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My buy-to-let story………and how I’m now living on a beach!!

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 4th, 2015 by Nigel

NGU Homelettings and NGU Homesales – Customer Review!




My name is Mark Cosgrove and I just wanted to share my experience of Chris and Nigel Fitzakerley and the NGU group:



In 2006 I spent a year working 3 jobs to save up £17k to buy and refurbish a house in Edinburgh in order to get into the Buy-To-Let buisness.



The following year I bought and refurbished it, half-killing myself doing 14 hour days, 5 days a week for a couple of months. My elbows and knees were in agony but I finally managed to complete the job and then nearly defaulted 3 times over the year running out of money on several occasions.



As I accepted I was going to lose my property (2007) I finally got a £17k re-mortgage at extortionate rates (18%). After paying off debts and using my salary I walked into a convention for BTL businesses in Newcastle despondent and with the remaining £10k in my bank. I just couldn’t go through it again and was pretty depressed realising the game was up.


Then I met your Dad. He was so honest and straight down the line I knew I could trust him.


I bought one property as a tester and as that one worked out very well bought another three soon after. They all turned out very well, all for my £10k.


My first property (£120k) in Edinburgh cost me very painful joints and a year of my life working 80 hours a week. My next 4 with NGU (£290k) cost me £10k, a few signatures and these were completed to a very nice spec with a very nice income thanks to the drop in the base rate on my trackers. They were all let within a few weeks.


Since then I took out 2 bank loans £6k and £12k to buy a further 6 properties. When the mortgage lenders started declining me because of my loans I bought a Lease Option independently. I got the NGU team to look it over regarding post code and general work needing doing. I handed it over to them immediately. They fixed it up and let it out.


One property I bought from NGU turned out very nicely indeed. It cost me £8k as I only got a 70% LTV but I re-mortgaged it 6 months later releasing £14k through a re-mortgage. NGU met with the surveyor and showed them all the bills for the upgrade/refurb work done. Incredibly they wouldn’t take a penny. So I was £6k up on that deal alone, Tax Free.


I conservatively assess I have a valuation of £1.2 Million with £720k in Mortgages, due to work done, and an income of around £2k a month. This is obviously with no house price rises as the market’s been pretty static.


All this for £10k. (The rents pay off my £18k loans with a substantial monthly profit left over.)


I want to mention 3 very important matters.


1. The first is NGU only call me with a problem once they have come up with a solution.


I’ve had 2 problem tenants out of 20. The first tenant I got 100% rents and they managed to evict her rapidly without destruction to my property and the second tenant I got 60% of rents (a 6 month lease) again the tenant left (absconded) without destruction.


2. NGU tends to under promise and over deliver.

That means at worst I tend to get what they say they can get, sometimes more with very reasonable repair bills due to the size of the organisation.


3. Professionalism.


After a huge snowfall a roof collapsed leaving me with a £3k repair bill that the insurers refused to pay out as they stated (wrongly) I hadn’t consulted with them before getting it repaired. NGU had the Police report an incident number stating it was dangerous and needed immediate repair. They also had a mass of photographs showing the damage done by the snowfall, snow still in situ. Basically because of excellent recordkeeping and attention to detail (photographing broken drain pipes etc.) the insurers had no option but to pay out.


I can’t get any more mortgages at the moment but as soon as I can I’m putting my money where I know it is safe and where it works very, very hard for me. And that’s with NGU.


If this sounds like an advert for NGU I am a very real person who used a very real £10k to build up a really nice lifestyle. I’m a single father with 2 kids. We holidayed in Turkey for 5 weeks for Xmas 2011 another 3 separate hols that year and Xmas 2013 for 3 weeks in Gozo. I bought a year’s lease as I no longer have to work full time. I do occasional work approx 40 hours a month.


A pretty good deal for the money and effort I put in compared to my first property.


My motto is “Pay good people to do a job better than I could do myself.”


Thanks for everything Chris. You’ve no idea what you’ve done for me and my kids. We have a fabulous life because I invested with you guys.


All the best,




Mark Cosgrove

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