Are you considering purchasing a buy-to-let property? Are you wanting to dip your toe into the world of being a landlord by buying a house to rent out?
Although the process is similar to buying a house to live in, there are a few extra things you will need to consider before you purchase your first investment property and become a landlord for the first time. The prospect can be quite daunting, but at HOP we have years of experience in this industry and stand ready to help.
With the cost of living going up, and the value of houses also going up too, now is a perfect time to invest in a buy-to-let property. However, it’s important you take some time to understand what this involves, so you can go in with your eyes wide open. Here are some tips from the team here at HOP.
1. Understand What Buy-To-Let Involves
Our first bit of advice, quite simply, is to take the time to research what buying a buy-to-let property involves. Also, take the time to find out what being a landlord entails.
As we mentioned above, buying a property to let isn’t the same as buying a property to live in. Similarly, it isn’t as simple as buying it and then just renting it out and making easy money. There are a wide range of laws and regulations that landlords must comply with.
Being a responsible landlord is no small task and comes with a significant amount of responsibility to provide a safe home for your tenants. There is a huge amount of legislation to heed and making mistakes can be costly. However, as a long-term strategy, investing in property will always be a popular choice – especially if you have expert help to do it properly.
Mortgages are also different when you are buying-to-let. This is something to consider and we strongly advise you to seek help from a mortgage advisor before you start.
2. Ensure You Can Afford It
This sounds obvious, but it really is important to ensure you can really afford a buy-to-let property. Bear in mind that, as well as the initial outlay and all the standard expenses involved in buying a house, there are longer-term costs too.
As a landlord, you’ll have to pay to advertise and let out your property, as well as then deal with any ongoing repair and maintenance costs. You may also not get the regular income you expect – should there be periods of time your property is empty and/or your tenants don’t pay up.
You will also need to look at things like Landlord Insurance, get an HMO license (if required) and undertake regular safety checks for gas, fire and electricity – as well as making sure all furniture and fitting are up to standard.
3. Consider Where You Are Buying and Who For
This is something we find lots of prospective landlords don’t consider. When you buy for yourself, you only think of your needs and what you want from a local area. However, buying-to-let is buying a property for someone else to live in.
Do some research on what areas are best, locally, for renting out a property. And consider what your ideal tenant may want when it comes to location and type of property.
In Leeds, for example, there is a significant student rental market – thanks to the thousands of students who flock here every year to study at our prestigious universities. Students will seek out homes that are big enough for them to share with their friends, in locations like Hyde Park that are close to the universities and also afford them all the amenities to enjoy student life to the full.
Professional and family tenants on the other hand, will tend to prefer a quieter neighbourhood, like Horsforth or Pudsey, with green spaces, access to excellent schools and good travel connectivity.
4. Get Professional Help
Here at HOP, we have extensive knowledge of buy-to-let properties from every aspect of the process.
Our award-winning Lettings Team works closely with landlords, day in day out, to help let and manage their portfolios in Leeds, while our expert Sales Team regularly lists ready-made investment opportunities for sale, with tenants already in situ.
Meanwhile, our Investments Team is dedicated to making investing in the Leeds rental market simple, specialising in Property Sourcing and Property Optimisation to really maximise your returns. Working with them is a great place to start your journey as a property investor.
Give us a call today on 0113 320 2000 and our friendly experts will be glad to help.
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