Time v Money – The Ultimate Dilemma?
Time vs. Money is a very common paradox. It does not matter whether you are in property, stock trading, gold investing or just living a normal life, time vs money should be considered more.
This post is going to look at a common dilemma that people have when they are researching their property investment area.
There are four key questions to ask yourself.
- How much time do you have?
- How much money do you have?
- What sacrifices are you prepared to make in the short term in order to benefit in the long term?
- How far are you prepared to travel?
Let’s look at these three questions individually.
1. How much time do you have?
Think about your situation.
- Do you have kids?
- Do you have a needy spouse?
- How much time does your work take per week?
- How long is your commute?
- Where do you live?
If you have a lot of time on your hands, then the chances are you will be happy to drive up and down the country looking for properties, investigating different areas, offering on properties and building your business.
If you have a really high-octane job, work 60 to 70 hours a week, only get Sunday off and then you have to spend time with your spouse, then chances are that you will not want to spend that time travelling up and down the country investigating different areas, offering on property and building your business.
Knowing how much time you realistically have available will help you to determine your property strategy.
2. How much money do you have?
This question is important as this (combined with the time) will help you to determine your property strategy.
If you have £3,000,000 sitting in the bank as you read this, then chances are that you may not want to build up a buy-to-let portfolio, but instead focus on commercial conversions.
If you have £25,000 sitting in the bank as you read this, then maybe you are thinking about splitting that down, going to a relatively prosperous yet inexpensive part of the country and buying a couple of buy-to-lets.
If you have £3,000,000 sitting in the bank AND you have NO time, then maybe you would want to team up with someone that will be able to find, renovate and then let properties for you? Or possibly joint venture with someone that has a LOT of time.
If you have £25,000 sitting in the bank AND you have NO time, then maybe you would want to team up with someone that will be able to find, renovate and then let properties for you?
Maybe you are sitting there with no money at all, but plenty of time. Do not worry! There are strategies out there for you. You may be able to forge great relationships with local agents and then network and find people who have money. You could always look at property strategies with low-entry fees such as rent-to-rent, lease options or joint venturing.
How much money you have or don’t have sitting in the bank will have a bearing on which property strategy you decide to choose.
3. What sacrifices are you prepared to make in the short term in order to benefit in the long term?
This is a great question to ask yourself. We outlined the importance of having a “why” earlier on and this question ties in perfectly to that.
If you really HATE your job and want to sack your boss and want to be able to grow a property portfolio that produces income per month for you, then maybe you will want to go to the ends of the earth to achieve that.
- Maybe you do not have to go to the football every Saturday?
- Maybe you do not have go out with your work colleagues and have drinks every Friday night?
- Maybe you do not have to go on that holiday right now?
Yes! I can hear the groans as you read those last three bullet points!
If you want something badly enough, then you will find a way to achieve it. You will either make your excuses or just do what you need to do.
I don’t write these sentences lightly. I’m not forcing you to not go to football or not go out with your friends. The choice is down to you at the end of the day. There is no right or wrong and it all comes down to how much you want it.
4. How far are you prepared to travel?
This is not a common question that is asked but it is a very important one. For the purposes of this example, we will assume that you live in Penzance, Cornwall, and are looking to invest in buy-to-let properties.
If you are prepared to travel seven and a half hours to Newcastle upon Tyne in order to invest in buy-to-lets, then that is absolutely great. You are obviously prepared to travel over 400 miles (one way) to achieve your dreams and goals. It is on journeys like this that you have to have that strong mentality and you have to know your why!
If you were only prepared to travel within Cornwall in order to invest in buy-to-lets, then your task will certainly be more challenging as you may find that not many areas work well for buy-to-lets within Cornwall.
If you were only prepared to travel within Cornwall, but then found out that buy-to-lets are not a great investment as the prices and yields are too low, then you have two options.
- Change your strategy to fit in with Cornwall.
- Travel further and find a place does work for buy-to-lets (eg, South Wales).
This principle can be applied anywhere in the country. Think about where you live and how far you are prepared to travel in order to get what you want.
Think about this, your time, your resources and your why.
These four questions are crucial as they can help to determine your property strategy.
It is always recommended that you invest in at least a couple of buy-to-lets first as they will give you your training wheels. They will help you to get your head around the processes and people involved in buying a property, renovating a property, letting a property and re-mortgaging a property.
No matter what your circumstances and no matter what you do, take some time to think about the time v money paradox as it has an impact in all of our lives.