Amassed the right amount of capital, and want to invest some of your hard-earned money into the property market?
Particularly in the UK at the moment, the buy to let property market is thriving, but you need to make sure that you’re taking the right steps to both protect your investment and make as much money as possible along the way.
For beginners to the seasoned investors, here are some quick tips that you might find useful in kickstarting your real estate career as a property investor.
Create a plan of action for investment
There are multiple different avenues that you can choose to go down when you’re investing in property, so, you first need to come up with some simple goals and plans that you can then base your investments and strategies around.
Another critical part of this process should also be in deciding how long you want to invest in, in relation to the amount of money that you’re putting in and the amount of money that you want to make as a final goal. Thinking about these sorts of things will help you to make a more clear-cut decision on the type of property that you want to go for.
As an example, if you’re an investor that wants to build a long-term portfolio up over time, in preparation for retirement, you might decide to invest in property in areas that are projected to increase healthily in value over time or have significant demand. This will help to ensure that you garner a consistent, steadily growing revenue stream over time. You may also decide to invest more capital into a long-term project if you can afford it.
Top tip – Set on a certain area but aren’t sure that you can spare the cash funds upfront? You might decide to look into getting a buy to let mortgage if you’re an existing homeowner. Many investment companies provide rental income calculators so that you figure out how much you’d need to satisfy mortgage lenders, and whether it’s a viable option.
If you’re set on the property but still aren’t sure of the best way to go about it financially, seek advice from a professional on the best course of action to take, and what might be the road for you personally based on your area and strengths.
Decide on the type of property that you want to invest in
Whether it’s a standard residential property, a commercial office building, a retirement home, hotel or student accommodation, there is a range of different properties available on the market, in a variety of different shapes and sizes.
As expected, each has its benefits, some are more popular in certain areas than others, and each attracts a mixed demographic which can shift in demand.
Beginners wanting to make a consistent secondary income from their investment often tend to lean towards student property investment as their first choice in purchasing property, and there are a few reasons for this. Not only is it one of the best-performing asset classes for rental yields (which means you can make the most money back each month based on what you put in).
Also, the property type is typically relatively affordable, compact and manageable – a bankable start for those who still have reservations about the market. Investment company RWinvest states in its guide to student property that it’s an asset class that investors can’t choose to ignore in the current landscape.
Increasing student demand (and an increasing number of students that want to live away from home) also means that you’ll have a higher chance of retaining a tenant and thus keeping consistent payments from your investment. Void periods – a down spell of time where you aren’t getting anything monetarily from your property – aren’t as familiar with student flats.
Also, due to the ‘term-time’ nature of student renting, they will typically use their loans to rent out for months in advance, giving you peace of mind that you’ll have yielded for a given period.
Remember – Rental yield is an essential factor, and should stay as a constant financial buffer along your investment journey, but the overall value of your home is crucial.
If you decide to sell your property somewhere along the way, you want to make sure that you can get more for it than what you bought it for, so having a home in the desired spot that’s steadily rising in value is a good thing.
The key things to keep in mind
To summarise, here are some of the most important things to keep in mind:
1) The length of your investment
Think about how long you might want to put into a given property project, how much you want to make, and what your long term aims are.
There’s no point buying a large mansion in an area with incremental house price growth if you want to sell it fairly quickly. In that instance, you might be better off with a hotel room investment, for example.
2) Your consistent secondary income stream
Making a steady secondary income stream is one of the best benefits of a buy to let property investment.
Aim to find a property that has the highest rental yield average possible. In the UK, northern areas such as Liverpool and Manchester seem to be trending positively.
3) Prospects for the future
Think about the area that you’re investing in, and weigh up whether it has enough longevity to be worthwhile for long-term investment. Sometimes even if there are great initial incentives to buying a property in an area, its long term prospects will leave you with something that can’t make you money as you’d hoped.
Finding the right balance between high rental yields and capital appreciation potential is the key, even if it’s easier said than done.
4) The risk involved
Not to finish on a negative, but it’s always important to keep in mind the risks involved with investing generally.
Property as an asset class is a lot less volatile than other methods, and it feels more secure having a physical asset, but nevertheless, the market can change and shift.
Again, this relates to making sure you select the correct area, as ones with stable levels of regeneration and growth are likely to be more stable and predictable.