• Jack Wathen

Superyacht Crew - How to succeed in Property Investment

Updated: Nov 2, 2018

Property can be a yardstick of ones success whilst working in yachting. You will often hear crew discuss how many properties they own or how their friend left the industry with a large portfolio. But what does it actually take to get there and how can you ensure that you are making the right investment each time?

In reality, with the right support and network of professionals, investing in property as a crew member can be plain sailing. There is an unrealistic expectation that crew should somehow know how to invest in property, but as a full time property investor, I don't know how to service a generator or run service, and no one would expect me to. In the same vein, as a full time crew member you probably don't know a lot about mortgages, yields or capital appreciation, and why should you?

There's a famous saying by the businessman Peter Drucker that goes "Do what you do best, and outsource the rest."

That's exactly what Freddie, 23, Deckhand on M/Y Lady S did two years ago. He has just bought his third property and is taking a break from yachting to concentrate on investing and renovations on a full time basis. How did he start?

By focusing on his yachting career whilst Anchor Property focused on his investing.

When Freddie came to us in 2015 he knew he wanted to invest in property. He knew he wanted to make extra money each month from rent and wanted to build a portfolio of properties for his future. However, like a lot of crew, he didn't know where to buy, what to buy or how to buy, and most importantly, he didn't have the huge amount of time required to find those things out. He wanted a hands off experience with less stress and higher returns.

Let's take a closer look at these three fundamental property investment questions in a bit more detail.

Where to buy?

Crew often fall into the trap of buying property near home or in a city they once lived in because it feels comfortable. Sometimes they're lucky and that place happens to be a good investment area, but often their hard earned money could have bought them a much better investment somewhere else. Investing in property is about making money at the end of the day, and the location of your investment will make a huge difference to the amount it goes up in value over time. We deal with property on a daily basis and can't stress enough the importance of finding areas that aren't just ok, but have the potential to be great.

What to buy?

The idea of owning a lovely little cottage with sea views can be very appealing. But in reality, from an investment point of view, you're probably better off with a 60's built ex-council house in a city where people are desperate to live.

Investing in property must be free from emotion, properties must make good investments and not just be nice to look at. In depth research is crucial to make sure you are buying the right property, in the right area. We look at everything when evaluating investments from historical house price data and local employment opportunities, down to internet speed and bus routes. There are so many factors that can determine the strength of an investment that you can't afford to miss anything out.

How to buy?

For those that haven't bought property before, having to juggle solicitors, mortgage brokers and estate agents can be time consuming and stressful. Add living and working on a yacht with very limited free time to this, and you have the potential for serious headaches. Researching the process in depth, and creating a team of professionals you trust and that understand yachting, will make a huge difference to your property investment experience.

In Freddie's case, working a 5:1 rotation meant his free time was simply too valuable to be translating solicitor jargon or negotiating a mortgage in a different time zone. He wanted his purchase to be managed from start to finish so he could concentrate on other things, safe in the knowledge someone was representing him in the UK.

Two years on and Freddie has just had his first property valued at £21,000 (18%) more than he paid for it. He's also taken £4,800 net in rent over that time and hasn't had a single problem with his flat. This success wasn't just luck, it was down to Freddie investing in professionals who knew how to help him maximise his returns, and minimise his stress.

At Anchor Property all we do is help crew to invest in UK property. We know exactly how daunting it can be deciding where and what to buy, regardless of your level of experience. Whatever path you choose, getting the right information, early on, is the key to property investment success.