Kristina is a real estate investor (Photo: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

For this week what i ownwe have something a little different.

We chat with Kristina, who bought her first investment property at age 28. Now, just eight years later, she has an overflowing real estate portfolio.

We asked Kristina about one of her most recent purchases: Empress Hall in Blackpool, which she rents out to tenants.

She shared everything there was to know about the process.

Tell us about you.

I am 36 years old and a mother of two boys, Evan, two, and Grayson, four.

I work as a full-time real estate investor, which I adapt to children. I am based in Liverpool and invest around Blackpool and the Fylde Coast, where I am from.

Where is your property?

The property is located in Bispham, bordering Blackpool. I love the waterfront there, it’s so peaceful yet close to everything you need.


Owner, Kristina of Empress Hall in Blackpool
She tells us about the Empress Hall (Photo: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

When did you buy the property?

End of May 2022.

How much does your property cost?

£400,000.

How much was your deposit?

£100,000.


Owner, Kristina of Empress Hall in Blackpool
She bought it earlier this year (Photo: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

What is the monthly mortgage for this?

He was bought on a loan from a private investor at 10% per annum, so he will receive £30,000 in interest for his loan of £300,000.

I am currently in the process of placing a mortgage, and at this stage the investors will be reimbursed. The monthly mortgage will then be £2,015 per month.

How did you save for your deposit?

By knocking down houses.

How was the process of getting a mortgage for you? Did you find any difficult parts?

Everything is taking a long time right now, from lawyers to mortgage companies. I think that’s one of the hardest things right now.


Owner, Kristina of Empress Hall in Blackpool
She bought it with a loan from a private investor (Picture: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

Do you own the entire building?

Yes it is a freehold building

Did you have to get a different mortgage because you’re renting it out?

Yes, this is a specialist commercial mortgage for holiday accommodation of this type, similar to a mortgage for a hotel. These are usually higher interest rates than a traditional buy-to-let mortgage.

What made you want to invest in real estate?

I was a professional singer and I desperately needed security and stability.

I started attending real estate seminars and invested in real estate education so I could safely invest in real estate and do it as a business rather than a hobby.

Is this your only investment property? Or do you have more?

I am currently 27. I started investing at 28 and had no money when I started (I had invested all my savings in real estate education).

I built the portfolio by working with private investors and buying cheap, run-down houses, then renovating them, investing and mortgaging them and paying my investors out of the mortgage, or out of profits if I flipped the property.


The Empress Hall in Blackpool,
Kristina owns 27 investment properties (Picture: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

Do you rent out your property?

Yes. The majority are rental family homes, some are also rented to charities housing vulnerable adults and families.

Do you rent the Empress Hall rooms separately or the venue as a whole?

Yes, guests rent the whole house, so it’s a real luxury and an amazing experience. It is perfect for large groups celebrating special occasions and family reunions. Christmas will be magical there.

How many people does it sleep?

It can accommodate 20 people and has 10 bedrooms.

Do you have any plans to change ownership?

We did quite a bit of work when I first bought the property, it has undergone quite a makeover, but we will also be changing three bathrooms in November as well.

What would you say to others considering investing in real estate?

It’s an amazing thing to do, but I would definitely recommend learning the different strategies involved so you know all your options.

Make sure that if you are buying something that needs a renovation, you have solid figures for the cost of the works, and also what the modernized value of the property is so that you are not paying too much for the property or that you don’t spend too much to renovate it.


The Empress Hall in Blackpool,
She has a specialist commercial mortgage (Picture: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

What do you want people to know about buying a home?

Go with your instincts. I still think buying a home is different from an investment property. Investing comes down to numbers in many cases, but a house is where you are going to live and a lot more factors come into play.

If you can find a place that has room to expand that’s always a huge bonus and gives you options to add value but also stay rather than move if you love your home but just need more space.


Want to be featured in What I Own?

What I Own is a Metro.co.uk series that takes you inside people’s properties, to take an honest look at what it’s like to buy a home in the UK. If you own your home and want to share your story, please email [email protected]

You will also need to agree to share how much you paid to live there and how you paid the deposit, as this is quite important.

If you are a tenant, you can also participate! What I Own runs alongside What I Rent, which is the same series but is about renting. Again, if you would like to get involved, just email [email protected]

Shall we take a look?


The Empress Hall in Blackpool,
Let’s start the tour (Photo: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

The Empress Hall in Blackpool,
Charming (Picture: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

The Empress Hall in Blackpool,
There’s room for 20 (Photo: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

The Empress Hall in Blackpool,
One of the common areas (Photo: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

The Empress Hall in Blackpool,
Guests rent the whole house (Photo: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

The Empress Hall in Blackpool,
(Photo: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

The Empress Hall in Blackpool,
TV/cinema room (Photo: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

The Empress Hall in Blackpool,
Kristina says she has undergone quite a transformation (Photo: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

The Empress Hall in Blackpool,
The dining room (Photo: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

The Empress Hall in Blackpool,
The deposit was £100,000 (Picture: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

The Empress Hall in Blackpool,
The kitchen (Photo: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

The Empress Hall in Blackpool,
Another kitchen area (Photo: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

The Empress Hall in Blackpool, Lancashire on September 02, 2022.
Music Room (Photo: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

The Empress Hall in Blackpool,
Let the games begin (Photo: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

The Empress Hall in Blackpool,
A common space (Photo: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

The Empress Hall in Blackpool,
There are 10 bedrooms in total (Photo: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

The Empress Hall in Blackpool,
Larger groups can hire it (Photo: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

The Empress Hall in Blackpool,
Another spacious bedroom (Photo: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

The Empress Hall in Blackpool,
Jazzy wallpaper (Photo: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

The Empress Hall in Blackpool,
Plenty of space (Photo: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

The Empress Hall in Blackpool,
Another bedroom (Photo: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

The Empress Hall in Blackpool,
Twin beds (Photo: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

The Empress Hall in Blackpool,
Each room has a different vibe (Photo: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

The Empress Hall in Blackpool,
Old Hollywood (Photo: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

The Empress Hall in Blackpool,
The attic bedroom (Photo: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

The Empress Hall in Blackpool,
A bathroom (Photo: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

The Empress Hall in Blackpool,
A bathroom (Photo: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

The Empress Hall in Blackpool,
Another bathroom (Photo: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

The Empress Hall in Blackpool,
The outdoor area (Photo: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

The Empress Hall in Blackpool,
Perfect for summer (Photo: Matthew Lofthouse/SWNS)

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