Before venturing into the property market you need to fully understand your financial situation!

If you don’t fully asses your finances before taking ‘the plunge’ in to the property market, you could stumble at the first hurdle which may knock your confidence or even your ability to try again in the future.

This website provides you with ‘straight talking’ information within this specific subject so that you are fully informed of the facts and are able to financially prepare yourself before venturing into the exciting world of the Property Market!

So what happened to the uk property market?

Over the past 15 years, the residential property market within the UK has been an exciting place especially if you were an investor looking to get a good return on your money. During this time the property scene has had it’s fair share of highs and lows which has had a substantial impact on today’s market.

Lets quickly go over the history of the past several years:
From the late 90’s, up until 2008, house prices from all areas of the country, had been increasing at a rapid rate. During this time interest rates were steadily becoming lower and banks were starting to loan money to the ‘sub-prime’ market. In essence they were lending money to people who were unlikely to be bale to pay it back! This was fuelling the artificial rise in property prices.

During 2007, several experts within the industry started to warn us that that the current property boom was unsustainable and that the country was heading for a housing crash. During 2008 house prices started to tumble and home-owners started to find themselves within negative equity. The UK housing bubble had burst and the country entered a credit crunch. It seemed however that some areas within the UK were unaffected by the impact of this crisis and the value of property within London and some surrounding areas of the South-East just kept gently going upwards.

It’s now 2015 and prices in London have finally started to plateau and in some areas have even started to decline. This is good news for South-East and the country as a whole. If house prices had kept rising in London then it would have widened the economic barrier even further with little or no hope of ever retracting it.

So what does this mean for anyone now who wishes to enter into the property market?
The credit crunch has certainly had an impact on a borrowers ability to secure finance however it’s not all doom and gloom. For instance, if you are were thinking of buying a property but your financial circumstances are not up to scratch, then you are likely to find it much easier to become a tenant instead.

If you are fortunate enough to have a good deposit and an excellent credit rating then you may be looking to become a professional landlord and put your investment into property. One of the best forms of rental property currently is student accommodation. The South Coast is currently one of the hottest locations within the UK at the moment that offer some great opportunities for a student Landlords. With Universities such as Brighton, Bournemouth and Portsmouth that offer the student an excellent education along with a vibrant lifestyle, these towns are becoming increasingly popular with Landlords.

In order to find the right properties you will need to employ the skills of a good Estate Agent. Doing this will save you  time and hassle as they will be able to identify the correct types of property quickly using their local knowledge. They will also be able to understand the mindset of a student in their local town and try and match these requirements. There are large number of agents within these areas however we would recommend that you first try this Estate Agents in Bournemouth, as they specialise with a large number of student properties. In addition there are a number of Estate Agents in Portsmouth that are able to advise on possible properties that would make ideal student accommodations.

This website aims to provide you with the information you need in order to financially prepare yourself for entering the property market. Remember, it’s not as easy as it was a few years ago but with the right preparation and planning you will be able to secure your perfect property!

Good Luck!

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Financial Tips For Buy-To-Let Property Investors

Posted on December 11, 2015 by Williams

The buy-to-let market is looking more attractive than ever, with an increasing number of people looking to raise their income by becoming a landlord. The lettings market is becoming more buoyant at the moment, and there is a huge need for more rental properties, with monthly rents on the rise. It’s small wonder that buying a house or flat to rent out looks like an appealing investment opportunity, but if you’re thinking of taking a step towards becoming a landlord, or even if you are wondering how you could make larger profits on a property you already own, you’ll need some helpful tips and advice to increase your chances of success in the housing market.

Do Your Research
It sounds obvious, but don’t leap into investing in a property before you’re certain that it’s the right choice for you. Inform yourself about potential risks, such as the possibility of your property reducing in value over time. If you are taking out a mortgage, as many buy-to-let investors are, you will continue having to pay your mortgage whatever state the housing market is in. You may be better off with a high rate savings account or an income based investment fund.

Where Do You Want To Buy?
Choosing the right area is key to your investment success. You need to choose a location that is desirable, where people want to live. Look for a place that has a specific appeal, perhaps to families because of excellent schools, or commuters because of good transport links. Buying a buy-to-let property near your home is a good way to be sure of knowing the local market and keeping a close eye on your investment, however looking for a property further afield might be a good way to increase your revenue. Alternatively, look for a property that needs work in order to get a low price and maximise your profits.

Investing in Property: The UK Private Rented Sector from Knight Frank on Vimeo.

Know your Market
Before investing in any property, it is important that you identify your target market. For example many investors may choose to target students as their primary tenants. By first identifying your target tenant category, this will often, in turn, focus your geographical market. In the case of the student market, for example, as an investor you may benefit from focussing your search on suitable student properties in Bournemouth or HMO properties for Nurses in Manchester. These types of investing will often generate an exceptional yield and are therefore a good option for experienced investors.

Work Out Your Figures
Before rushing into anything, do the maths. Work out the price of houses in areas you are interested in buying and the amount of monthly rent you’re likely to receive. As a rule, you will need to receive a high enough rental amount to cover your entire mortgage payment and then an additional 25% of the total to ensure your costs are covered, such as maintenance and unexpected voids.

Go Mortgage Shopping
Talk to an independent mortgage broker who knows the buy-to-let market and can advise you on the right loan for your needs. There are also plenty of useful comparison websites that will help you do your own research.

Who Lives In A House Like This?
What does your target tenant look like? What are they looking for in a home? Think of who you are aiming your property at, as students will have very different requirements to a young professional couple. Consider allowing your tenants to redecorate or offer the property unfurnished to encourage longer tenancies.

Don’t Be Afraid To Bargain
Because you aren’t part of a chain, you are free to negotiate a better price from the seller. If the local housing market is especially sluggish you are more likely to be able to get yourself a better deal.

Don’t Forget To Take Voids Into Account
Be aware that your property may not always be occupied. It’s wise to factor in at least two out of every twelve months for your property to be vacant to make sure that your costs are properly covered. Remember to think about maintenance on your property too; things can and will break down so you need to be prepared for that.

Will You Manage Your Property Yourself?
How involved do you want to be with your property management? Some landlords want to be very hands-on, but that can be very time consuming and a lot of hassle. On the upside, you’ll save money over using a lettings agent. If you do choose to use a lettings agent, shop around and find out exactly what you are getting for your money.

How to raise the rent on your property

Posted on December 09, 2015 by Samantha

As a landlord, it can be tricky to know how best to go about raising the rent on your rental property. The cost of living is rising across the board, and in order to make a profit it may be necessary to increase rents. You may feel that your property is worth more than the amount that you are receiving every month, however you don’t want to risk putting tenants off. So what do you do about setting a new rental rate for your properties?

Before indiscriminately increasing monthly rents, you first need to be sure that there is a definite case for asking for more money. You need to be certain that rental rates are actually on the rise in your area, so for example, if you lived near to Oxford, you should check other similar properties listed with Oxford estate agents to ensure that your property is genuinely valued incorrectly.

house propped up with money isolated on a white backgroundIf you find that your property is indeed being offered at too low a price, you must initially write to any existing tenant informing them of the impending change. If they are on a fixed-term contract, you must wait until the end of the rental period before making any increase. Make contact at least two months before renewal is due informing them of the rate increase as this gives them enough time to look for alternative accommodation should they wish to do so.

If your existing tenant has a break clause in their contract, you can contact them at this point to inform them of the rental increase, however you are not permitted to do this within the first six months of tenancy.

Tenants who have a contract that rolls on periodically on a weekly or monthly basis can have their rent raised at any time with just one month’s notice given, however you should be aware that an increase is only permitted once during every 12 month period without the express agreement of your tenant.

If your tenant does not agree to the increase in rent and chooses to terminate the contract, you must then consider whether it is worth your while to persist with a rental increase when weighed up against the difficulty and time consuming nature of finding another suitable tenant who is willing to pay a higher rate, not to mention the added expense of further marketing and estate agent fees. You may be better off forgetting the rent-hike and sticking with your existing tenants.

One tried and tested way of increasing rental amounts is to introduce a nominal increase at every renewal period as this is more likely to be found acceptable than one large increase every few years. Demonstrating that the rent that you are asking for is in line with other local properties and being willing to negotiate is the best way to obtain the rental increase you desire. More on this can be found here.

The boyfriend (or girlfriend) rules when in a Flatshare!

Posted on December 02, 2015 by Barry

It might be great fun to live with your friend, but what happens when she invites her boyfriend to come and live with you? It’s fantastic to share the costs of living with someone else, but how will you manage when he takes your food out of the fridge? If you’re sharing a flat or a house with others, you might end up rubbing each other up the wrong way unless you establish some simple rules.

Set Some Guidelines
Talking is the key to living comfortably as part of a flatshare. Laying down some ground rules for everyone as soon as you move in avoids conflict later and gives you a clear basis to work from.

Safety And Security
Make sure there are clear rules about keeping your home secure. All flatmates must agree to close and lock all windows and doors during the night and when the property is empty.

The Fridge
Every housemate should have their own cupboard, fridge and freezer compartment and should show respect for the food and drink of others. If a product is labelled it should be out of bounds to the others.

Keeping It Clean
Everyone should agree to clean up their own mess and to take turns at cleaning public areas like bathrooms and the kitchen.

Agree on a time after which there should be a no noise rule. This will eliminate the problem of one housemate playing loud music until the early hours.

Each flatmate has a right to their own private space, and this should be agreed upon in advance and designated areas given to each person which should be respected. Other spaces should be designated as public areas, however due consideration should be given to other housemates when using them.

Decide how many nights each housemate’s partner is allowed to stay and adhere to the rules. This will avoid the issue of one person’s boyfriend moving in permanently.