Are your children going to University later this year? If they are, investing in a buy-to-let property may be a good investment for you and provide a great place for them to live. Here’s a quick run down of things you might want to look at when considering student buy-to-lets.
- Paying rent to someone else is in effect “wasting money”. If you purchase a buy-to-let property you can earn an income from renting out the spare rooms to other students and there is a good chance that over the 3 or 4 years that your child is at college, the property will also go up in value giving you capital appreciation.
- You need to consider where your child is going to college obviously but generally student numbers have been buoyant in areas such as Liverpool, Salford and Manchester. This means there is a good demand for quality accommodation, meaning you should be able to find tenants and have strong market when you come to sell.
- Make sure you buy somewhere that is good quality with a good specification for internal fixtures and fittings. Student accommodation has moved on a lot and today’s students don’t want to live in scruffy apartments.
- Location is key – the nearer to the University or College the better. It makes if far more attractive if the house or flat is either in walking or cycling distance and has good public transport links.
- Buy carefully and do your sums on the mortgage deal or investment. There will be a need for a cash deposit so it will be wise to speak to an expert.
- Think about when it’s time to sell. If you have a regular 2 or 3 bedroom property to sell it’s going to be much easier to sell on that something quirky or a student pod, which can have limited resale markets.
- Select tenants carefully. Are they likely to stay all year round and provide you with 12 months of rent. Overseas students are more likely to stay on full time. Can you keep your tenants for 2 or more years? If you have a good tenant it is certainly worth trying your best to make sure they stay on with you for as many years as possible.
- How are you going to handle maintenance? With the right property this might not be a major issue but you do need to consider what happens of the boiler fails for example.
- Consider using a professional letting agent to find additional tenants and look after maintenance. The laws and paperwork are more complicated than they used to be so it is well worth the fee you will have to pay them especially if you have a few rooms to fill.
- Consider keeping the property after your own children have moved on. If the numbers are working for you, keeping the property and becoming a landlord makes sense as the same arguments still hold good and you have an extra room available to increase your rental income.
As you can see there are many benefits to investing in a student property. We are experts in student property rentals in the North West and would welcome the chance to help either with a new investment or to act as your letting agent. Please give us a call for an initial discussion.