Buy to let property is a fantastic way to ensure your future. Why are there so many people interested in purchasing properties? Instead of investing your hard earned money in the stock market some people recommend that you buy properties to let because it can be a much safer and stable way to earn money on your investment. In fact, those people that formerly relied on the dividends provided by shares to build up their pensions are now turning to this type of investment.
Michael Flannagan, a property owner explains why everyone is interested in buying property: “I can trust that my properties will be worth something in the future. It’s not like shares where I don’t have any guarantees and nail biting is common.”
People are buying up property as fast as they can because the return on the investment is far more reliable than any other short or long term investment. Becoming a landlord is an excellent way to earn a decent return on your investment—once the mortgage is paid in full, all of the income associated with the property you let will be profit; less tax and the cost of property maintenance of course. If you do things wisely, the money earned from the property you let can actually pay the mortgage. Unlike the price of shares which can fluctuate wildly, the value of property rarely declines. Clearly, the act of letting properties is based on the safety of the investment.
Nevertheless, when you start buying properties to let there are a few things that you will need to consider. First, being a landlord is not always a simple task: at least it is not as simple as it first sounds. As a landlord, you will be legally responsible for the property and will be governed by various legislation that applies to letting properties. The best person to advise you about your rights and obligations as a landlord would be a solicitor—one knowledgeable about properties and property letting.
You will also need to consider that there may be times when the property is vacant between tenants so good accounting needs to be applied. Remember, if you are counting on the money you get for letting the property to pay the mortgage you won’t necessarily have the cash immediately available. Clearly, if you begin buying properties with a view to letting them, it would be better that you have a contingency to cover the mortgage during the periods where you will find yourself without a tenant.
Another thing to consider as a landlord is that not every tenant is going to be the perfect tenant. In fact, some tenants may damage the property and you may be forced to make repairs to the property before you are able to let the property again. Again, having a cash reserve for such occasions is warranted in order to be truly prepared for whatever mishap may come your way. Better yet, investing in building and contents insurance is a must if you plan on letting any property—insurance should help you cover some or all of the damage to your property.
When you decide to invest in property you will want to buy in an area that has many resources for the potential tenant. In fact, the more resources available for the potential tenant or tenants the better—resources such as nearby shopping areas, recreational facilities and schools all make the property you plan to let particularly attractive. By purchasing property that is surrounded by resources, you will find that you will have a much easier time in letting the property. This is an important forethought when choosing your property.
Experts also advise that you keep the property you purchase for the long term if you really want to gain better returns from your purchase. Ken Derby, a property agent states it well, “Be prepared to hold on to the property you purchase for the long term. Don’t be in a hurry to make a fast turn around and don’t panic if the property prices drop suddenly. Property prices will rise again and your investment will be fine if you don’t panic.”
Don’t expect to rake in the cash once you purchase a property. Remember, like shares, purchasing property is an investment in the future, one that can make you a considerable capital profit over time. Only after the mortgage is fully paid off will you begin to see a significant turn around in terms of income but on the other hand, you can establish a regular moderate income by letting properties that are geared correctly—where the rent is more than the mortgage payment—of course, you won’t want to set the rent too high as it could deter tenants in a competitive market.
There is money to be made buying properties and letting them as long as you buy the right property and are willing to hold on to your initial investment as well as being properly prepared for the “down” periods. For all intents and purposes, the buy to let trend is replacing the market in shares investment because there are far fewer risks associated and buying a property to let can be a more stable environment for your hard earned cash. If, however, you’re looking for a little more risk and excitement in your investments, you can always try your luck in the capital markets and trade forex.