Where to invest in buy to let…

publication date: Apr 12, 2011
 | 
author/source: Guest article by Sarah Walker, Freelance Writer, Broadcaster and Property Expert
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Where to invest in buy to let…


Property Investment Buying

One of the most common questions people ask when they’re thinking of investing in property is “Where should I buy?”  They want to know where’s ‘hot’ and where the greatest amount of money can be made in the shortest amount of time.

First things first: property is not a get-rich-quick game; it’s a medium to long-term business and there are no shortcuts in the current market.  Despite that, there’s no shortage of property investment companies that will try to sell you properties and ‘BMV’ leads all over the place (probably also telling you that you can do it as a ‘no money down’ deal! By the way, don’t go for those – you’ll more than likely be committing mortgage fraud!).  There are countless investors who’ll tell you they have a portfolio of eight properties and when you ask where they are, they start listing towns and cities from Brighton to Sheffield.  With a very few exceptions, there are great deals within half an hour to an hour of where you live, and if you want to be an active investor that’s the furthest you should stray.

Long-distance investments are usually far more trouble than they’re worth.  You can’t possibly be an expert on the whole country from your armchair, so you’ll need to go and view the property and check out the area to make sure the deal really is as good as it sounds.  There may be agents who can manage the property for you, but there are bound to be instances where you’ll need to go and deal with something in person.  Widely-scattered portfolios can mean a heck of a lot of travelling if anything needs your attention and that can easily become both time-consuming and expensive.

So concentrate your time and efforts on becoming an expert on the area where you live.  Research the local market, become really familiar with sale and rental prices and build solid relationships with agents and local reliable contractors who can help maintain your properties.  There are always good deals are out there, and the better your reputation locally for being a professional investor, the more likely you are to be the first to get to them!


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