Streetwise Property Alert 23rd September 2013

Lots of interest in the Liverpool BMV BTLs! We were planning a visit this Thursday but I have to meet some members at Gatwick at an awful hour so we will re-arrange shortly. Meantime, we are still sending out PDFs.

BTL Basics

The site has some advice on buy-to-let; 10 tips for first-timers. Let’s quote some of the best of the best.

Try to buy something that is not very old – this will mean less maintenance down the line.

Pick something lettable – two-bedroom houses and flats appeal to the widest range of potential tenants. Avoid large family homes, which appeal to fewer potential tenants.

Don’t restrict yourself to your own immediate area, make sure the area has a healthy market for tenants and try to avoid rundown areas. This will have a direct relationship with the type of tenant you will attract – and poor-quality tenants will cost you money.

When making an offer on a property, be patient but ruthless – as an investment buyer, you are not in a chain and can move at speed. This has value to the seller so be prepared to walk away if you are not getting the deal you are after.

Using a mortgage makes your money work harder – a rental income high enough to cover a repayment mortgage is a good indicator that you are getting things right.

That reminds me – we’ve been promising a BTL report for first-timers. We will start work on that this week and it will be ready in two to three weeks.

Time To Buy?

The year is certainly going better than expected. We note that Rightmove has increased its upside forecast for the year. At the end of 2012, it predicted that property prices in the UK would rise by 2 per cent in 2013. In July, it raised that forecast to 4 per cent. It’s now raised it to 6 per cent.

Their Miles Shipside says, ‘We forecast the national average increase in new seller pricing for the whole of 2013 to be in the region of 6 per cent, partly driven by the strength of southern markets but increasingly contributed to by the more buoyant areas of the north.’ Want to know where these ‘buoyant areas of the north are’; we have a list of hotspots coming soon.

Create The Tardis Effect

Great article at on making your property look bigger than it is – the appearance of space is a key seller, of course. Let’s quote some of the site’s best tricks.

Bathroom – wall-hung furniture such as the toilet, vanity basin and cabinets, leaves space underneath the items meaning the eye can travel round the bottom half of the room uninterrupted, giving the impression of more space.

Living room – you can do clever tricks with paint in your living room if you have a skirting board or cornice. For instance, painting both the same colour as the wall will make the room appear taller. You can do the same trick with curtains; keep them the same colour as the wall and hang them closer to the ceiling to make the eye travel upwards and make the room seem taller.

Kitchen – take down cabinets and replace them with open shelves, especially ‘floating’ versions so there are no brackets to distract the eye.

Bedroom – you could place two large mirrors at opposite ends of the room to each other to ‘open up’ the room.

Hallway – install a large chandelier; it’ll distract from the narrowness of the hallway.Okay, not all of these will apply to you and yours. You may disagree with some of them. But, as ever, it is food for thought.

All for now, do let us know if you are interested in those BMV BTLs in Liverpool. We have a PDF we are sending out and we can have a chat, answer questions, arrange a visit with you etc.