26 October 2016

This new build makes a nice investment!

Looks at this nice little development we spotted this week.  These flats are in a great location as, in our experience, this is a really popular area as it’s a short walk to the train station or a quick hop to the A303 for drivers.  Add to that the fact that tenants love nice, new properties as everything is lovely, clean and modern and you are on to a winner.
One bed properties always rent well and you could see a monthly rental value of around £675pcm which, even if you pay £125,000 still sees a very healthy return of 6.5%!

Call the agent for more details.

24 October 2016

Condensation and ventilation

Condensation and Ventilation
Most agents and Landlords will have had this conversation with tenants at various times “we’ve got a damp problem”.  Now without wishing to teach my granny how to suck eggs we will try and through some light on this issue and give some tips for you to pass on.  Ignore me if you already know what to do!

In most cases this problem is caused by condensation and not damp and is usually a result of not opening windows or turning extractors on whilst washing or cooking and therefore no fresh air is getting in.

Condensation is one of the most common problems in houses and flats and can usually be minimised relatively easily. Condensation occurs when warm moist air meets a cold surface. The water in the air then either settles as water droplets on the surface (as it does on windows for example), or, if the surface is absorbent, it soaks into the surface. In the latter case condensation is often not noticed unless or until mould appears. Condensation can be prevented or reduced in the property by controlling the excess moisture in the following ways:

        Close kitchen and bathroom doors to prevent steam going into other, colder, rooms.
        Open the kitchen or bathroom windows (if applicable) when cooking or washing.
        Open windows in other rooms to allow a change of air.
        Keep trickle vents open (these are small devices on new windows which can be opened without affecting the security to your property).  These are worth hovering on a regular basis as well.
        Curtains and blinds should be kept open during the day as this will help to minimize the condensation in the property.
        Wipe down surfaces where moisture settles to prevent mould forming.
        Use the extractor fans if supplied in the property (do not isolate fans in bathrooms).  Consider changing fans to ones that are triggered by excessive moisture in the area and do not switch off until this is bought down to an acceptable level.
·        Dry clothes outside if possible.
·        Do not hang wet clothes over radiators or in rooms without suitable ventilation.
        Ensure that tumble driers vent to the outside.
        Maintain a low background heat – it is advised that the property thermostat is kept at a minimum of 13 degrees during cold periods to prevent the hot and cold effect which causes condensation.
        Ensure that the insulation in the loft is at a good level.  This can prevent cold spots forming where condensation will collect.

We always remind new and existing tenants on how to prevent and deal with condensation and would recommend that you do the same.  For more useful tips, follow our blog.

21 October 2016

Is the Sheep Fair area a safe bet?

A friend of mine recently missed her chance to buy a three bed mid terraced house in the Highlands Road area as it sold pretty quickly.  We got chatting and wondered why it had sold so well so I did a bit of digging.
I have included Wool Grove, Bell Road, Highlands Road and Pen Close in my investigation.  The majority of the properties in this area were built in the 1960’s and have always been popular with local families as they offer good accommodation and are within walking distance of the town centre and good local schools.  Most are owner occupied with a few now being bought by buy-to-let investors as they make good solid investments.
Quite a few of the three beds have changed hands over the last couple of years and prices have risen very well.  Around two years ago you could pick up one of these for around £185,000 although you may have had to spend a few thousand on it to attract a good quality tenant.  You would have been looking at a rental value of around £825pcm giving a return of 5.4%.
Currently, these properties are changing hands for around £210,000 and are achieving rents of around £925pcm so currently giving a similar return of 5.3%.
This shows that while the return has remained pretty much the same there is a really healthy increase in value over a relatively short period of time.  However, remember, what’s gone up can also come down but even taking that into consideration, these properties or similar are a pretty safe bet.

If you would like any advice before purchasing a rental property, please pop in and ask.

11 October 2016

Five reasons why a tenant will turn a property down

Whilst the rental market is still strong in our area with plenty of good quality tenants looking to rent its still imp
ortant that, as a Landlord, you really know your market and understand what will make a tenant reject a property.  Below is a list of the most common factors we have come across in the last few months:
·         Kitchen a bit shabby.  Tenants do seem to like nice, modern kitchens at the moment.  If your kitchen is a little tired but you don’t want to start ripping it all out, consider changing the doors or work surfaces as this can really smarten it up without huge expense.  Even just changing the flooring can make a difference but avoid laminate as any small leak will ruin it, go for vinyl.
·         White goods.  This is a bone of contention for many tenants.  In my view if you are renting a 1 or 2 bed property, you cannot expect white goods apart from the cooker.  However, if it is a more expensive property then they should be considered.  However, if you as a Landlord are not prepared to repair / replace them if they fail during the tenancy, make sure this is written into the agreement.  Obviously you have no choice where a cooker is concerned.
·         Bathroom a bit shabby.  Again, tired bathrooms will put tenants off.  If you have a decent bath that looks tired, consider re-enamelling if suitable as this can brighten it up.  Re-do grout and sealant as grubby sealant looks awful and is a real put off.  Again, changing the flooring can help as well.
·         Strong coloured carpets.  Tenants much prefer neutral colours or laminate to strongly coloured carpets.
·         Parking.  If parking is a bit of a free-for-all this can put tenants off but obviously there is little that a Landlord can do about this, just bear it in mind if you are looking to buy a buy-to-let.  You don’t necessarily need a garage but some sort of allocated parking is always a plus.

      If you want any advice on what work you are considering carrying out on your rental property, please feel free to pop in to our Bridge Street offices and we will advise you if you are spending wisely!

7 October 2016

Picket Twenty -v- Saxon Fields

A landlord came into our office to ask whether the Picket Twenty or the Saxon Fields development would be a better place to invest in. She was considering purchasing a mid-terraced house.
The properties on Picket Twenty are still being built but there are plenty now coming up for re-sale. This development is built mainly by 3 of the main builders in the country and is an attractive development. The Saxon Fields development was built in the mid 1990’s. This development has matured really nicely and is very popular with couple and young families with lots of green space around it, including the Anton Lakes nature reserve. The average value of a mid-terraced house on Picket Twenty Way is £254,074, whilst in Altona Gardens on Saxon Fields a mid-terraced house has an average value of £207,655.
On Picket Twenty, a two bedroom mid-terraced house can achieve rents of around £900-£925 per month.  Looking at the rents for Altona Gardens, a two bedroom mid-terraced house can potentially achieve £800-£825 per month. So Picket Twenty currently has the better yield of 4.3% while Saxon Fields offers a yield of 4.7%.  The new development is demanding higher rents at the moment but the older property is providing a better return.  Both are equally popular with tenants.

If you would like any advice when choosing properties, please pop in and see us at our Bridge Street offices.

4 October 2016

Nice investment opportunity in Ludgershall

Look at this lovely little flat in Stratford Mews, Ludgershall.  Its at the back of the block so is nice and quiet and overlooks allotments.  In todays market you could achieve £525pcm, giving a very respectable yield of 5.7%! 

Ludgershall is popular with tenants as it does tend to be a little cheaper than Andover but has local supermarkets, pubs, cafes etc and is on a good bus route.  Add to this the lovely surrounding countryside and you can’t go wrong!

Give the office a call on 01264 364293 if you would like to take a look.