I have chosen a ‘thrilling’ topic this week… so drum roll please…
This weeks little ramble is going to be all about my WERK WERK WERK WERK WERK!!!
Since starting ‘at home with gem’, I have been asked quite a few times about what I do for ‘werk’ and also how I have ended up doing what I do…
Unfortunately for all of you, they are two questions with rather plain answers but I thought I would do my best to try and elaborate a bit more for you…
So, here it goes…
QUESTION 1: WHAT DO I DO?
Put simply I…
- Renovate houses
- Try and be a good landlady
Now for the more elaborate version…
On the main, the houses that I renovate belong to Dougie and I…
We try and buy houses that need some work doing to them and then typically we convert them into ‘HMO’s’.
For anyone who hasn’t heard of that one before, a HMO is a house of multiple occupation… which essentially just means a shared house rented out room by room.
We don’t have any students rentals, only professionals and we try to make sure that the house renovations appeal to the professional market by making the houses (in our opinion) pretty nice…
Keeping them nice on the other hand is another story!!
The houses typically have 5-6 people living in them and each person rents a bedroom.
The houses we look to buy are normally 3 bedroom terraced houses, that have 2 reception rooms, a big kitchen and possibly sometimes the opportunity to extend or do an attic conversion.
We then turn the two reception rooms into bedrooms and this gives us our 5 bedrooms (or 6 with an attic conversion or extension).
Aside from continuing to buy houses and continuing to manage the renovations, I also have the very important job of looking after all of our tenants, the maintenance of the houses and the running of the business.
So I guess day to day you could also call me Maintenance Director, Sales Director, Marketing Director, Finance Director… general sh!t shoveller… the list goes on!!
Then in between all of that, I also project manage house renovations for other people…
These can either be HMO renovations, where I will source suitable ‘HMO’ houses for people to purchase. Then I will also project manage the renovation to convert the house into a HMO for them.
Or… I also project manage residential renovations and extensions for people wanting to improve their own homes… basically I will PM anything anyone wants me to help with!!
No two days look the same for me… some days I am fixing washing machines and unblocking toilets… some I am terrorising the builders… some I’m looking round ex crack den houses… some I am knee deep in paperwork… and some I am extremely lazy and do a whole heap of not a lot!!
It is an eclectic mix!!
I am very very hands on with all of the projects and I am normally down on site most days.
Every single day is a school day… but that is the way I like it. There is so much to know and every house throws up something (or multiple things) that I haven’t come across before…
Working with property, definitely keeps me on our toes!!
QUESTION 2: HOW DID I END UP DOING IT?
No, I joke, that’s a total lie…
I know I have mentioned to you before that my parents have been building houses my whole life, so they have well and truly given me the property bug!!
But I haven’t however always worked with property… I did used to have a corporate job working as a Recruiter for Kellogg’s and I absolutely loved it.
But as much as I loved it, property was still always in the background and whilst working for K, Dougie and I also renovated a few houses on the side…
That, was very very tough.
Leaving work after a long day and then going to strip wall paper was hell.
Back in the old days we used to do a lot of the work ourselves, but thankfully not any more…
Don’t get me wrong, when we are up against it, I will occasionally pick up a paintbrush to ‘help out’.
But now we work with an amazing team of builders and I happily let them take control… they are most definitely the experts after all.
The hard work at the beginning was however, very much all worth it because it saved us a lot of £££ and allowed us to make a decent profit on the houses that we renovated.
That profit has essentially been the stepping stone that has allowed me to leave my ‘job’ and allowed us to start investing in property full time.
Leaving the corporate world was a very tough and scary decision…
We had days, weeks, months of sleepless nights. Back and forth with whether it was the ‘right’ thing to do.
Thankfully, so far, it does seem to have been a good leap of faith to have taken… as not only are we doing alright but it is safe to say that I absolutely LOVE what I do.
Growing up there was only ever one job that was for me and it was to work with property… so I guess you could say I am living my dream.
I literally don’t think I could ever get bored of nosing round houses and then transforming them into something better than they were before.
I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea being on mucky building sites most days and it can be super stressful at times.
But for me it’s perfect.
It allows me to manage my own time, be my own boss, get creative and the best part is the pride I get to feel every time I finish a project.
In my eyes I am definitely a very lucky girl…
Until next time.