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Buy To Let UK - is it as good as a pension?

Most people find it very hard running a buy to let property portfolio. This has lead to a lot of amateur investors causing havoc and upset within the private residential letting arena. Even those that 'appear' to have succeeded have only done so on the back of a rising market in most instances. This is an article based web site to help new or prospective buy to let landlords avoid the traps.

                     

Buy to let abroad

With the change in mortgage regulations many people these days are buying
properties to let and many too are considering a buy to let abroad venture.
There are certain advantages to buying a property to rent out abroad as opposed to your home market.

Firstly if you are aiming primarily at the holiday market then the rents will be a lot higher and secondly you can save a lot of
money on your own holidays by using it when it is not rented out. In addition
it is much more enjoyable to own a home in the sun then a student let in
Leeds!

However in order to make your investment as viable and trouble free
as possible there are various things you need to consider before committing
yourself to your buy to let abroad venture.

1. Consider your overheads, community fees, mortgage, maintenance etc. Do you wish to just cover these costs and thereby enjoy owning the property and having free holidays or do you actually want to make money as well?

2. How often and when do you plan to use the property? don't forget to take into account that you may have to forsake the peak periods for holiday makers as obviously you can charge more money then.

3.When looking at properties to buy to let abroad take into consideration the locality and facilities on offer in the area. If you are buying on the coast then somewhere on the beach side, or at least within an easy walk of the nearest beach, is imperative. If you are buying a villa in the country then it is important that it has a pool. Nobody wants to holiday in the heat of the summer in Spain, for instance, without easy access to water!

Golf courses are also a consideration and if you can find somewhere close to a golf course as well as the beach then you can substantially broaden your market.

Other facilities such as shops, bars, restaurants and attractions all need to be looked into, it is a competitive market and the more you have to offer your guests the more chance you will have of success.

4. Children and pets, yes or no? You are really reducing your market by excluding children but some people wish to do this in order to keep their holiday home in tip top condition for their own use. Likewise if you are prepared to accept pets then you have a wider market but of course you have to consider the cost of any possible damage. A refundable deposit against such damage is a good idea here, we will look at the pros and cons of this shortly.

5. Who will look after your holiday home abroad? Assuming you are not living locally then you will need to find a reliable person or persons to clean and maintain your holiday home. You need someone to do the laundry, the change over, meet guests and generally be on call should any problems arise. The success or failure of your buy to let abroad venture can literally depend
on this person/s so it is essential to invest a little time to find, and pay a little extra for, a responsible, reliable person. A personal recommendation is probably the best way to solve this problem or you could consider a property management company, their charges will be higher but they should at least be able to resolve all problems on your behalf.

6. How much will you charge? This is a very important question to consider as obviously you don't want to run at a loss but on the other hand you do not want to price yourself out of the holiday rental market, and it is a very competitive
market. So you need to exercise a certain amount of common sense when pitching the price of your holiday home. One good way to do this is to do some research on the internet and see what other people are charging for similar holiday properties in similar areas, and then try and undercut them a bit.Keep your pricing structure simple, I find it works best if you just have three seasons, Oct.-April, May, June and Sept. July and August. Christmas and Easter are then included in the mid-season rate. Make the price
all inclusive with no hidden extras or complications as they will frighten people off.

7. Refundable Deposit. This is a difficult question, particularly if you are not living in the area. A deposit of around 100.00 pounds, depending on the standard of the accommodation, against breakages will give you a certain amount of peace of mind and may make your guests more conscientious but you do need to take into consideration who is going to collect it and then check the
villa or apartment over at the end of the holiday and refund it. Obviously if you have to pay someone to do this then it may not be worth your while. I tend to feel that the amount people pay to stay in your holiday property more than makes up for the odd broken glass etc. and it may just be easier to take out a good insurance policy against any other sort of damage.

8. Finding the Customers. This is obviously a major consideration for any buy to let abroad venture and you need to give careful consideration as to how you are going to promote you holiday home and find guests for it before you take on a buy to let property abroad. There are various options and you may well find that the most productive way is to adopt a combination of them.

Local and national newspaper advertising is one option but it can be quite expensive with a small return on your investment. You could make up some nice posters on your PC, including some good photos of course, for placing in shop windows etc. This can be quite effective as can word of mouth or advertising in your place of work.

Internet advertising for your holiday home is an obvious option nowadays but even here you have 2 distinct options. Firstly you could build your own web site. This is good fun and perhaps gives you more scope than registering on an existing
holiday rentals site but it can be difficult to get a good listing at the search engines if you are new to internet marketing.

The other internet marketing option for your buy to let abroad property is to pay to list it on one of the growing number of holiday let web sites. These will charge you anything from 30.00 to 150.00 pounds per annum to list your site so it is worth shopping around. With some you upload the listing yourself with others you send the information and photos and they do it for you. All e-mail enquiries then come directly to you and you have to handle all the administration yourself.

You could also use a booking agency who will promote your holiday property, arrange the lets, handle all bookings and send directions etc. For this they will charge a commission of around 15-20% but it does mean you have little to do yourself apart from cash your cheques!

There are also companies such as James Villa Holidays who will take on the whole business for you but their fees tend to be fairly high and they they may require a minimum number of weeks to be available for rent which may not fit in with your own plans.

If your holiday home is in Andalucia and you would like us to handle it for you then drop us a line and we will be happy to discuss it with you. You can either have e-mails directed to yourself or we can process bookings etc. for you.

Wherever you decide to buy to let abroad and however you decide to promote your holiday home we wish you all the Best of Luck!!

  • buy to let spain
    The housing market in Spain has been experiencing some decline. People just are not buying properties. This means that there are more properties on the market than there are buyers. When this happens, a buyer's market is created. In a buyer's market, you can buy virtually any house you want for a great price.