When Doncaster lad Paul Rothwell needed a roof over his head whilst studying at university his father, who owned a pair of well known fish and chip shops in Doncaster, lent him £15,000 as a deposit on a property. Nine years on Paul (30) has turned the loan in to a property portfolio worth £6 million which is owned jointly with his family and a personal property business, Empire Property Concepts.

The modest loan was made to Paul shortly after he went to Nottingham Trent University to read Economics and Financial Services. Paul bought a house for £88,000. He spent £13,000 on the deposit and the £2,000 balance was spent tidying the property up. The four bedroom house was turned into student accommodation with six bedrooms, including one in the cellar that the hardy student lived in for two years. The other five rooms were rented out to fellow students.

The rental income from the property covered Paul’s mortgage payments twice over, giving Paul a healthy yield on his investment. The young entrepreneur was planning to sell the house once he completed his studies (it was worth £145,000 by that time) but after reading the business book Rich Dad, Poor Dad, decided to keep the property.

Paul approached his bank and raised £38,000 that he used as a deposit on a second property in Thurnscoe. After a few wrong moves, including the purchase of some large, higher value properties, Paul focused his strategy to houses in multiple occupancy (HMO). His portfolio currently comprises 40 HMO properties with 130 units.

Commenting he said, It took the purchase of around thirteen properties before I’d honed my business strategy. My portfolio of properties is based around Doncaster, Leeds and Sheffield so it’s very much a local Yorkshire business and our typical yield is 20%.”

Paul currently offers a range of services through his Empire Property Concepts business including consultancy and joint venture partnerships, putting his experience of property acquisition, development and management to good use and the company has just opened an office on Balby Road, Doncaster.

As for the future, Paul is keen to develop his property interests further and he is currently working on an investment fund that he hopes to launch later this year.

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