked to such associations.

Which got us at www.  – the UK’s first crowdfunding property investments company – thinking about the need for a similar organisation in the UK. Not only would such a body provide a valuable boost to our homegrown entrepreneurs, it would also ensure the UK’s growing crowdfunding industry is supported, educated and protected, while reaffirming its position as an attractive option for budding entrepreneurs.

As a property investments company based on the crowdfunding model, we are great supporters of the crowdfunding movement in the US and hope the same growth is experienced here in the UK.

Do You Need To Be An Olympic Hurdler?

Eying up the hurdles that now face buy to let investments in this current climate  – daunting. You may need to be an Olympic  hurdler to overcome them and invest in property successfully.  The main top five which stop many are as follows:

  1. Deposits are now as much as 25% to – larger cash injection.
  2. Valuations are not meeting sell price – more cash to find.
  3. There are now large fees on arranging a mortgage – more cash.
  4. Standard Variable rates are not in line with the base rate – who is winning here!!
  5. Legal fees and all associated fees – more cash.

Let us take an £85K house that is on the market – and you get it for £80K (well done you may think). Based on a 20% deposit that is £16K to find for the deposit. Now along comes the valuer and he or she reckons that the property is only worth £75k and the mortgage company will only lend you £60K to buy the house – leaving you out of pocket another £5K! The mortgage company says that they have a great rate at 4.99% (4.49 points above the current base rate) and they want to charge £2K for the honour of giving you such a high rate. (who is benefiting there then!) The associated legal fees are a variable but  on these type of buy to let investments you should set aside another £1K. When you get your tenant in, you have the usual expenses of which are obviously a variable – but are time consuming and are by no means hassle free.

You will still need to shell out £24K.

£16K deposit

£5K shortfall due to valuation

£2K for a mortgage arrangement fee

£1K legal fees

Not particularly attractive – a fundamental reason for an alternative option!!!!!

Check our FAQs at The House Crowd


A brave time to become a landlord? It’s easy with The House Crowd

Statistics outlined this week suggest worrying times ahead if you have made a property investment and become a private landlord. It has been reported that the number of tenants in severe financial difficulty climbed by over 10% in the first quarter of 2012, with almost 9,000 more tenants 2 months in arrears than in the last quarter of 2011.


However, it is not all doom and gloom, as despite these increases, tenancies in severe arrears represented less than 3% of all properties in the private rental sector in England and Wales in the first quarter of 2012.


Still, as we all continue to tackle the ever-tightening purse strings, we property investment entrepreneurs at www. are confident that not only can we weather this storm, knowing that our investment is safe from tenancy issues such as these, as we can adapt and actually turn a profit whatever the property market conditions!

Back To Life

At The House Crowd we are opening property investment to the masses; however, in doing so we are also doing our bit to bring properties back to life and make them habitable. We are buying distressed properties and giving them life. This surely has a positive impact on an area. Our method requires investment in order to do this and our transparency in what we do is there for all to see.With this type of alternative investment, we have to raise funds to do what we do and those who contribute to the project will inevitably benefit as they have invested their money. What we offer is an alternative investment that is a  win/win for all concerned. Homes that are left to perish are an unpleasant sight to many and at The House Crowd  will bring properties back to life. Let’s face it the statistics speak for themselves 1.7 million families on housing waiting lists and we have almost 750,000 derelict properties in the UK. The House Crowd via its alternative investment can help in this process we support the Empty Homes Campaign


This Is Money Crowdfunding Article

We were very pleased this week to get an article about us and crowdfunding property investment published on the Daily Mail’s This Is Money website. We were less pleased with the trolls who decided to completely trash what we are trying to do without even bothering to try and understand it. Seems to me these people must have had some pretty bad experiences to end up with such a bitter cynical view of life. Still, on the plus side, we also had a number of very positive emails as a result of the article and several new investor applications. We are now well on our way to making our first crowdfunded property investment and are going to view some potential investment properties this afternoon.

Today’s The Day

Today is the official launch of the world’s first crowdfunding property investment company. (That’s us by the way).

If you haven’t heard of crowdfunding before and want to know more you can read all about it on Wikipedia. We hope you all agree it’s a great idea that can help people achieve much better returns on their savings and do so without giving the leeches “ who’ve just decided to put up their standard variable mortgage rates – any business.

Question:Can someone please tell me what the point of signing an agreement that allows one side (i.e. the banks) to alter the agreed rate payable whenever they feel like it.

Seems somewhat unfair to me.