Top five tips for buy-to-let success

Thu 13 Nov 2014

Being ready to purchase your first buy-to-let property or to expand an existing portfolio is undoubtedly a great position to find yourself in, but that is not to say the path to success is straightforward or guaranteed.

Here, we take a look at five factors you would be wise to consider if you are to make the most of your available resources and give yourself the greatest chance of long-term success as a landlord.

1) Widen your search

One mistake some landlords make is to think they must buy a property to let in their home town. Instead, you should do plenty of research into the yields available not only in your immediate area, but also in surrounding settlements.

You might just find there are other villages, towns and cities in which property prices are significantly lower but rental values do not fall as sharply. For instance, if property in a neighbouring location is 25 per cent cheaper than in your town and rental prices are just ten per cent less, it presents a more lucrative proposition.

2) Be sure of tenant demand

Investing in a buy-to-let property in an area without tenants who want to live there is a situation no landlord wants to find themselves in. You need to be sure that tenant demand outstrips supply so that you can be confident of letting the property quickly and avoiding void periods.

Picking a property that is within a reasonable distance of local amenities such as shops, restaurants and bus and train links is a good idea, as it is likely to be more appealing to prospective tenants.

3) Pick a property that is easy to maintain

You will not want your financial plan to be ruined by unforeseen and costly maintenance issues. As such, you should consider how likely a property is to require ongoing repairs and improvements before you commit to buying it.

It is often a good idea to steer clear of older properties, as these might be most likely to require expensive maintenance projects. After all, you are not going to be living there, so investing in a period house or a traditional cottage should not be your priority.

4) Consider which properties are easiest to let

It is important to think about the types of property that are likely to appeal to the largest possible audience. It might be cheapest to buy a one-bedroom flat, but how many people are looking to rent one?

Two-bedroom houses and flats are typically extremely popular and appeal to a huge number of potential tenants.

5) Think about what a letting agent offers you

It is no secret that many investors choose to leave their property portfolio in the hands of a professional letting agent. This has the clear benefit of saving you from all the work that goes into managing a property.

However, you will also benefit in many more ways than simply freeing up your time and avoiding any associated stress. For instance, at Leaders, we have access to thousands of prospective tenants through our comprehensive marketing service that includes a strong presence on Rightmove, making it more likely that your property will be filled by a quality tenant at all times.

A great agent will also take control of all maintenance and repairs, selecting experts from our database of trusted tradesmen so any issues are resolved quickly and adequately.

For more information on buying a property, click here.

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