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  • Writer's pictureSebastien Aguilar

Dubai Meetup 18: Real Estate - Experience in Purchasing UK Property - by Heidi, Matt and Andrew (inc

Updated: Nov 21, 2020

(Written by Dorota Lewna, posted by Sebastien Aguilar)

Typically discussions in this group focus heavily on index investing – Bogleheads style. There are however many members who are already investing in alternatives such are real estate or are interested to add this to their portfolio, for diversification. This meetup was a perfect way to learn some basic principles of real estate investing from a couple of our members who were happy to share their experience.

Heidi Jane Hill has 20 years of experience in investments in properties in the UK. She has shared with us some of the details from her personal journey, when she started in debt at the age of 26 and ended up now with 6.4 properties, mortgage free. Heidi has achieved it through intensive saving at the beginning of her way through the property ladder which allowed her to pay back the first mortgage and take up a next one. Interestingly, her first property was a boat which shows how important it is to look into alternatives in everything we do!

Heidi has also talked about the basics of how the UK property market works and what are the important aspects of starting up the property ladder, how important it is to get a good mortgage deal and how she, as a first-time buyer, went through those steps. As an interesting addition, Heidi’s husband Matt has added some details related to an Australian market, which were a good reminder of how different can each country be in terms of legislation, costs and ‘unwritten’ market rules.

Our second speaker was Andrew Popplewell , who has been a long time property investor and recently started diversifying into index investing. He has outlined pros and cons of buying for letting, including a good outlook on taxes, liquidity, and regulations. Andrew made it clear that buying a property with a prospect of living in it on your own isn’t the best investment strategy, because people tend to lose the investor’s attitude when such a personal view comes into play.

Andrew has had plenty of lessons learned to share with the audience with the intention to allow people to use this knowledge to prevent falling for the same mistakes. His best tips are to buy what you know, i.e. buy in the area that is known to you so you can make a judgment on location and value, don’t save money on professional services such as property management companies, solicitors and good contractors as well as having someone on the ground who could help you deal with unexpected problems. The last tip is very relevant to our expat’s community since travelling to another country to deal with some of those issues could prove to be costly.

Here is the video recording of the session:

Interactive Q&A sessions followed each of the presentations and suggested that quite few of us debate buying in their own home country over buying in the UAE.

It was a great meetup and we all have learned something new from the experiences presented by Heidi, Matt and Andrew. Thanks a lot guys!



Thank you to Abu Dhabi University, Dubai campus for providing the venue for this meetup!

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