Nobody likes being ripped off, and that’s never truer than when you’re dealing with a purchase that costs hundreds of thousands of pounds. The following tools can’t 100% guarantee that a property is not a dud (a post on that is coming soon), but can definitely help you out in your search for a buy-to-let property.
Tools don’t have to be fancy to be useful. A quick scan of the surrounding area can show you whether a property you’re looking at is near a school, university or hospital.
Depending on your target renter, these sorts of institutions can have a big impact on desirability and, by extension, the amount of rent you can charge.
I freely admit that I’m a bit of a curtain twitcher. A lot of people don’t think much about crime, but the first thing that some potential renters will do is look at the crime rate of an area they’re thinking about moving to. I know I always do.
Of course, not everyone is as much of a worrier as I am but it’s worth a quick look at not just the frequency of crime in an area but also the types of crime – burglaries and vehicle crime are pretty common, but a high incidence of violent crime is something to worry about.
If you’d prefer something a bit prettier to the Police’s crime map, Illustreets is a fantastic tool that I’ve used to (literally) pick areas in which to live off a map. As well as looking at crime rates, Illustreets has a host of other statistics as well.
From standard of living and land use all the way through to the age and profession of potential neighbours, Illustreets is an excellent way to get a feel for an area without even having to visit it.
I wrote a little last week about listing your property on Zoopla and Rightmove as a seller, but today I’m highlighting a useful feature for buyers. To get started, just pop in a postcode or locate a property you like the look of.
When searching, you’ll notice that there’s a little breakdown of the average asking price for properties with 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedrooms. Even more useful, each property listing features a list of recent sales nearby on the right.
‘Recent’ is a bit of misnomer as you might end up being served sales data from several years ago, but it’s usually pretty good.
Did you know that you’re never more than 75 miles from the sea in the UK? Add a whole bunch of rivers into the mix, and the result is that a higher percentage of homes in Great Britain than you might think are at risk of flood damage.
A history of flooding can have an impact on insurance prices and might put some potential renters off. The middle of the country would be very crowded if no-one ever chose to live in an area that could be flooded, so this isn’t necessarily a deal breaker but it is something to watch out for.