Landlord tip: invest in family homes
According to the latest English Housing Survey, the average age of a first-time buyer now stands at 32 whilst the average age of a first-time parent is now around 28 years old.
So it stands to reason that many tenants today could be looking for a home to raise a family.
If you’re a landlord looking to expand your portfolio with a perfect property for a longer-term tenant, then it’s worth considering a family home.
What to look for when investing in family homes
One of the most important factors for families is access to good quality education – therefore look for a home near to a well-respected school because it’s sure to lead to high demand. It’s easy to check because details of local schools are often included within portal descriptions together with their most recent OFSTED rating.
For growing families, the number and the size of bedrooms will also be an important factor. Families often want a minimum of three bedrooms, particularly if they have more than one child.
What else will they look for?
A garage can be attractive, not just to store cars but also to house bicycles and to protect garden furniture throughout the winter months.
Good public transport links could be important particularly if both parents work, but the family has just one car.
A major reason a couple will want to swap their stylish city-centre apartment for a family home will often be so they can have their own garden. The garden doesn’t need to be big – in fact, if it’s too big then maintaining fences and tending to the plants could be off putting. But do consider a property with a garden big enough for the family to let the children play, as well as allowing them to entertain friends on the patio.
If a tenant has rented their perfect family home, they’re more likely to stay for longer.
Before you think about looking around properties sit down with a pen and paper and write down the cost of houses you are looking at and the rent you are likely to get.
Buy-to-let lenders typically want rent to cover 125 per cent of the mortgage repayments - often now 150 per cent - and most now demand 25 per cent deposits, or even larger, for rates considerably above residential mortgage deals.
The best rate buy-to-let mortgages also come with large arrangement fees. Once you have the mortgage rate and likely rent sorted then you must be clinical in deciding whether your investment work out? Don't forget to factor in maintenance costs. What will happen if the property sits empty for a month or two?
These are all things to consider. Make sure you know how much the mortgage repayments will be and if it is a tracker allow for rates to rise.
Once you’ve figured this out, you’re ready to go! Get in touch for more help with your buy-to-let or investing in and managing a property portfolio, we’re here to help.