Choosing the right buy-to-let property is more about what your tenants will want, rather than what you want. Think carefully about the type of tenant you would like- be it a family, a professional couple or students, for example- then consider what will appeal to that demographic.
By deciding which tenants you would like to attract (or the ones you don’t), you can narrow down your property search and go to each viewing equipped with a list of features your ideal property must have.
We get many first-time investors coming to us for advice about what to look for in a buy-to-let property and we’re more than happy to help landlords search for the perfect property to purchase in a view to letting it out.
Here are our top tips for what to consider when searching for the perfect buy-to-let property:
Location, Location, Location
The location of your buy-to-let property can determine the rental income you will receive and the demographics of tenants who are attracted to the area. For example, if your ideal tenants are students, you will attract more interest if the property is close to a campus and has good transport links. You will benefit from buying a property close to a school and places where children can play such as playgrounds and parks if you want to appeal to families.
Looking to purchase a property in Pontefract, Castleford, Normanton, Featherstone, Ackworth, Knottingley or the surrounding areas? Our expert knowledge of these areas means we can help you find the best property in the right location.
Close to home
Living within easy reach means you can avoid travel costs and save time if you need to visit your property. Additionally, you are likely to know the benefits and drawbacks of the different areas within a village or town you are familiar with. This knowledge will be valuable when you are searching for the ideal property to let.
Living close to your property isn’t essential, though. We manage many lets on behalf of landlords living all over the UK. We even have one landlord who lives in Portugal! Having your property fully managed by an Estate Agent, like us, removes a lot of the work and stresses normally associated with being a landlord such as conducting viewing, organising repairs to the property and reference checking tenants.
Follow your head
When viewing a property, it’s easy to get caught up with your personal feelings. You may fall in love with a property you see, but it may not be the practical choice for a buy-to-let. Unfortunately, you must leave your heart at the door and follow your head. Before you view any properties, make a list of the qualities and features your buy-to-let property must have. Take the list with you to each viewing and tick off each point the property matches. You can then create a shortlist of properties that meet the requirements on your list and easily eliminate those properties you love but know are not suitable for letting.
If you are hoping to attract a certain type of tenant, it’s important to consider the features those tenants will want. Families are likely to want an enclosed garden where their children can play and a driveway for their cars so that children can get in and out safely, away from road traffic. Older tenants typically prefer properties on one level and a garden which is easy to maintain. Students look for properties with equally sized rooms to avoid a fight for the largest space, but they don’t necessarily need a parking space as most students don’t have cars.
Easy to maintain
Choosing a property that is easy to maintain will save you money in the long run. Most properties will need some work carried out on them before they are ready for tenants. Consider this for every property you view. The longer it will take to renovate, the more time you will be without a tenant paying you rent.
It’s also important to consider how easy the property can be maintained by your tenants. For example, large, landscaped gardens grab the attention of potential tenants, but if they don’t have the time or tools to maintain it, you may be left with an overgrown jungle by the end of the tenancy.