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Landlord reveals 20-year slog to a £6m rental portfolio

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An ambitious landlord who bought his first property aged 18 now has an impressive property portfolio worth £6 million 20 years later.

Darryl Cullerton, from Durham, paid £60,000 for the house using a £15,000 loan from Marks & Spencer. “In 2008, before the big financial downfall, I managed to get a 100% mortgage for a property with Mortgage Works, and I just went for it,” he told the i newspaper.

Cullerton’s interest-only loan had a monthly repayment of £300 which only cost £150 a month.

He calculated that by renting out the house for £600, he could pay off the debt and keep a small profit for himself. “I planned to re-finance the property in two years’ time and move on. I lived in it for a month, and then applied for a right-to-rent from my bank,” he explained. “I moved back in with my family, and it was a cycle of satisfying loans and buying properties.”

Man with a plan

The 37-year-old then bought a shop with two upstairs flats for £55,000 and spent £25,000 on renovations. It was later valued at £175,000. He went on to buy ten shops and now has about 80 investment units all over Sunderland. He aims to buy one property a month and pays about £50,000 per investment.

Cullerton has paid between £25,000 and £45,000 for houses and predominantly buys in the North East, never spending more than £75,000 for a residential property. His portfolio is valued at £6 million, and he also operates two property management companies.

Cullerton dismisses the doom and gloom around the sector, and has some advice for other landlords. “Pick a number of how much you want to pay for a property and work around that – calculate how much rent will cost, what insurance will amount to, and put around 10% aside for repairs.”

Image credits: Shutterstock/Philip openshaw/Darryl Cullerton.

Read more: How to make a landlord business plan.
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