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Southall

10 best things to do for families in Southall

Indoor and outdoor activities for children of all ages in Southall

If there is one thing that families need, it’s something to keep the kids amused. Parents in Southall never need to ask what to do with kids at the weekend. In and around Southall, there is plenty of family entertainment. You could visit a different attraction or park every weekend for a year, and still not have seen half of what this area of London has to offer to families.

In no particular order, here is our pick of the 10 best things to do for families within 30 minutes of Southall.

1.    Hanwell Zoo

This is a great day out for children from toddlers to twelve years old.

A day packed with wildlife fun, animal ‘meet and greets’, and plenty of educational programmes to help the kids learn about rare species, conservation, and more.

Marmosets, meerkats, and mara are just a few of the creatures that kids will marvel at. Children can run around freely at the zoo’s playground facilities. At Hanwell, youngsters arrive as kids and leave as mini zookeepers!

Where: Hanwell, only 16 minutes from Southall

2.    Airport Bowl

A firm favourite with Southall families on wet weekends, Airport Bowl in Harlington is home to an incredible 36 lanes of 10-pin bowls. There are also eight pool tables, a video arcade and a food court.

It’s a big winner with children for birthday parties, with medals for all, food, unlimited squash, photos and balloon modelling all available to add extra sparkle to the party fun.

Where: Harlington, only 22 minutes from Southall

3.    Dinosaur Escape

A mini golf adventure. Instead of windmills, near life-size moving dinosaurs try to stop you making a hole-in-one. This is crazy golf taken to another level, with 18 holes meandering through a Jurassic jungle. It’s like taking a step back in time, with the air filled with the noise of the prehistoric past. You’ll be wondering what lurks around the next corner.

It’s not all about hitting a ball with a club, though. There is plenty of dinosaur history and information to collect as you make your way around the course, ensuring that you and your children leave a little more enlightened. Another venue that is great for birthday parties, and exceptional fun for children of all ages – right up to 99!

Where: Northolt, only 10 minutes from Southall

4.    Ceramics Café

The Ceramics Café is the place to visit for a fun activity that will build great memories as the children create wonderful keepsakes. Simply select the piece you wish to paint, choose you colours, and paint your design on the item chosen. Return in a few days, and pick up your keepsake. They make perfect gifts for grandparents!

You aren’t left alone to hope your work comes out the way you planned. Experienced staff are on hand to offer all the help needed. A fun activity with a beautiful end result.

Where: Ealing, only 17 minutes from Southall

5.    Northala Fields Park

The award-winning Northala Fields Park has something for everyone, and for children of all ages.

With six fishing lakes, three wildlife ponds, a model boating lake, and two well-equipped playgrounds, it’s a fantastic place to spend many hours. Take the family for a ramble through the woods, and see if the kids can find the mosaic in the middle of the park.

Bring the bikes to make exploring a little easier, or, better still, a kite for a bit of flying on the fields – a very popular pastime here.

A visitor centre includes a café, toilets, a fishing office and classrooms.

Where: Northolt, only eight minutes from Southall

6.    Jungle Versatile Indoor Play

A fantastic indoor play centre for children up to the age of 12, with rope swings, crawl tunnels, ball pits and more. Fully air-conditioned, it’s the perfect place to bring children when you want them to have the kind of fun that ensures they are worn out by bedtime.

A five-star café sells a range of hot and cold food and drinks, but you don’t need to sit out the fun – parents can join in during the interactive parent and child sessions.

Birthday parties can also be booked here, and there is also a range of seasonal events throughout the year.

Where: Hounslow, only 21 minutes from Southall

7.    Oxygen Freejumping Acton

A trampoline park with 150 wall-to-wall trampolines that will get your kids bouncing. There’s a giant obstacle course to tackle, games of dodgeball to win, and basketball hoops to slam dunk from a bouncing start. As if this were not enough, there are fancy dress sessions with prizes for under-fives, and if your bounce isn’t quite up to the mark you can take trampoline lessons with a British gymnastics qualified instructor.

Where: Acton, only 22 minutes from Southall

8.    Brentford Leisure Centre

Brentford Leisure Centre is all you would expect it to be, and then some.

A multi-purpose centre, it includes a gym with more than 100 fitness stations, swimming pools for serious swimmers and waves and flumes for the funster, a children’s soft play area, squash courts, and a sports hall for racket sports and five-a-side football.

Activities here include swimming lessons, holiday activities and birthday parties. If you don’t fancy a high-energy afternoon, enjoy a drink and a bite to eat at the centre’s café while the children are learning to swim or with their team on the five-a-side pitch.

Where: Brentford, only 19 minutes from Southall

9.    Hounslow Urban Farm

Hounslow Urban Farm is a city jewel, and a fantastic day out for children who wouldn’t normally see farm animals. It is one of London’s largest urban farms, covering a huge 29 acres.

There is a farm café for lunch or tea, a bouncy castle and a souvenir shop. But, of course, these aren’t the main attractions.

The kids will love the animal encounters, which give them interactive time with the animals through the day. Parent the pigs, greet the goats, shake hands with the sheep. Wonder at the majesty of the owl. The fun doesn’t stop. The farm has a small group of Shetland ponies that give a fantastic introduction to pony riding.

Where: Hounslow, only 23 minutes from Southall

10. The Secret Railway

The Secret Railway – or, to give it the correct name, Hampton & Kempton Waterworks Railway – is the only operational narrow-gauge railway inside the M25. Once used to supply London with drinking water, it is now a visitor attraction that holds events throughout the year. These events include:

  • Superheroes Day
  • Dinosaur Day
  • Ghost Train
  • Santa Specials
  • And more

There are special museum days that include model railway exhibitions, stationary engines and model boats, classic car and bike shows, and a Christmas Fair.

Wow! So much to do here, and this is before you have even taken a ride on the little steam train.

Where: Hounslow, only 29 minutes from Southall

Southall – a great place for families to live

Southall is a great location for families. There is plenty to do here, so the kids should never get bored. The Taxi of Mum and Dad may get a little exhausted, though, with the weekends the perfect time for kids to let off steam from a hard week at school.

Now we’ve mentioned education, it’s worth noting that 13 of the 18 primary schools in Southall are rated as good by Ofsted. At the secondary school level, the most highly-rated schools are Dormers Wells High School, Villiers High School, and the outstanding-rated Featherstone High School.

Southall is a great place for families to live, and it’s getting even better. Berkeley Group is developing Southall Waterside. This development is ideal for families. Parks, trees, water and gardens. Shops, restaurants, cafés, art and entertainment. With Crossrail on its way here, Southall Waterside will be only 17 minutes from Bond Street. And, of course, within a few minutes of some of the best family entertainment and activities in London.

With the population here forecast to grow by 13% by 2030, the potential for profitable property investment is huge. For more information about Southall Waterside property, contact the team at Gladfish today.

Live with passion

Brett Alegre-Wood

London

Lets talk about London

 

Video Transcription:

Hey guys, so welcome to Brett’s Property Rants. So, I want to talk about London today. London’s really actually starting to impress me, I have to say. Most people are talking it down. Most people are actually still saying… It never ceases to amaze me how people can be so two or three years behind

I’m in Singapore now, right now on the beach so you can see this lovely view of all the shipping, and I’ll tell you what, Singapore is not slowing down, that’s for sure. The number of boats that are out there.

So London. So it’s amazing, I find consistently how people quote what was two to three to four to five years ago, the market. So people are saying, oh yeah, house prices are dropping a lot in London, it’s like, no, they’re not, actually. They were, and it’s amazing, when they were dropping, people were telling me, oh, I want to get into London, house prices, growing. It’s like, no, they’ve gone down. But that’s the reality here, is that most people are behind the market by about two or three years. And the problem is when there is a massive change in the market, all of a sudden they’re shocked by it. Now, look, for the last sort of six months, probably even longer than that, nine months.

I’ve been talking about that there will be a downturn. Make no mistake, there’s going to be a downturn. America with what it’s doing, China with what it’s doing, the world with what it’s doing, and whether it be Brexit triggers it, whether it be Trump triggers it, whether it be Trump invading who knows where to keep the war machine going, who knows what the trigger is going to be.

Go into YouTube, and have a look at all the videos that predict prices going down in 2013. And in 2014. And in 2016. 17, 18, 19. Every single year there’s, house prices are dropping. People are quite happy to try and predict the moment that it’s going to happen. But you know what? Most the time, they’re wrong.

And it’s ridiculous. So, what do I see with London? London is going to do well. Make no mistake, it is still a world city, I don’t care what happens with Brexit, at the end of the day, Brexit hasn’t been the downfall of London. If anything, the business has been moving from London up to Manchester and Birmingham. So actually, they’re being the real beneficiaries. But nobody’s really talking about that, are they? Understand, London is still growing.

London is still expanding. So you’re not gonna get rid of London any time soon. But what I will say is this. Right now there’s roughly one million… There are seven million people in the world, okay… One million people live in North America, one million people live in Europe. Sorry, what am I saying? There are seven billion people. One billion in America, one billion in Europe, one billion in Africa, and then there’s effectively four billion in Asia. So, those four billion in Asia, that is starting now to really show, and we’re talking India, and Asia, and China, effectively, and southeast Asia and that. So that’s where the population is.

So what you’re starting to find are historical things where… The UK used to rule the world. And then it lost its place to the US. And the US is losing its place to China. Now, is it China, or is it Asia? That’s interesting, that’s a topic for another discussion. But the reality is what we’re finding is the population now, is going to continue rising, it is going to level out because not as many babies are being born now. So what does that mean? Well, what that means is in about two generations, we’re actually gonna see a lot of our towns, our suburbs, places outside the fundamentals, are gonna start to drop off. In other words, people aren’t gonna live there anymore. They’re gonna become the ghost towns. Look in some of the American… I can’t think of the route name. In the deserts of like, Nevada and California and that sort of stuff. You know, when you get out and there’s an old place and there’s like one petrol station, and there’s no one for kilometres. That sort of thing. The Hollywood movie type scene. That, potentially, is what’s gonna happen with a lot of the suburbs far out, because people are moving to the cities.

Because they move to the cities, what’s one of the best cities in the world, still to this day, what’s still seen as a safe haven is London. And that’s not going to change any time soon. London is a fantastic place. If you can’t afford London, okay fine, Manchester, Birmingham, long term, fantastic. Now that’s not to mean that they’re not gonna still go up and down. With the market, that is gonna happen. But if you buy for the long term, which my suggestion is you are and you should be, and you should be buying to hold, as opposed to trading, then this is a great way and a great place to buy. The thing I like about London right now is that we’ve got developers that are having problems selling. In fact, no stock is moving. So they’re willing to do deals.

So actually, London is the cheapest it’s ever been. Two years ago, house prices were dropping. They’d stopped dropping and they were sort of evening out, but what was happening is a steady rate of sales. So what actually happened, developers and agents that, they weren’t negotiating. But now what’s happened, things have dropped off. Now, prices aren’t really moving that much. They’re still staying. Actually, in fact, they went up this month, and down last month, and the reality is what happens now is vendors and developers and that are willing to do even more deals. So you’re getting that extra push, but the fundamentals are still there. I mean, Brexit isn’t that much of a drum as people are making out. A lot of the damage is already been done. It’s been slow, ripping off the Band-Aid rather than the quick get rid of it and date it done.

So look, London is back. Make no mistake. We’re looking at stuff that… Now, I’m not talking central London now, we’re not really looking central London, but some places like Southwell, which you may not have heard, out of Eling, that sort of places. Moving out of the centre now places that… We were very much in the southeast, southwest, that sort of area, the last boom if you like, but now we might be moving east. Sorry. West. But further west. So what you’re finding now is rather than being in the centre, you’re sort of moving that out and following that ripple effect out where the fundamentals are changing. So there are some major, major things happening.

Communal towns. They’re all doing really well. As long as you get the fundamentals. Even with things like Airbnb, if you get within five minutes of a train station in London, and potentially, if you get an Airbnb through your lease, then that’s another option as well. So there are more options now to make more money on some of our properties. We’re starting to get into the service apartment side of things, which is really exciting. It’s hard because on one hand you’ve got the developers that are saying no to it, and so they’re prohibiting it in the leases, but then, on the other hand, it’s actually where the market is heading. London is back.

Make no mistake. Research it, look at it, and you will start to see things starting to move in the right direction. It may be a year or two before, even three years, four years before you see booming growth again. But it is worthwhile and now I think is the cheapest time that you’re ever gonna find. I don’t see it going down further, because developers are willing to do that extra development, that extra discounting, that extra bargaining, because they need to get the volume of sales. It’s as simple as that. And people are starting to realize if they need to get rid of it, they need to get rid of it now. They don’t wanna be waiting til the Brexit happens or doesn’t happen, or referendum second who knows with Brexit. It’s all up in the air. Anyone that says they know, they don’t know.

I’ve been actually predicting it quite accurately so far, but really, it’s a, if you wanna, it’s just an amazing thing to view. I mean, I don’t think we’ll ever have this happen again in our life. But maybe it will, maybe this is a sign of all politics to come. You know, in the future. Anyway guys, have a great day. Live with passion. And make sure you subscribe, comment, anything you wanna say. If you wanna argue with me, you wanna prove me wrong, do it. I’m looking forward to it. Looking forward to a healthy discussion.

All right guys have a great day. Live with passion. See ya.

Property Investor

Look who’s actively looking for more UK Investments

A recent article from BBC News Business caught my attention.

It is very interesting that Warren Buffett, an 88-year-old Veteran Investor has said that he’s actively looking to make large investments into both the UK and the European economies, despite all the uncertainty surrounding the future relationship.

Buffett has built up a reputation over the years for being an extremely well-measured investor, not least because of the vast amount of information that he gathers on a company/ sector before actually investing in it.

His announcement at this years Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Event could, therefore, be seen as a positive sign for investor confidence, especially amongst the negative headlines we have grown used to seeing day-in-day-out.

Regards,

Manny Esezobor

Bretts Property Rants

The North and South Divide in the UK

Video Transcription:

Hi, guys. Brett’s property rant. I was just reading an article about the north-south divide in the UK, between the southern counties, London and the southern counties, and the northern counties. Just talking about how that’s changing now. Now Wales actually kinda doesn’t include it. That pattern is changing. I think, to be fair, we’re gonna see a lot more of that. I’m saying right now, and I’ve been saying for the last couple of years, we’ve sort of backed away from selling in a lot of areas.

I just don’t want to sell ’em ’cause I think long term we’re not really gonna see the growth that you would expect from that property. What’s happening is the fundamentals are moving into the cities, into the major cities. That’s more where our investment focus is and that’s where more your investment focus is, but what that means is that rather than being a north-south divide, I think what you’re gonna start to see is… I think there will certainly be a north-south divide, but I think the other side of it is that there’s going to be a cities and suburbs divide. If you’re looking prediction-wise, give it, you know, maybe 10 years, 20 years, but certainly within a generation, I think we’re gonna start to see the suburbs becoming quite desolate. It’s almost like the Hollywood movies with the tumbleweed rolling down the town that used to have hundreds of people in it. I think that’s gonna start to happen a lot more now.

What you’re gonna find is your rents won’t go up. Your capital values won’t go up. That’s going to be the initial phases of it. As it goes further and further on and it becomes less and less attractive an area, then what you’re gonna see is actually it’s gonna get harder and harder to rent your property out. It might still be fine for owner occupies, but actually, if you’re gonna rent the property out, you’ve gotta be careful. That’ll be the next stage of it. I really don’t think you want to be involved in an area when that hits. Cities, what you’re gonna see is more and more, they’re gonna take over as the place to invest. All right, guys. Have a great day. Live with passion. See ya.

Property Investment Manchester

For property investment, Manchester is hard to beat

Six reasons you will want to invest in Manchester

Manchester is a highly desirable place to work, live and play. It is being developed at a faster pace than most cities in the UK and is attracting high numbers of businesses and young professionals. For those considering property investment, Manchester should be high on your list of UK locations.

Here are six factors that underpin the potential of investing in Manchester property.

1.    Manchester is a mecca for retail and leisure enthusiasts

Manchester has some of the best retail and leisure facilities in the UK. These range from the world-renowned intu Trafford Centre, to the Arndale, Exchange Square and Market Street, and fantastic boutique shopping districts around the city.

For the culturally minded, there are more than 30 museums and galleries to visit. For fresh air enthusiasts, Manchester is a stone’s throw from several of the UK’s most beautiful rural areas.

Manchester is also the home of two of Europe’s best football teams (Manchester United and Manchester City), and Old Trafford is the home ground of Lancashire Cricket Club.

2.    Manchester is the place for exceptional education

With hundreds of schools in the city region and 25 primary and secondary schools rated as outstanding within three miles of the city centre, parents are spoiled for choice for their children.

There are also 20 higher and further education establishments. The total student population is one of the largest in the UK – presenting an exceptional opportunity for investors in student accommodation.

3.    Manchester’s tremendous transport

Manchester benefits from road and rail networks that connect the city to all corners of the UK. When HS2 services start running, London will be only an hour away.

The Manchester region is served by regular bus services, and rail and Metrolink services.

Manchester Airport is the North’s only major international gateway. It serves more than 22 million passengers each year – a number that is expected to rise to 50 million by 2030.

4.    Manchester is a city open for business

The city region houses a population of 2.8 million in its 10 metropolitan boroughs – the largest UK city region outside of London.

With a GVA of £63 billion, Manchester’s economy is extremely diverse with major employment sectors including:

  • Financial
  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Life science and healthcare
  • Energy and environment
  • Creative, digital and technology

Many major companies are located here (including names such as Barclays, BNY Mellon, Cargill, Heinz, BAE Systems, the BBC, Google, and IBM) attracted by the city and its stock of well-educated workers. The rate of start-ups here is also strong.

Consequently, the growth of more than 2% per year in employment that Manchester has experienced in recent years is expected to continue.

5.    Regeneration and development are booming in Manchester

Manchester is the beating heart of the Northern Powerhouse, and billions have been spent and are being spent on regeneration and development. Key projects include:

  • The Manchester Enterprise Zone (business and office space, manufacturing, health, and bioscience facilities)
  • The Corridor (now the UK’s largest academic campus)
  • Manchester Science Park (a world-class science and technology hub)
  • Spinningfields (mixed-use development in the heart of the city centre, providing space for mostly financial and professional services firms)

Regeneration projects include:

  • NOMA (an £800 million project)
  • St John’s Quarter (a mixed-use development including 2,500 new homes)
  • Ancoats (developed with £1 billion from the owners of Manchester City FC)
  • Greengate (2,000 apartments to be completed in the next 15 years)
  • Middlewood Locks (A £700 million mixed-use development)
  • Kampus (200 new apartments, and independent bars and restaurants)

The latest Deloitte Crane Survey forecasts more residential units will be delivered in the next three years than in the previous 10 combined.

6.    Manchester – where the population just keeps growing

Manchester’s city population has grown by 6% in the last three years – three times the national average. With more businesses moving to the region, HS2 soon to run services here, and a young, diverse and well-educated population, this rate of growth is set to continue.

Summing up

World-class retail, leisure and education make Manchester a good place to live and learn. The incredible transport links and a young and vibrant population make it a good place to do business. Add it all together, and Manchester is a great place for property investment.

You can learn more about the best property investment opportunities in Manchester by contacting the team at Gladfish at +44 207 923 6100.

Live with passion,

Brett Alegre-Wood

Birmingham Property

Why you should invest in Birmingham property for your retirement

For the retirement lifestyle, you deserve and desire, have a strategy and a location

With low-interest rates, volatile financial markets, and a global economy that appears to be stagnating, many people will rightly be concerned about their retirement years. Just how much money do you need to retire comfortably, and how can you save enough?

Property has proven to be the best long-term investment. It is more stable than share markets, usually benefits when interest rates are low, and is the most responsive asset to supply and demand I know. After all, shelter is a basic human need.

As the population grows, more people need homes. This is why, even when the economy tanks, property prices usually hold up much better than share prices, the value of art collections, gold and silver prices, and so on.

In this article, you’ll learn why property could be the perfect investment asset to build a comfortable retirement.

How much money will you need in retirement?

Most financial advisors agree that you’ll need around two-thirds of your final salary per year before you retire to pay for your spending in retirement. So, if your final salary before you retire is £45,000, you’ll need £30,000 per year to retire.

Calculating what you need to produce this can be done in one of two ways:

  1. The first is to guess how many more years you may live and multiply by £30,000. For example, if you think you’ll live for 30 years, you’ll need £900,000 in your pension pot.
  2. The second is to figure on a 5% withdrawal from your fund each year. If your fund makes 5% every year and you withdraw the return every year, your fund will remain intact and it won’t matter how long you live. In this case, to retire on £30,000, you’ll need to have a fund of £600,000.

So, you need to save enough to create a fund of between £600,000 and £900,000 to retire with an income of £30,000. However, there is one small problem:

Inflation and investment returns in retirement will affect your spending power. If inflation rises, you’ll need to take more out of your fund. If your investment returns don’t keep pace with this, your money won’t last as long as you plan, unless you reduce your standard of living as you get older.

How does property investment help in retirement?

When considering property investment or pensions savings, there is a lot to consider. One of the main ones should be how to sustain your lifestyle throughout your retirement. For this, buy-to-let property can be fantastic. As prices rise, your tenants expect their rents to rise. It’s a natural inflation-proofing. In addition, the property remains yours and could increase in value. In the UK, property prices have doubled every seven to 10 years on average for the last 100 years (though, of course, the past is no guarantee of the future).

Property doesn’t tend to crash by 30%, 40% or 50% like shares do every 10 years or so. That’s because of the constant (and growing) demand for new homes.

So, property is a great investment for retirement purposes – provided you buy the best property you can in the best location. For example, if you buy in an area that is dominated by a single employer, should that employer go bust or move, the demand from tenants for your property is likely to crash.

Why Birmingham is the ideal location for property investment for retirement planning

Birmingham, the UK’s second city, is one of the most attractive locations for long-term property investment in the UK. Here are just a few reasons why:

  • Investors are benefitting from massive regeneration across Birmingham.
  • The local government has a highly ambitious and detailed Big City Plan that looks forward to the next two decades – with years of stunning economic growth mapped out to add more than 50,000 jobs in the city.
  • HS2 is on its way here, and this will reduce travel times to London to less than 50 minutes. This will improve connectivity in an already well-connected city – could Birmingham become a commuter town?
  • It is the host city for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
  • Birmingham has a thriving and diverse local economy, with new business numbers growing at three times the UK average rate.

Demand for property is high here, and with the population forecast to grow by 12% by 2032, this demand will only increase. It is a young population, too, with more than 40% under the age of 25 – ideal targets for the buy-to-let market.

Over the last three years, property prices in Birmingham have been rising by between 5% and 10% each year, and further growth is forecast. Knight Frank expects the average price to rise by 14% between now and into 2020. Hometrack forecasts price growth of between 20% and 30% in the next four years.

In summary

If you want a comfortable retirement, one in which you have the income to do what you want to do and live the lifestyle you desire, you should consider property investment. And you don’t need to be a property mogul with a portfolio of hundreds of properties to create the income you need.

What you do need is a strategy to develop a portfolio of three properties (yes, you did read that right – three), and to buy those properties in a location that will support and sustain long-term investment.

The location is Birmingham. The strategy is called The 3+1 Plan. To find out more and receive an in-depth appraisal of the best property investment opportunities in Birmingham, get in touch with Gladfish today.

Live with passion

Brett Alegre-Wood

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