Here are ten pieces of advise for prospective Birmingham buy-to-let landlords

Here are ten pieces of advise for prospective Birmingham buy-to-let landlords


In this era of historically low interest rates and wildly fluctuating financial markets, many people see buy-to-let as a promising source of passive income. But if you want to make money as a real estate investor, or increase the profits from a buy-to-let home you already own, you need to act responsibly.

While buy-to-let investment may not be as popular as it was during the boom years, it has experienced a revival in recent years. In light of current low savings rates and stock market volatility, buy-to-let appears to be an attractive income option for those who are able to save up a sizable down payment. As a result, more investors are buying up real estate in the hopes that its worth will continue to rise now that the market has bottomed out. Buy-to-let investors can make transactions work out better than ever now that mortgage rates are at historic lows; at the highest down payment level, you can lock in a 5-year mortgage at just over 3%. Watch out for enticingly cheap interest rates, though. They will eventually go up, and you should be confident that your money can handle the increase in value.

That’s a lesson we can learn from recent experience. When mortgage rates increased after the “boom” years of 2005-2007, it was a tough time for many investors who had purchased during that time. The rate cut to 0.5 percent was a lifesaver for a large number of people. The current interest rate has been in place since 2008, but it will eventually increase. More tenants, higher rents, and better mortgage agreements have investors interested again despite the risk of price increases. If you’re thinking about buying in buy-to-let properties, or if you’re already in the market, here are the ten most important factors to keep in mind.


No investment is risk-free, but if you have more confidence in real estate than in the stock market, you may find Senate Property’s top ten tips for buy-to-let investments useful.

1. Examine the marketplace thoroughly

What do you know about the market if you are fresh to buy-to-let? Do you understand the potential drawbacks as well as the upsides? Verify that buy-to-let investing is what you really want to do. Potentially greater returns could be found for your funds elsewhere.

Over the past few years, a high-yield savings account has been a better bet than most other financial options. Despite the current cheap interest rates, investing in a buy-to-let property still involves the risk of losing money. An income-based investment fund may return 5% annually, while a fixed-rate savings account may return 3%.

Keep in mind that if you engage in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or ETFs through an Isa, you will receive your earnings tax-free, both in terms of income and capital gains. Furthermore, you’ll have the option to liquidate your holdings rapidly.

On the flip side, you can’t simply purchase a poorly performing investment fund and then improve it yourself to increase its value.

If you want to invest in buy-to-let, be prepared to spend tens of thousands of pounds and probably get a debt. The leveraged gains over the mortgage debt can be substantial when housing values rise, but when they fall, the homeowner’s initial investment is diminished while the mortgage balance remains unchanged.

Many people have benefited greatly from engaging in real estate, both financially and emotionally. However, before diving in, it’s important to weigh the benefits against the risks. Seek the advice of those who have already dabbled in buy-to-let or rented out a home.


The greater your level of preparation and study, the higher the likelihood that your investment will be profitable.

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2. Pick a region with potential

That which is most promising is not necessarily the least costly or the cheapest. A promising neighborhood is one in which a significant number of individuals express an interest in settling down.

Where do you think tourists would enjoy visiting the most if they came to your city? Where can you find convenient public transportation if you work in a transit belt? If you have a small family, where can you find the best schools? Do students have a preferred location for off-campus housing?

It’s important to find neighborhoods that are attractive to the types of people who can afford and would be interested in the houses you’re looking to purchase. These concerns may appear elementary, but they are crucial to the success of any buy-to-let venture.

Most real estate investments are made by individuals near their primary residence. The good news is that they probably know this industry better than anyone else and can predict which properties and areas will be the most successful. It also gives them a greater opportunity to monitor the home.

Though, it’s also important to remember that if you own a home, you’re already familiar with the local real estate market, so expanding your search to include other areas and/or various types of homes could be a smart move.

3. Perform the necessary calculations

Get out a pen and paper and estimate the rate you can charge before you start looking at properties, and then use that as a starting point for your search.

Many buy-to-let lenders now require deposits of 25% or more, and their interest rates are significantly higher than those offered on domestic mortgages.

Most of the time, the largest arrangement costs can be found on the best buy-to-let mortgage rates.

Once you’ve nailed down the mortgage rate and estimated rent, you’ll need to take a cold, hard look at whether or not your purchase will pay off.

The expense of routine upkeep should not be overlooked. Is there a contingency plan in case the house is vacant for a couple of months?

All of these factors are important to think about. The mortgage payback amount should be known in advance, and rate increases should be anticipated if the mortgage is a tracker.

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4. Compare mortgage rates to find the best deal

You should not go to your local bank or building society and inquire for a mortgage loan. Although it may seem like common sense, this is a major source of revenue for banking institutions.

If you are in the market for a buy-to-let financing, it is in your best interest to work with a reputable independent broker. They will not only inform you of the various plans, but also help you decide whether you should lock in or monitor your interest rates.

It is still up to you to do your own research so that you know what kind of mortgages you should be given before entering into such a discussion.

5. Consider Your Ideal Tenant

It’s better to place yourself in the shoes of your ideal tenant than to daydream about how nice it would be to call your investment property home.

Where do they come from, and what do they want? If they are students, it needs to be practical without being overly opulent, as they will be cleaning it frequently.

If they are in their 20s, it should be up-to-date and tasteful without being pretentious. If it’s a family, they probably have a lot of stuff and want to start fresh.

Remember that letting tenants make the place feel more like home by doing things like painting, hanging pictures, or removing unwanted furnishings makes everyone happier. Landlords should rejoice at the prospect of these tenants staying for an extended period of time.

In the event that your renter does not pay the rent, you can protect yourself financially by purchasing rent guarantee insurance. This can be purchased from a specialized vendor for as little as £50 on its own or bundled into a landlord insurance coverage.

6. Don’t get ahead of yourself, focus on renting yield, and keep your expenses in mind

We have all heard of the buy-to-let billionaires and seen their massive portfolios in the news. But while you might anticipate long-term increases in home prices, experts advise investing for income rather than short-term capital development.

Values of various properties can be compared by looking at their yields, the amount of money made each year from renting the property divided by the total cost of buying it.

One illustration of a 5% yield is a rental property with a purchase price of £200,000 that generates £10,000.

For buy-to-let investments, rent is the primary yield.

Calculating Your Investment’s Return

Keep in mind that if you need a loan to finance your purchase, the yield you receive will not be the same as the rent-to-price yield. Your ROI can be calculated annually by deducting your mortgage payment from your rental income and then using that difference as a proportion of your initial investment.

It would take a deposit of £25,000 plus closing expenses of around $3,000 to purchase a property worth £100,000 that could be rented out for £500 per month.

  • A debt for £75,000 at 5% interest is $312.50 per month.
  • Gross rental revenue of £6,000 (12 x £500)
  • The Distinction Is: £2,250
  • £27,000 is the total amount needed for a down payment and acquisition fees.
  • ROI per year equals 8.3%

The profit you make as a landlord will be reduced by taxes, upkeep, and other expenditures. Most buy-to-let mortgages are interest-only loans, meaning the principal isn’t repaid until the mortgage term ends. You can reduce your taxable income by the amount you put toward your home interest each year.

Once you have established a solid emergency fund, you can begin saving or investing the renting income you receive if it is significantly higher than the mortgage payments. However, you should be aware that mortgage payments, maintenance, and agent fees all cut into your profit because few people purchase a home outright. After factoring in these expenses, you may want to evaluate whether or not buying to rent is still a better option than putting your money into a mutual fund or trust. After deducting the mortgage payment, property taxes, and other expenses, the rent you collect should accumulate so that you can put it toward other assets or pay off the mortgage when it comes due. You will have collected rent income, eliminated your mortgage, and held onto the entire market value of the property.

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7. To expand your options, think about moving farther away or fixing up an existing home

The majority of buy-to-let investors target areas close to where they themselves reside.

However, it’s possible that the place you currently call home isn’t the ideal place to put your money.

The benefit of owning a home near by is that you can more easily keep an eye on it, but if you plan to hire an agent regardless, they should take care of that for you.

Widen your search to include cities that have convenient transportation, a large student population, and other desirable features.

Investing in properties that have room for development can yield significant returns. Properties that have seen better days or are in need of restoration can be purchased at a discount, spruced up, and then sold for a profit.

This is one method where a solid and rapid ROI is still feasible. There is more room for error in a house purchase if the buyer can immediately add value.

Keep in mind that there will inevitably be an overrun on expenses, so make sure the price is low enough to cover the renovation and a profit.

The rough calculation used by real estate developers is a reasonable rule of thumb; the final value of a remodeled property should be at least the sum of the purchase price, the cost of the renovations, and 20%.

8. Negotiate a lower deal

You can negotiate as much of a discount as a first-time purchase as a buy-to-let investor.

There is less danger of a sale falling through if you are not linked in a chain and do not need to sell your current home in order to purchase the one you want.

When bargaining for a lower price, this can be a huge plus. Don’t get talked into spending too much more than what you offered, and make low offers.

When bargaining, it helps to have a firm grasp of the market. If, for instance, house sales are slower and the market overall is weaker, you will have more leverage in negotiations. It’s helpful to learn the seller’s motivation for selling as well as how long they’ve been a property owner.

The current landlord may be more willing to take a lower offer for a quick sale than the family who requires the highest possible price in order to afford a move because they are cashing in on capital gains.

9. Recognize the potential dangers

You should always weigh the potential drawbacks as well as the benefits of a purchase before making a final decision.

Although home values are rising at the moment, their rate of increase has slowed, and they may soon begin to decline once more. Can you afford to hang onto your investment if the value of real estate drops?

However, while the current low rates are enticing investors, who can rest assured that their rent will cover their mortgage payments, what will you do if and when rates begin to rise?

The transition from a set rate to a variable rate is something else to think about. Is there a plan B if you are unable to remortgage?

Buildings can be vacant even in busy neighborhoods. Many people who invest in buy-to-let properties follow the two-month vacancy guideline, which provides a nice safety net.

Things can and do go awry, so homeowners frequently face repair needs. Do not spend unless you have enough money saved to pay for a new boiler or other expensive repairs to your home.

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10. Think about how involved you want to be

Purchasing a home is only the beginning of the process. Do you plan to handle the rental yourself, or hire a professional?

For a management fee, agents will handle maintenance issues and refer reliable local tradespeople like carpenters, electricians, and others.

Self-management of a rental property can increase your earnings, but it will require you to devote your free time to showings, marketing, and maintenance.

There is no requirement that your chosen agency have a physical location on the High Street, and many smaller agencies provide superior service on a more individual basis.

Narrow down your search to a manageable number of brokers, both large and small, and see what they can do for you.

Think about where you will post ads for your home and where you will get legal forms like tenancy agreements if you decide to go it alone.

Taking care of your renters will yield huge dividends. If you follow their instructions, they will take care of you.

Many buy-to-let landlords’ investment returns are severely hampered by the void time. In which no one is present at the residence. Tenants who are good fits and who want to remain can help prevent this, and even after they leave, they may refer you to others.

Maintain a good rapport with your renters by keeping the property in good shape and providing a pleasant living environment.