However the recent slowdown in the housing market, means that buy-to-let is currently a very strong investment option as it is a buyers market and potential yields are on the increase.
Landlord Mortgages has compiled a list of ten top tips to find the right investment property using research from its regular property investment seminars.
Finding the right property
1. Review your finances – Before you start looking for a property you need to review your finances. Buy-to-let mortgages require a 15% deposit so this will limit how much you can spend on a property.
2. Decide on the amount of effort you can put into your buy-to-let property – Generally, the more time and effort you put into your investment the better return you will get. However, be honest, will you really have time to renovate a wreck if you buy one?
3. Choose some potential investment locations – What can you afford? Do you want to live close to your property and manage it or will you use a letting agent?
4. Pick your ideal tenant– Within the areas you have chosen, look at the type of tenants available and compile a list of features your property needs to have to attract these sorts of tenants.
5. Research - Independently research the area you are interested in, using sources such as the online versions of local newspapers and community websites. This will give you an idea of where in your chosen area you will be able to find the ideal property.
6. Review all sources of potential properties – Due to the high cost of estate agents, some consumers prefer to try and sell their houses themselves. Look at local newspapers/websites and buy specialist publications such as Loot.
7. Meet all the estate agents in the area even the ‘grotty’ ones, some investors only speak to those they like the look of and miss out on potential bargains. As a general rule – buy through ‘naff’ looking estate agents and sell through ‘posh’ ones.
8. Visit as many properties as possible – The perfect property is hard to find – some experience landlords visit up to 25 properties before finding the right property so don’t take short cuts.
9. When you finally find a property - Bargain. Some sellers, especially those who have owned the property for a long time, and have large amounts of equity in their property, are happy to drop the price if it means a quick sale. When looking at a property you should ask more questions about the seller’s position then you do about the actual property itself!
10. Don’t do the deal until the figures stack - Before you purchase a property, make sure that you will be able to get sufficient rental income to meet your costs. Find out from local letting agents and newspapers what type of rent you can expect from your chosen property.
Lee Grandin, managing director, Landlord Mortgages comments: “There’s a lot of ‘tricks in the trade’ when investing in a Buy to let property, which people are unaware of. Unfortunately, like many other types of investment, people can make costly mistakes when they first start out due to inexperience.”
“Using literature, available at our buy-to-let courses, we have compiled these top ten tips to help buy-to-let investors avoid these mistakes. One final piece of advice is that prior to making any decisions you must research, research, research!”
The next training days will take place on 19 February (Birmingham) and 05 March (London) and 02 April (Manchester). The course costs £499 (inc VAT) per delegate or £599 (inc VAT) for a couple. In addition to the information provided on the day, delegates will receive regular invitations to further networking events.
Ranjan Bhattacharya, who runs these training days on behalf of Landlord Mortgages, will also be hosting seminars at the Homebuyer Show which takes place at the ExCeL Centre, London on 25 - 27 February. For further information, visit www.homebuyer.co.uk.