At Search Mortgage Solutions, we not only offer domestic mortgage advice but are also proud specialists in buy-to-let mortgages. As such, we’ve put together 5 top tips to buy-to-let for property investors. Whether you’re a current investor or are considering your options as to whether you may get better returns from property than savings accounts, take a look and let us know if you feel we’ve missed any!
1. Do Your Research
When considering buy-to-let purchases, it’s absolutely vital that you take the time to conduct thorough research into the market. It’s important that you’re fully aware of both the risks and the rewards and the steps you can take to minimise risk and maximise success. Whilst for many, property investment can bring great returns, it’s not your only option and it’s important that you do carry out the research to be sure you’re making the right decisions.
In many cases, in order to see the best returns, you’ll need to renovate a property. Are you prepared to do that? Buy a house which needs work at the lowest possible price then do it up? For many, it’s the whole reason they go into it but for others, it needs careful consideration. You’ll not only be investing money but most often time as well!
2. Consider Your Area Carefully
Don’t just rush out and look solely in your local area at potential investment properties. It’s important that you consider the area where you buy carefully and understand the market in that region. A promising area doesn’t necessarily mean the cheapest or even the most expensive, but an area where people want to live and where has been identified as somewhere with great appeal for buyers. This may be in your local area or it may be further afield!
It’s important that you match your funds to an area where you’re likely to get the very best out of it.
3. Do The Sums!
As part of your decision making process, sit down and do the sums on any potential properties! Consider the cost of the property alongside the potential rent you can generate each month (or year) against the cost of the mortgage. Do the sums add up? Our mortgage calculator can help you work out potential mortgage costs!
At this stage, we strongly suggest you speak with a specialist mortgage broker to get an idea as to potential interest rates and be able to make a decision as to whether an area is likely to generate a return for you.
4. Consider Who Your Ideal Tenant Is
It’s important to identify your ideal tenant and to consider whether you want to rent to students, families or any other groups. As an example, renting to students may well bring in additional rent, however it can, in many cases mean more admin due to rent being paid by individuals as opposed to as a group.
In many cases, this will dictate how you renovate the property and bring in additional considerations. If you’re renting to students, you’ll usually need to offer the property semi-furnished.
All in all, by knowing your ideal tenant, you can make your property more attractive to them from day one, encouraging an easy let and a tenant who stays for longer.
5. Be Prepared To Haggle On The Price Of The Property
When you’re buying as an investment, you generally have the same bargaining power as a first time buyer does. There’s no chain and, in many cases, you’re able to complete far quicker than a home mover ever could and represent a far lower risk of the sale falling through. As such, this often means you’re able to negotiate a great drop in the price of the property. Again, it’s important that you’re familiar with the market here as this will give you an advantage, being able to strike during times when properties are taking longer to sell and negotiating a better price.
When it comes to buying to let, every drop essentially contributes to a better return on your investment and again it can help to try and find out why a property is being sold. If it’s a landlord looking to cash in on his or her assets, again you may be able to haggle in return for a quick sale.
At the end of the day, buy to let investments can bring with them some great rewards however also carry some level of risk. This, however, can be reduced by knowing the market and having the confidence to go ahead and invest not only time but also money!