If you are a first time investor, it's very easy to come to the conclusion that buying a property close to where you live to let out is a good option and potentially the best thing to do. It's easy for maintenance issues and you can keep an eye on the property and its tenants. However, this could be your biggest mistake, as one of the most profound reasons for success of buy-to-lets is the area you choose to let in. You must have a business mind about it and not an emotional connection. Your tenants will not be looking for the same things as what you look for in a family home that you own.



You may have an idea in mind of what type of tenants you would like to have, and you must accommodate to what they would be needing. For example, if you were looking to let out to young professionals, a property near to the city centre, or at the least a train station/easy access to the motor way would be what you should look for. If you are looking to let out to families, you may look into areas with good schools and/or colleges nearby. If you're looking for a student let, they'll want to be close to a University, pubs/bars and clubs and other amenities.

A few questions that often get asked regarding investment properties:

- How can I manage my property when it's not close by?

Experienced investors will know that the best way to manage your property easily is through letting agents. It takes the pressure off you and when you don't necessarily have the time to keep a watch on things or are too far away to do so, you have the assurance that your property is being looked over and monitored in your absence. It's unlikely you'd have to visit the property much if at all. At Charles Carr, our lettings department take pride in their property management. We can manage your property and give you the full assurance that your it will be kept an eye on and managed smoothly. You can therefore just sit back, relax and enjoy the financial reward!

- How do I find out if there’s a high tenant demand so I can make sure renting isn’t a problem?

Tenant demand is invaluable to the success of your investment. Key areas to consider are those with great transport links, a number of amenities nearby and those with a high number of rental properties within the area.You should also be aware of and keep and eye on house prices as this will help you see what would be a good investment in the long term. For example, you are more likely to get a greater return on a property in the city centre or just outside, rather than in the countryside where there's little around, as generally speaking, the busier places will be most popular and easier to sell in.

- How do I know where's best to invest as I only know my local area prices?

As previously mentioned, keep an eye on house prices. Along with this, estate agents should be able to help in informing you of good areas, and areas that are up-and-coming. An area may not be the hotspot at the moment, but some agents may be in the know of things to come (potential/definite developments in the local area).

In conclusion there is no definitive best area to invest in. Things change all the time and an area won't be best suited to everyone. You've partly got to take the risk and go for it but always be sure to do your research beforehand.
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