Buying a property with the intention of letting it out requires a particular outlook. You will need to consider things from a different perspective than you would when looking to buy a home for yourself, although some considerations will be important across the board. Here is a quick guide for potential landlords who want to make a profit renting out their new place.

First, consider your goals

It’s important to be in the right frame of mind when you approach the property market, with set goals in mind, even if you aren’t totally sure where this new venture will take you. Do you only want to do this on a temporary basis, or could you see yourself as a landlord for the foreseeable future? Do you need to make a stable return on this, or can you afford to take more of a risk? How much money can you really justify putting into a rental property? These questions will need answers before you start.

Weigh up your financial options

There will be different options for most people looking at buying a property. If you have enough cash saved up, perhaps you can put down a deposit and even buy a property outright without any extra help. This may not be the case, however, so you will need to look at the best value mortgage rates and loan options. Make sure you also look at the current tax situation and what is expected to happen soon, given the economically and politically uncertain times we live in.

Look into current market trends

Within the property market, complex combinations of factors can influence buying trends. It’s important to have a good understanding of these so you can accurately predict what might happen in the near future and make appropriate decisions based on that. Maybe you will realise that buying to let is a bad idea right now, and a different investment could offer you a better return.

Location, location, location

The old saying really does prove itself to be true over and over again. The most up-and-coming areas may seem surprising now if you do your research, but you’ll be thankful a few years down the line if you manage to buy at the right time and see the value of your investment increase. Transport links to popular places, increased local investment and so on will mean that some relatively cheap areas today could be worth a lot more in five years or even less.

Don’t make rough estimates

If you expect to make a profit, don’t rely on random guesses to decide what the financial implications of your decisions might be. Instead, sit down and crunch the numbers, factoring in as many possible problems as possible. Try to calculate the point at which you would be better off not investing, and then weigh up how likely that scenario is.

Start off relatively safe

If you are new to being a landlord, don’t try to find your dream property with the aim of … Read more

Silver bowlThe art deco style is one of the key interior design trends for 2017. Many properties in London still have their original deco features, and there are several low cost decor changes that can be used to emphasise them and increase the properties rental value.

Art deco dressing tableFurniture

Decorating your house with art deco furniture will help create an enchanting design element to your period property. It is a good idea to invest in furniture that is built to last for years and not fall apart. Visitors who view your property will appreciate the value of high-quality furniture.

Window Restoration

In period properties windows are often made of wood, and you might have noticed that these have started to rot and need replacing.

nouveau windowThe original windows are likely to be made from single panes which do not keep the warmth in your home and can result in high energy bills. Remember, the more energy efficient your home is, the more it will be worth.

Original windows can be difficult to maintain but we recommend seeking a professional who can restore them to a high standard which will increase the value of your property.

Floor Tiles

Adding quintessential floor tiles to your period home is an excellent way to create a classic property feature from the Victorian period. These floor tiles are often still seen around London in public buildings and reputable homes. You might be surprised to discover your period property already has this feature hidden under your current flooring.

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We all know that first impressions are extremely important when it comes to impressing potential tenants or buyers. Many people make the mistake of thinking that these are formed when someone walks in through the front door, but of course that isn’t the case. Your property will first be judged from the outside, so what can you do to grab people’s attention in a positive way from the moment they look at the exterior of your home?

Clear away the clutter

The very first thing you must address is any mess or other obvious problems outside the front of your property. Abandoned junk in the garden, dirt on the walls or anything in need of repair can instantly turn off buyers or tenants. Make sure the basic maintenance is all dealt with before you start trying to disguise it with flashy distractions. You might even be blind to some problems when it’s your own property, so you might need someone else to cast a critical eye over your front door.

Consider the style you’re working with

All properties will have some kind of distinct personality from the outside, which is dictated by the age and style of the building itself. Especially for period properties (really anything pre-1950s when houses started to be built in bulk), you will get the best results if you identify that original style and work with it rather than against it.

Replace the front door

If you have some kind of issue with the way your home looks from the outside, the front door itself is almost always a major factor. Don’t underestimate the dramatic makeover you could give the front of your house just by making this seemingly simple change. Of course, the colour and material you choose will be linked to the overall style and feel you are going for.

Create some consistency

Try to make sure your door (whether it’s new or old) matches your windows and any other visible details. A mismatched first impression will never look quite right, and your home will appear as if it’s in a constant state of renovation. Subtle use of matching paint colours can be enough to tie everything together.

Add a few tasteful decorations

You don’t want to go overboard here, but a few decorations just to finish the look of your home can really set the tone. Plants that serve a purely decorative purpose are always great, and you should remember that symmetry is key when you’re trying to create a particularly smart look. However, flowers that also smell attractive will help take everything one step further. Aside from potted or hanging plants, you should make sure that door handles, letterboxes, building names or numbers and other small details are also up-to-date and well-maintained.… Read more

New Home Checklist

If you’re a tenant moving into a new rental property, you’re probably going to have a lot on your mind – and if you don’t, now is the time to start thinking! You will have some essential arrangements to make before you move in, another set of tasks for when you first get into the property, plus some lower priority things you’ll want to do to help you settle in. Here is a basic list to prompt you on the most important things.

1) Make sure all initial arrangements are made. This starts from making your formal application and paying any initial fees you need to secure the property. Usually you won’t have to pay all the fees and deposit until you actually move.

2) Set your date to move in. This will be dependent on the landlord or agent, as they may have limited flexibility and there could be current tenants to consider. Your date will usually be a month or two away so you have time to plan.

3) In preparation for your move, make sure you get as much information as you can from the landlord. Any decisions you can make in advance will really help. Pack up things you can manage to store for a little while, and plan what the highest priority items are and to get moved over as soon as you can.… Read more

Types of Tenancy Agreement

It’s vital to make sure a formal tenancy agreement is drawn up and signed by both parties whenever you start a new tenancy. In case of any disagreements later, as a landlord or a tenant it’s equally important for you to be able to refer back to this document. There are various types of agreement that may be suitable depending on the situation of the tenant, the type of property and other factors. Here we look at these types and the circumstances you might need to use each one.

Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement

This is the most common type of agreement. It can normally apply for any self-contained property including a house or apartment, and can be used for an individual, a couple or a group of people sharing the same property. The agreement would include protection for the deposit paid by the tenant, guarantees a minimum of six months for the tenancy and automatically renews at the end of the fixed term unless otherwise agreed.… Read more

Clean Carpet

Your carpets probably cost a lot of money, and they definitely have a noticeable impact on the look of your room. You will need to preserve them for as long as you can and keep them in top condition if you want your home to look its best, so you’ll need to consider all the following tips.

Hire expert assistance

It’s worth considering that no matter how keen you are to get the job done and see the finished results, sometimes you’ll be doing more harm than good. Professional cleaning may be the only solution in some cases.

There are some techniques that aren’t worth doing yourself,” say Diamond Contract Cleaners, a team of professional carpet cleaners in Burley, “Using steam cleaning – sometimes people call it hot water extraction in the trade – is effective for removing built-up dirt, if you do it properly. Most people are not trained for that, and we don’t recommend even attempting it because you can really damage your carpet.”

Avoid getting carpets dirty

The best way to clean stains is to make sure they never get there in the first place. You can’t go back in time after an accidental spillage, but the low-level, long term dirt that gets walked into the house every time people wear shoes to stroll through your living room is going to gradually destroy your carpets. Ban them from doing it and you won’t regret it!Read more

Luxury Kitchen Design

The kitchen is the heart of any home, so if you’re a landlord you should play close attention to it. Creating a spectacular one will add a huge amount of value to your property, and tenants may be happy to pay much higher rent for real quality. It pays to find recommendations for luxury bespoke kitchens – you should ask your friends in the business who else they have had success with. Here are some more tips for success in this area…

1) Consider different companies and get multiple quotes before committing to one of them. As we already mentioned, advice from past customers is crucial here.

2) Start by planning the layout and measurements of your kitchen. This will form the basis of your plans. If the layout isn’t working for you at this stage, you have a problem, or you may need to check the next step!

3) Extend if you need to. Older homes are not typically suitable for the larger kitchens favoured by modern home owners and tenants. We have a lot more appliances to fit in that didn’t exist even a few decades ago. If you can extend to accommodate a new kitchen, you should consider it.… Read more

Wooden Floors

Wooden flooring never seems to go out of fashion. Whether its laminate flooring or real wood, the natural and neutral look fits perfectly with almost any sort of interior design and has a range of other benefits over things like carpet or tiles. For rental properties, we think wooden floors are even better, so if you haven’t considered them you might want to take a quick look through this list of benefits and tips for getting the most out of your floor.

1) Use what you’ve got

Almost any building will already have some kind of wooden floor fitted, even if it’s been covered up. Employing professional wood floor sanding & finishing services, you can usually spruce up any old flooring and make a feature of it. Classic features are well and truly in fashion, so if your property has character you should be showing it off! This keeps costs down too, which is vital when you’re renovating somewhere to rent out.

2) Protect your floors

Carpets don’t have a long lifespan, as anyone will know after having one fitted for more than about ten years. In a rental property you can assume the life expectancy of a carpet is going to drop even further. Even harder wearing surfaces like tiles can become damaged over time. Wooden floors are pretty much the best solution for long term usage, and if they do pick up any damage you can easily get them back up to scratch (excuse the pun). Laminate flooring in particular tends to be highly resistant to any scuffs or marks.… Read more

Brighton Pier

Brighton is a great place to live for pretty much everybody, with a consistently good reputation as one of the UK’s most desirable property hotspots. It appeals to young adults especially, who appreciate its fun and exciting atmosphere (including the famous nightlife) compared to many other British seaside towns. Brighton is also home to some fantastic period architecture, as well as classic attractions including the Royal Pavilion and of course Brighton Pier.

If you’re looking to move there as a tenant, dealing with professional letting agents in Brighton such as Pavilion Properties can make your property search much easier, as you’ll be able to benefit from the guidance of experienced local experts who know exactly what is on the market and how you can find what you need. Finding houses or flats to rent in the most desirable and central areas in Brighton is no easy task for a beginner – there is plenty on the market, but only a thorough search will ensure you find the absolute best properties that this town has to offer.… Read more

Decorating a rental property

As a landlord it can be hard to find a balance when you’re decorating and furnishing a property to rent out. On the one hand, you’re not going to be living there yourself so there’s no point getting carried away making everything to your taste. Tenants shouldn’t be expecting anything fancy so there’s no reason to go overboard. On the other hand, being smart with your decorating, fixtures and fittings can make your property look significantly better and raise the monthly rent you’ll be able to charge, so the investment is worth it up to a point. The best thing to do is find great ways of increasing the value of your house or flat without blowing through your budget.

One thing to try is adding just a few premium features here and there, creating a luxury feel with minimal effort. For example, real wood kitchen doors don’t have to be expensive but can give a kitchen and dining area a classy, more expensive feel even if you have cheap kitchen units hiding underneath. Covering one small wall area with slightly more expensive wallpaper can make a focal point in a room, meaning the rest of the décor can be cheap and simple without looking disappointing.… Read more

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Price, Location and Transportation Matter

Affordability is of utmost importance. The flat you select must be priced to fit your budget as it will be one of your greatest expenses. Your time is important, so try to find a location close to your friends and place of employment if at all possible. Access to public transportation may shorten your commute if you select an effective location near transport that gives you a direct route to your home. Commercial areas should also be within a short distance. This is also particularly important if you are a university student–you will want to find a property which is either within walking distance or have access to public transport for a cheap but quick way to travel. “Parking can be expensive on campuses so it’ll be best to find student accommodation that is easily accessible, reasonably priced for students, and close by to the university,” advised David from Varsity Lets, a well-known student accommodation in the Leicester and Loughborough area. “Conserving your time and money by picking a good location will make you happier in your new home.”

Agents

In many cases letting agents assist landlords to rent out flats. Typically they charge 10 percent of the total annual rent for this. The tenant must pay this and more up front in a nonrefundable lump sum. Finding good letting agents is important as it can determine the end result of finding the flat or house you are looking for. You will need one that can find a property that is exactly what you require, whether it’s the number of rooms, the location or facilities it has and the rent is the best value for money. Therefore it’s always essential to research agents, such as reading reviews and asking questions in order to find a great property.… Read more