Case Studies

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Investor Case Studies

Simon Matthias-Kraus

Industrial Sensor Product Manager

Tell us about yourself
I'm 32 years old and I’ve been living in Switzerland for the past 5 years. I grew up in Germany and studied mechanical engineering at University. I landed a job in Switzerland and moved there shortly after and I’m now working as an industrial sensor product manager. I have a girlfriend who currently lives in Spain and works in a startup business.
How did you first hear about The House Crowd?
I’ve been investing in P2P loans for over 10 years now and I’ve always looked to diversify my investments as much as I can. I heard about The House Crowd in various investment forums and shortly after I soon began to invest into my first P2P projects.
What are your reasons for Investing?
From the beginning my goal was to create a passive income for myself and be able to retire well before I reached the age of 60. By investing in P2P loans and The House Crowd I saw an opportunity to make this happen.
Why did you choose The House Crowd?
I started investing in The House Crowd in order to diversify my investments across both the stock market and P2P platforms. The main reasons why I prefer The House Crowd to other platforms are; The open communication they have with investors; The long-term experience that I have on their platform, and the fact that they are true property investing professionals who enable the crowd to benefit from their years of experience.
Have you invested in other P2P providers?
Yes, I’ve invested in many. I started in 2009 on Smava (a Germany-based platform) and then I moved on to Bondora, Mintos, Twino, Grupeer, Estateguru, Propertymoose and many more!
How do you feel about investing since Brexit and the overwhelming general election win by the conservative party?
To be honest it did not affect my feelings toward investing. I believe in the long-term potential of crowdfunded investments. Short-term political turbulences like Brexit change nothing for me.
How many projects have you invested in to-date?
The first project I invested in was in May 2016 and I have invested in 9 different projects since then.
What has been your mix of investments?
I've always chosen self-select projects.
Have you invested in any of our tax-free products?
Tax-free products don’t work for me as I’m a non-UK resident.
Anything else you’d like to add about your experience with The House Crowd?
I'm a huge fan of crowdfunded investing and I would recommend it to everyone. It’s a great addition to stocks and shares and should be part of anyone’s portfolio.

Michael-Cunnington

Retired Real-Estate Agent

Tell us about yourself
I am a retired real estate agent and currently reside in Palma de Mallorca with my Spanish wife where we have lived for over 40 years. I retired in 2015 and now spend my time soaking up the sun, keeping fit, travelling, and heading to the local concert orchestra and theatre.
How did you first hear about The House Crowd?
Well I actually stumbled across an article online which talked about The House Crowd and property-backed P2P investing. I became increasingly interested and decided to attend a House Crowd seminar held in Manchester where I learned more about the alternative investments and met several members of the house crowd team.
What are your reasons for Investing?
Well I have been involved in the property market in Mallorca for many years and I have never had much success in the stock market! So I looked into diversified investment opportunities in the property market which I understood much better than stocks and shares.

With the possibility of investing around one thousand pounds or multiples thereof in different products, crowdfunded development projects very much suited my requirements.
Why did you choose The House Crowd?
In all honesty I did not consider other alternative providers. I chose The House Crowd initially because their friendly and informal style appealed to me. I felt, and still feel, as though I am treated as a person rather than just a number.
Have you invested in other P2P providers?
No
How do you feel about investing since Brexit and the overwhelming general election win by the conservative party?
During the three years of Brexit negotiation I have restricted my investments and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
How many projects have you invested in to-date?
I’ve invested in a total of 10 different projects to date. HCP176 and HCD2-2 starting in August 2016.
What has been your mix of investments?
All my investments were made through self-select and were mainly development projects.
Have you invested in any of our tax-free products?
No. Since I live in Spain and I’m not a UK taxpayer
Anything else you’d like to add about your experience with The House Crowd?
I have fully enjoyed my relationship with The House Crowd over the years. Even though a couple my 10 investments have not yet been successful, I am hopeful and remain positive that these will complete in the fullness of time.

Peter-Watson

Retired University Lecturer

Tell us about yourself
I am a retired university lecturer and live in the World Heritage site of Ironbridge, Shropshire. I am married with a stepdaughter and two granddaughters. I have a wide range of interests including music, art, theatre, walking, and a keen real ale drinker. I also occupy my time as the Treasurer of a local community centre which organises a wide range of activities, Including martial arts and thai chi.
How did you first hear about The House Crowd?
I actually first heard about The House Crowd while reading an article in one of the broadsheet newspapers, I then followed up by doing some research online.
What are your reasons for Investing?
I was retired and had sold a property. I needed to get a suitable return on my investments and I became increasingly aware that the mechanism I had been using up until then – mainly via building societies - was unable to generate the returns I wanted. Their rate of return was very low, and often not even meeting the rate of inflation.

Being older and wanting to enjoy my retirement, the process of buying, converting and renting out a property was not an attractive proposition for me any longer.
Why did you choose The House Crowd?

I wanted a diversified investment portfolio which offered reasonable returns on my money and did not have too high a risk attached to it. It also needed to be accessible.

I placed some money into banks and building societies knowing that this was a very secure investment despite only offering low levels of return.

Part of my portfolio included investing in film production, not alone, but in conjunction with others! This promised a very high return on my investment, but it proved to be a very risky strategy. One of the film companies proved to be ‘managed’ by a fraudster and my money, and the manager, disappeared without trace!

The lesson I drew from this painful and failed investment was that I needed to invest my money into organisations that were legal, decent, honest and with a high degree of integrity.

Housing has always been of interest to me and I welcomed the chance to invest in something that would be mutually beneficial to me and to the person receiving my investment.

In short, The House Crowd ticked all the boxes.

Have you invested in other P2P providers?
Yes, I have invested in several other P2P providers, including Funding Circle, Crowd Stacker and Ratesetter.
How do you feel about investing since Brexit and the overwhelming general election win by the conservative party?

I felt positive about investment opportunities post Brexit. I knew that leaving the EU would be challenging but I was, and still am, confident that the UK would meet those challenges.

That situation has been transformed with the arrival of Covid-19 and inevitably it will bring us challenges but I remain optimistic!

How many projects have you invested in to-date?

Well, I first started investing with The House Crowd back in March 2017 in a relatively modest way to test ‘the water’ after my disastrous investment in the film industry!

My initial P2P investment involved the conversion of a former factory into student accommodation. This was completed on time and I received in full my predicted returns. Because of this, my confidence in the House Crowd grew, and I bagan to invest more.

In April 2017 my diversified my investments into property development with House Crowd. In August 2018 I used the ‘auto-invest’ scheme and in April 2019 I opened my Innovative Finance ISA with The House Crowd.

I have invested in a large number of projects with the House crowd and I will continue to do so.

What has been your mix of investments?
I have opted for a mix of both auto-invest and self-select
Have you invested in any of our tax-free products?
Yes, I have had one since April 2019.
Anything else you’d like to add about your experience with The House Crowd?

I am very confident about The House Crowd, each of my investments has produced a high yield.

Unfortunately this has not always been my experience with other P2P providers where loans can default with little adverse consequence for the borrower, but will represent a heavy loss for me as an investor.

I have always found the House Crowd to be honest and open about what is happening to my investments.

Let me end by saying I closed a cash ISA and transferred all of the money from that to my ISA with The House Crowd. That action was prompted by receiving an end of year statement from the organisation which showed the interest rate it was paying was 0.25% per annum!

Laurence-Goldblatt

Head of Marketing

Tell us about yourself

I am happily married and born and raised in London with an extensive investing background after working in a number of futures market investment firms from an early age.

Some years ago I decided to semi-retire and take time off to go and travel. On returning to the UK, I was approached by a major international company to head their marketing department. I have since joined another company to perform the same role.

I enjoy sport, attending live music concerts and watching the occasional movie.

How did you first hear about The House Crowd?
An advert online caught my eye and I decided to look into it further. After comparing them with other P2P companies on the market, The House Crowd seemed preferable and more compatible with my own individual investment style.
What are your reasons for Investing?

I had funds in a number of different ISA accounts that had grown over a few years, but the more I looked at them the less benefit I saw.

In my view, the advertising that portrayed ISAs as a windfall for investors didn’t actually give the whole story, and so, I decided to look elsewhere for better returns.

Why did you choose The House Crowd?

Oddly for someone with my background I found some other companies' websites a little unclear and, dare I say, confusing! I also felt unconvinced by their investment plans.

I found The House Crowd’s strategy easy to understand and for someone who sees property as a long term holding this was closer to what I was looking for.

Have you invested in other P2P providers?
I haven’t had an account with other peer-to-peer providers, though acquaintances of mine have spoken to me about their experiences with IPIN Global and Funding Circle but with mixed reviews.
How do you feel about investing since Brexit and the overwhelming general election win by the conservative party?

Well, I felt that the markets could go either way following Brexit as there are a number of different conclusions one could reach as a result of the UK leaving Europe.

The Conservative win seemed positive for investors as that party had shown good policies in the past for individual financial development.

How many projects have you invested in to-date?

I have invested in numerous projects with The House Crowd and my portfolio is now nearly three pages long!

One of my first was Baguely Crescent (HCP139) which is a fairly straight forward P2P loan dating back to May 2016.

What has been your mix of investments?
All of my investments up to now have been self-select as I am not sure if Auto-invest is how I want to move forward. I had a number of peer-to-peer loans that gave various levels of return and, in some cases the borrower failed to make adequate repayment.
Have you invested in any of our tax-free products?
No not yet, but I have been giving them more thought lately.
Anything else you’d like to add about your experience with The House Crowd?

I like the way The House Crowd operates and I am planning on staying with them for the foreseeable future.

I think the way The House Crowd deals with its investors is pleasant and fair, which is what most clients look for once the investment side of the business has been dealt with.

I believe the Company is forward thinking and looks to benefit all parties as best it can, so I would be very happy to recommend The House Crowd.

Carl-Staniforth

Commercial Manager Construction & Engineering Industry

Tell us about yourself
I live in South East Surrey with my wife and two children aged three and seven. By day, my time is spent as a commercial manager in the construction and engineering industry. In my spare time, I enjoy creating things in the workshop and kitchen and love to travel and head out running when I can!
How did you first hear about The House Crowd?
As I was growing tired of the banks poor interest rates, I decided to do some research online about alternative investments when I stumbled across an advert for The House Crowd.
What are your reasons for Investing?
My reason for investing was that as interest rates fell, money in the bank lost value as inflation outstripped returns. Over time this has not changed, though I have found myself with disposable income at various points, which I can now invest without the concern over needing quick access to the capital.
Why did you choose The House Crowd?

I liked the concept of being able to invest in property without the large capital outlay. My research had led me to the conclusion that this was a safe investment sector with moderate growth in difficult times and excellent growth in prosperous times!

I like The House Crowd’s approach to their transparent ways of dealing with risk. The platform is user friendly and there is a good range of products available.

Have you invested in other P2P providers?
I haven’t no. I have opened accounts with a couple of other providers such as Property Partner and Ratesetter but I never actually got around to investing anything with them.
How do you feel about investing since Brexit and the overwhelming general election win by the conservative party?
I am more cautious now about investing in less traditional products since the Brexit referendum and decision. I am concerned about the future of the economy both in the short and medium term and realise that the apparently ever-upwards trajectory of the property market may be affected by this. The overwhelming general election win is not something I have the economic competence to properly assess the impact of. My guess is that it should be advantageous to capitalist leaning ideologies, such as private investing.
How many projects have you invested in to-date?
The first project in which I investedwas Newteswell Drive (a P2P loan) in November 2017, Since then I have invested in one more P2P loan and a Development Loan
What has been your mix of investments?
All my investments to date have been self selected.
Have you invested in any of our tax-free products?
No
Anything else you’d like to add about your experience with The House Crowd?
I think the whole experience of using The House Crowd is very user friendly, allowing DIY and experienced investors to invest as much or as little as they like with as much or as little control as they like.

Mazhar Pathan

IT Professional

50 Years Old

Mazhar is 50 years old and works in the Information Technology sector. He was born and brought up in Lancashire and is still a resident in the region.

Chose The House Crowd because: Sharia compliant property crowdfunding product means he can invest in property without compromising his values.

Invested in: Buy-to-let property crowdfunding

What first attracted you to The House Crowd?

I only look for Sharia compliant investments, which means I am not permitted to benefit from lending money or receiving money from someone. So, for example, I cannot deal with interest-based investments like peer to peer lending.

The House Crowd’s property crowdfunding opportunities provide a simple way to invest in property without compromising my values.

Put simply, I can invest to gain equity in a rental property without dealing with interest.

How many projects have you invested in to date?

I’ve invested in one buy-to-let property in Stalybridge, for which I receive quarterly dividends.

What did you want to achieve with your investment?

My main objective was to not have my capital idle and for it not to depreciate. I considered any returns I earned as a bonus. While the returns are not quite as high as I’d initially expected I’m not disappointed at all.

Anything else you would like to add about your experience with The House Crowd?

So far it's been easy and hassle free. I have found dealing with their Member Support team to be a reassuring experience. They are always helpful and friendly.

David Jones

Civil Servant

57 Years Old

David is 57 years old and lives in Wrexham, North Wales. He works as a civil servant for the Department of Work and Pensions. David lives with his wife Beverley and has two daughters and two grandchildren.

Reason to invest: Retirement planning and diversification.

Chose The House Crowd because: Gain a good rate of interest without the commitment of becoming a landlord.

Invested in: Peer to peer lending, Buy-to-let equity crowdfunding, Innovative finance ISA

What first attracted you to The House Crowd?

Initially, it was the attraction of investing into property.

My aim was to gain a good rate of interest without having to buy a property to rent and avoiding the pitfalls that come with being a landlord such as insurance and maintenance costs, unreliable tenants, rental company fees and so on.

Have you invested with other companies?

Yes, I have pensions and ISA’s invested elsewhere but no other investments of this type.

How many projects have you invested in to date?

I have invested in to six projects to date. So far I have invested into property and peer to peer loans. The property investment provides a combination of a decent rate of interest which is far greater the leaving savings on a deposit bank account, with the potential for capital growth. I like the peer to peer loans as I don't have to invest over a long term to get a good rate of interest , I also like the fact that The House Crowd look for a sensible loan to value on the property, which helps to minimise any potential risk.

What did you want to achieve with your investment?

My focus is retirement planning, so I found the Innovative Finance ISA attractive as it will generate a decent return of 7% p.a. which I can choose to take as a tax-free income, paid twice a year, or to have the interest reinvested to accumulate within the ISA.

I also like the fact that that the peer to peer loans pay a good rate of interest without having to invest for the longer term. I like the diversity that the different investments provide.

Anything else you would like to add about your experience with The House Crowd?

So far I have had an excellent experience investing with The House Crowd. The people I have dealt with have been professional, very informative and always answer my queries promptly. The investments have produced what I had hoped for. The team explain everything clearly and I have been able to make an informed choice regarding my investments.

Margaret Nicholls

Retired

Margaret worked for NATO before retiring and now lives in the Cotswolds.

Margaret has over 15 investments with The House Crowd and has been investing with us since we first started in 2012!

Chose The House Crowd because: Confidence in due diligence undertaken by The House Crowd.

Invested in: Equity, Peer to Peer, Development Loans

What first attracted you to The House Crowd?

I like managing my own money and enjoy receiving a higher rate of return than I would from a traditional savings account or ISA.

Have you invested with any other investment companies?

I also invested with Funding Circle and Zopa but the idea of having loans secured against property with THC sounded safer and more interesting

How does The House Crowd compare?

I get the impression that THC's due diligence is far superior to any of the other P2P sites I use. I have more confidence that their projects are being properly monitored.

How many projects have you invested in to date?

I started investing with The House Crowd in 2012 and have over 15 investments including Equity, Peer to Peer and more recently the new Development loans (none of which are in default).

What’s your favourite thing about our investment process?

The new website is excellent, and I look forward to being able to transfer funds in and out of my wallet.

Anything else you would like to add about your experience with The House Crowd?

The responses to my enquiries and the personal relationship I have with the staff at THC have set them apart from other platforms. Because of this THC now have my biggest stake.

Tony Bostock

Retired

60 Years Old

Tony is 60 and lives in a suburb of Nottingham with his wife (Karen). After running their own touring caravan site, fishing lakes and guest house business for eleven years they have recently retired and are now focused on doing the things they love and being near to their young grand-children.

Reasons to invest: Retirement planning, investing for a second income and diversification.

Chose The House Crowd because: Fixed returns and a solid, secure investment that couldn’t be obtained by keeping money invested in the bank.

Invested in: Peer to peer lending, Property development investments and Buy-to-let equity crowdfunding.

What first attracted you to The House Crowd?

I first came across The House Crowd while researching ways to finance our retirement. They seemed to be offering quite a unique proposition so I kept an eye on the company for well over a year before investing.

I was drawn by the buy to let property share deals which seemed to offer a very secure and sound investment when interest rates were ridiculously low.

Since those early days I have invested in a variety of buy to let properties, and my strategy expanded into peer to peer lending and House Crowd property developments.

Have you invested with other companies?

I’ve been self-employed for most of my working life, and so have saved into a personal pension scheme. When I turned 50 I purchased two annuities which resulted in a modest pension.

I have also invested in my own buy-to-let properties which return an average of 5.5% before tax each year. These are good, but they carry maintenance issues and I’ve achieved the same returns with The House Crowd without having to do any of the work myself!

How does The House Crowd compare?

The House Crowd compares very well and I feel very confident about the security of my investments with them. The buy-to-let investments and development loans have been excellent.

Some peer to peer loans I have invested in have gone into default, but to date not one of my investments has failed. They have all done exactly what they said they would "on the tin."

How many projects have you invested in to date?

I’ve diversified my money into 17 House Crowd investments, including 6 buy-to-lets, 1 development loan and 10 peer to peer loans. I also like the look of their Innovative Finance ISA and Auto-Invest products but haven’t invested in those yet.

What did you want to achieve with your investment?

I value the security of investment with as high a rate of return as possible, as these investments form a substantial portion of my retirement income.

Anything else you would like to add about your experience with The House Crowd?

I am very happy with The House Crowd, and I must compliment their staff who have always dealt with me promptly and efficiently.

I’m not the best when it comes to technology and they have been very helpful when needed. Most notably when I accidentally clicked to invest £500,000 instead of the £5,000 I had intended! Not a big problem for them and it was sorted very quickly. I now always check that I have carefully typed the decimal point.

Investments

Longridge

Overview

The nature of peer to peer lending means that, sometimes, the loan isn’t repaid in accordance with the agreed term. Borrowers will borrow money for a variety of reasons, and the exit can be dependent on selling a property, or arranging longer term re-finance. Delays can sometimes happen.

To put this in some context, to date, we have made around 180 loans.

Historically, we have had in total 28 loans go into default over the past few years where we have had to undertake legal proceedings. 71.3% of our loans on the other hand, have redeemed on time.

Of those cases 7 have been fully resolved and, in all 7 cases, investors received all their capital and interest and all or most of their penalty interest as well (at 12% p.a.) their overall returns were higher than originally quoted rate.

21 defaulted loans are still going through the legal process and are at this point unresolved. We follow every legal recourse to recover monies and only when we have run out of any reasonable chance of recovery do we stop pursuing the recovery of monies owed.

To date, no capital losses have been crystallised.

These defaulted loans are the most common reason for investor enquiries we receive in our member support team.

There are two key things to remember:

  1. Your money is protected by the underlying security of the loan (a legal charge over the property), based on the professional valuation of the secured property.
  2. The majority of loans that aren’t paid on time are resolved without us having to repossess and sell the property.

To help give you a clearer picture of how it works, here’s an example of a recent case where the borrower went into default.

Investment Summary

The loan in question was secured against a residential property in Surrey with 3 acres of land , was valued at £1.5m, and offered investors a 1st legal charge and LTV of 69.2% over a loan period of 10 months.

The loan also offered investors an attractive rate of 9% plus an incentive for larger investments.

The loan was scheduled to redeem 2nd April 2018 but due to a delay in the sale, it was actually redeemed 3 months later, on 6th July 2018.

In such an event, our dual priorities are always to work constructively with the borrower to help them achieve their exit whilst ensuring our investors capital and interest are paid out as quickly as possible. We update investors regularly on progress of the recovery proceedings.

Here’s what happened in this case:
Timeline
  • April

    On the 4th April, we were informed that the borrower just accepted an offer on the property for £1.9m, but as the sale of the security had not yet completed within the agreed timeframe, it would now be classified as being late paying. After being alerted to the delay, we informed investors by email – these are normally sent personally from Clarissa . While the reasons for the delay were reasonable, we nonetheless put our default process into action, by starting the process of securing a court date to secure the repossession of the property.

  • May

    As May arrived we were still awaiting an update from the borrower, and the conveyancing process continued to hold up the proceedings. At this point we continued to pursue repossession procedures and waited for an allocated court date. As the month drew to a close, we received an update that informed us that the exchange on the property sales would be taking place shortly.

  • June

    The beginning of the month saw the solicitor in charge of the sale request redemption statements from our own solicitor. Our solicitor then proceeded to chase the borrower’s solicitor for an exchange date for the sale. They were told that the exchange on the sale of the security was anticipated to occur on 6th of July.

  • July

    On the 6th of July the completion went ahead as expected and the loan was fully redeemed.

    Investors received all their capital and interest by the 13th of July, including additional interest added as a result of the borrower paying late. With the late repayment penalty fees, this meant that investors earned an actual interest rate of 10.6%.

It must be emphasised that the above scenario is just one real life example of what happened when a borrower went into default. No two cases are the same and we must stress that your capital is at risk when you make a peer to peer loan and you may not receive all your interest or capital.

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