Building a Property Portfolio at 30 Part 2

By Matthew Gunn

Moving out of the property in Mount Florida I bought another refurbishment property on Forth Street, Pollokshields.  We managed to get this one £5k under the home report having missed out on a few others, it was a bizarre property with a standard two-bedroom layout out upstairs and then a staircase led to a downstairs storage area that was really wasted.

To make use of this space we removed a wall and supported it with a goalpost frame as well as created an internal en-suite and walk-in wardrobe area by moving a doorway and creating ventilation and pipework for the en-suite.
Architects drawings, Structural Engineer assessment and a Building Warrant were required for these adjustments


Basement / Master Bedroom at Forth St after renovation works
En-suite bedroom created from what was previously a storage cupboard

It needed a lot of work throughout but this was done over time whilst I was living there, almost everything that could possibly go wrong in a flat did at this property.

I learned a lot of valuable lessons including how to deal with mice, internal condensation, damp, cracked and damaged walls and so forth.  As of today it is currently under offer and has received an offer well in excess of the Home Report, though it was a lot of work it was ultimately a good buy, the experience of renovating this property myself was invaluable

Another two bedroom property on Victoria Road made a good profit, we bought and sold this within two years without doing any work.  It was rented for £700 pcm and made around £25k profit, the housing market helped here.

Using the profits from these sales and with some extra investment we decided to buy more buy-to-let properties.  We focused on properties that needed a bit of work but could be bought at a reasonable value.

We purchased a two bedroom on Maxwell Street which was rented for £1,000 pcm.  Having been recently valued and with minimal work this has gone up around £20k in value.

A two bedroom on Howard Street, a two bedroom on Buchanan Street and a one bedroom in Merchant City now complete our portfolio.  Every property has been renovated to some degree and all of them have appreciated significantly in value.

Click Here to see how Gallus Property can help with short-term letting properties

Wilson St prior and post refurb


Having been made redundant at the end of 2018 and having some of the properties in the portfolio managed by letting agents and short-term rental companies I decided to pursue a career full-time in property management.  Using the experience of purchasing, renovations, selling and letting I decided I had the required experience and knowledge to do a superior job to many of the agencies which I believe lacked the knowledge and skill in property to manage.

So Gallus Property was born, and brings the knowledge of being a property owners to Landlords.  Starting with short-term rental management we have now expanded into traditional lettings even property investments.

We believe there is a gap between Landlords and their Letting Agents which Gallus can fill.  We operate a 'No Hidden Fees' policy and clear pricing structures so that Landlords are safe in the knowledge that their Property and investments are safe in our hands.

Click Here to see what Gallus Property can offer to Landlords as a Letting Agent or for Investments

Building a Property Portfolio at 30 Part 1

By Matthew Gunn

As with anything else in life, building a property portfolio with limited experience was a very steep learning curve.  After several years and a lot of hard work that has been achieved, albeit with many mistakes (as well as successes) along the way.

The housing market has both helped and hindered at various times but regardless there were valuable lessons learned and all things considered now in a better position with experience and assets to show.

So how was this achieved?  It all started with a family member wanting to buy a property with savings and pensions as a retirement fund.  We searched together and there was one flat in Mount Florida that stood out like a sore thumb – The proportions to this four-bedroom were quite incredible (including a fireplace in one of the bedrooms!)

When you are house hunting for yourself you always get that feeling when you go into a property and it just appeals to you, it’s advisable to trust your gut when house hunting yourself but not so much when it’s an investment or buy-to-let.

This property needed a bit of work but it really was a gem, the housing market was stagnant at that time and it was purchased below the Home Report value – always a bonus.  After living there for several years and house sharing it was  renovated with a new kitchen, bathrooms and flooring throughout.  Eventually it sold for a tidy profit as the housing market was now buoyant in Glasgow, the rental income generated during the years living there was around £900 per month so this was all round a great investment as most of the refurbishment money came from the rental income.

Prior to this sale I myself bought another two-bedroom tenement at Kingspark Road, Mount Florida with some savings from working offshore, again at the time of purchase the housing market hadn’t quite picked up yet so again a price was agreed under the Home Report.  This was rented out for two years at £600 pcm prior to selling off the market, despite having to deal with a wet rot issue prior to sale again a good profit was achieved on this property which allowed us to move onto other purchases.

The next purchase was the most dubious purchase to date, having made some profit from the previous properties we had money to burn but didn’t see enough of interest coming on the market.  We decided to gamble on an auction property purchased through a well-known Glasgow Auction House (you know the one), this was a complete refurbishment of a decent sized three-bedroom on Daisy Street, Govanhill.

This investment was purchased without viewing,  which I would thoroughly not recommend, the solicitors jaw nearly hit the floor when I called to explain the situation!

It was a calculated guess that the property would be in a run-down condition and a complete refurb on the cards again, the condition was somewhat a surprise even to us.  Without going into graphic details we required pest control as well as completely stripping out everything within the property - the stench was unbearable.

A separate blog post may be more appropriate but I would advise any purchasers to treat Auction Properties with extreme caution, the Home Reports are generally not worth the paper they are written on – Beware!

Anyway after another solid refurbishment with budget in mind we did manage to sell it within a couple of weeks and still turned a decent profit.  Considering that Govanhill at the time was not the best area it was a good result to turn a profit on this investment – lessons learned all round and onto the next project...