Jack Smith was looking for a way to best put some spare cash to use. "I had some money in the bank and I thought, this is just sitting here, what can I do with it?" the Manchester-based entrepreneur explains. Now, six years later, Jack runs his own personal house flipping business plus deal sourcing business Find My Houses (https://www.findmyhouses.co.uk), securing quality property deals for investors.
"I wanted to do some gap years, I wanted to live my life, I didn't want to settle down and I didn’t know where I wanted to buy my own home," he says, remembering the beginning of his investing journey. Aged 18 at the time, Jack didn't dream of buying and selling multiple properties, but he did have the ambition to be mortgage-free.
"I thought to myself, rather than having this sit in the bank, what I'd like to do is buy my home and start paying off the mortgage," he explained, "because I’ve been taught my whole life, you buy a house, you pay off the mortgage as quickly as possible and - great! - you live mortgage-free.
"I thought to myself, 'Brainwave, this is a great idea. Why don't I buy an apartment and rent it out at the same price as the mortgage, so I could have someone paying off my mortgage right now and I don't have to settle down yet?'
"The idea of making profit did not enter my mind, it was purely, 'how do I get my mortgage paid off soon?'
"As I started to look into it, I realised people do this and make money off it.
People become millionaires and billionaires from this. It opened my eyes, and I really went from there.
"It brought to light the fact that it is not just about paying off the mortgage, I could make good money. This could be a salary."
However, with no one in his family with any investment know-how, Jack had to find other means to learn about the industry.
"I was kind of going it alone," he explains. "No one in my family does it, my parents are teachers. I don't know anybody in my family that runs a business or invests in property.
"I had this epiphany about paying off my mortgage early and I did what every 18-year-old would do at that stage, I went straight to Youtube and watched videos. I consumed videos for hours and hours a day trying to learn as much about this as possible.
"That's another reason I made my own channel. Now I've learned this stuff and continue to learn this stuff, I want to share that with other people, so other people can get involved.
"My audience is primarily 16 to 30s. Nobody teaches this stuff.
"I'm introducing the idea of investing in property to so many Millenials and Gen Zs who wouldn't have heard about it otherwise, and I like being able to give back to people."
The investor admits it can be a frightening prospect to start investing in property, although he uses his Youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/c/JacksChats) to inspire and educate those interested in the business.
Here Jack posts renovation before and after tours, as well as how-to guides, including How to Buy a House With No Money and Finding Property Investment Deals on Rightmove. On his Instagram account, he documents his renovations and posts Q&As for those keen to learn more about his business. (https://www.instagram.com/jackdavidsmith/) He says: "I’ve learned the people who do well in the business see risk very differently. People say the biggest risk is not taking the risk, the worst thing you can do is not do anything. Even as I say it, I'm thinking, people will think that's a stupid saying, it’s ridiculous to say. "But, for me, I think it's only money, the worst-case scenario is I have fewer things if it all went wrong. But if you learn the right stuff, if you get around the right people, if you put your mind to learning this stuff, it's not going to go wrong." "Instead of buying his first property and renting it out to cover his mortgage, Jack decided to flip properties instead - buying them, renovating them, and selling them on for a higher price.
"Initially, I bought and sold one property. I didn't keep it." The experience helped him to decide on his personal business model. "For me, my business model and way I want to grow and grow quickly has meant I've made the decision to not hold on to any of my houses," Jack says. "Everything that I buy, I buy with the intention to sell." This means he can buy more, quickly, the investor explains: "If I was to buy a house say, and I've got £25,000 locked in that house, that's £25k I don't have access to. "That house could pay me £250 a month and it would take seven years for that £25,000 to be back in my bank account. "That's a slow process. It means I'm buying a property and waiting seven years till I can buy the next.
"But if I buy it, do it up and sell it, I can get access to the £25,000 quicker, buy more, and eventually take on more than one property at a time." What are some of Jack's best deals to date? "In terms of percentages, one of the best ones I've done was in the North West," Jack says.
"I bought it for £95,000 and after the stamp duty and legal fees, I was about £101k all in. "There was the full refurb with a new boiler, central heating, electric, garden, the roof, the whole lot. "Then when I sold it and there were some selling fees involved there, too. So, I was about £130k all in and sold it for £185k in a week. "I made £55k on that gross. That was a good one."
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