Can you buy a property with no money?
Does “no money down” property investment really exist?
In short. No! People often talk about “no money down” property investment. This doesn’t mean free houses, however – it refers to a technique of buying property with other people’s money, not your own.
We see newspaper reports of houses being sold for a £1 – but there are still legal costs, refurbishment or renovation costs. Someone will need to foot that bill at the very least.
Houses cost money – they don’t come free.
That said, there are several ways you can buy a property without using any of your own money – you can use Other People’s Money (OPM).
What is OPM?
Other people’s money is where the funds are from:
- other investors – you can find these in networking and property investment groups
- family or friends whose money is in low-interest rate savings accounts and who are happy to give you a loan
- people that are cash-rich and time-poor
- a flexible lender who will allow you to use the equity in your own home.
These are just some examples of how you can invest in property without actually putting any of your own cash into it. Be careful that you invest in good deals
Once you have found an investor, it is essential you’re careful with how you structure deals and agree to repayment terms. Make sure that any agreement is structured in a way that ensures you can comfortably repay the investors’ capital as agreed.
Build in time to allow for potential issues. For example, it could be a time factor that prevents you from being able to pay back your investor, such as delays to the refurb, planning issues, refinancing difficulties. You need to factor these in ahead of time and then build into your contract.
Normally, investors want to see their cash used quickly and returned so they can reinvest in other projects. This is described as the velocity of money. It is a useful concept to understand when dealing with investors.
Money is how we exchange value
A property provides value as a home or investment. Throughout its life, money will pass in and out of the deal. Buy well, and you can use OPM to finance a deal and then add even extra value on to it – allowing you to pay your investors back quicker and saving you interest.
For example, forcing equity into property (such as carrying out a refurb, adding an extension or extra bedroom etc.) can help you refinance a property and take out the added value to pay back investors.
You can also force a property’s value (and so refinance) buying property that the main residential market can’t access such as:
- renovating a derelict property
- splitting the title of your property – where you buy multiple houses on one deed and split into individual titles. This not only increases your property portfolio but means that you can sell or refinance to pay back your investors.
- solving a house problem (for example, if the property has subsidence or knotweed, etc.) that makes currently it unattractive or unavailable to other buyers.
In summary, you cannot buy a property without any money – but you can employ a number of “no money down” techniques to start or boost your property portfolio.