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BLOG: Buying for investment v buying a home

In these times where interest rates are low, investing in property can seem like an ‘easy’ way of generating a good return for your money – whether by buying and renovating a property to sell or else buying to let.

However, it isn’t always as easy as it may seem on the surface and there are several things you need to carefully consider before launching into any investment property purchase. Here are 5 things to think about.

 

Take out the emotion.

Do not buy an investment property based on the emotions you would take into account when buying your own home. It does not matter if you don’t like the carpet, or the kitchen is the wrong colour. If it is serviceable, there is no need to change it. After all, the less you spend the better your investment will perform. A word to the wise – although rationally we know that we need to put emotions to one side when buying a property for investment, it is easier said than done – especially if you end up in a bidding war! Getting set on a property can end up costing you more than it’s sensible to pay!

 

Know your tenants.

If you are buying-to-let you need to carefully consider the décor and configuration of a property in terms of the type of tenant you are hoping to attract. In the first instance, you may want to purchase a property based on the category of tenant you want. For example, if you are looking to attract professional working couples, buy in an area with good transport links, places to socialise and good broadband speeds. On the reverse, if you are looking to attract families, a nice garden, a quiet road and parking will be more attractive. But again, remove the emotion to ensure the investment and returns are maximised.

 

Stick to your budget.

When buying your own home it is easy to exceed your budget when putting an offer in for a house because your personal enjoyment and again emotion feature. With an investment, you need to identify your budget and stick to it. If you want to spend £100,000 try to spend £90,000 not £110,000. By buying at a lower price you can maximise your return by achieving a higher yield.

The same can be said with renovating an investment property, a dilapidated property may be a good way to save money; but careful consideration is needed when doing so. Being practical will mean you reap the returns of your investment, overspend and you may not benefit!

 

How involved do you want to be?

If you are new to the investment market, you may wish to seek the services of a Managing Agent. This can be beneficial and ensure the letting and management of the property runs smoothly and laws are complied with. However, such services do come at a cost and any spend in this area will of course impact on your potential yield. If it is just a single investment or a small portfolio it may be tempting to manage them yourself in order to save management fees. However, you’ll need to be prepared to invest your own time, as well as money.

 

Do your homework.

One thing that remains a constant; whether buying for investment or buying a property yourself to live in; is the importance of getting a survey. When buying for investment, it can be tempting to skip this step as a means of trying to save money. However this approach can in fact end up costing you dearly – if it transpires the property has any serious structural, damp or disrepair issues.

 

Another piece of advice, if investing in property is a new venture is to speak to those who have done it all before and learn from their mistakes! Choosing a bad tenant, spending too much, or buying a property with large amounts of unexpected works can all be avoided with a little advice.

Our Chartered Surveyors at Lea Hough are able to provide professional advice in relation to purchasing a property for any purpose. We can undertake property surveys and valuations on your behalf so you can be sure you are making a sound investment and we can also carry out property management too. To speak to a member of our team, please contact us.

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