Rent or Sell: Property is Always a Good Investment

Investing in property is a smart move. It’s something that’s always going to be in high demand, and will continue to grow in value each year. But it’s not all plain sailing, the property market can be tricky and there are plenty of things that newbie investors do wrong which can either reduce their profit margin or worse, mean that they lose money. Whether you’re looking to flip houses and sell them on to earn money, or build an empire by renting them out, here are a few things to bear in mind before parting with your money and signing on the dotted line.

The Area

When the right house comes up, it’s tempting to want to snap it up. But it’s not just the house you need to be looking at, it’s the area too. If for example you’re renovating to create a family home, is the house in an area where families want to live? Are there good schools and parks? If you’re renovating a property for working professionals, are you close to a town or city, or are there good transport links? You need to take everything into consideration, if you do you’ll maximise your chances of getting the best price possible. Another thing to consider is whether you will be buying at home or away. Investing in property abroad has its challenges but huge rewards too. Property prices are often far cheaper in certain parts of the world and if you can tap into the holiday letting market you have the potential to earn a lot of profit. There are sites where you can search for property in specific areas, for example lets you browse property in Indonesia. Places like Bali and Jakarta attract millions of tourists meaning you should never struggle with renting it out. If you choose a place in the world that you love yourself, you get the benefit of using it as a holiday home when you want too. Find yourself a good solicitor who specialises in the buying and selling of property abroad, and get clued up yourself on how things work as much as possible. It’s more difficult than buying property in the country where you live, but can be well worth the extra hassle.

The Outdoor Space

Another thing to consider when you are buying a house is what kind of outdoor space is available. Again if you’re renovating to appeal to families, a garden will be a high priority for most. If you’ve found a great house with a very small or no garden, be aware that this is likely to put off many buyers. If you have a moderate sized garden already but plan on extending, think ahead to how this will affect the outdoor space. For certain properties like apartments and maisonettes a garden won;t usually be expected, although if you can find one which does have outdoor space you’re likely to be able to get a higher price- whether that’s in rent or when it comes to selling. Off street parking such as a drive or garage is always going to be appreciated, this is something you could consider adding to your renovation plans. Many older homes were built at a time when lots of people didn’t own cars which can be problematic these days. But if you have a front garden this could be transformed into a driveway, has some ideas on how to do this. Or if you have space at the side of the property, find out if it could accommodate a garage. These are things to bear in mind if the property you plan on buying is lacking in off street parking.

The Amount of Work

One thing to really not underestimate when you’re investing in a property is the amount of work that needs doing. Some houses might look very bad at a glance but only need a cosmetic makeover, others might look fine when you go in but be hiding all kinds of issues. Having a survey done is the only sure way to know what you’re up against, that way you know if there are any electrical, plumbing or structural issues, whether there are pests or if the house contains any asbestos. These kinds of things can be incredibly expensive, if there are problems you’re better off knowing before you buy. You could either look for something else if it’s too much work, or you could ask for the price to be lowered to reflect the amount of work that needs doing. If you’re planning on a full renovation, speak to an architect to make sure that your vision is a possibility. If for example you want to start removing walls to create an open plan space, you need to know that this can be done. If it involved removing supporting walls you will have to have things like beams fitted to keep the integrity of the property. Don’t just assume or guess, put in the planning and research first. People can be put off spending money on these things when they haven’t even bought the house yet, but it saves you a lot of money and hassle later down the line if you uncover problems now. You can negotiate and even back out if needed, once you’ve purchased you’re pretty much stuck with the issues.

The Finishing Look

If you’re buying houses to sell on, you will want to appeal to as many buyers as possible. One way to go about this is to create spacious rooms- decorate in light neutrals which will make any property look light and airy. This blank canvas allows buyers to see themselves in the space and be able to appreciate the home properly when they come to view it without distractions. It’s important that you don’t get carried away and create a home that you personally would want to live in, since it won’t be for you. For example, you might think a utility room is a must have but many families would prefer a downstairs toilet. You might think a conservatory is a must, but buyers might prefer the extra garden space. Instead of things like unique taps and patterned tiles, choose plainer and safer options that will appeal to all tastes. Instead of patterned carpets, go with plain or wooden floors which most people will prefer. You can add a few simple items to dress the rooms- a rug, lamp, a piece of art and a plant. But don’t go crazy, you want to display the kind of lifestyle a person could lead in the property not distract them with too many items. suggests more ideas on how to appeal to buyers. If you’re preparing your property for the rental market, you will want to go with sturdy and long lasting decor and items. If you’re offering a property as full or part furnished, having built in wardrobes installed are likely to last for much longer. There are also beds and other items you can buy especially for rented properties which are hard wearing. Decorating in wipeable paint means it’s likely to stay nicer for longer, and wooden floors or hard wearing carpets are a smart choice too.

Are you planning on investing in property in the near future? Have you carefully thought about the pitfalls and planned what you will do to avoid them?

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