The Best Spots For First Time Buyers In The West Midlands

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It’s never been easy to make that first jump onto the property ladder, so recently we’ve been taking a look at some of the best spots around the country and in Greater Manchester, taking into account the estimated average property price (from Zoopla) and the median salary for the area (from the Office for National Statistics).

Of course, choosing where to buy your first home is about more than just where’s cheapest, but the data is still an interesting look at the state of the housing market in the region.

While Birmingham is undoubtedly the most popular place to live in the region, there are some gorgeous towns and villages on its outskirts such as Solihull, although as you can see from our data, it might not be the cheapest place to find somewhere as a first time buyer!

City/Town Average House Price Median Salary House Price to Salary Ratio
Sandwell £114,962 £23,177 4.96
Dudley £155,625 £27,050 5.75
Stoke-on-Trent £140,063 £22,826 6.14
Newcastle-under-Lyme £164,354 £25,862 6.36
Coventry £190,793 £28,043 6.80
Birmingham £182,983 £25,996 7.04
Walsall £172,778 £24,270 7.12
Stafford £226,972 £28,819 7.88
Wolverhampton £181,381 £23,001 7.89
Bromsgrove £255,604 £31,284 8.17
Tamworth £208,191 £25,417 8.19
Rugby £245,706 £29,058 8.46
Lichfield £288,104 £31,658 9.10
Worcester £255,604 £26,487 9.65
Warwick £340,221 £31,357 10.85
Solihull £378,010 £32,179 11.75
Stratford-upon-Avon £377,810 £31,115 12.14

Sources:
http://www.zoopla.co.uk/
https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/earningsandworkinghours/datasets/placeofresidencebylocalauthorityashetable8

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The Best Spots For Buy To Let Investors In West Midlands

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Recently we took a look at some of the best locations in Greater Manchester for buy to let investors and now we’re turning our attentions to Birmingham and the West Midlands.

With high speed rail on its way to Birmingham, and big businesses such as HSBC choosing to make the city their home, the star of the Midlands is seemingly on the rise.

As with Manchester, we’ve looked at the estimated average property values and average monthly rental income from Zoopla, and calculated the buy-to-let yield that you can expect in that area.

Whether you’re looking to make your first investment or branch out your property portfolio into the West Midlands, Coventry is currently your best bet, offering yields of just over 6.5% – more than double that found in Bromsgrove, Solihull, Worcester and Stafford.

Town/City Average Property Price Average Monthly Rental Income Buy-to-Let Yield
Coventry £190,793 £1,046 6.58%
Birmingham £182,983 £949 6.22%
Sandwell £114,962 £576 6.01%
Newcastle-under-Lyme £164,354 £585 4.27%
Stoke-on-Trent £140,063 £483 4.14%
Dudley £155,625 £517 3.99%
Tamworth £208,191 £652 3.76%
Stratford-upon-Avon £377,810 £1,158 3.68%
Warwick £340,221 £1,024 3.61%
Wolverhampton £181,381 £531 3.51%
Walsall £172,778 £498 3.46%
Rugby £245,706 £702 3.43%
Lichfield £288,104 £796 3.32%
Stafford £226,972 £548 2.90%
Worcester £247,941 £584 2.83%
Solihull £378,010 £880 2.79%
Bromsgrove £255,604 £549 2.58%

Sources:
http://www.zoopla.co.uk/
http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/buytolet/article-2991821/Buy-let-yield-calculator.html

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The Best Locations For Buy To Let Investors In Greater Manchester

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The North West, and Manchester in particular, consistently tops the list of areas with the highest rental yields in the country, so we’ve decided to drill down a little further into the data to see exactly where in the region buy to let investors can get the most bang for their buck.

As the jewel in the crown of the government’s Northern Powerhouse proposal, Manchester has seen significant investment in infrastructure, and there are, of course, a lot of reasons to consider investing in property in the area aside from simply the current yield.

We’ve taken a look at average house prices as well as average rental incomes, to calculate the average rental yield for each of the ten boroughs of Greater Manchester, and you can see the results below:

Area Avg. Property Price Avg. Rent (Weekly) Avg. Rent (Monthly) Yield
City of Salford £147,940 £246 £985 7.99%
City of Manchester £209,101 £275 £1,098 6.30%
Trafford £196,310 £221 £884 5.40%
Bolton £152,228 £153 £613 4.83%
Oldham £141,906 £139 £554 4.68%
Tameside £147,134 £142 £568 4.63%
Rochdale £142,099 £136 £542 4.58%
Bury £177,437 £158 £630 4.26%
Wigan £155,851 £121 £482 3.71%
Stockport £240,711 £173 £693 3.45%



Whether you’re looking to make your first investment or branch out your property portfolio into Greater Manchester, Salford is currently your best bet, offering yields of just below 8% – more than double that found in Stockport and Wigan.

Sources:
http://www.zoopla.co.uk/
http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/buytolet/article-2991821/Buy-let-yield-calculator.html

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The Best Locations For First Time Buyers In Greater Manchester

Getting onto that first rung of the property ladder isn’t easy, no matter where you live, but the North West still remains one of the most affordable places to live in the country, and we’ve delved into the stats to see just how affordable the city of Manchester is.

We’ve looked at each of the boroughs of Greater Manchester, taking into account the average price of property in the area and the median salary of a full time worker to calculate how many times your salary you’d need to buy a house – giving us a figure of the best spots for first time buyers!

Area: Avg. property Price (3 months) Median Salary House Price To Salary Ratio
Wigan £155,851 £27,092 5.75
Trafford £196,310 £33,970 5.78
Rochdale £142,099 £24,400 5.82
City of Salford £147,940 £25,286 5.85
Oldham £141,906 £23,917 5.93
Bolton £152,228 £24,848 6.13
Tameside £147,134 £23,414 6.28
Bury £177,437 £28,028 6.33
City of Manchester £209,101 £24,137 8.66
Stockport £240,711 £27,563 8.73



If you’re looking to buy for the first time, Wigan is currently the best bet, with the average property costing 5.75 times the median salary in the area. Trafford, Rochdale, Salford and Oldham all come in at less than 6 times the median salary as well, whilst at the other end, it’ll cost, on average, 8.73 times the median salary to buy in Stockport.

Sources:
http://www.zoopla.co.uk/house-prices/browse/
https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/earningsandworkinghours/datasets/
placeofresidencebylocalauthorityashetable8

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The UK’s Most Affordable Towns & Cities for First Time Buyers [Research]

It’s tougher than ever to make that first step onto the property ladder, with rising house prices and the need for larger deposits meaning that more and more people are relying on ‘the bank of mum and dad’ to give them the boost they need.

We’ve taken a look at 100 of the biggest cities and towns across the UK to find out which are the most (and least) affordable to today’s first time buyer, comparing the average local house price to an average local salary.

We found that there’s a definite North-South divide, with only two towns from the South (Gosport & Plymouth) making it into the top half and the Lancashire town of Burnley coming out as the most affordable, with an average house price of 4.47x the average local earnings.

As you might expect, first time buyers are worst off in London, where the average home is worth £604,825, almost 18 times the average local salary of £33,776.

Check out the full table below to see where your town or city ranks!

Town/City Average House Price Median Salary No. Of X Annual Salary
1. Burnley £108,119 £24,170 4.47
2. Hartlepool £120,161 £25,993 4.62
3. St. Helens £131,107 £25,933 5.06
4. Barnsley £128,325 £24,421 5.25
5. Wigan £145,861 £27,092 5.38
6. Sunderland £136,266 £25,202 5.41
7=. Darlington £151,427 £27,546 5.50
7=. Gateshead £136,983 £24,906 5.50
8. Stockton-on-Tees £152,505 £27,694 5.51
9. Blackpool £119,579 £21,461 5.57
10. Kingston upon Hull £132,160 £23,638 5.59
11. Rochdale £137,862 £24,400 5.65
12. Dudley £154,173 £27,050 5.70
13. Blackburn £132,720 £22,817 5.82
14. Rotherham £143,847 £24,691 5.83
15=. Middlesbrough £148,441 £25,029 5.93
15=. Liverpool £154,092 £25,964 5.93
16. Glasgow £160,980 £27,087 5.94
17. Bolton £148,123 £24,848 5.96
18. Oldham £143,548 £23,917 6.00
19. Doncaster £147,686 £24,582 6.01
20. Dundee £150,230 £24,854 6.04
21. Salford £153,217 £25,286 6.06
22. Stoke-on-Trent £138,678 £22,826 6.08
23. Bury £172,480 £28,028 6.15
24. Newcastle-under-Lyme £160,487 £25,862 6.21
25. Mansfield £141,008 £22,431 6.29
26. Swansea £161,608 £25,345 6.38
27. Telford £163,439 £25,509 6.41
28. Newport £161,771 £25,105 6.44
29. Derby £185,322 £28,645 6.47
30. Carlisle £151,276 £23,312 6.49
31. Sheffield £178,750 £26,907 6.64
32. Coventry £188,649 £28,043 6.73
33. Warrington £189,481 £28,091 6.75
34. Birmingham £176,897 £25,996 6.80
35. Leeds £192,061 £27,861 6.89
36. Manchester £168,338 £24,137 6.97
37. Preston £173,730 £24,686 7.04
38. Gosport £192,456 £27,194 7.08
39. Aberdeen £211,513 £29,249 7.23
40. Newcastle upon Tyne £193,386 £26,552 7.28
41. Wakefield £177,017 £24,289 7.29
42. Nuneaton £188,618 £25,445 7.41
43. Lincoln £184,647 £24,435 7.56
44. Wolverhampton £174,192 £23,001 7.57
45. Plymouth £190,930 £25,026 7.63
46. Tamworth £195,086 £25,417 7.68
47=. Nottingham £181,388 £23,346 7.77
47=.Swindon £227,476 £29,259 7.77
48=. Gloucester £211,910 £26,555 7.98
48=. Cardiff £216,372 £27,101 7.98
49. Rugby £233,056 £29,058 8.02
50. Chester £231,437 £28,695 8.07
51. Portsmouth £211,471 £26,063 8.11
52. Basildon £253,177 £30,981 8.17
53. Peterborough £203,183 £24,765 8.20
54. Stockport £228,195 £27,563 8.28
55. Edinburgh £247,480 £29,465 8.40
56. Ipswich £228,466 £26,785 8.53
57. Northampton £229,690 £26,758 8.58
58=. Southend-on-Sea £256,233 £29,484 8.69
58=. Basingstoke £295,893 £34,036 8.69
59. Luton £235,399 £26,894 8.75
60. Worcester £235,042 £26,487 8.87
61. Leicester £201,359 £22,199 9.07
62. Norwich £241,803 £26,107 9.26
63. Colchester £275,885 £28,880 9.55
64. Milton Keynes £282,636 £29,179 9.69
65. Stevenage £280,497 £28,831 9.73
66. Eastbourne £259,162 £26,401 9.82
67. Bournemouth £265,004 £26,897 9.85
68. Bedford £291,785 £29,541 9.88
69. Southampton £261,469 £26,425 9.89
70. York £259,614 £26,133 9.93
71=. Hastings £238,548 £23,864 10.00
71=. Exeter £273,799 £27,377 10.00
72. Maidstone £297,221 £29,592 10.04
73. Eastleigh £306,237 £29,861 10.26
74. Crawley £305,647 £29,714 10.29
75. Solihull £331,361 £32,176 10.30
76. Worthing £296,076 £27,994 10.58
77. Bristol £292,468 £27,519 10.63
78. Harlow £295,193 £27,013 10.93
79. Chelmsford £352,747 £31,839 11.08
80. Cheltenham £313,391 £28,138 11.14
81. Harrogate £323,915 £29,037 11.16
82. High Wycombe £374,314 £31,969 11.71
83. Watford £408,508 £34,004 12.01
84. Poole £335,750 £27,646 12.14
85. Reading £385,675 £31,171 12.37
86. Brighton and Hove £380,256 £30,314 12.54
87. Bath £389,152 £29,842 13.04
88. Slough £372,372 £28,286 13.16
89. Woking £472,081 £35,061 13.46
90. St. Albans £535,084 £39,556 13.53
91. Cambridge £429,167 £30,855 13.91
92. Guildford £540,405 £34,096 15.85
93. Oxford £492,678 £29,811 16.53
94. London £604,825 £33,776 17.91

We took the median salary of the hundred towns and cities with the highest populations from the government’s Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2016.

For each town or city we found the average house price data from the last twelve months taken from Zoopla.

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Could You Afford The Mortgage On Your Favourite Fictional Homes?

Whether you’re currently saving up to buy your first house and get yourself onto the property ladder or are happy and content in your family home, there’s nothing wrong with dreaming about your ideal home.

We wondered, however, what it would cost to take out a mortgage on our favourite fictional properties; those may dream about but which exist only in our imagination (and in films and TV shows).

Fancy sharing our infographic?

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5 Of London’s Most Popular Regions with Young Professionals

Here is a low-down of 5 of London’s most popular regions with young professionals, and why these areas are proving so popular.

  1. Hoxton and Shoreditch

Once upon a time, living in east London was seen as ‘slumming it’. This is an attitude that prevailed as west London locales grew in popularity, and so too in price meaning that many were pushed out and forced to live in the east of the city.

Fortunately, this is an attitude that has changed massively over the last ten years. Partly the result of massive regeneration efforts made in much of east London, both Hoxton and Shoreditch are now bustling, lively and affordable areas of London to consider if you are a young professional. Further, because so many young professionals have in recent years moved to east London, many of the businesses including shops, bars and restaurants, now operating there have sprung up to meet the demand made by the areas blooming young professional population.

Then, to begin searching East London and in particular the Hoxton and Shoreditch areas for a room, head over to the London Fox Lettings website where doing that is made easy. Meanwhile, to learn more about East London and the wealth of bars, restaurants and shops there, head over to the Cool Places website and give their Shoreditch & Hoxton page a browse.

  1. Islington

Travelling from Angel tube station in Islington into Euston (in Central London) takes a matter of minutes. In fact, with less than two miles between the two stations, the journey can even be walked in less than half an hour. Hence, Islington is ideally situated for central London and features fantastic transport links, day and night.

A predominantly residential borough, much of Islington architecturally and in terms of the lifestyles of its residents mirrors that enjoyed by those living in some of its most affluent and expensive areas, such as Kensington and Chelsea. Hence for those who cannot yet quite afford to live in either Kensington or Chelsea or for that matter slap bang in the middle of Central London, but who still want to enjoy the lifestyle of doing so, Islington strikes the perfect balance.

To learn more about Islington, where it is, its transport links and what the area offers, visit the Move Bubble website where you will find their Islington London Guide.

  1. Camden

A longstanding favourite location amongst creative types, artists and musicians, Camden is situated in North London and is also home to the famous Camden Market and Camden Lock Market, as well as a plethora of bars, music venues, restaurants and provides a hotbed of affordable accommodation and entertainment.

For any young professionals working in creative industries or looking for a London locale that is a bit more laid back and where people recognise the importance of working hard but also of playing hard, Camden makes a great choice of place to live.

Further, with Camden in 2016 ranking third in London for new business start-ups, as reported on via the UK Financial Times website, there is no better time than now to consider a move there for those wanting to begin their careers without ending their social lives.

  1. Shepherd’s Bush

An area loved by writer and associate editor, Toby Young whose 2007 article published in the Spectator Newspaper: I was so good at talking up Shepherd’s Bush that I can’t afford to live there now, Shepherd’s Bush, is located in Hammersmith and Fulham in West London.

Despite Young’s fears about just how ‘up and coming’ (and so expensive) the area was becoming back in 2007, it remains a popular and as well affordable option for those wanting to enjoy West London life. And attracts many young professionals due to the fact it is close by BBC Headquarters and provides a wealth of employment opportunities in desirable and the creative industries.

  1. Brixton

Last but not least, we travel to, and within it the district of Brixton.

Mainly residential, Brixton is in the borough of Lambeth in the south of London and is an exciting multicultural hub as well as being home to the O2 Brixton Academy and numerous parks and areas of recreation.

Hence, with Central London a matter of minutes away via the Victoria Line, Shepherd’s Bush is one London location that really does offer the best of both worlds; it is full of places to eat, drink, dance, be young and mix with people from all over the world, yet enjoys some lovely green spaces in which to relax and find some peace and quiet – which is not something to be underestimated when living in London, especially after a hard week working in The Capital.

To learn more about the history of Brixton and what life there is like today, head over to the Guardian Website and read their article: How Has Brixton Really Changed?

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Ten Top Tips For Finding The Perfect Home As A First Time Buyer

Buying your first home is almost as scary as it is exciting, but it’s ultimately one of the most exciting purchases that you’ll ever make in your life!

To try and make the process that little bit smoother we’ve put together this list of ten top tips to finding your perfect first home.

1. Consider all of the costs

While the big thing you’re going to want to consider is obviously your mortgage payments, it’s crucial to understand that there’s a whole host of other costs that you’re going to be facing.

For example, there are property taxes, bills, surveys and valuations as well as things such as stamp duty and mortgage arrangement fees.

If you’re used to just calling your landlord to sort repairs in your rented property, remember that6 you’ll be liable to pay for all of this in your new home.

Bear all of this in mind when setting your budget as if it might be wise to be a bit more realistic during your search rather than getting stung later on.

2. Save up a good deposit

Having a good sized deposit means that you’ll open up a lot more potential properties for your search.

Generally speaking, you need something which is somewhere between 5% and 20% of the value of the property you wish to buy.

Of course, the more you save the better, as it’ll make applying for your mortgage much easier.

3. Take advantage of a Government scheme

There are a number of schemes available which are designed specifically to help first-time buyers, and can help you afford a much wider range of properties.

The most well-known is the Help to Buy scheme, which allows you to borrow as much as 20% of the value of your property as long as you can stump up a 5% deposit.

There’s also the similarly named Right to Buy scheme which helps buy your council house and the option of shared ownership where you only buy a portion of your home and rent the remaining share.

4. Use a mortgage broker

Of course we’d say this, but we really do think it’s important that you come to a broker such as ourselves at Search Mortgage Solutions, especially when it’s your first time house hunting.

There are a lot of different mortgage options out there and it can be a bit overwhelming for first-time buyers.

A broker can help scour the entire market, using their vast experience and knowledge to help whittle things down and find the best mortgage for you.

What’s more, while some brokers will charge a fee for their services, here at Search Mortgage Solutions we can offer a no fee service as we work on commission from the lenders!

5. Research the neighbourhood

It’s all well and good finding your dream home, but the location is just as important. While you can carry out work to improve your new home, unfortunately, you can’t do the same for the surrounding area!

The best thing to do is get out and explore the area for yourself. Try and get a general feel for the area and check out things such as if the streets are clean for example.

It’s also a good idea to pop into the local shops, pubs, parks and other places you’ll likely be visiting.

And if you really want some good insight, ask the locals!

6. Ask plenty of questions

We can’t stress it enough but make sure to ask as many questions as possible before committing to making any offer.

A property might seem perfect on the surface, but dig a little bit deeper and things can quickly start to unravel.

For example, how long has the house been on the market? Have there ever been any disputed with neighbours? Have there been any recent renovations?

For some more good questions to ask, check out this post from the Homeowners Alliance.

7. Do some online digging

Nowadays you can take things a step further by carrying out a whole host of checks on a property or area online.

For example, at Nethouseprices you can find out exactly how much local properties have recently sold for, or check out the UK House Price Index for average prices in certain areas.

You can even also check things such as whether your property is a flood risk or whether the area has a high crime rate.

8. Boost your credit score

It can be a rookie mistake to forget to check your credit score before apply for your mortgage, and it’s quick and simple to check.

Just head to a site such as ClearScore where you can check your score for free! There are lots of little things such as not being on the electoral register and having an account registered to an old address which can actually have a really negative impact on whether you can get a mortgage or not.

9. Have a survey carried out

It might not be the first thing that you think of, but it is important to have a proper survey carried out on your potential property before putting pen to paper.

It’s important to know exactly what you’re getting yourself in for and making sure that there are no skeletons in the closet (metaphorically speaking of course!).

It’s also good to know exactly where your property ends and your neighbours begins.

10. View the house at different times of day

We’d recommend booking at least three viewings before committing to a property, and make sure that they’re all at different times of day.

For example, seeing things during the cold light of day makes it easier to pick out flaws, but evening might bring its own problems.

For example, everything could be nice and quiet during the day while everyone’s at work, until the noisy neighbours get home from work at 5 and start blasting loud music!

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Everything You Need To Know About Self-Build Mortgages

Embarking upon building your own house is a huge undertaking and if it’s something you’re serious about considering, the very first bridge you’re going to have to cross is how to fund the whole thing.

If you’ve got money in place from another source then that’s great, but the chances are that you’re going to need a mortgage.

However, self-build mortgages differ from traditional ones as the money is released in stages as the build project progresses.

The way in which the money is released varies from one mortgage to another, and which kind you choose will depend a lot on your own personal circumstances.

Typical build stages

While each build is obviously different, these are the most common stages of a project:

1. Purchase of the land
2. Preliminary costs and foundations
3. Wall plate level
4. Wind and water tight
5. First fix and plastering
6. Second fix to completion

There are two main types of self-build mortgage, advance and arrears, and we’re going to take a look at both in more detail.

Arrears

This is the most common type of self-build mortgage, whereby the lender will release some money to allow you to purchase the land, usually somewhere between 50% and 85% of the land’s value.

They will then go on to release in stages such as those outlined above. The money is paid out at the end of the stage, once work has been completed and a valuer will visit the site.

These types of mortgages are best for those who have enough savings to fund the early parts of the build, as well as pay off the deposit for the land.

For example, you may already own the land and want to remortgage it to fund the build, or you may have recently sold your own house to fund the project.

If either of these are the case, then you’re probably best opting for an arrears mortgage.

Advance

However, the fact is that most won’t have enough cash to both place a deposit on the land and complete the early stages of work required to get the cash from an arrears mortgage.

In this case, you may be best opting for an advance option. In these mortgages, the money from is released to you at the beginning of each building stage rather than at the end.

This gives you the cash for materials and builders up front, and these mortgages will often lend more upfront than an arrears one.

For those will less upfront capital or who don’t wish to sell their existing house straight away, we would usually recommend an advance mortgage, although as always, each project is different and we’d suggest getting in touch with one of our mortgage advisors to fully discuss your options.

Once you’ve got your finances in place you’ll be one step further along the line to building your own dream home.

For an idea of what lies ahead, check out this step-by-step guide on how to build your own home from Which? Mortgage Advisers.

And for more information on mortgages, head to This Is Money for their five top tips on finding a self-build mortgage.

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5 Tips For Buying Your First Buy To Let Property

Buy to Let properties are still a good investment that could bring you a good return on your money now and help you build a nest egg for your future retirement.

With all investments, you should do your homework before putting any money into it and buy to let is no different. With this in mind, we’ve put together this guide which will make your research a little easier. Without further ado, here’s our list of ten tips that will help through the purchase of your first buy to let property.

Seek professional advice.

An independent mortgage advisor should be one of your first considerations. There are some key differences that set buy to let mortgages apart from a standard property loan that you will have used to buy your own home.

The application for a buy to let mortgage will not only assess your ability to pay the mortgage based on your own income, but also on the likely rental income from the property. Lenders have tightened up their lending criteria to minimise risk and also because of government legislation, so it’s a good idea to discuss your plans with an independent mortgage advisor, who will present you with buy to let mortgage advice based on your circumstances

Choose a property that is ready to let

It might sound obvious, but crucial to the success of your buy to let business, is getting a tenant into your property as quickly as possible. Remember that you will be responsible for the mortgage payments on the property whilst it remains empty.

This should guide your decisions over the property you buy. Run-down houses might come cheap, but they might take 3-4 months to get into a habitable state. If you cannot complete the work yourself, you’ll need to hire a contractor to do it. Contractors usually have a number of jobs in the queue, so finding one that can start immediately will be difficult.

For an easy start to your buy to let business, we’d recommend that you find a property that just needs a lick of paint before your first tenant moves in. Obviously, you’ll pay more for property that is ready to let and that will reduce the yield on your investment, but you will minimise the risk of having to fund the house from your personal income.

Use a letting agent

You may be reluctant to use a letting agent to help you manage your buy to let property. After all, they’ll be taking a commission from your rental income, which might make margins a little tight.

There are, however, some really good reasons to use one. Firstly, you are new to the buy to let market, whilst they manage a large number of properties. Like the Independent Mortgage Advisor, they know the market inside out. We’ve listed a few of the benefits below.

A letting agent will likely have a list of prospective tenants that are looking for properties, minimising the time it takes to get someone into your home and taking away the need for you to advertise the property.

Like an estate agent, the letting agent will show prospective tenants around the home, so you don’t have to take time out of your day job to do this.

Your letting agent will take care of Checking the immigrations status of tenants – explained here in this Citizen’s Advice Bureau article. With a £3000 penalty per tenant not entitled to live in the UK, this is an extremely important responsibility.

The letting agent can hold the deposit of your tenant, as is required under the Deposit Protection Scheme – explained here on the .gov website, meaning you don’t have to.

Using a letting agent doesn’t have to be a permanent thing. You will usually be required to sign up for a minimum term with the letting agent, but after that time, if you feel able to, you can take on all these responsibilities yourself and increase your profit margin.

Research your ideal tenant and the type of property they’re looking for

It’s a consideration that too many landlords leave out of their planning. For first time buy to let landlords, it’s a good idea to choose young families. Generally speaking, they make good tenants who are looking for a property they can live in for a few years whilst they raise their family and save for their own home.

Letting out to students may seem like a good idea, with potential for increased rental income by letting out individual rooms. Remember that students are a higher risk for things like non-payment of rent and damage to property. We’d strongly advise against student lets until you have been a landlord for some time, with a number of properties in your portfolio.

Prepare for a rainy day and get insured

Becoming a landlord brings certain responsibilities with it. You need to ensure that you have the means to carry out repairs on the property. If things like the boiler break down, your tenant will call you and expect you to arrange a repair or replacement immediately.

If you are using a letting agent to manage the property, you may be covered for this and they may take care of the repair. Check this with your letting agent when you first discuss the management of your property. If it isn’t in their standard package it may be a ‘bolt on’ service that you can pay an additional fee for.

Should a minor catastrophe occur, like a flood or a fire, you’ll be required to re-house your tenant. Obviously, the costs of this could be extensive, before you even begin to get your property repaired. That’s why landlord insurance is an essential expense that you must budget for. As always shop around for the best deals on insurance and also make sure there isn’t a crossover with your letting agent’s insurance.

For personalised advice on getting started as a buy to let landlord, contact Search Mortgage Solutions on 0800 756 7794, we’ll be happy to discuss your plans for your buy to let business and help you through the process.

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Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage