Home Buyers Advice

The top five perks of investing in buy-to-let

Investing is an incredible method of making your money work harder for you. It's arguably one of the easiest ways to make your money go far. Yet, when it comes to choosing what to invest in, the choices are so vast that it can be difficult to know where to start.

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Trends in the buy-to-let market for 2013

British buy-to-let properties have been an intelligent investment ever since the financial crisis began in 2007. In the last five years, house prices have edged higher and lending conditions have become stricter, meaning that an entire generation of young adults have found it harder to get their feet on the housing ladder.

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he basics of buy-to-let

'Buy-to-let' is the term used to describe a property purchase which is made specifically with the intention of leasing it to a tenant. It is very popular, with many thousands of people considering it a great long-term investment, one which is far more lucrative and safer than speculating on the stock market. What's more, as first-time buyers continue to struggle to get a foot on that proverbial first rung, there is high demand for rental accommodation. Little wonder the buy-to-let sector is ever-increasing.

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Adding to your property portfolio  can be a daunting experience even after you've done it a number of times already. Thankfully, despite finance deals for the layman being somewhat hard to come by, buy-to-let mortgages are more attainable. Combined with the buoyant lettings market (and floundering sales sector), many landlords are seeing this as the perfect opportunity to broaden their investment.

With this in mind we have created a number of handy guides aimed at landlords to help with the process of expansion.

Buying to let

The process of buying a property with the aim of turning it into a rental investment is rather different to buying a home in which to live. Not only is the whole mentality of the sale  different, but also the funding options and even the method of buying.

This section will detail the ways in which landlords are able to build on their portfolio and what it would take to do so. It will address the issues of buy-to-let finance, offering help and advice on what to look out for and how it can be attained.

This will also be the place for looking into different options when it comes to buying. The South is typically seen to offer higher rental values, but would sales prices and labour costs offset this? Likewise, would the often-smaller rents on offer in the North be worth it in the long run if outgoings are also lower?

The buy-to-let area would also house information on where houses can be purchased. Those looking to take the traditional route, for example, could seek out estate and letting agents, before buying a place to offer up for rent. Others feeling a little more adventurous, meanwhile, may wish to know of other options - including auction houses or even official bodies, which can also offer up investment opportunities.

Minimising maintenance at the buying stage

Maintenance of properties is something that comes with the territory of becoming a landlord. Whilst it would be cheaper and easier if nothing were to go wrong with a property, this is rarely the case, meaning that a landlord is called upon to fix whatever the wayward issue may be.

Savvy landlords are able to minimise the chance of being called out regularly when it comes to buying the property in the first place.

Homes which come ready to accept tenants the very next day are invariably more expensive, with little needing to be done to them. Others, meanwhile, can be bought at a bargain price, but may need more than just cosmetic work.  

For this, landlords need to be sure they're buying the right property for their needs and abilities. This section will detail what to keep an eye on when viewing properties to ensure that maintenance call-outs are minimised. These can include the things much less obvious than subsidence; things such as condensation on inside windows signalling damp, holes in pipework that could lead to leakage or small scuffs on the skirting boards which may indicate a potential pest problem.

The right home for the market

Geography can play a large part when it comes to buying a property. Demand needs to be high or else a property may end up going months without a viewing. In light of this, advice on what properties suit different areas will be considered.

For example, student towns are ideal places for some larger properties, thanks to their social nature (not to mention the 'safety-in-numbers' mentality). Student towns can be the perfect place to buy large-scale properties, with some groups even looking for eight to ten-bed homes. However what is right for this group might not work for another... for families or young professionals, two or three-bed properties in small villages or commuter havens would probably be ideal.

So when it comes to buying a property, there are all these considerations and more to pay attention to. Whilst expanding a portfolio may seem 'old hat' by the third or fourth property, there are still plenty of things to think about in order to make sure the next property is the right one.