The Buy-To-Let market place is booming. More and more people are investing in a second property as a long term investment plan. As attractive as the proposition sounds, there are a number of potential pitfalls that need to be taken into consideration. Use the steps below to ensure that your Buy-To-Let investment is a success.
#1 Choose The Right Property
The location is extremely important. Make sure that speak to a number of local letting agents to determine the supply and demand in the area. Look at such things as whether there are local employers or a university. You can get the details of letting agents near you by contacting The Association of Residential Letting Agents.
#2 Choose The Right Mortgage
You will need to check with your lender to how much you eligible to borrow. Most lenders will allow you to borrow 85 percent of the properties value. Also most lenders will take into account the expected rental income when they are deciding how much they will lend. Make sure that your rental income covers 125 percent of your monthly mortgage payment.
#3 Work Out Costs And Income
Work out how much your monthly mortgage repayment will be and whether the expected rental income will exceed this. Checking out the rental prices of similar properties advertised in newspapers in your area will give an indication of whether this is possible. Also look at whether you could afford your mortgage if interest rates shop up and the property is unoccupied for 3 months.
#4 Consider Hidden Costs
You will have to pay solicitors fees, estate agents fees, building insurance, mortgage arrangement fees, stamp duty and possibly service charges and ground rent.
#5 Budget For Ongoing Costs
You are responsible for ensuring that the property meets health and safety standards. Local authorities require that you comply with fire regulations, which could mean you have to put in fire doors and smoke alarms.
#6 Choose A Professional Letting Agent
You might want to consider using a professional letting agent. They will find tenants, collect deposits and the rent and arrange the inventory and tenancy agreements. But expect to be charged anything from between 10 to 18 percent of the gross rental income that you get.
#7 Ensure You Have The Right Insurance
As you are the owner it is your responsibility to insure the structure of the property, which includes permanent fixtures and fittings. You will need to check your policy as most buildings insurance policies exclude buy-to-lets.
#8 Sort Out Your Tax Position
You have to pay income tax on any rental income you receive, but you can deduct some expenses and you will probably be liable for Capital Gains Tax when you sell. You would be well advised to speak to your accountant before you proceed.
#9 Get A Fully Flexible Mortgage
These types of mortgages are well suited to the buy-to-let market. This is because you can fluctuate your payments in line with rental income.
#10 View Buy-To-Let As A Long Term Investment
Do not expect to make a quick profit on rental income and equity gain in the property. You look at the longer terms for profits. Generally about five to ten years.
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