It’s time to review your pension options

Investing in a pension has a sense of comfort and familiarity however for most of us decent pensions disappeared at the same time as ‘Jobs for Life’ and so we now have Defined Contribution pension pots spread across several employers, which to be honest are likely to add up to nothing much.

Sticking your head in the sand isn’t an option if you are looking for financial security today and in your retirement.  Now is the time for you to look outside the box.

Buy to let property as an investment strategy is a proven route for achieving financial security and wealth, however it can seem daunting and overwhelming when first starting, as there are so many strategies to follow. So which strategy is best? Buy to sell, Lease Option, Corporate Letting or Buy and Hold? Confused? Don’t be. Take a look at this short guide to help you weigh up your options, and decide which investment strategy is best for you.

1. Buy to sell. The key to purchasing property with the sole aim of adding value and selling it for a profit is buying at the right price and having an accurate calculation of the refurbishment costs (and sticking to them!). The advantage is that you can make a healthy profit, however there are some disadvantages you need to note:

  • It is currently not an upwardly mobile market
  • You need to know your area thoroughly
  • You need to buy it below market value,
  • You must keep to refurbishment budget
  • You must be constantly aware of changes in the market and be prepared to amend your exit strategy to Plan B if required (i.e. renting out).
  • Any profit will be subject to Capital Gains Tax!!

2. Lease Options. This means that you don’t own a property, but take a ‘lease’ on the property for an agreed period with the option to buy at a specified time in the future. The owner moves out of their home, and the property is rented out during the Lease period, you babysit the mortgage for them during this period (i.e. pay it) and you gather the rent.


  • The upfront funds required to enter into one of these agreements can be minimal
  • During the Lease period you receive the rental income from the property
  • You will benefit from a lump sum under the Purchase Option.  (This is the difference between the price you agreed to pay the Vendor for the property, and the actual market value at that time).
  • You have the ‘option’ to purchase so you can walk away from the deal if the marketplace doesn’t support the purchase price you agreed.


  • Difficult to identify willing vendors that understand the process
  • The conversion rate is considerably lower than on a traditional purchase
  • You need to get your legal paperwork water tight to avoid disputes further down the line.
  • You are not the legal owner during the ‘lease period’ so you could be exposed should the Vendor die or go bankrupt

3. Rent to Rent. This is referred to as Corporate Lets and involves renting a property from a disgruntled, or tired landlord and then renting the property on at a higher rate – on a room by room basis. This is a great strategy to deliver high cash-flowing houses, with very little money required upfront. However…


  • It is not a ‘passive income’ as you will be ‘self managing’ the property
  • The Landlord has the right to change their mind about renting to you, meaning your tenants will need to vacate the property and your cash flow will cease
  • Refurbishment work will be needed to make it rentable on a room by room basis
  • You won’t benefit from any capital growth over time
  • The property must have the correct HMO mortgage otherwise the owner could be in breach of their existing residential mortgage terms
  • You need to ensure that the property is insured for multiple tenants

4. Buy and Hold. This investment strategy is the one I utilise for our own family investment and those of my investors under Alton Property Partners.


  • Buying and holding property has a proven track record to generate wealth
  • As the legal owner you receive both the Cash flow generated and also any capital growth over the longer term
  • You have Peace of mind
  • You can build your asset base at your own pace knowing you have control over your outcome
  • You receive steady month in, month out cash flow
  • You can achieve financial security today and in the future
  • Your family members benefit long term  i.e willable
  • If you don’t have access to funds you can use Joint Venture finance


  • You need access to some money for deposits
  • You need to do thorough due diligence, cutting corners will only be to your detriment and could mean the property you thought was going to be an asset, soon becomes a liability

Gill Alton

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Gill Alton is the founder of Alton Property Partners, which provides a comprehensive and personal Property Portfolio Building Service for investors in the UK.

Alton Property Partners manage the entire investment process, from sourcing property at a discounted value, co-ordinating the Mortgage, arranging the refurbishment, right through to ensuring it is ready for the rental market.

The service is specifically aimed to support those who recognise the value of a UK investment portfolio, but lack the time, or knowledge to be able to invest for themselves because they are full time employees or Business Owners. With full consultation and comprehensive financial analysis, clients can be assured that their portfolio of strong yielding properties will be built to exacting standards and they will be kept up to date every step of the way.

Having been involved in property for 16 years Gill has built a personal portfolio for her family, and in addition to Alton Property Partners, runs a Property Mentoring Business, Venus Property Mentoring which focuses on supporting new investors onto the investing ladder. Having originally left the Corporate world to be a Qualified Mortgage Broker, Gill’s husband now focuses on their family Mortgage Brokerage in Maidenhead – Alton Mortgages.

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