"Thank you very much - we were both very pleased with how 86 Barnsley Rd is looking now - we stopped by so I could have a brief look around the outside after we left on Tuesday - and I'm very happy with it. Well done with managing a successful refurb!"
Warren Burgess, Director BP
"Just wanted to say a huge thank you for the Photo's and details of the portfolio, they have been brilliant"
Simon Baddeley, Senior Recruitment Regional Director
"The enthusiasm honesty and passion shown by Nick and his team regarding this property investment opportunity shone through"
Michael Plaza, Affiliate Business Owner
"You really have got great people there and they are so efficient and helpful it’s so nice"
David Hunt, Investor
"What stood out most was the energy level in the office - you clearly have a great team, that gave us confidence in PPB's capabilities for managing property portfolios."
Warren Burgess, Director BP
"PPB is a great investment. I have properties in the South East with lower yields and it wasn’t rocket science to look further north for better returns"
Jeff & Catherine Lawton
"The unique opportunity to buy below market value, coupled with the extensive knowledge of the team, makes me very confident in my investment."
Katherine Newman, Civil Engineer
"Investing in Portfolio Builder was an easy decision once we realised the leading returns that it delivered."
Paul and Linda Cronin, IT Executive
"When I retire the income and capital growth continues. It’s very enjoyable to create something that can run and run."
Henri and Angela Botha, Ex-Dentist
"It was easy to recognise the potential of a passive investment . We have been really happy with the service and very impressed with the team in Yorkshire"
Thomas Clarke, Business Owner and Entrepreneur
"This investment is allowing me to spend much more time with my son without worrying about having to work."
Gerard Scannell, Ex-Warehousing Director

PPB Case Study – John Barrett


UK property from a place in the sun 

Working in a compound in Saudi Arabia has its perks. Year round sunshine, no tax and free rent – just some of the reasons 54-year-old engineer, John Barrett, went from a year’s secondment with BAE Systems to spending 27 years in the country. Together with colleague Chris Alton, John attended various property seminars and has used some of his tax-free income to buy property in the North of England using the services of Platinum Portfolio Builder. Matthew Pigott interviews.

Tell us a bit about your current role in Saudi Arabia?

The Royal Saudi Air Force has 82 Tornado aircraft and I assist in the maintenance and operation of those planes. 27 years ago, I was a sergeant in the RAF, seconded to work out here on the compound. After three years I decided to stay. I got used to the lifestyle and decided not to go back to Scotland.  

Why did you start investing in property?

I’ve always been interested in finance but the investments I made in the past have been purely for capital growth. Now I’m getting older, I want to secure an income, too. With the right property investments, you get income and the capital growth. I always believed that property would make a great investment, but didn’t do anything about it until Chris invited me to a property seminar in Bahrain. It was a different company that dealt in new builds, and we both invested in UK property through it. Soon after that, Chris found out about PPB and flew to the UK on his own to meet the founder Nick Carlile and his team. When Chris came back, he was enthusiastic about PPB’s investment model, and eventually I flew over myself. I could see that Nick had good premises and a comprehensive set up. You don’t part with significant funds without doing a lot of due diligence first, and visiting the premises gave me the confidence I needed to make my investment.

How does PPB compare with the company you invested with before?

I preferred PPB because they could buy at below surveyed value. The other company dealt in new builds at a discounted rate, but when you broke it down it was more of a discounted mark up, so you were really getting property at close to it’s true market value. But with PPB, they buy at an actual discount of at least 25 percent. And they’re expanding into larger deals, which is good because it means I can increase the income I get from my portfolio. Prior to this new initiative, my portfolio consisted of freehold houses.

Was there anything else you liked about PPB in particular?

I liked the hands off approach. Although I’d like to be more involved in the investment process (because I’m fascinated by property), it’s too difficult to orchestrate from here. PPB provides me with a completely passive investment so I can do my job in Saudi without having to worry about my UK investments with them. Sourcing properties at below market value is also virtually impossible when you’re so far away because you can’t view the properties and or see what refurbishment needs to be done. In that sense PPB are my eyes and ears and also manage the properties for me. 

Tell us about your investments with PPB so far

I got my first investment property in November 2010. At the moment I’ve got four properties that give me a net profit of £7.5k year after maintenance, ground rent, mortgages etc. And I’m in the process of securing my first block of 13 apartments through PPB. In fact, I was the first PPB client to start investing in apartments. I like apartments because I don’t have to buy one property, remortgage it, buy another and so on. Buying this type of deal accelerates the ownership process and generates more rental income more quickly. I can buy 10 or more properties in a single transaction and six months later I can remortgage to buy another block.

Has being an expat with the associated tax benefits helped you to acquire properties more quickly?

No. Being in Saudi has actually been a hindrance because there aren’t many lenders willing to grant mortgages to expats, and some of the best lenders – ones I already have a mortgage with – have since left the market. The reason it’s getting difficult is that most expats don’t have an established UK credit history, which is what lenders like to see. You still can get a mortgage, but you have to look harder and you need to be more determined, or work with a company like PPB that has some great contacts in this space.

Was PPB instrumental in helping you find a mortgage?

With the first property, I arranged my own mortgage, but now that PPB is getting more involved with the expat market, they’re finding more lenders. The lender I have now for the current deal on the apartments is not one that I would have been able to find myself. Previously, I’d been dealing with buy-to-let mortgages, but because of PPB’s new involvement in securing bulk deals, they’re getting access to more commercial mortgages from lenders who aren’t so concerned with a UK credit history. Being with PPB has been a great help.

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