Sarah Barrett

Date: January 2013

Sarah Barrett, is a property expert with a multi-million pound property portfolio, which she set up with little money of her own! She has conducted over 132 successful property deals across the country and helps people to find solutions that suit them, getting people both on and off the ladder. Sarah is more than your traditional property investor, not only does she act as both vendor and buyer, she believes the key to property is all to do with people and investing time in people with problems.

However, it hasn’t always been this simple for Sarah. Before entering the property world, she held down a demanding job, working long hours, struggling on the corporate ladder, with bills mounting and a debt of over £30,000. Sarah was living from day to day on credit cards and with no way of getting out of the rat race. During this time Sarah decided to turn her life around and after a chance meeting with a retired property investor, she learnt how to create profit from property and add value to people’s lives. It was during this time Sarah realized she had a passion for property and she decided to investigate investment opportunities.

Within 3 months, Sarah had set up her own business; she invested in a £9.99 mobile phone and started out by delivering leaflets to households! Since then, the empire has grown and Sarah now helps people resolve their circumstances, whether they are having problems selling, struggling to put together a deposit or qualifying for a loan, wanting to build a property portfolio or are simply equity rich and cash poor and due to circumstances, wish to turn this equity into cash.

Sarah’s first taste of success was in 2005, with a £16K return from an investment property. Her elderly client was looking to down size but didn’t want to reduce the price of their house for a quick sale, but wanted out of the property as quickly as possible. Sarah took over the property on a lease option, creating a win-win solution whereby the couple achieved the price they wanted for their property plus had a monthly cash income, the client was able to walk away with money in the bank!

As Sarah herself says: “The key to property is all to do with people, I am not a property investor, I invest in people with property problems and find them a win-win solution.”

Sarah realised that every situation is different and you just need to find out about the individual and their needs. In 2007, the banks put a stop to her portfolio due to the portfolio being too great. So, with banks making it harder to borrow money and house prices at an all time low, Sarah found herself exploring a third way of buying and selling – namely lease options. This method is not new, other countries have been using it for years and Sarah is campaigning for this method to achieve recognition in the UK.

Options – allow you to solve seller’s problems, especially those who cannot accept a ‘below market value’ offer of 25% plus. With an Option you can transform negative equity properties or a negative cash flow problem into a healthy profit. This strategy enables you to buy a property very quickly – no mortgage, no banks – for as little as £1. Best of all, these methods allow her to eliminate the pitfalls of traditional property investing, like having finance in your own name, maintenance headaches, dependence on bank loans, late rent cheques and instead she has tenants queuing up, happily paying above market rent for the privilege of living in her houses. Her mission is to make these methods available to everyone and for Options to be recognised as a 3rd way of buying property in the UK.

Sarah also works as a Property Mentor to many investors, giving talks up and down the country. She helps those who want to get a foot on the ladder, or want to build a portfolio, for example she has worked with English rugby player Dave Settle and Worcester’s James Collins. Sarah managed to get £30k off James’s first property deal and has since helped Welsh rugby player Reece Thomas buy his first property and get a bargain! She really enjoys doing this, because not only does it empower people to ethically solve people’s problems, but they can also attain financial freedom for themselves.

Sarah’s Top Tips for Property for Investors and Vendors:

1. Any time is a good time to buy property, irrelevant of the market – you just have to buy it right!
2. Listen to what a client wants and create a solution around them.
3. Make your money before you buy rather than when you sell – know your exit strategy.
4. Invest as little capital as possible to make the most out of your investment.
5. If you’re looking to sell, you can achieve what you need if you’re flexible on the terms.
Sarah’s dreams of financial freedom have quickly become realised – she spends a lot of time travelling; she is currently continuing to buy property and has a letting agency in Newport! For Sarah, her work and life are one big journey and she is looking forward to the challenges that life will bring.