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9 Things To Consider When Buying a Property To Let

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By : James Hardy    99 or more times read
Are you considering the option of buying to rent? The purchase of an investment property can be a risky exercise, but with a few pointers, you should soon be on your way to purchasing a profitable property. Here are 10 areas that you need to consider;

  1. Location

    If you are looking to make a healthy profit from a rental property, the most important consideration is the location. Perform research to find out where rental housing is in demand, for example; higher populated areas that are close to schools and local amenities. Don’t consider buying a rental property in an undesirable area just because of the low purchase price.

  2. Rental history

    If possible, ask for a rental history of a property before you consider buying it. This allows you to find out how much rent the previous landlord(s) charged (i.e. how much you can charge), how often the property was leased (beware of a high tenant turnover, this could indicate a problem with the property, or the location), and how reliable previous tenants were at paying their rent.

  3. Amount of listings in the area

    Find out how many rental properties are listed in the area, by looking on the Internet, or driving/walking through the area. A large number of rentals on the market could mean two things – either a high demand for rentals in the area, or if they are taking some time to let out, a high saturation in a low-demand area. Find out how long similar properties are on the market for, you may find that many are ‘sticking’.

  4. Schools

    For young families, the location and quality of local schools will be the main consideration when they choose a rental property. Find out the locations of the nearest schools, and check their current performance standards.

  5. Proximity to amenities

    This is another key consideration for many tenants. A property should be reasonably close to local amenities i.e. a supermarket or grocery store, post office and banks. Many people also like easy access to leisure centres such as swimming pools and gyms, and nightlife i.e. pubs.

  6. Crime

    If you don’t know the area well, ask around before you buy. You can look online to check crime rates in local areas, or even visit the local police station. Remember, no-one will choose to rent in an area that is notorious for burglary or street crime, even at a low rental price.

  7. Job opportunities

    Generally speaking, tenants will choose to rent a property near to their current place of work, or where job opportunities are available. Many people actually relocate to be nearer their place of work. Ideally, choose an area that is easily commutable to the town centre, but far enough away to avoid inner city problems such as constant traffic and pollution.

  8. Size of the property

    This is another major consideration, keep in the mind the needs of the potential tenant when searching for an investment property. For example, if young families are your target audience, you will need somewhere with an adequate number of rooms, and garden space.

  9. Age of the property

    Generally speaking, it is recommend that you buy a rental property that is less than 25 years old. By doing this, you’re much less likely to have building code and ongoing maintenance problems. Remember, you will have to fix any problems for your tenant, so make it easier on yourself!

So, it’s a good idea to put yourself in a tenants shoes when you shop for an investment property. When you view a property, ask yourself the following questions; would I live here? do I like the location? is the house in good condition? Also, don’t forget to make a few calculations before you look for a rental property, to establish what you can afford to pay on a mortgage, and how much rental you can realistically expect to get.
If this article has made you consider buying a property, I suggest you visit this page first to find out what your home’s value is: What’s my house worth now.

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