As property owners, we are always looking for the most cost-effective ways to maintain and upgrade our homes. Keeping the building in good shape takes thousands of pounds over the life of the mortgage. The roof may need work, or odd tiles replaced. The windows will need replacing at the end of their guarantee. Any extensions will also need overhauling at the end of their guarantee periods, like flat roofs.
Inside the building, keeping the decoration fresh can be an annual task with lots of children in the house. You may need to touch up skirting boards or banisters due to extra wear and tear from our busy lives. The furniture doesn’t seem to last long with slouching teenagers constantly draped over it either. The two key rooms in the property when it comes to value are the kitchen and the bathroom. These would need to be immaculate to ensure maximum price if you were selling. People often invest in new kitchens and bathrooms to help them sell their property.
The trouble is, all this costs a lot of money and time on the weekend. Some people are turning to second properties to fund the running costs of their own home. This extraordinary idea stems from low-interest rates on savings. We need to invest cash somewhere else with a higher yield.
Buying to let is also popular with banks at the moment. It is easier to get a mortgage on a property that will earn its keep financially when you are self-employed or a company director. The banks believe the lettings market is strong, so they will be more comfortable lending to you for this purpose. There are also areas of the country where properties are at a good price for investment. A quick online search for letting agents in Truro, or whichever town piques your interest, will help you find someone in the know about rent rates.
Buying near the coast or in popular tourist areas can be expensive, but there are always bargains to have. Most importantly, these areas will always require rental properties. Holidayers, retirees and young families looking for a good place for the kids tend to choose the coast. You can also check national property websites for current purchase and rental values of properties in your area.
As a landlord, you will have ongoing expenses in terms of decorating when tenants move out, or managing accidental damage repairs. However, if you can yield more in rental income than it costs you in mortgage payments, it may be an idea worth exploring. In addition to this rental income, you are likely to see the value of the property increase in line with the property market year on year. Managing property costs your time, so you may want to get to know some good tradespeople to help you out. Utilise a lettings agent to manage the marketing.
Becoming a landlord isn’t for everybody. Any mortgage you take out may also be secured against the home you live in, so it isn’t without its risk.