Starting a property business if you have limited savings

Financial expert Gary Hemming offers some top tips on making your savings work if you want to get into property investment.

start property investment business


Property investment can be a hugely profitable pursuit but is considered a pipe dream by many due to the amount of money needed to get started. Whilst it’s true that some money is needed when starting out as a property investor, there are ways to minimise the amount to keep your costs down.

In this article, I’ll break down how you can get started in property investment with limited savings. I’ll break down the key strategies, how they can be funded and the main steps involved.

What are the best investment strategies for those with limited savings?

The key is combining the right strategy that will allow you to not only get started but to repeat the process. Being able to repeat your approach across multiple properties is the only way to build a business that will produce a strong income.

We won’t break down advice such as ‘save aggressively’ as ultimately, whilst this is the best way to build savings, this approach could take years and doesn’t tell you how to buy property now. Of course, building your savings would be helpful, but it isn’t the only way. With that out of the way, let’s break down some of the key strategies and how they work.

Rent to rent

Rent to rent is the process of renting a property from the owner, usually for 3-5 years and then renting it out to tenants for more than you’re paying, also called subletting.

This approach is attractive to property owners as it offers them a guaranteed rent for the medium term without them having to deal with the turnaround of tenants. It is also profitable for you, especially if the property is then let as an HMO, also known as multi-let.

This approach offers cash flow, but won’t allow you to benefit from any increase in the value of the property. The best way to find suitable properties is to reach out to local agents, or post in landlord groups on LinkedIn or Facebook asking if anybody is open to offering their property.

Buying below market value (BMV) property

BMV property, as the name suggests is property that is sold for less than its true value, usually because the seller is in a hurry. This approach involves finding sellers of property who require a quick sale and agreeing to buy their property in exchange for a discount, usually 15-25%. These properties can be funded with very little outlay using a bridging loan, before being refinanced onto a buy to let mortgage once let.

This approach simply involves hard work, putting adverts in the local area, posting flyers and approaching homeowners. Ultimately if you’re looking for a bargain, it’s a numbers game, the harder you try, the luckier you’ll get.

Working with an investor

Working with an investor who’s cash-rich but time-poor can benefit both of you. You take on all of the time-consuming work, turning a profit on their financial investment while they take on the financial risk. This approach gives you money to deal with, opening up more potential deals and therefore more opportunities to profit.

The biggest challenge is finding an investor who is willing to back you. The first step is to educate yourself and create a robust business plan so that you can effectively pitch investors when you find them. From there, create a robust agreement with strict boundaries and then start looking for suitable opportunities.

Subject to planning (STP) purchases

Agreeing a purchase subject to planning does involve some financial outlay, but can result in big profits. Buying STP involves agreeing an option to purchase a property (or land) for a set price and then taking it through the planning permission process to extend or build another property on the plot, which increases the value.

Should the planning process be successful, you can then either complete the purchase using the increase in value as a deposit or financing the balance through a bridging loan. Alternatively, sell the property to a developer for a higher price than you’re paying, with the difference being your profit.


While cash backing will increase the options available to you when starting a property business, it is possible to get started without it. Your first few deals are crucial as a strong start will boost your cash reserves and open up more avenues for investment.

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