Buy-to-let properties are fantastic investments for the future. Some people hold down a full-time job while retaining the income received from their rental properties. Other people have a whole portfolio of investment properties. This guide is aimed at people considering a buy-to-let investment and for now, want it as a subsidy to an already steady income.
Before you get started, you should think about what your budget is and how much rent you think you could realistically charge. Factor in any maintenance costs too. Chances are you will have to fix things up for your tenants. This could end up getting expensive if you haven’t factored it into your budget. How big a mortgage can you realistically afford? Do you already have a deposit saved up? These are all important questions.
Shop around for the best mortgage
Don’t just settle for the first mortgage you come across. Remember, the point of investing in a property is to make a profit, so don’t lose out on the mortgage. Speak to a good mortgage broker for reliable, independent advice, and talk to your high-street bank as well. If you know friends who are homeowners, chat to them about the kinds of deals they got. Remember, the lower your mortgage repayments, the more of a profit you will make.
Talk to an investment expert
It is worth visiting investment experts to talk through your new venture. Investment property services offer helpful advice on both capital growth and rental income and will be able to assist you. They can do a lot of the market research for you and find properties you will be interested in. This will help to save you time.
When you come to buy your property, do not be afraid to haggle with the seller. If you have a strict budget but see something you really like that is too expensive, don’t worry. It is worth consulting with the seller to see if they can fall to your limit. The worst they can say to you is no, and you won’t be worried about having never asked.
Get a good accountant
You will have to pay property tax on your buy-to-let investment. But if you find a good accountant, they will be able to tell you how to make the best of the situation. They will let you know what you can claim back for tax relief and how to organise your accounts so they are their most efficient.
Know the risks
Buy-to-let sounds really idyllic – it is effectively having someone pay off your mortgage. However, as with any type of investment, you should always be wary of the risks
Your house may be empty for months when your old tenants leave. When this happens, you may have to cover your own mortgage as well as the cost of the mortgage of your buy-to-let property.
Repairs can end up costing you a fortune.
If you do come to a point where you want to sell your property, if house prices have fallen since you bought it, it may not be worth as much anymore.