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Which Type of Buy-to-Let Property is Right for You?

Investing in the property market can be hugely lucrative but that doesn’t mean it’s an easy way to make money. Any investment needs to be considered very carefully and it’s essential that you do lots of research into your target market and location. If you’ve decided you want to put your money into property you also need to decide what kind of accommodation is best for you.

Here are four different options, provided by industry expert Mike James – an independent writer partnering with George Ide solicitors – to help with understanding the advantages and disadvantages of investing in Buy to Let.

Student accommodation

Investing in student property does mean that you are limited in terms of the location – but if you live in or near a university city this can be a very smart investment. There is always huge demand for accommodation for students during term times and this could include anything from a self-contained flat to a large house that has been converted to allow several students to live here at once. Remember that the vast majority of students prefer either to live alone or in a large group – student couples looking to live together are relatively rare.

Students can be a very reliable and predictable form of income; you know exactly when your students will want the property and when they will want to leave. It should be noted, however, that students don’t tend to take especially good care of the property they live in. This is mostly due to the fact that they have never had the responsibility of living alone before but also because they know this is only a short term living situation. Due of this, you might have to pay for relatively regular maintenance work to keep it in good condition.

Flats and apartments

Flats in the city centre are enormously popular with single professionals and young couples living together for the first time. Often these types of renters will have a decent amount of income they can put towards their accommodation, and as such, rental rates can be quite high. This can offer you a very attractive return on your investment. Due to flats being smaller and usually cheaper forms of accommodation it also takes less capital investment to invest in them.

If you have decided that investing in city apartments is best for you, it’s a great idea to find out your prospective tenants employment history. Long-term tenants are always going to be more valuable to you, and you may be able to establish how long someone is going to renting from you by looking at their history.

Family houses

Family houses tend to be one of the most initially expensive of all buy-to-let options, but they are also arguably the most stable for the long term. Two and three bedroom houses are ideal for most small families and it’s also true that the majority of families who choose to rent are going to be there relatively long term.

The ideal location for a family home is close to a school and also within easy reach of other conveniences like shops, the railway station and bus stops. Families are usually low-maintenance tenants who will often be quite house-proud even though the property isn’t their own.

Holiday homes

Another kind of investment that you might like to consider is the holiday home. This is quite a different way to get into the buy-to-let market but it can offer excellent returns if done correctly. Naturally a holiday home will only work in popular destinations but if you can get a decent property in a sought-after location, you can look forward to very high rental rates during the high season.

The issue with holiday homes is that you have to prepare for dry spells and you also face the relatively stressful prospect that a few key months can determine whether or not you make a profit. So while the potential is there to make a lot of money, you can also face challenging times as well.

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