Anyway, apart from a few analysts saying I told you so – not particularly
helpful – what both programmes highlighted again were those people caught
up in the buy-to-let boom, especially in the last few years.
The US style “Become A Property Millionaire Overnight” Seminar was
particularly worrying when the presenter said “How many people here have
bought a property on a credit card? Not yet? I don’t care how you buy
it”… and proceeded to suck people in amidst much roaring and cheering.
The point is that it still astonishes me how many did not do their
homework. With property prices now falling to affordable levels there is
a danger that some people may fall for it again.
Property is a good investment. Of course I would say that, but I do
believe it. It is a long-term investment though and you need to put in
the work first. Look at the area you are buying in, is it over-saturated
with similar properties ?
Also, what are the achievable rents, realistic and provable rents? So
many people bought without even seeing the properties first, or speaking
to professional advisors and local agents who could have saved them
thousands of pounds and lots of heartache.
Of course hindsight is a wonderful thing, but doing the basics has
always been the cornerstone of any decent advice.
For those who may be struggling now, the message is seek help and advice
early. There are things that can be done. There are investors who are
looking to take the property off your hands and there are lenders who
are willing to help.
Do not brush it under the carpet and wait for the repossession order.
It is sad that many unscrupulous property clubs made money out of good,
decent people, and for some the price of property has been high.
But, like it or not property will be back and will always be one of
the most important aspects of the UK economy.