In the rare circumstance that you find yourself with a day off work during the week, you’ll no doubt spend the first part of morning sat with a cup of tea questioning whether you are actually meant to be at work. Once you’re happy that you are on holiday, it will probably be about 10am and you will have just put the TV on. After a few moments of inevitable despair at the state of daytime television, you will flick to BBC One’s Homes under the Hammer.
The popular house auction show and its eccentric host, Martin Roberts, are extremely good at making viewers (myself included) believe, ‘That looks easy, I could do that’. Unfortunately, as much as I am a fan of the show and Mr Roberts’ excessive use of puns, the programme’s purpose is to show us an end result and not the hard work in between.
Therefore, I would just like to introduce my top tips when looking for your first buy to let property.
1.Speak to an independent mortgage adviser: they can shop around for all of the best mortgage deals and ensure you have your finances in place before you start offering on properties that you simply can’t afford. When you offer on a property, an estate agent will need to see your proof of funds and therefore speaking to a mortgage adviser before viewing properties is essential. It’s also worth asking your mortgage advisor about landlord insurance quotes as they can find the best deals on this for you too.
2.Plan a budget: Once you have your mortgage in place and start to do viewings, always take into account what work the property may need before you will be able to find a tenant and how much this will cost. It is also worth remembering that you will be responsible for the bills on the property up until the date you find a tenant e.g water, gas/electric, council tax.
3.Research the area: I would always recommend buying in an area that you are familiar with for your first project. However, I often register new investors from Southern England who aren’t familiar with the North East at all. In both cases I would always advise speaking to different local estate agents when registering your details and ask them for what are the best areas for a buy to let property. For instance, which areas have popular demand for rental properties? What types of tenants will this area get? Which area tends to get long term tenants? It is also worth using http://www.rightmove.co.uk to check sale and rental prices.
4.Property Hub Meet Ups – Taken from their website- “The Property Hub Meetup is a FREE monthly event, and it’s open to everyone – from the greenest newbies to the grizzliest tycoons! This isn’t a traditional networking event. There are no sales pitches or “upsells” – it’s just a relaxed and informal get-together of likeminded people, with a friendlier and more supportive atmosphere than we’ve found at any other event. Meetups are held on the first Thursday of every month, and they’re completely free to attend. All we ask is that you register in advance at http://thepropertyhub.net/amember/login
They also have a weekly podcast you can subscribe too and a forum in which you can seek answers to any problems you may face, which may be helpful for you.
5.Know your legal requirements. Taken from: https://www.gov.uk/renting-out-a-property/landlord-responsibilities
You’re a landlord if you rent out your property. As a landlord you must:
- keep your rented properties safe and free from health hazards
- make sure all gasand electrical equipmentis safely installed and maintained (You must have an up to date gas safety cerificate every year)
- provide an Energy Performance Certificatefor the property
- protect your tenant’s depositin a government-approved scheme
- check your tenant has the right to rent your propertyif it’s in England
- give your tenant a copy of the How to rentchecklist when they start renting from you (you can email it to them)
It’s your responsibility to:
- fit and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms
- follow fire safety regulations for property in a purpose-built block of flatsor for houses and property adapted into flat
These are just a few pointers on what to think about when looking to purchase your first buy to let. Like with anything there is much, much more you would need to get clued up on, but I hope it helps in some small way at least.
Now to end on a less serious note once again, if any of you watched I’m a Celebrity Get me out of Here in 2016, I am sure you will have heard the news already, but guess who is a secret Homes under the Hammer fan….
That’s right, Hollywood giant Mark Wahlberg!
If you are looking for an investment property or if you have a property in which you are wanting to find a tenant for, please do get in touch on 0191 497 8310.