How can I move on from property investment/refurbs to developments?
In my opinion, the switch from property investment (e.g., BTLs) to development is somewhat of a leap, but not impossible. For the type of person who does their research, is prudent and is well-organised, making the move from investment to development can be done. However, in my opinion, a property refurbishment is a good stepping-stone as the process is largely similar.
The lending structure is comparable but, generally, lenders will be more hesitant in lending to a novice developer as opposed to a first-time refurber.
Displaying to a lender that you have been able to build a portfolio and you have successfully completed refurbishments is key, as not only does this give you a track record, it also shows a lender that you have something in the background to back you up. A lender would look dimly on somebody applying for finance for a development if they didn’t have assets in the background.
The best way to move into development is to build up gradually. Don’t run before you can walk. You will be able to build up your experience and it is important to remember that, if anything were to go wrong, the problems are often multiplied as you are dealing with multiple units. Even the most experienced developers hit roadblocks, but it is how they handle them which is important. They usually have a good team around them and together they are able to work through the issues.