Renovation & Conversion Of A Small Commercial Property

(gentle pop music) (phone beeps) – Ah. (message sent tone) (message sent tone) (whoosh) (upbeat pop music) – Hi, I’m.


(gentle pop music) (phone beeps) – Ah. (message sent tone) (message sent tone) (whoosh) (upbeat pop music) – Hi, I’m Andy from Monoperty.com and on this channel I share my experience as a property investment landlord and also interview other investors so we can learn from their advice too. So if you’re new here,
consider subscribing for more videos like this. Ash, great seeing you again, how are you doing? – I’m very well, nice to see you again. – Excellent. Now I know this is not the first project you’ve done since we last saw you. You’ve done quite a few, but you’re really keen
to show us this project. – Absolutely, absolutely. – You’ve asked me to come down. So what is it about this project that you’re so excited about? – So, this is one of those projects that I wanted to share with you ’cause it’s got a lot
of history behind it. The journey of getting
here is fascinating, so that’s what I’m gonna share with you today if you don’t mind. – Right, yeah, yeah, yeah. – So it was a old butcher’s. It was the Nichols family butchers, has been for, I think, 30 odd years, or maybe even longer than that. – Right. – But it’s been closed
down for just as long. So… – Stood empty. – Yes, stood empty.
– Completely empty. – Completely empty. So, whenever you drove past it, that all you’d see was this
old building falling apart. Now, I’ve been here nearly 10 years, since 2008 let’s say, right? – Yeah. – And we’re in 2018. I would drive past this place nearly once or twice a day. And I’d always see it run-down and closed down. But I’d always think to myself, you know, what if we could get that property? What if, what if, what if. And, in 2018, we got it in the end. – So how? Tell me about how did
you come to get it then? – So that’s another– – Did you trace it? – Well, what happened was, ’cause our team is now so vast, one of the team members on the build team came back to us and said, “Look, I know the people
that own this property “and they’d be willing to, “I think they might be
interested in selling it. “Because they haven’t put it on the market “’cause they’re a bit reluctant to put “it on the market, et cetera, et cetera.” So we set up a meeting with them and it was true, they were two brothers and their father owned this building and there was a lot of history behind it. And they were really, really apprehensive to who they sold it to. They didn’t want it to be turned into just a block of flats or somebody turned it into another sweet shop or something ridiculous like that. – Okay. – So we had to go through a whole process where we saw them, we met with them, we sat down with them, we informed them of who we are as
developers and what we do. And then we had to take them
to all our older projects. – [Andy] Oh, okay. – You know, like our HMOs and literally show them
what our capabilities were, what our designs were, and
how we saw this project, that’s where we wanted to go. And it wasn’t until that point did one of the brothers actually go, “You know what, I like these guys. “I’m gonna go with it.”
– Right. – So that’s what we did and that’s how we won it. – So how long did that take then, from the time that you first spoke to them to them agreeing to sell it? Was that– – I think it was– – A couple of months or matter of weeks? – No, no. It was about a month and a bit… – [Andy] Right. – Of the process, ’cause we, the initial stage of,
look we’re interested, and then, obviously, okay, what’s your offer? We’d like to put in this kind of offer. Okay, but I’m not too sure. Well, why don’t you
come out and have a look at what we do first before you decide. – Right, makes sense. – It was all part of the whole process of communicating and exchanging ideas and numbers basically. – So plenty then. Was this mixed use? Was it commercial and residential? – Or was it only…
– Uh, yes it was. They lived, or the father I believe, lived upstairs and the
kids were brought up. The pictures, if you see them, and I hope I can share
those with the guys. I mean, it was crazy. There was a little hatch just there, you can’t see it off camera. But you poke your head and
you’d be in the butcher’s. This was the butcher’s. – [Andy] Okay. – This is where they cut all the meat. This was the entrance, this was the shop. And behind that wall over there was the storage on this side and that was the actual house. – [Andy] Okay. – So the living room upstairs with the bedrooms, there
was a kitchen in the back. So the planning
application that we put in, we had to have a change of use in that planning application. – Right. Now, how many bedrooms is this gonna be? – It’s now gonna be a six bedroom HMO with six en-suites. – Six bedrooms, six en-suites. So I’m already thinking about, it just, the application for planning went straight from split-use
commercial/residential to HMO use or did you hafta go through the residential planning first? And then apply for the HMO? – So, initially, that’s a good question, and that’s another part
of this whole journey. That’s why I wanted to share it was, we put a actual planning application in in the first place and I believe we were trying to go for seven beds. – Right. – We wanted to put one into the loft and we also wanted to
convert the back garage into two flats, two self-contained flats. – Yeah, ’cause I’ve walked around and there’s big boundaries. – [Ash] It’s a massive boundary. – [Andy] You’ve got quite
a lot of concrete behind. – [Ash] You do, you do. – [Andy] The back of this property and where the garage is situated. – It would have been a beautiful project, had we got that. But, unfortunately, the planners, the council, and
the local parish, et cetera, they kicked up and they
didn’t like those plans. And, fair enough, we’ve always been, and this is a great message, you’ve gotta work with
your local authority. If they say no, fine. If the reasons are logical,
and they make sense, fine, we change the plans. I can relate to what they said because this area, the whole of the area, is known to have massive
garages like that. – Right. And, when the viewers see it, you’ll see how bit that plot is, and they get bigger as you
go up around the plate. And if you start the precedent of turning those garages into flats, then everybody’s gonna
be on the bandwagon. So it made sense to me. – Yeah. – It was unfortunate,
but it made sense to me. – [Andy] Right. – So we changed the plans,
and we changed the plans, we kept changing the plans until they were happy with what we had. And that included the change of use making it six bed HMO, making sure there was adequate parking, and everyone was happy. Nearly. (both laughing) – That’s brilliant. I mean, with the
experience that you’ve got, it probably doesn’t take you as long to do these things as it would for me that’s not done that before. And, with the extensions, ’cause two of the en-suite bedrooms on the ground floor are
extensions aren’t they? – [Ash] Yeah they are. – And that’s permitted development. – No, that came in the planning. If we had just done that, then yes, that could have been permitted. But it was all under the planning application that we had. – Okay. How did you find the support
with the local planning? Was it as good as it had been in the past or were there any problems or… – Good question. I think, over the years we’ve always said that you need to work with
your council really well. And follow the line and listen to whatever they’re doing and any
objections they have. So when it came to the
planning application, you go to your council. Put your plans to the planning department. They say yes, they say no. Make some changes. So we went through all those hoops. – I’ve always found them helpful because, if they say no, they’ll
give reasons, won’t they? – Absolutely, absolutely. – And if there’s anything that you can do to address that as a developer, then you’ve got that chance. I’ve always found that they work with you rather than against you. – Exactly, exactly. And I’ve found that as well. Whenever they’ve said no to something, it’s always logical. Near abouts, with us
especially, my experience. It’s been correct. And we’ve walked away from projects. Categorically. We’ve asked for advice, they said “No, it’s not happening.” And we’ve gone. – Okay. – On to the next one. But this one got an objection
from the local parish. Apparently parishes have
a little bit of power, depending on which parish it is. This one has got quite a strong one. And they brought up their objections which felt to me, when I read them, a little bit, what’s the word, not… They didn’t have the insight into what modern HMOs were all about. They still had that stigma about parking and what will happen
if late night parties. And I’m like, “Have you really looked into “what’s happening in the HMO market? “Have you looked into us and our history?” – Right. – It didn’t seem that they had done that. They’d just thrown their objections out because they’ve seen one or two old landlords or old HMOs causing concern in the town. But we didn’t get
involved in none of that. The issue that they had was they wanted our planning application to
go to a planning committee. – [Andy] Right. – And, between the parish, and the council and the planning department, there was a disconnect or some confusion. – Okay. – And that story was
published in the press. We had made all the amendments. – Right. – So, according to the council and the planning department, they had their objections,
we rectified them, they said yes, we’re happy with those. That they had an internal misunderstanding between the parish and
the planning and council. – Right. – Apparently the parish was a
little bit upset about that, which I guess is their right to be. I hope I can invite them all down here and turn that stigma away. Because some of the
comments that you’ve read in that press release. And I’m sure some of your viewers have seen stuff like that about anti-HMO and negative and some of them were just silly. But they were balanced ’cause one person, I remember reading one
comment and they said, “Why don’t you just let
them get on with it, “that building’s been
derelict over 10, 20 years.” – Yeah. – And another person was saying, “Oh, you’re only gonna house ruffians “and it’s gonna be bad impression “on the community.” I was like, seriously? – So it would be really
good to get ’em back, wouldn’t it? – It would. – Just so that they
can see what it’s like. And maybe that will open their eyes a bit. – Absolutely. – And then they won’t necessarily tar other developers and properties– – Absolutely. – With the same brush when someone else… – Yeah. – So, yeah. – ‘Cause it’s a minority now. – [Andy] Yeah. – The majority are doing
everything by the book. – [Andy] Yeah. – In the old days it was,
we were the minority, but that’s changed now. You can see it right around the country. – It’s true, yeah. – And they’re always a
couple of steps behind, because they take the one or two bad eggs and blow them out of proportion. But you never hear about the good eggs. – No. – You know, that are doing well and contributing to the community to society. – Yeah. – To the council. – [Andy] Yeah. – You don’t hear about them. Hopefully we’ll change that. – Well, we’re taking a step
in the right direction. – We are. – We’re doing our little
bit to get it out. – Absolutely. – So that’s brilliant. And it’s all hands on deck, because I must have seen a dozen tradesmen in the hour that I’ve been here. – Yeah, yeah. – And it seems to be going quite quick. One thing I was surprised was, it doesn’t appear that all the plastering and the first
fix has been complete. But, there’s somebody
painting one of the bedrooms. I thought the whole property would be plastered, first fix done
before painters came in. – Projects in an ideal world, without any time frames on them or restrictions or time tables on them go in that flow. – Right. – And I think we talked about that in the last video we did. Yes, we finish, then we dress. – Yeah. – Yes it’s plastered,
then the painter comes in. But right now we’re
working against the clock. We hafta finish this
project to a timeline. – [Andy] Right. – For our investor. So that’s why he’s on site,
everyone’s on the site and we’re working hand-in-hand and together to get the project done as quickly as possible. And that’s a very key ingredient. – [Andy] Yeah. – Because you can have people like that who won’t work together. – Yeah, I can imagine. – They’ll refuse. So it’s a, what’s the word I’m looking for? Testimony to them really. – [Andy] Yeah. – And their character that
they can work together in this kind of pressure environment. And, believe me, what you’re seeing today is a smooth sit… (both laughing) A very chilled situation. Yeah, we’ve had projects where we’ve been really challenged
and all of those guys, their characters come into play. ‘Cause they’re quite calm. Yes, there’s frustration, but that’s what happens
when you work to timelines. – That’s impressive. – Or deadlines I should say, really. – Yeah. Has the property been
marketed yet to tenants? Or is it too soon? – It’s too soon, we
haven’t marketed any yet. But we’ve got some great, great marketing ideas for it. One is to definitely call back the local press to this
site for various reasons. And the other thing is, ’cause
of the history of this house, of this plot, sorry,
that there’s old footage and photographs of the butcher’s with horse carriages out, back in the day. – [Andy] Right. – And we wanna put those
up around the house. – Oh, nice. – So we wanna really get that whole thing in place first to show
that we’re committed to restoring the history of this place. – Yeah. – Before we market it out to the rest of the country basically. – Okay. – We haven’t done it yet,
but we will get it finished and then we have a plan to
do a good marketing campaign. – Ash, thanks so much again for your time. If people have any questions, are you happy that they leave it in the comments section below this video? – Leave it in the bottom and I’ll try and get back to you as soon as I can. – Thanks very much. If you enjoyed this video,
please like and share, and definitely subscribe if
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of our future videos, including the second part of this. Which all be giving tools helping you start or improve your
property investing business. Thank you so much for watching and I’ll see you in the next video. (bright pop music)

10 thoughts on “Renovation & Conversion Of A Small Commercial Property”

  1. Good stuff, appreciated the perspective on planners. Its easy to criticise them but at the end of the day there's no alternative to figuring out how to work with them.

  2. I’m 20 years old from Birmingham, going to university and education myself has been something that I dream about for such a long time, however, last couple of years I was wondering to start my own company and investing into properties. What sort of advises would you give a 20 years old? I really like the idea behind investing but my biggest fear at the moment is either I go university or dropout and start investing?

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