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A property investor with five houses has revealed how he started out by using his savings and student loan to buy and transform his first purchase while studying his degree.

James Coupland, 27, has already bought and sold three houses and currently owns five more which he rents out to multiple occupants.

At 19, James from York was studying to become a clinical analyst and spent his two days in university cutting up and examining cadavers.

But during the rest of the week James was using his student loan to buy carpets, paint and tools, to renovate his £53,000 home which he had bought with just a 10 per cent deposit.

He told the Mirror : “I was studying at university when I realised how much money the landlord was making from our student house by charging us all individually to rent a room.

James and his mum at his university graduation ( James Coupland)
James has made a successful business from a project that started out in uni ( Sergey Zinchenko)

“I had £6,000 in savings and decided to buy my own place with a 10 per cent deposit of £5,300.

“Most of my savings were gone and obviously it needed a lot of work doing to it so I had to wait for my student loan to come in.

“I basically sat and lived in this dingy house and did it up myself with some help from my dad until it was ready to rent out.

“All my friends were going out and buying Xboxes or new PlayStations while I was buying paint and carpets.”

James has bought and renovated several properties since his first purchase ( James Coupland)
James Coupland used his student loan to get on the property ladder ( James Coupland)

Since that time, James has bought another eight properties, all of which have been in Goole, East Yorks, for bargain prices between £49,999 and £74,500.

Some of those he has since sold on or “flipped” while others he maintains as HMOs (houses with multiple occupants) who pay him rent.

James doesn’t disclose how much money he has made from his property investments but says that he is fortunate enough to make a living from the income.

James gets stuck into some DIY ( James Coupland)
While other students were partying or buying games consoles, James was buying paint and tools to do up his purchase ( James Coupland)

James said: “My parents and friends have always known that I have been quite driven so I don’t think it surprises them too much that I’ve done this.

Occasionally I get stopped in the street by people who recognise me from Instagram or Tiktok but I set up those pages to help other people break into property investment and do what I do.

“If you’re lucky enough to have some money, you can do it but it’s not a quick fix, it takes time to turn a cheap house into something with a nice standard of living.”

Much of the renovation work has been done by James himself to keep costs to a minimum ( James Coupland)
James is determined to change people’s views of HMOs by creating beautiful and stylish living spaces ( James Coupland)

As well as setting up his own limited company for his property endeavours, James even took on and completed a masters.

In the last eight years he’s also had to become familiar with planning permissions, government policies and requirements, building regulations and other issues hopeful property investors should consider.

Keen to help others to break into the housing market James even runs his own tutoring courses and shares handy tips with his huge following on Tiktok and Instagram.

This is one example of a bedroom in one of James’ HMOs – he wants them to be clean and beautiful to live in ( James Coupland)
Stylish and modern kitchens are also a priority for James ( James Coupland)

James said: “I always wanted to be a teacher.

“I ended up in property but I would always want to help anyone at any point whether they’re buying their first house or trying to build a portfolio of properties.

“People talk about whether its a buyers market but I don’t really care what market we’re in I think there’s always good deals to be had if you look around and do your research.”

Get more tips or advice from James by following him on Instagram @jamesproperty_

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