24th July 2017
Over the last decade, the UK’s population has risen by a record 7%, with the number of households set to reach 28 million in the next 20 years.
This makes the UK more crowded than any other major European country, with a population density four times that of France. In response to this growing demand for housing, an estimated 232,000 new properties need to be built annually - yet the numbers of new homes entering the market are at their lowest since the 1920s.
While this makes getting on the property ladder an increasingly daunting prospect, it has also resulted in demand for rental property almost doubling since 2002. Particularly in Brighton and Hove, where links to London drive demand yet geographical constraints have all but halted supply, the buy-to-let lifestyle seems a tempting way to grow your savings.
Before you make the jump into property investment, however, it pays to be well-versed in the ups and downs of the property market, as well as the financial and logistical challenges of being a landlord.
Our property experts have outlined some important points to take into account when investing your savings in bricks and mortar.
Investing in a buy-to-let property can be a rewarding way to increase your earnings, with the potential for a regular income from rent even into retirement, as well as a significant asset should you choose to sell.
Such a significant investment will call for a lot of your time, money and effort over the years. As a landlord, you’ll be responsible for getting a property into rentable order and maintaining it across tenancies.
It’s possible to hire a property manager to liaise with tenants and ensure ongoing repairs in your stead, but this expense will need to be factored into your budget.
Furthermore, regardless of whether you invest in a property management service or not, it will still fall to you to get the property into an initial rentable state before the professionals take over.
One way or another, it pays to have a little knowledge of property renovation before you take on your first buy-to-let house. Focus on durability, sourcing materials such as tiles and hard flooring that will last through multiple tenancies and save money on running repairs. While this will incur an initial cost, it will pay for itself in terms of time and money saved between tenancies.
Consider your financial position before committing yourself to property investment. If you have unpaid debts, you may not be able to apply for a buy-to-let mortgage. If you still have a student loan on the go, discuss your options with a mortgage broker - your mortgage will depend on the rental income of the property and outgoing costs.
Even if your bills are all paid off, it’s important to consider any significant costs that may arise over the next few years. If you’re expecting a new baby or a big change, it may not be the right time for you to add property to your portfolio.
The majority of buy-to-let mortgages are reliant on you already owning your own home, having a clean credit record, and earning over £25,000 a year. If you’re uncertain about whether you can meet these conditions, talk to a mortgage broker about your circumstances and find out what your options are.
Once you’ve decided now’s the right time to buy, you’ll need to put some thought into your financial situation. While buying to let puts you in the enviable position of letting tenants pay your mortgage for you, a solid grasp of your accounts will give you confidence in making that initial investment.
It’s important to note that the minimum deposit for a buy-to-let mortgage usually falls between 20% and 40% of the property’s value, and the fees tend to be higher than those on first homes. We’d recommend saving at least 25% of a property’s total value to secure your home with - this will give you peace of mind as you negotiate mortgage rates.
Don’t forget about Stamp Duty Land Tax: SDLT for buy-to-let properties adds an extra 3% on top of the current SDLT rate bands for properties above £40,000. You can get a head start on working out your stamp duty with our comprehensive calculator.
It also pays to have a cushion of savings, to cover mortgage payments during periods when when your property’s without tenants. If this seems like a stretch, it might be wise to spend a little longer saving up before taking that next step up the ladder.
Chat with an independent financial advisor about your options for mortgages, insurance, property taxes and more, and start your buy-to-let journey on the best possible footing.
Your first buy-to-let home will influence your entire investment experience, so it’s important to choose a house or flat that meets your requirements.
Many first-time investors are keen to pick up a bargain fixer-upper and renovate it into a rental. However, the mounting costs of renovation can be quite demotivating for new landlords - you may prefer to try your hand with a property that needs only minor repairs before dreaming of grand designs.
The style of your second property may also affect your financial gain from it. In many cases, a more luxurious buy-to-let property will result in more expensive running repairs, as top-paying tenants will expect a certain standard of maintenance. While a graded property will attract a higher calibre of tenants, repairs will come at an extra cost, requiring like-for-like materials.
It’s also worth putting consideration into the area where you buy your property: a decent school district, low crime rates, a growing job market and a variety of amenities are all factors that will ensure your home rarely sits empty.
Check out our area guides for some handy tips on what prospective tenants will be looking for in a Brighton and Hove home.
Investing in property is exactly what it says on the tin: an investment for your future. This means that while the initial steps may take a lot of time, money and thought, you’ll soon see the benefits adding up.
As long as you can ensure enough in rent to cover mortgage payments and fees, you’ll find yourself with a solid investment that literally pays for itself.
Are you ready to add property to your investment portfolio? Talk to our local property experts today.
Paul was absolutely brilliant.
Mrs Tasker Fiveways
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Ms Ansloos Lewes Road
The staff were very helpful, an excellent service. I would recommend you to others.
Miss Hockly Fiveways
Outstanding service from Sharon. James is an asset to Maslens & Harvey was so helpful and polite.
Ms Cianchetta Selhurst Road
Paul Wilkinson was extremely helpful and efficient. The only problem was the vendors solicitor and Paul warned me of this. A good transaction all r...
Mr Lavender Fiveways
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Mr Patrick Gladstone Terrace
Very helpful and patient team.
Mrs Shea Selborne Place
The whole team were very committed from start to finish.
Mr Pilgrim Lewes Road
As always, an excellent service.
Mr & Mrs Field Lewes Road
You were amazingly helpful throughout - a real pillar of strength with a very difficult sale.
Mrs Parkin Fiveways
Cannot express our appreciation enough of all the efforts made by the Woodingdean team - they were fantastic.
Mr John Mogridge Woodingdean
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Miss New & Mr Jackson Buller Road
Graham Griffin provided us, and continues to provide us, will all-round excellent advice. We trust his knowledge and expertise.
Mr Blackmore & Ms O'Sullivan Financial Services
The sale was dealt with swiftly, professionally and successfully. Thank you Maslen!
Mrs Lincoln Hove
Thank you Paul and Archie, you gave an excellent service, as well as Kelly. I look forward to working with you again.
Mr White Fiveways
Ben was particularly enthusiastic and helpful. Martin, Paula, Sam and Will are all hard workers.
Ms Goodey Franklin Road
A really good experience.
Mr Tibble Lewes Road
A very positive experience - I had most contact with the Fiveways office and they were so friendly and helpful.
Ms A King Balfour Road
We were very impressed with the Nick from start to finish.
Mr & Mrs Smith Lewes Road
Sharon and her team could not have done more in what was a difficult sale.
Ms Daly Woodingdean
Very happy with the service we got from you guys, everyone we dealt with was extremely friendly, professional and helpful. Thanks!
Mr Brown Titian Road
Maslens as a whole were really friendly and professional. I have to thank and congratulate Paula Carter for being superb at her job and exceeding m...
Ms Warren Hove
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Mr King Hove
Thanks David, all very professional.
Mrs Flowers Foxdown Road
Very impressed with all dealings with Maslen. Paula Carter was in particular very knowledgeable and helpful.
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Very pleased with the experience. I would definitely recommend you and use you again.
Ms D Edmonds Horton Road
Excellent service as always
Mr Field Ringmer Road
In February 2016 I was looking to buy and sell very rapidly. Competition among buyers at the time was very high. Sharon @ the Woodingdean branch sh...
Ms Helen Lyons Woodingdean
Sharon, Harvey and James were all excellent - very professional. Totally opposite to what I have experienced with other agents. Maslen have restore...
Ms Lyons Woodingdean
Very, very happy we chose you, felt right from the start! Thank you!
Miss Blackadder Coniston Court, Holland Road
Harvey was helpful and easily reachable at the beginning of the process and Sharon kept us informed and was always happy to help.
Ms Murch & Ms Mapa Ticehurst Road
Thank you for everything!
Ms Tucker Willow Close
Very pleased with the service. Many thanks to Sharon and the boys!
Mr Flynn Woodingdean
All very professional, kept updated throughout. Very pleased - Would recommend.
Mrs Hammond Hove
Thank you Maslens, you were all excellent!
Miss Jasper Taunton Road
All agents at Maslen were extremely helpful and polite from the beginning to the completion of sale.
Mr Johnson Fiveways
It was an amazing experience, everyone involved were fantastic.
Mr & Mrs Knight Woodingdean
We were very pleased with services provided by the Fiveways office.
Mr & Mrs Sawyer Shaftesbury Road
I have bought and sold 7 properties, and this was the best experience of an estate agents services I have found.
Mrs Shepherd Hertford Road
Paula was absolutely amazing!
Mr & Mrs MacKay Lewes Road
Very comprehensive and professional. Nice people to work with and highly recommended.
Mr Alderton Ladysmith Road
A good team at Woodingdean helped us through a stressful time.
Mr & Mrs Penton Sycamore Close
I was new to the area and viewed a lot of properties with a lot of different agents. Maslens were by far the best I came in contact with, so when i...
Mr & Mrs Heer Lewes Road
Superb service as usual, I would always recommend you.
Ms S Hike Blackthorn Close
The Woodingdean team were very friendly and approachable.
Mrs Palmer Pitt Gardens
The whole team were excellent, each one of them felt like family. Sharon had a lot of sorting to do at times but coped very well, a true profession...
Mr Vernon Woodingdean
Paula was fabulous and we felt really informed and supported.
Mr & Mrs Walker Lewes Road
I wish we had used you to sell our property! Nice to meet honest people, who are genuinely interested in helping. Very pleased.
Mrs Porter Taunton Road
Excellent customer service throughout. I will definitely recommend you, and use you again. Thank you.
Ms Longley Kingsbury Street
Brilliant. Well done to Sharon and the Woodingdean team.
Ms Curtis The Ridgway
First class service from a first class team.
Mr & Mrs English The Ridgway
Sharon was excellent, she kept us informed at all stages and was a really calming objective influence in the process.
Ms Frederick Channel View Road
An efficient, professional and friendly service. Helpful and a pleasure to do business with.
Mr Beddington Brading Road
Very thorough & very informative.
Mr Michnowicz Waldegrave Road
All the staff I dealt with were excellent. Sharon worked really hard to complete the sale.
Mrs Bent Falmer Gardens
Very impressed with the service. Sharon Wareham works tirelessly, very professionally and is always there for advice.
Miss Matthews Kipling Avenue
Sharon was excellent - kept us well informed, thank you so much!
Ms Waters Cowley Drive
Hugely impressed with Ben & his team.
Mrs Mead Upper Lewes Road
First class service. Friendly and professional.
Mr Thorne The Avenue
Quality advice about when and how to sell, which was spot on. Thank you.
Miss Coleman Buller Road
Great service, always polite and friendly. Excellent contact and info all the way.
Mr Wells Bishops Road
A very committed team who made the sale process very easy.
Ms Rees Ticehurst Road
Very impressed with the efficient and friendly service, the staff were a pleasure to deal with.
Mr & Mrs Gill Lewes Road
Paula's role was brilliant. Having someone office based and available was so appreciated and her promptness an impressive service - every Estate Agent...
Ms Wynn-Jones Baxter Street
Extremely efficient. Nick and Paula are excellent. The weekly phone calls were much appreciated.
Ms Gray Lewes Road
Sharon was amazing! She kept us up to date the whole way through the process. We cannot fault Sharon or the rest of her team.
Mr & Mrs Ashley Woodingdean
Best Estate Agents ever experienced - professional, approachable, competent and exemplary.
Mr & Mrs Guest Riley Road
Exceptional service throughout the process - should we decide to sell in the future we wouldn't hesitate to use your agency. You're a cut above the...
Ms Windels & Mr Barham Fiveways
Ben and Paula were calm and reassuring throughout a very difficult process!
Ms Easterbrook Bear Road
It was a long, drawn out process that the people at Maslen helped me through, without the impression that it was a chore. So extremely professional...
Mr McLagan Lewes Road
Many thanks to Nick. It was an easy process thanks to you! I'm extremely satisfied with how the sale went, great job.
Ms Mayanobe Aymer Road
Fantastic service. By far the best agents we have ever used, I cannot recommend you highly enough.
Mr Field Mafeking Road
Nick and Paula are total stars! They were incredibly supportive and present throughout. Thank you!
Miss O'Haire Hove
Excellent communication and advice throughout. It felt very reassuring to be in good hands.
Mrs Brooker Buller Road
Already recommended you! Thank you.
Mr Edwards The Ridgway
Service exceeded my expectations overall at all stages of the process - I wouldn't hesitate to recommend you. Thanks.
Ms Greene Lewes Road
A completely painless experience from start to finish. Thank you.
Mr Woolven & Mrs Bessant-Woolven Lewes Road
Sold within 2 weeks for asking price "excellent!"
Mr Grundy Bishops Road
Excellent Service from start to finish.
Mr T Mole Cromwell Road
I found the service to be courteous, friendly and efficient.
Mr Upton Buller Road
Paula is amazing!
Ms Aspnall Gladstone Place
Very good service and communication. Paula was excellent.
Mr & Mrs Scarboro 1 Pevensey Road
Good team. Straightforward. No nonsense.
Mr Standing Newmarket Road
Our local office manager, Sharon Wareham was warm and friendly and kept us up to date at all times.
Mr Hope The Brow
I would recommend Maslen to anyone.
Mrs Tripp Woodingdean
Excellent service from the Lewes Road branch. Martin Timms secured a quick sale & at a good price & Paula Carter worked really hard to secure...
Ms Schulte Bear Road
Best Agents in Brighton.
Mrs Field Tarner Road
Compared to your rivals, your service was excellent
Ms McGrigor Milner Road
We were delighted with the service received from all the staff with whom we had contact,
Dr Crichton The Ridgway
Very pleased with the excellent service throughout. Professional, friendly, efficient and no hard sell. Achieved above asking price. Thank you!
Mr Witten Lewes Road
Very impressive - professional and friendly, both Martin Timms and Paula Carter were excellent at keeping in contact with sensible advice based on...
Mrs O'Connor Hove
From start to finish the sale was dealt with in a thoroughly professional manner.
Mr Gibbs Lewes Road
Please thank Paula at Lewes Road - Excellent service.
Mr & Mrs Nuthall Lewes Road