Lack of Demand for Office Space Creates Fresh Investment Opportunities

Office Space Becomes Residential Investment Opportunities

Whether it is in London or any other area of the UK, there is still plenty of opportunity for investment in property. There is still a considerable demand out there for housing but with such little supply, it has meant that prices are being driven upwards.

From an investors perspective, if finding that right property for investment is difficult, there is always another option. This option is to change the use of a property from an Office to Residential. Due to a lack of demand for commercial property, it has meant that many offices are left empty. Therefore, this downturn in the commercial sector opens doors and opportunities in the residential sector. 

This is something that many investors are now turning to and that proves that it is a feasible idea that has lots of potential. So, how can you capitalise on this exciting investment opportunity? 

If the idea of applying for planning permission is something that has turned you away from exploring this option then it may not be a requirement. You might not require planning permission for a Change of Use from an office to Residential which is also known as B1 t C3, which means you can change offices or retail units into flats.

How is this possible?

The government has put a scheme in place known as Permitted Development Right and this enables certain change of uses to take place without the need to apply for planning permission. Under this scheme, it is possible to change an office use to residential use. So, this makes the planning process more efficient, however, as expected, there are considerations that have to be made. It is not possible to convert every office space into housing and that is something that will have to be researched as part of the process. 

So, if you want to make the change, then you will need to make a Prior Approval Application. This will need to include drawings as well as all relevant supporting documents that include the impact on highways and transport, the risks of contamination as well as the noise impact your development will have along with the flood risks.

If your property falls in line with the Prior Approval process, it will mean that you can move your development forward without the need to meet any other planning requirements. 

At this point, you will then need to work with planning consultants and architects to make the most of the space you have. This will enable you to create a property that is not only habitable but appealing at the same time.

Lack of Demand for Office Space Creates Fresh Investment Opportunities Aspen Woolf

Change of Use – How Long Does the Council Take?

As soon as your plans have been drawn up by planners and architects, they can be submitted for Prior Approval to your council. From this point, the council will have 56 days to make its decision. Once approval has been given, you will then have the chance to start work on your investment, converting your office space into homes. 

What should I consider?

There is no doubt that there are investment opportunities available. When you consider the demise of the high street, it is clear to see just why so many opportunities become available. 

However, what you will need to consider is the quality of housing that you plan to create. 

The Royal Town Planning Institute believe that the Permitted Development rights are being used incorrectly and as a way of delivering low-quality housing that is located in undesirable areas. Therefore, you will need to ensure that your project consists of high-quality accommodation that also meets the requirements of the Existing Permitted Development Guidelines. Therefore, it has to meet space standards and also integrate seamlessly into the surrounding area. 

Why is this an investment opportunity?

The commercial sector has taken a slight hit in recent years. From small start-ups to mid-sized businesses, all have felt the pinch; especially with the uncertainty that surrounds Brexit. Many of these offices are in inconvenient locations for businesses yet from a residential perspective, they would work brilliantly. As offices lay derelict and unused for months or maybe years, the landlords either want to sell them on or they have plans to change their use. Despite the concerns over Brexit, there is still a demand for housing. 

To meet this demand without having to build brand new housing, a Change of Use is a great way to make use of something that already exists. With the shell of the property in place, it is a case of making the necessary changes inside so that it becomes housing.

Investors can then meet the demand for property and make their investment work hard for them.

To make sure that you make the right choices and do everything correctly, it is important that you obtain the correct advice. This will ensure that the entire process is efficient and simple. Without a need for planning permission, you could make a change and begin benefitting from what was once a disused office by turning it into high-quality housing that appeals to those who are looking to get onto the property ladder.

If creating your own housing development sounds far fetched, Aspen Woolf have been identifying wealth building opportunities in the residential sector for over 14 years. Contact us or visit our UK property investments section to see what we have to offer. 


Landlords! Here’s What You Need to Know About Right to Rent

An agency can handle these checks and legislation for you.

One of your responsibilities as a private landlord is to check if prospective tenants have the ‘right to rent’ in the UK. It stems from the Immigration Act of 2014, a measure designed to make it difficult for illegal migrants to remain here undetected.

The 2015 Immigration Bill builds on this, granting increased eviction powers for authorities and criminal penalties for non-compliance.

Landlords! Here's What You Need to Know About Right to Rent Aspen Woolf

As a landlord, these ‘right to rent’ responsibilities can only add extra weight to an already stressful workload. In addition, some tenants make it difficult to obtain their personal information or simply produce fake documents.

This is why we recommend making your investment through a professional lettings agent such as Aspen Woolf. We’ll take care of these requirements on your behalf, using a team of legal specialists to verify documents and even take liability if financial penalties do arise.

By doing so, this will help secure your investment and maximise its potential earnings.


Official Legislation

Landlords! Here's What You Need to Know About Right to Rent Aspen Woolf

Details of the ruling can be found under Section 22 of the Immigration Act 2014, which declares that landlords: “must not authorise an adult to occupy premises under a residential tenancy agreement if the adult is disqualified as a result of their immigration status.”

To comply with these requirements, you must view original immigration documents, make copies and keep them for 12 months after the tenancy expires. If these documents are held by the Home Office, a landlord’s checking service can be accessed online here.

If you’ve made these checks and discover your current tenant is living in the UK illegally, you must report this as soon as possible. Once this has been done, the process falls out of your hands and you’re under no obligation to force an eviction.

However, if you don’t make sufficient effort to report a tenant without the right to rent, you may face a civil penalty up to £3,000.

Although there are various stipulations to adhere to, the legislation does not apply to the under 18s or those not renting the property as their main home. If you’re unsure of anything, additional details can be found on the official government website here.


Managed Lets

Landlords! Here's What You Need to Know About Right to Rent Aspen Woolf

One useful aspect of the legislation is that an external agency can carry out these ‘right to rent’ checks on your behalf.

Aspen Woolf can recommend fully licensed companies to do so and can draw up a written agreement which passes responsibility onto them. We can also recommend the correct due diligence platform that will perform detailed background checks and credit reports on all potential tenants before they move in.

This is of great help to landlords who don’t always appreciate the extra hassle that comes with some independent buy-to-let investments. If you need any further information regarding our ‘right to rent’ compliance, please feel free to get in touch today.

As a landlord, you may be interested in whether Build-to-Rent is the future of property investment.

Is it Worth Furnishing Your Residential Rental Properties?

It's up to you as the landlord to decide how far to go if furnishing your rental property but many tenants may expect there to be a bed.

As a landlord, furnishing your rental property or leaving it empty is entirely up to you. It all depends on your budget, how much rental income is desired and the kind of tenant you’re looking to attract.

There’s also the middle ground to consider. This is where you provide basic furnishings such as a bed, sofa, oven and washing machine, but require the tenant to supplement this with their own belongings.


What Counts as a Furnished Property?

Is it Worth Furnishing Your Residential Rental Properties? Aspen Woolf

There’s no legal definition for a furnished property in the UK, but tenants will expect some or all of the following items to be provided:

  • Bedroom: bed, chest of drawers, wardrobe
  • Living Room: sofa, armchairs, television
  • Dining Area: table, chairs
  • Kitchen: fridge, freezer, oven, microwave
  • Utility appliances: washing machine, dryer, dishwasher

Of course, it’s also advised to spruce up the property as best you can. Ensure flooring is solid with carpets or wood installed to the proper standards. Curtains and blinds are another expected feature, as well as attractive paint jobs or wallpaper. Another recommendation is to provide access to a Wi-Fi internet connection.

As a side note, consider your legal responsibilities as a landlord when furnishing the property – these can be found on the government website here. Landlord contents insurance is also highly recommended.


Furnished Rental Properties

Is it Worth Furnishing Your Residential Rental Properties? Aspen Woolf

Kitting out the property is likely to attract more enquiries. Modern renters don’t tend to have their own furniture so will be actively searching out furnished homes, especially in the case of students or young professionals.

If you’re worried about the added expense, consider it as an investment. Tenants may come and go, but your furnishings will always be there. In addition, you’ll now be able to charge higher rents to offset these initial costs.

Inexperienced landlords may not be aware of the tax benefits of furnishing your property. Although the ‘wear and tear’ tax has been reformed, the new relief system still enables residential landlords to deduct costs on replacing furnishings, appliances and kitchenware.


Unfurnished Rental Properties

Is it Worth Furnishing Your Residential Rental Properties? Aspen Woolf

Unfurnished homes may attract less interest overall, but much depends on the expected tenants. For example, families – whose reliance on the rental sector has rocketed over the past decade – are likely to possess their own furniture anyway. Rents will be generally cheaper also, meaning more enquiries from lower earners are likely to come in. Families, on the upside, tend to stay in the same property for much longer. Ensuring your rental income remains stable for the foreseeable future.

Landlord’s want the least hassle possible and unfurnished properties offer that. There’s no removal fees to contend with (now or in the future), less concern over general deterioration and no insurance requirements.

However, remember that some basic amenities will still be expected by potential tenants. These will include sufficient heating, electric and gas supply, along with flooring, curtains and perhaps a washing machine, oven, refrigerator, etc. You can add to this ‘inventory’ as time goes by as your budget increases.

Whichever option you decide upon is entirely up to you and much depends on your finances and rent expectations. However, investing in a managed let via an estate agents provides the best of both worlds. You’ll receive a fully furnished property with all the potential hassle taken care of.

Whether you’re a first time property investor or already have a portfolio, you might be interested in whether Build-to-Rent is the future.
You can find out about managed let opportunities available throughout the UK over on our Investments page.

Updated for 2020 – A Guide to Property Investment in Bradford

If you’re reading this you’re probably aware that property can be a great investment vehicle, bringing diversification to an investment portfolio, providing a stable income and shielding money from inflation. Even if you know all of this, you are going to be faced with one looming question: Where do I invest?

While many investors opt for investing in their local area, those with a little more ambition recognise the importance of investigating all of the options, whether they are near or far from home.

In this guide we’re going to explore a city in one of the most exciting regions of the United Kingdom – a region expected by experts Savills to see 21.6% capital growth over the next 5 years. We’re going to tell you the best reasons for investing in the Yorkshire city of Bradford.

Bradford at a glance

Situated in the foothills of the Pennines, Bradford forms part of the West Yorkshire Urban Area, the United Kingdom’s fourth largest urban area – and contains a population of over 530,000. The city enjoys a location just 16 miles from Leeds, and possesses extremely good links to the rest of the major northern cities, as well as easy access to the M1 motorway.

Steeped in heritage and culture, Bradford offers residents a selection of architectural delights, from the old industrial quarter of Little Germany to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Saltaire – a wonderfully preserved Victorian village. Bradford is also the first ever UNESCO City of Film in the world, proving this city not only has a cultural past, but a cultural future too.

Many people relocate to Bradford because of the ease at which it’s possible to escape to some of the most spectacular countryside in Britain. The northern tip of the world famous Peak District National Park is only a 40 minute drive away and the Yorkshire Dales National Park can be accessed in around about the same time as well.

Clearly there is an appeal to this West Yorkshire post-industrial town for residents, but with all that said, let’s gets down business on why investors should choose Bradford.


Updated for 2020 - A Guide to Property Investment in Bradford Aspen Woolf

Why invest in Bradford – economy

Bradford’s economy

Bradford’s economy is one of the strongest in the region. Valued at £9.5bn, it is the eighth largest in England and the third largest in the Yorkshire region after Leeds and Sheffield. This figure is proof that a city once struggling after the de-industrialisation of the north is now bouncing back to take its place as one of the major players in what many have dubbed the “Northern Powerhouse.” This year, Bradford’s economy is expected to have grown by around 25% over the last decade and will contribute 15.4% of the total growth within the Leeds City Region.

As of 2018, Bradford was home to 15,430 enterprises and 18,060 local units, employing 185,500 people, added to which there are more than 32,000 self-employed individuals.

The city’s own plan is to focus on four areas of development to encourage Bradford to become the fastest growing economy in the UK:

  • Education and skills development for young people
  • Using cultural assets to attract investment
  • Building on our business to drive innovation, increase productivity and create wealth.
  • Improving connectivity through a comprehensive transport infrastructure and digital connection

These initiatives are aiming to increase the value of the local economy by £4 billion, moving 20,000 more people into work and improving the skills of 48,000 residents.

One of the key drivers in Bradford’s resurfacing from its industrial past is its growing appeal to financial companies such as Santander UK, the Yorkshire Building Society and Provident Financial, with the latter being one of Bradford’s biggest employers. Household names like Morrisons and the region’s water utility, Yorkshire Water, have head offices in the city as well as Hallmark Cards and Seabrook Potato Crisps.

Partially thanks to being recognised by UNESCO twice, as well as developing a growing imprint on the British cultural landscape, Bradford’s economy also benefits largely from the tourist industry. Around 9.2 million people come to Bradford each year, and as the city’s reputation grows, so too will the visitor numbers and the city’s tourist economy. At present, 91 per cent of all visitors are domestic, but this figure could change as the city’s reputation spreads across the wider world.

All in all, if you’re interested in the economy of where you’re investing then this information should attract your attention. The local economy is one of the best reasons to invest in Bradford.


Updated for 2020 - A Guide to Property Investment in Bradford Aspen Woolf

Why invest in Bradford – regeneration


Regeneration and investment in Bradford

When we wrote a guide about investing in Bradford back in 2016, we spoke about how over £500 million was invested in the city centre with an additional £200 million being placed into the wider district. Additionally, the Westfield shopping and leisure complex, called The Broadway, introduced eighty-two new stores to fill the 570,000 sq ft of retail space and over create over 2,000 jobs.

Now in 2020 we can talk about a £75 million investment to attract the so called ‘urban entrepreneurs’ of the future. Here’s a breakdown of the projects:

  • £12m on redeveloping the Odeon cinema.
  • £9.4m relocation of Bradford’s markets
  • £3m Top of Town redevelopment scheme
  • £8.9m restoration of St George’s Hall
  • £25.3m on the One City Park site to create grade A office space

The £3m Top of Town redevelopment mentioned above is of particular interest, being a sustainable development of a ‘city village’, comprised of around 1,000 new homes.

All of this regeneration and the efforts to bring Bradford in line with the Northern Powerhouse initiative has prompted some to compare the city to London’s tech and business district, Shoreditch. Whatever the end result of all the capital flooding into the area, Bradford is set reach never before seen levels of economic output.


Updated for 2020 - A Guide to Property Investment in Bradford Aspen Woolf

Why invest in Bradford – transport and connectivity


HS2 and Bradford’s transportation links

Transportation in Bradford is a big deal, thanks to two major projects you may have heard of: HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail. If you’re reading this from outside the UK you might not be aware of the much anticipated High Speed Rail 2 network (HS2). This extremely expensive infrastructure project (estimated at £307m per mile), was confirmed to go ahead in full in February this year, and will connect 25 stations and 30 million people across the country.

The core of HS2’s mission is to increase connectivity from northern and midland towns and cities to London and the south, while slashing journey times. Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) is a separate initiative running across northern England (rather than north to south) to create better connections between the major cities in the north. The combination of the two projects means that Bradford will be more connected than ever before. The city is due to be part of the NPR project which will connect it to those stations on the HS2 line.

These rail projects are set to drive growth in the UK by an estimated £92 billion, with Bradford receiving a boost of £15 billion by 2060. It should go without saying that connectivity generates wealth, and the knock on effect of this is an increase in house prices. We will come on to house prices a little further on in this guide, but while we’re talking about HS2 and NPR, we’ll mention what has been dubbed the “HS2 effect“: booming house prices for all areas around the HS2 stations. We expect the cities on the NPR to benefit from a similar phenomenon given the link between the two lines.

Aside from the excitement of HS2 and NPR, Bradford has all of the standard transportation links that one would expect from a city of its size, and enjoys good connections with the other major northern cities in the region. Neighbouring Leeds provides Bradford with a local international airport (just six miles to the east), and Manchester Airport is only an hour’s drive away, which gives residents easy access to the country’s third largest airport.

Bradford is also well served by the road network, with the M606 spur connecting to the M62. Entry to the M1 is straightforward and provides those who wish to travel south or north an easy way to do so. The M62 itself, which runs to the south of the city, creates a link to Hull and Leeds in the east, and Liverpool and Manchester in the west. Bradford is also served by a number of trunk roads, giving access to local towns and cities such as Queensbury, Wakefield, Halifax, Harrogate, Leeds and Keighley.

Bradford Interchange combines rail, bus and coach services and has a passenger footfall just short of 3 million people per annum. The station operates regular services locally and also links the city to London’s King’s Cross station. Bradford Forster Square – a mere 10-minute walk away from the Interchange – also connects with London’s King’s Cross.


Updated for 2020 - A Guide to Property Investment in Bradford Aspen Woolf

Why invest in Bradford – local life

Life in Bradford

When investing in property you want to make sure you are putting your money into an area that people want to live in. Culture, infrastructure and amenities attract residents and provide a high quality of living. Bradford offers all of this, and has been recognised for doing so. A recent study by top accountancy firm PWC and leading cross party think tank Demos has named Bradford as the most improved city in the UK.

PWC’s Good Growth for Cities report aims to create an index for good growth in the UK by taking into account a range of factors considered important to the general public, including jobs, income, skills and health were most important factors in the eyes of the public, alongside housing, transport, income distribution, work-life balance, business start-ups and the environment.

Now covering over a decade of data, the Demos-PwC Good Growth for Cities Index measures the performance of a range of the largest UK cities, as well as Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas and Combined Authorities in England, against a basket of ten indicators based on what the public find most important when they think about the ‘work and money’ side of their lives.

Of the 42 cities listed in the index, Bradford comes top when ranked in terms of most improved. This is especially impressive considering that this year’s report has seen a higher number of cities’ scores decline when compared to previous years.

Moving on to history and culture, Bradford has a long and rich past reflected in the architecture, especially in the ever popular Little Germany area. This part of Bradford is full of wonderful Victorian buildings and named after the German merchants who came to the city in the late 1850s. Another UNESCO recognised part of Bradford is Saltaire, a World Heritage Site model village that also boasts incredible architecture and a wealth of independent restaurants and shops. Salt Mills also sits within the site, home to one of the greatest collections of work by the artist David Hockney. As mentioned earlier, the UNESCO City of Film status further cements the city’s reputation as a culturally important location.

In fact, Bradford’s local government is so confident of the city’s cultural prowess that they have put together a bid to become the UK City of Culture 2025. A number of  key cultural institutions have come together to form the Cultural Place Partnership which will drive the bid forwards as they contest against the likes of Chelmsford, Luton, Medway, Northampton, Southampton and Tees Valley.

The bid forms part of the overall Economic Strategy which aims to make Bradford the UK’s fastest growing economy over the coming decade, increasing the value of the economy by £4 billion.

Winning the bid would be massive for Bradford; such a strong cultural heritage and commitment to the arts means the city’s bid is very strong indeed.

With a mix of families, cosmopolitan workers and university students, the population numbers 530,000. The city houses the youngest population in the UK outside of London, creating a demand for student accommodation and homes for young professionals.

Adapting to the demands of a young population, the city is a vibrant hub with a strong of nightlife and cultural and social experiences. Live music can be found at places such as The Live Room and Disco Joe’s. As with any other British city, pubs and clubs are easily found and there are also plenty of upmarket bars on offer too. There is a range of art galleries and museums in the area too for those that like the slower paced cultural activities.

Opportunities for eating out are plentiful too. Dubbed the Curry Capital of Britain, Bradford naturally has a wealth of Asian eateries, but the range of cuisines on offer doesn’t stop there. Every taste is catered for, and the local craft beer scene is becoming an attraction in its own right, with the region currently home to 96 microbreweries – the highest concentration in the country.

Those who enjoy a little retail therapy are spoilt for choice thanks to the Westfield Broadway shopping centre. The £260 million mall brings houses a host of retailers, adding to the existing Kirkgate Centre, Oastler Shopping Centre and Forster Square Shopping Park.


Updated for 2020 - A Guide to Property Investment in Bradford Aspen Woolf

Why invest in Bradford – housing

House prices and yields

Bradford offers exceptional value for money with house prices being some of the least expensive in the country – priced at 5.6 times the national average salary, compared to 7 times for the UK average house price. Industry experts Savills name Yorkshire as one of the UK’s top locations for predicted capital growth, forecasting a huge 21.6% uplift in growth over the next five years alone. Investing in Bradford means get in to the investor market at low prices right in time for excellent growth.

Rental yields outperform the national average and in some cases significantly.

The city centre is where you want to invest. The Little Germany postcode, BD1, can attract rental yields of 9.7% which makes it one of the top performing postcodes in the UK. Other BD postcodes yield on average 4.2%.

With the growing development of the Northern Powerhouse, the city looks set for a continued period of growth, making now a great time to consider investing in Bradford.


Updated for 2020 - A Guide to Property Investment in Bradford Aspen Woolf

Top reasons for investing in Bradford

So why invest in Bradford?

We believe that Bradford is one of the most upcoming areas in the United Kingdom, and the work that is being done by both the local government and outside investors reflects our sentiments. We have already gone over the regeneration projects in operation throughout the city and believe that all of these initiatives will stand Bradford in good stead as we move into 2020.

PwC’s naming of Bradford as the UK’s most improved city, combined with the bid to become city of culture for 2025 really goes to show how Bradford is on the up.

Extremely attractive property prices present investors with a unique opportunity to take advantage of some extraordinarily good deals in the area, generating rental yields of up to 9%. The arrival of the Northern Powerhouse Rail and nearby HS2 is nothing short of revolutionary for Bradford, and by creating a network that connects major locations in the UK, Bradford will be brought in line with the other Northern Powerhouse cities.

A close proximity to Leeds is a benefit to anyone looking to invest, as Bradford is now being viewed as a viable alternative for those who need to commute into the neighbouring city’s fast expanding financial district. Renters looking to settle for the long term will be happy to know there are top quality schools in the area, and some of the UK’s best countryside moments away. It’s certainly worth remembering that the population is the youngest in the country, creating a rental demand ready for investors to capitalise on.

If you are looking to move into the property market, we strongly advise you to explored Bradford. This city is primed to reap the rewards of 21.6% capital growth forecasted for the next 5 years, and offers low entry points to investors.

Here at Aspen Woolf, we have a choice of properties ready for your investment. Why not have a look at our Bradford options.

Buy-To-Let Investors Face Surcharge

What tax changes means for you

The latest budget from the Chancellor of the Exchequer was watched with increased interest by those heavily invested in the property market. After last year’s announcements regarding stamp duty hikes and tax relief cuts, George Osborne had his work cut out to re-enamour himself and his government with landlords up and down the country.

While Mr Osborne did indeed offer some investors a huge boost by significantly slashing Capital Gains Tax, landlords were left more than just a little miffed by the inclusion of a surcharge that will be levied against the sale of residential property.

Buy-To-Let Investors Face Surcharge Aspen Woolf

Image Credit: Alan Cleaver via Flickr

The changes

The cut in capital gains is a hearty eight per cent and has been welcomed by many. For those who operate on the basic rate of tax for capital gains, this means a reduction from 18 per cent down to 10 percent, while those in the higher bracket will only have to pay 20 per cent as opposed to the pre-budget 28 per cent.

The kicker for landlords, however, is that any gains that have been made from residential property will not be eligible for these reduced rates. When it comes to selling their investments, landlords will have to pay the old rates of Capital Gains Tax – something that is being seen as essentially an eight per cent surcharge. Not only that, carried interest will be charged at the old rate as well.

From the government’s point of view, the move was introduced in order to persuade investors to move away from property and to place their money into companies instead, but landlords are understandably dismayed by this decision.


When gains are not what they should be

The new rates will leave anyone selling a residential property with a bitter taste in their mouth as they think of what might have been. For example, at present, if someone who pays the basic rate of tax were to cash in a £10,000 gain on their property (one that is above the tax-free threshold of £11,100) they would be left £8,200 after tax had been deducted. Those on the higher or additional-rate would be left with £7,200.

The new rate, however, would have given landlords who pay the basic rate of tax a return of £9,000, and £8,000 for anyone who falls into the higher or additional-rate. Even the chancellor couldn’t deny that the rate of taxation is one of the ‘highest in the developed world’.

Buy-To-Let Investors Face Surcharge Aspen Woolf

Image Credit: Images Money via Flickr


Perceived losses will likely be passed on

It is important to remember, however, that there has essentially been no change to what landlords will have to pay when they decide to sell up. This is not an increase; it is simply a benefit that has not been extended to those who choose to invest in the residential property market.

It is perfectly understandable that landlords will feel victimised by this latest piece of news from Her Majesty’s Treasury, but the fear is that the real losers will be first-time buyers and tenants, as landlords and sellers look to redeem the surcharge levied against them by raising house prices when they come to sell.

If you found this post interesting, you might also enjoy The Rise of Commercial Property Investments In The UK and Everything You Need To Know About Student Property Investment In The UK.

Can You Really Make Money with Buy-To-Let Investments?

With so much hype surrounding the whole buy-to-let market at present, it can be easy to dismiss the whole investment vehicle as being too good to be true. However, is that really the case? While reports in the media concentrate on the ultra successes, what about everyone else? Can anyone make money through buy-to-let?

Knowing what’s involved

One of the biggest dangers for those who are new to buy-to-let investments is the misconception that they can make easy money. While it is undoubtedly true that there is still plenty of money to be made in the UK property market, believing that it is easy is a sure fire way to become quickly disappointed and disillusioned.

You need to be serious about your investment and willing to put both time and effort into making it work – it isn’t simply a case of buying somewhere and then kicking back. Unfortunately, there’s a lot more to it than that. So, if you’re ready, let’s take a look at what’s involved.

Selecting the right type of property for your investment

First of all, you have to assess your own situation before you can take the plunge into the buy-to-let market. What do you want from your investment? Do you want capital growth that will possibly be used as a retirement nest egg later in life? Or would you prefer to receive a regular monthly income from the property?

Making this decision is essential, as the days of receiving both from a property investment have been waning ever since the financial crisis hit back in 2007. It’s not impossible, but it certainly has become a lot more difficult to find a property that delivers both, so you need to make the right choice for your circumstances before you buy.

Can You Really Make Money with Buy-To-Let Investments? Aspen Woolf

Image Credit: Pixabay

Know your numbers

First time property investors can easily get sucked into things like aesthetics when choosing a property to invest in, but it really all comes down to one thing – numbers. Overpaying for a property simply because you fall in love with a feature is not good business, so you need to be aware of this if you want to make real money from the property market.

Knowing what your budget is also means calculating your monthly living expenses and working out whether or not you can cover any unexpected costs that may occur. For example, could you cover the mortgage should the property be left empty for a couple of months? If the answer is no, you might want to reconsider your position before you put down that deposit.

Can You Really Make Money with Buy-To-Let Investments? Aspen Woolf

Image Credit: Pixabay

To manage or not?

Another consideration is how hands on you want to be when it comes to managing the property. Many people opt for having a management company to look after their buy-to-let investment rather than have the hassle of phone calls at inconvenient hours about a broken boiler or having to chase tenants for unpaid rent. However, this privilege costs money, and it could eat into your profits fairly quickly if you are operating on tight margins.

It’s another thing to think about as it can really make all the difference between making money, breaking even or, heaven forbid, having to put your own money in to cover the shortfall yourself.


Can you really make money with buy-to-let? Definitely, but it won’t be as easy as you may think and only serious investors should take the plunge. However, that being said, if you are willing to put in the effort necessary to make it work, the rewards can be fantastic. Providing you have done your research, know your limitations and have a keen eye for a bargain, there are still plenty of decent opportunities out there.

And remember, those opportunities can be found anywhere, from the next street along, to the next county, or maybe even in another country altogether. Keep an open mind and be prepared to put a little effort in and your dreams of being the next buy-to-let baron might just come true!

If you enjoyed this blog post then perhaps you might like to read “5 Ways To Spot An Up-And-Coming Area