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4 posts from April 2008

April 17, 2008

Ignoring this email could seriously damage your wealth!


4walls_live_pic First of all, thanks to everyone who made the effort to attend out event this past Saturday.  We were delighted to welcome 21 new faces to the 4Walls family!

A new delegate, Richard Francis, described the event as "stellar".  You can't really say better than that!

Everyone who attended our event was given the opportunity to SAVE SOME MONEY, and TO MAKE SOME SERIOUS CASH!  If you want to find out how, read on:

Nick Tadd was up first with our latest market intelligence report:

The Bank of England has cut the base rate to 5%.

Their full statement can be found here: Click here

The best mortgage deal we had on Friday was Birmingham Midshires with a 5.7% tracker and 125% rental stress.  We are now finding it virtually impossible to get any deals to stack here in the U.K. without putting in large amounts of cash.  This is due to the unfavourable rental stresses.

However, those of you thinking that mortgage product rates are going to come down anytime soon to reflect the drop in the base rate are likely to be disappointed in the short term.  It is our belief that mortgage products are going to get worse before they get better.  This is because the LIBOR rate (which is high) is affecting how banks lend to each other, and many banks are holding on to their liquidity and not lending anything at all! 

The Bank of England statement also touches on other factors that may leave some Landlord's facing financial hardship due to their inability to finance property portfolios.

Mark Alexander, Managing Director of our friends at The Money Centre explains; "The withdrawal of lenders such as Paragon from the buy-to-let mortgage market has flooded the market with £3 billion worth of business that they would have potentially handled.  This has led to an overflow of business into other lenders, some of whom are struggling to handle the sudden influx and are closing their doors to new lending.  Some sections of the media are predicting that lenders will drop their loan to value rates in the coming weeks in order to control their business levels."

With this in mind, Nick delivered a SERIOUS WARNING that you should take heed of:  It is our belief that lenders are likely to drop their LTV's to 75% in the near future.  Therefore, if you are looking to release equity via re-mortgaging, you need to get your applications in NOW.  (Mortgage offers can be valid for up to 6 months). The difference between re-mortgaging at 75% and 85% equates to a lot of money, so now is the time to secure your re-mortgage at 85% to release the maximum amount of equity.

On a positive note, Nick reported that rents have risen 4% for houses and 2% for flats in the first three months of 2008 according to ARLA.

Nick then went on to explain the credit crunch in more detail along with his views on how the market is going to fare over the coming months.  He concluded that you have three choices of strategy here in the U.K.:

1.    Spend a lot of time trying to get deals to stack and putting in large amounts of cash which you have no hope of getting back in the near future.
2.    Do nothing and wait for the U.K. situation to improve.
3.    Look for other opportunities, benefit from them, and then re-invest in the U.K. when the situation here improves.

We recently mentored a customer who had purchased an apartment through us in Cyprus which tied up £9K of his own money in the deposit.  He has now sold that apartment 14 months later and has made a net profit of £60K!  He is naturally totally stunned and delighted and has now reinvested that money in two further apartments in Cyprus while keeping £30K liquid in his U.K. bank account.  A very comfortable situation to be in.

After much soul-searching, we at 4 Walls and A Ceiling have decided to withdraw from the U.K. market for the time being.  The reward to effort ratio simply isn't there for us at the moment.  We've been investing in, and promoting Cyprus for the past 18 months, and in stark contrast to the U.K. market, the news there is totally positive and keeps getting better.  We are so glad we have our Cyprus investments to hedge what is happening here in the U.K. If you are struggling in the U.K., then you should definitely consider investing in Southern Cyprus.

Here are the top ten highlights of the latest positive property intelligence from Cyprus:

1.    Cyprus was recently voted the No. 1 retirement destination in the world!  This is due to their favourable taxes on pensions, being Europe's best tax haven.  U.K. pensioners are taxed at only 5% on their pensions in Cyprus.  Plus they benefit from a healthier lifestyle, lower crime rate, lower cost of living, and comparable health services.
2.    In an article on Europe's best and worst property markets, based on data from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Forbes noted that Cyprus property saw the second highest rate of property price inflation last year behind Poland. Unlike its east European counterpart, however, the Mediterranean island has subsequently gained the advantage of being part of the single European currency, which may inspire greater confidence among investors than the zloty.
3.    Despite the rate of house price inflation rising from 7.6 per cent to 15 per cent, Cyprus still has plenty of highly affordable property.
4.    The Cypriot government has a tourism strategy in place and have just launched a new advertising campaign, fronted by Cypriot tennis star Marcos Baghdatis. UK viewers may have seen some of the adverts on television already.
5.    The Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) has reportedly been given the go ahead from the EU to provide support to airlines to introduce new routes to the island. The move from the EU and the Cypriot government is part of the above strategy to bring in more tourists to help boost its industry. "It's a new scheme and it's a transparent one, which is applicable to all European airlines, not just low-cost carriers," said CTO director general Phoebe Katsouri in an interview with the Cyprus Mail. New routes are likely to be added in 2009.
6.    The U.K. sports entrepreneur David Lloyd, is building a project near Larnaca called the David Lloyd Olympic Village.  This will be a large training facility for both professional and amateur athletes and will be used for year round training.
7.    Four Seasons are scheduled to build a four star hotel near the David Lloyd Olympic Village.
8.    Cypriot banks have not been affected by the credit crunch as they never invested in sub-prime mortgages.  Therefore, they have money to lend and there are better mortgage products becoming available all the time, due to entry into the EU.
9.    The discovery of off-shore oil is likely to fuel the Cypriot economy. The Norwegian company ProSafe has announced it is moving its headquarters to Larnaca, and re-locating 1300 staff to the area.
10.    The golf industry in Cyprus is booming and offers tenant occupancy throughout the winter months.  The new PGA affiliated golf course at Tersefanou is putting the Larnaca area on the map for the wealthy golf market.

Nick then announced our latest development in Cyprus - Kiti Gardens II.  We had deals available on the day from £10K total financial input.  We have sold out of most of the units, but we still have a few available.

Please email nick.tadd@4wallsandaceilng.com for further details. 

All clients reserving a property through us will receive a viewing trip and seminar in Cyprus about how to rent your Cypriot property to generate significant cash flow.  As far as we are aware, we are the only company that is offering this "business in a box" type approach where you are equipped with a property, all the information you need, all the contacts you need, and all the support you need to run your property as a business.

Please note: we do not charge any intro fees for our Cypriot deals as we have purchased shares in the development company.  That shows our belief and commitment to Cyprus property!  Unlike other companies, we put our money where our mouth is.  All four Directors of 4Walls have purchased multiple properties over there.

Next up, Vanessa Warwick spoke about "Taking Care of Business".  She ran through an exercise highlighting the difference between people who are only "dabbling" in property and treating it like a hobby, and those who are treating it like a business.  Which category are you in?  For instance, if you are not attending networking events on a regular basis, you are not adopting a business-like attitude and, as a result, it is highly likely that your business will not be as successful as someone who does.

Vanessa then revealed a strategy for reducing your credit card debt.  If put into practice, this strategy would save you £££££'s in interest and allow you to pay off your debt more quickly.  Details of this strategy are available in our Investor's Kit.

Finally, Vanessa went on with an exercise of looking at your money habits and how to improve them.  This again would make you more efficient and disciplined in dealing with your finances and save you money!  A copy of the slideshow is available on request.

The meeting ended with the announcement of our next networking day on Sunday 18th May. click here to book

Please register your place now at events@4wallsandaceiling.com and put a note in your diaries.

Missing our events could seriously damage your wealth.  However, attending them could seriously increase your knowledge and wealth.  The choice is yours, as always!

April 10, 2008

Bank lowers interest rates to 5%

Bank lowers interest rates to 5%

4wallsandaceiling.com Newsletter

Nick says...

As predicted...

Bank of England
The Bank last cut rates in Februar

UK interest rates have been cut to 5% from 5.25% by the Bank of England in an attempt to spur the economy in the face of the global credit crunch.

It is the central bank's third cut in interest rates since early December.

Analysts said that problems in the money markets and recent dire news on house prices drove the decision.

But the credit crisis, which makes funding mortgages more expensive for banks, may mean the full reduction in rates is not passed on to borrowers.

The Bank said that disruption in financial markets could lead to a slowdown in the wider economy.

"Credit conditions have tightened and the availability of credit appears to be worsening," the central bank said in a statement.

Decision welcomed

Business groups welcomed the decision and called for further cuts to shore up growth.

The re-emergence of tensions in UK money markets combined with evidence of a sharper deceleration in the housing market has spurred the MPC into action
Stuart Porteous, RBS

"It is vitally important to ensure that problems in the financial sector and in the housing market do not damage wealth-creating businesses," said David Kern, economic adviser to the British Chambers of Commerce.

"Undue delay in acting threatens to reduce the effectiveness of interest rate cuts that the MPC itself has anticipated already."

The cut had been widely forecast by economists.

"So far the Bank's gradual approach to cutting rates has been the right one," said Martin Temple, chairman of the EEF manufacturers' group.

"But, given how quickly the situation is changing, there are now greater risks to business and consumer confidence."

Mortgage rates rise

Homeowners on variable rate mortgages expecting to benefit from any cut could be disappointed, industry experts say.

As a result of the uncertainty in the financial markets and a shortage of funds caused by the global credit crisis, the rate at which banks lend to each other has remained high.

Many mortgage lenders have had to withdraw their most competitive deals in recent weeks.

Before the rate decision, Alliance & Leicester said it was raising rates on its entire mortgage range for the second time this week.

However, Halifax, Nationwide and Barclays' mortgage arm the Woolwich said they would cut their standard variable mortgage rates by the full quarter of a percentage point.

Inflation risk

The BBC's economics editor Stephanie Flanders said that the quarter of a percentage point rate cut indicated that the state of the UK economy was broadly in line with the Bank's expectations.

That translates as slowing annual economic growth of between 1.5% and 1.75% this year, but not a recession, although inflationary pressures would still remain a problem.

The bank said inflation could remain above the government's target of 2% but should fall back even if the price of oil and other commodities remain at their current high levels.

It did not mention the housing market in its statement, but analysts said recent downbeat news on property prices had influenced the nine-strong MPC.

The Halifax, the UK's largest lender, said on Tuesday that house prices fell by 2.5% in March, the biggest monthly decline since September 1992.

"The re-emergence of tensions in UK money markets combined with evidence of a sharper deceleration in the housing market has spurred the MPC into action, said Stuart Porteous, head of economics at RBS.

April 09, 2008

Last Call to our April Networking Event...

4walls_live_pic Last Call to our April Networking Event...


Dear Fellow Investor,

Here, at 4 Walls and A Ceiling, we appreciate that you are bombarded with invitations to networking events, seminars, and workshops on a daily basis.  However, many of these events only deliver the "sizzle" and not the "steak".  As an investor seeking to secure your financial freedom from property investment, you NEED the steak to help you move forwards. 

At our events, we have CONSISTENTLY provided impressive property intelligence and MASSIVE value to our delegates.  You only have to look at some of the testimonials that we have received to see that this is definitely the case:

"Just wanted to thank you for inviting me to today's event and reiterate how good I thought it was.

It seems to me that you are aiming to provide EXACTLY WHAT MANY INVESTORS NEED. To my mind those things are good advice, imaginative ideas, ethical services and renewal of enthusiasm for the cause. Also, I am sure I am not alone in finding property sourcing/purchasing/investing quite a lonely and isolating experience at times therefore the opportunity to chew the fat with others in very similar boats has enormous benefits."

Adrian, Nottingham

I found the  "4wallsandaceiling"  networking event held on 19th January to be really valuable, informative and well-constructed presentation of how to succeed as  professional landlords in today's  rather volatile market.

The presentation was professional and efficient, relaxed and - above all - FUN !

Joy Webber, London

Many events and seminars that you pay ££££££'s for promise so much, but, in reality deliver so little.  4 Walls and A Ceiling is the exception. All this property intelligence for only £10!!!

As we are full-time investors ourselves, 100% engaged in the property business 24/7, we are constantly reacting to the latest market intelligence and conditions, and up-dating you accordingly so you always have the true - and bigger - picture.  Every month, you benefit from our extensive research and efforts that we have used to advance our own portfolios.  It's like having a vitamin injection of property intelligence from an expert source!  It's pure property elixir.

Our next networking event is only a few days away, and it's set to be the best one ever!

At this month's event we have again put together a programme of education to give you IMMENSE value.

Our very own Nick Tadd will be explaining the credit crunch and what it means to you.  You may be surprised to know that some people are taking advantage of these challenging conditions and making a heap of money.

Would you like to find out how? 

Nick will then be joined by Andrew Callen (Serial investor and solicitor) to explain to you how to make the most of the market conditions to grow your property wealth dramatically.  While other people are sitting on the sidelines, you will be empowered to take massive ACTION and move your portfolio forwards.

See opportunity where others see negativity.

Our award-winning Vanessa Warwick will also be doing a presentation called "Taking Care of Business".  She will be helping you examine your "money habits" and offering solutions of how to improve your financial situation.

Take control of your finances!

Our panel of property experts will also be on hand to answer any questions you may have on any subject to do with property.

Of course, you have a choice:

a)     Go shopping on Saturday (like "the masses") and buy things you don't need with money you don't have;
b)    Come to our networking event and empower yourself to move your property business forwards.

If you have chosen, or choose the first option, then you are not serious or committed to your property business.  Sorry to be blunt, but it's true.

If you choose the second option, you will join a dynamic group of people who are all committed to securing their financial future, and who are taking constant MASSIVE action to achieve their goals.

So, if you have not yet signed up for our event, what is stopping you?

Throughout life you can rise to the level of your abilities or you can fall to the level of your excuses.
What is your excuse for not attending a networking event?  Is that excuse costing you your financial future?

These are challenging times, and when the going gets tough, it sorts the men from the boys!

If you are serious about success in property, you will take constant action to move yourself forwards.

It is a proven fact that you accelerate your results through the group momentum or network.

Remember:  Poor people work, rich people NETwork.

So instead of going out shopping on Saturday like everyone else in the rat-race, make a commitment to yourself to do something extraordinary and give up your Saturday to invest in yourself and your financial future.

At 4 Walls and A Ceiling, we are committed to helping you achieve financial freedom through property investment.  If you come to our event, you will meet some of our delegates who we have helped on the road to financial freedom.  This is not "sizzle", this is "steak".  It's a very juicy stake and there's enough for everyone to have a bite of!

Please register for your seat at events@4wallsandaceiling.com.

Date: Saturday 12th April 2008

Time:  12.00 noon to 5.00 p.m.

Venue:  Holiday Inn, Egerton Road, GUILDFORD, Surrey.
Parking is free!  Entry to the event is £10.00 to help towards the room hire, and this includes a first round of tea/coffee.

It's the best £10.00 you could ever spend.  It equates to less than two cinema tickets, less than a meal out, less than a tank of petrol for your car, less than a hardback book.  It's EXCEPTIONAL VALUE for money and the benefits are PRICELESS!.

Register now at events@4wallsandaceilng.com.  You are already one step closer your goals!

April 04, 2008



Elvis In the early 1950's, one of the world's greatest entertainers, Elvis Presley, coined the phrase "Takin' Care of Business" and it soon became a catchphrase between him and his entourage.  It eventually became shortened to "TCB" and Elvis had many personalised items of jewellery and clothing made, using this logo.  These are now collector's items

What has Elvis got to do with property you may well ask?  Well, when it came to business, the King knew a thing or two ... and he was right to "take care" of it.  You should consider adopting the same attitude.  If you are investing in property, then you need to constantly "spring clean" your business and make sure that you are getting competitive rates on everything, and not paying for things that you don't need to.  It's a great discipline to adopt, and of course, it will save you significant amounts of money.

Click here to register your seat.

Have you switched mortgage or paid it in full in the last few years? If so, it's likely you were overcharged by your old lender, possibly by £100s, and now officially you can get this money back. We can introduce you to a step-by-step guide will show you how to reclaim your cash in minutes.

It's all about 'mortgage exit fees', which you pay when closing a mortgage account (including shifting to a new lender). Sneakily some lenders have been charging people more than their contracts stated and, thankfully, in January '07, the regulator, the FSA announced if "past customers have paid a higher fee they can expect a refund of the difference". Yet if you don't ask, you don't get.  Sometimes, it can just be a simple phone call to a lender to get a refund. 

Have you been charged extortionate fees for renewal of a tenancy agreement?   Well, the National Landlords Association has recently been campaigning against these.  Currently, many landlords in London and the South East who have been managing a property on their own and who simply want to renew the tenancy agreement for a further 12 months, can expect to pay 10% or 11% of the annual rent as a renewal commission to the letting agent. For many properties in the region, this could be a figure running into thousands.

John Socha, Vice Chairman, NLA, in welcoming this announcement said:

"The NLA has been pivotal at encouraging landlords to come forward and complain about these 'money for nothing' fees which seem to have become the norm in London and the surrounding region.

"We very much welcome the OFT's decision to seek an injunction in this case and hope this sends out a signal that this fee, where the agent has done nothing to earn it, is unwarranted and unfair and should be abolished as soon as possible."

Most letting agents in other parts of the UK charge a small administration fee for a 'let only' renewal. This covers contacting the tenant, negotiating the length and level of the tenancy along with signing the renewal and returning completed paperwork. This often costs less than £95 plus VAT.   Have you been paying too much in fees?  There could be some money to reclaim here.

When was the last time you called up your credit card supplier and asked for a more favourable interest rate, or perhaps even a 0% balance transfer?  A few simple phone calls could save you hundreds of pounds in interest payments, and reduce your monthly payment and/or enable you to pay off your debt more quickly.

If you have a number of properties, how about becoming a distributor with Utilities Warehouse?  This will earn you a passive residual income as, every time your tenants switch on a light, or boil a kettle to make some tea, you will be earning a passive residual income!.  On top of that, Utilities Warehouse supply all sorts of competitive utilities packages, and you (or your tenants) receive one bill itemising everything.  Very simple and clear.  Why not utilise this simple strategy to earn you another income stream and simplify your life?

There's also our fantastic Investor's Kit - a neat package to save you time and money!  Click here for further details.

Another example is your home office.  Are you running it efficiently?  If you are not, then your business will soon suffer. Here at 4 Walls, we lease all our computer equipment.  There's no capital outlay, its 100% tax deductable, you can regularly up-grade to the latest technology, and if it breaks down, help is just a phone call away.   At the end of the lease, you then own the equipment!  It's sheer madness to spend out capital on technology.  So maybe your office needs up-dating in order for you to work more efficiently?  Well, we've teamed up with Phoenix Business Solutions to offer our clients a fantastic leasing service.  Please contact Simon on 07817 243712 for a no obligation quote.  We are currently working with Phoenix to kit out our high class holiday let on Camber Sands.  We're putting in a plasma flat screen TV, sound system, IPOD docking station, Wii computer games, and WiFi for our clients to enjoy on their holiday.  All these extras really make our property stand out from the crowd and the bookings are flooding in as a result.   

Finally, do you have your properties under control?  For example, do you know when your fixed rate mortgages are coming to an end, when service charges are due, when tenancies are due to end, when letting agent management fees are due?  If not, you are not taking care of business and the management of your cash-flow might be compromised as a result.  In any business, cash flow is king, and if you do not take care of it, your business will fail.  We offer a simple but effective solution to this:   our fantastic property management software.  Start using this early on in your investment career, otherwise your properties will soon get out of control  Every time a tenancy agreement expires, you should be looking to increase the rent.  You should also be looking to negotiate on all your commissions with letting agents.  We are currently achieving 8% commission on some of our fully managed properties!

So whilst Elvis may have "left the building" permanently, he's still a very wealthy man because he took care of business while he was alive.  His family and his estate benefit from an incredible passive residual income to this day.  Do you want to follow in the footsteps of the King by managing and protecting your wealth efficiently?

If so, why not come along to our fantastic networking event on Saturday 12th April at the Holiday Inn in Guildford, as we will be having a presentation on the above and giving you the full information.

Please register your seat at events@4wallsandaceilng.com.  Entry is £10.00 to assist towards the room hire and it includes the first round of refreshments.

We look forward to seeing you at our event and helping assisting you in all aspects of TCB!!  Successful property investors take CONSTANT ACTION ...

Or as Elvis might sing "A little less conversation, a little more action"

He definitely did know a thing or two!

See you there!!

Click here to register your seat.