For the first episode of The Irresistible Lister, let’s explore what it takes – and means – to turn local homeowners into raving fans and become your neighbourhood’s favourite estate agent.
The holy grail of every buy-to-let property is continuous occupation by high-quality tenants with a market-leading income and a value that increases year on year. None of this happens by itself, and, just with any business, a plan of action is the key to success.
Great tenants pay more money for beautiful homes, and you only have to look at new-build properties for proof that new price ceilings can always be set. By offering a home that reflects the earnings and aspirations of professional people, you create a win-win situation: your tenancies last for longer, your property is better cared for, and your buy-to-let is a joy to own with a healthy return to boot.
Older homes have the built-in advantage of heritage and character that many tenants desire, but they can fall behind on modern, energy-efficient lifestyles. However, any property can lead the way on design or price, and there’s nothing to stop period homes exceeding the income of newer ones.
Bewildered by the options? Boggled by the language? Bewitched by the offers? You are not alone.
The mortgage market has thousands of products from hundreds of lenders, each with its own specific commitments, benefits and penalties. So how do you make the right choice to ensure you don’t get stuck with the wrong loan for years?
That’s the question asked by everyone we meet, and while nothing beats meeting in person to discuss what’s right for you, let’s take a look at the different types of loans that lenders offer and the reasons for choosing one product over another.
BUYING A HOME IS AN EXCITING TIME, but we’d be lying if we said mortgage applications matched the fun of finding a property, planning your decor, choosing furniture, or exploring the neighbourhood.
For most people, mortgages make buying a home possible, but they are pure paperwork and process. Buried beneath all those different interest rates is a mind-boggling array of loan types, lending criteria and internal procedures. There is an awful lot to know.
The mortgage market is surprisingly large, and high street lenders are just the tip of the iceberg. Alongside the banks and building societies, you walk past every day, there are hundreds of alternatives, many of whom only deal through brokers.
There’s certainly no harm in approaching your bank to see if they have a mortgage for you, but you’ll only know if you’re getting the best possible deal by talking to an independent broker as well. Think of it as shopping around without having to shop around.
When you’re in the position to buy a property with cash, it can be tempting to do just that.
Property is rightly seen as one of life’s safest investments. No matter what happens with the global or national economy, and even if house prices fluctuate once in a while, your home will never simply disappear. Hence the phrase, “safe as houses” – what better place to protect your money?
Buying cash can sometimes help you negotiate a lower price, and, for some homes, it might be the only option, but your money can generally work harder for you when it isn’t tied up in a single property.
So, when are you better off buying with cash, and when is it better to take out a mortgage? You’ll find the answers right here in our handy guide. And if you have a particular property in mind, why not get in touch on YOUR PHONE or YOUR EMAIL for some friendly, expert advice on making the right decision for you and your money.
Becoming a landlord, growing a portfolio and creating a passive income can help you switch careers, change your lifestyle and build a solid financial future.
There are various models of a buy-to-let business, and you don’t necessarily need to be a property owner to get started. But as you become more experienced, lenders will consider you for the more specialist areas of the market.
Although there are many different lenders and countless different deals, certain criteria apply across the board. Most lenders require the projected monthly income to be at least 125% of the mortgage payments, and buy-to-let mortgages are generally capped at 75% of a property’s valuation. The best rates go to landlords with a 40% deposit.
High street lenders are very active for standard buy-to-let mortgages, with specialist lenders picking up the baton for portfolios, HMOs, serviced accommodation and holiday lets. Arrangement fees and interest rates are usually higher than for residential mortgages, so it makes sense to work with an experienced independent broker to explore the market and get the right deal for you.
Autumn gets a bad rap as a season for selling your home. It’s always pushed back behind the blossom of spring, the sunshine of summer, and the festive magic of winter.
But Autumn is what you might call the hidden gem of seasons to sell. There’s still plenty of activity from buyers, the leaves are turning into a bold and beautiful display of colour, and there are no stressful deadlines like Christmas and school years to meet. Instead, Autumn can be the most relaxed season for starting and planning a move.
Even with homes selling quickly, the average timescale for moving home remains around 4-5 months, which gives you all the time and space you need to plan your spring move to perfection without feeling rushed or frazzled.
If you’ve been thinking about moving in the spring but thought you should wait until the new year to put your home on the market, this week’s blog is definitely for you. Read on to discover how finding a buyer in the Autumn has given many sellers a surprising and valuable head start.
Some questions in life are unavoidable. Aside from whether the chicken or the egg came first, at some point along the line you’ll begin to wonder if your home can evolve with you, or if it’s time to say goodbye and find somewhere new.
Moving is a big step and an exciting time, but whether you’re running out of space, looking to downsize or considering a change of location, there’s more to selling your home than just a property transaction.
Memories, attachments and neighbours are often difficult to leave behind, and it can become a challenge to separate emotion from logic. Many local homeowners face exactly the same dilemmas as you, so this week’s blog is about starting a conversation.
It’s not designed to steer you into selling any more than to keep you where you are, but it will hopefully give you food for thought to reach a decision that’s right for you.
Have you ever wondered why some homes get multiple offers, while others struggle to get even one? It’s rarely down to chance.
There’s no such thing as an unsellable home, and every property in every price range has the capacity to generate high levels of interest. Marketing is certainly a factor, but getting the highest possible price comes down to the partnership between you and your estate agent.
The advice you’re given around price and presentation, whether you take or leave that advice, and then how your agent performs are the three pillars on which a successful sale depends.
Whether your agent is online or on the high street, what truly matters is how they carve out a special place for your home to make you stand out from the rest. So let’s take a look at how you can choose the best estate agent and have a credible plan to find the perfect buyer at the highest price.
Energy prices are rising, utility bills are on the up and legislation around the energy efficiency of rental homes is getting tighter.
This background of higher costs and stronger rules, along with the ever-louder conversation around climate change, is making all of us acutely aware of our carbon footprint and how much money we’re wasting on bills.
As a landlord, although you probably take pride in your rental property and take energy efficiency seriously, you might wonder whether making improvements is simply an extra cost to you with no benefits. Is it really worth your while?
Well, tenants will pay more rent for – and stay longer in – a comfortable, warm and energy-efficient home. Your improvements will also protect the sales value of your property, increase your equity and give you more leverage to refinance and expand your portfolio.
Buying one or more rental homes can give you additional income now and a plan for financial freedom, but simply owning a property isn’t enough by itself.
To be sure of maximising your yield and protecting the value of your portfolio, the financial management of your rental homes is an essential part of being a successful landlord.
There are many ways to use buy-to-let funding to optimise the performance of your properties, so if you’re thinking of buying a rental home in YOUR AREA, or you’d like to get the most from your existing lettings portfolio, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ve pulled together all the details to help you begin, improve and expand your buy-to-let business for a sustainable and profitable future.
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