Newbie- buy and renovate privately or through a company?



New Member
Hi all,
Quick background
I am a stay at home mum
My husband works full time
We have recently moved to Scotland and live in military accommodation, we sold our house and I had to quit my job due to relocation
I have experience renovating and selling properties we have lived in only
I would like to buy, renovate and sell with the money from our property sale, we will never live in the property.

I understand there is a lot of research I need to do but some advice on what to research would be appreciated

Is it better to do this as a private purchase or set up a company to do it?

I assume I would need to be self employeed regardless of which way I do it?

Can I do taxes and finances myself or is an account recommend? ( I love spreadsheets and used to teach maths so happy to research and do myself if it's possible)

With me not using my personal tax allowance in a typical job I assume my first £11400 of profit from a sale will be tax free?

Is there anything important I should look into it know about buying and selling property that I will not live in ?

Thanks in advance

George Ahye

New Member
Hi Annmarie, talk about a great stay at home Mum! I'm a Senior Relationship Manager for a large UK Build to Rent company, have successfully invested myself and come from a family of builders/developers. Whilst all this may add credibility - this is simply my opinion!

For anyone selling a home they don't live in (i.e. an investment),Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is payable. Luckily we're given an Annual Exempt Amount (AEA) which in 2018/19 is £11,700. This means you won't pay tax on the first £11,700 of profit made following a successful sale. Thereafter, the tax you pay is dependant on other income and reliefs, it goes without saying it's extremely important to get this right! Check out the Governments website for more info of this, and if there's any point in your journey you should seek an accountant - it would be here. Personally, I would do the forecasts myself which I'm sure you're comfortable with doing also.

You ask about doing this private or as a company. There are benefits to both, and it tends to be all to do with tax. This means your decision should link to the above research, but in general one home is best done privately. Companies can cause unnecessary confusion not to mention cost money to start/run.

The most important factors to success in my opinion, are as follows:
  • Planning & Sticking to Budget (with contingency)
  • Purchase Price (they say money is made on the purchase not the sale)
  • Location (look at Rightmove for property price trends - most major cities in North England are a good bet)
  • Target Market (buy and renovate a home targeting a specific type of buyer at the end)
  • Spec & Cost (make this appropriate to the type of buyer)
  • Timing (when is a good time....)
With the above in mind alongside your successful experience, I'm sure you'll have no problem in achieving your goals. I can tell your offspring are going to like a spreadsheet!

Hope this helps and all the best.



New Member
Thank you for your comment it is very helpful. Lots if things I hadn't thought of. I am very keen to get other poeples opinions and knowledge.

I don't not know the Scottish property market well so I am currently sitting tight, watching zoopla and reading a dummies book on property tax....who know that would be an interesting book!

With regards to capital gains then, am I right in thinking if I rent out a property the income is taxable as normal income tax therefore as I don't have a regular job I can use my income tax allowance ? And then when I sell it I can use my yearly capital gains tax allowance? And for both situations I would be paying 20% tax on any profit over that after allowable deductions?

Thank you again for sharing your knowledge

George Ahye

New Member
You're very welcome, glad I can bring a different angle to things.

I find tax very interesting, and it's really important as it can make a huge difference to your take home and therefore lifestyle!

If you let a home, any profit will be taxable and falls in line with income tax allowance - remember you can deduct expenses and a few other things to bring your real profit down and therefore reduce your tax bill. When you come to sell the home then yes, capital gains tax would also apply!

Again the most important thing to me is what and when you're buying, get this right and whatever you choose to do with it will be be rewarding.

Good luck!


Active Member
Some sound advice there :)

One thing to consider when looking at Scotland, at least in the short term, is the current threat of a second indy referrendum. The last time this happened, in 2014, the property market in Scotland literally died a death as nobody was sure what was going to happen. I am not saying prices would collapse or anything but you might pick up some bargains if people begin to show concern in the short to medium term.

Interestingly, against this background the Scottish property market is one of the better performing in the UK at the moment. Explain that one lol


New Member
hi, i have also renovated properties i have lived in and sold them on. i now want to do that full time, hoping to do 2 properties a year, and i would need to live in them whilst renovating. i don't really want to set up a business, but don;t know where that leaves me for tax purposes. Can anyone give me any info please?


This might prove useful for you?



Hi, I truly support the idea of you being independent. However, I think you should do all the research and start working on your own. I am sure that once you do everything on your own, no one will try to fool you. As a real estate agent, I learned everything a house needs; even I read about sump pumps from these guys: Once, I tried to collaborate with a group of other specialists; they tried desperately to fool me, thinking I won't observe. That's why I believe the most important thing is to know everything about your job to succeed, even if it's hard sometimes.