When choosing a property that is going to make a good investment, you should start by considering the needs of the tenant demographic you are intending to rent to.
These typically include:
>Young professionals – singles and couples
>Tenants in receipt of housing benefit
>Elderly tenants – those that are downsizing – usually couples
Each tenant demographic will have slightly different needs, such as family tenants will almost certainly be looking to rent in a good school catchment area, so that should influence the location of where you would buy.
However we believe there are five “must have’s” that all rental properties require, regardless of tenant profile.
1. Good transport links
It stands to reason that tenants want to be located close to fast transport links so that they can commute to work, visit friends or relatives, and access events, hobbies, and lifestyle pursuits.
The main transport links are:
> Motorway access
> Train stations
> Bus routes
A property out in the countryside with no buses and small country lanes is going to have far less appeal than a property that can access transport links.
Check the area you are considering investing in, and see which of the above are in close proximity to your chosen property or location and how efficient/frequent bus and train services are.
2. Fast broadband speed and strong mobile connection
Tenants consistently state in surveys that fast broadband speed is an absolute must.
Research from earlier this year revealed that 49 per cent of respondents said they wouldn’t consider a property without access to fast broadband, whilst a similar number (48 per cent) would also rule out a home without good mobile reception.
What is perhaps surprising, is that access to fast broadband is prioritised above many important factors. 14 per cent said a property’s price was less important to them than fast broadband, while 19 per cent said proximity to their work wasn’t as important as modern broadband internet access.
You can check the broadband speed of any property by postcode using such free services as Broadband Speed Checker.
3. Feels safe at different times of the day
All humans like to feel safe when walking home at night. It’s prudent to visit your chosen area or property at night and walk the streets yourself to see how safe it feels. Is there sufficient street lighting for instance? Are there a lot of people out on the streets being noisy or hanging around bars and clubs?
You can check crime rates for different areas by doing a simple internet search. You can also speak to the local police and ask them if there are any problem areas or if there are growing trends in any type of crime in the area.
Well maintained public areas and roads with good street lighting at night give a feeling of comfort and mean that the local authority is maintaining the town or city and is not suffering from budget cuts.
4. Lots of employment in the area
Big employers, business parks, and retail parks are always positive for landlords, as they provide employment for tenants.
An airport or a hospital will provide work for thousands of people, as will a big local employer or retailer.
Do research to find out which industries are in the area, and what the general economy of the area is like.
High levels of employment are obviously a positive indicator.
5. Good local amenities
Tenants are looking for a great lifestyle when living in their rental home, so, just like you and me, they like access such facilities as supermarkets, shops, and leisure amenities.
Boutique shops and coffee culture are also an indication of a flourishing and economically robust area. Conversely, empty shops and lots of charity shops can be an indication that the area is struggling.
In a city centre, you might like to take a leaf out of experienced landlords’ book, and follow the “pint of milk” rule. Is the property within a 5 minute walk of a pint of milk? Many city-dwellers like to be able to pop out on foot and get a pint of milk and groceries if they run out.
People also enjoy access to outside space, such as parks and woodland, so if your area or chosen town has these, then that is a bonus.
If you need assistance in finding a property suitable for investment, our 80+ offices around the UK are more than happy to have an informal chat with you and assist you in finding one.
Our agents know their local area inside out and can advise you on all of the above, along with rental yields and can also direct you to suitable properties for sale, some which may already be tenanted.
Find your nearest Northwood office >>> here.
Northwood is one of the largest and most recognised estate agents in the U.K. and the leading supplier of Guaranteed Rent to give landlords complete peace of mind.
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