How to Start Investing in Property in the UK

There are many factors to consider when it comes to choosing a residential or commercial property to invest in. Primarily, determine your location, style, and ensure the building is up to code.

Once you’ve narrowed down your options, think about how you plan to utilize the property — whether that be a primary residence, rental property, or fixer-upper.

Real estate is booming, and people are always trying to find ways to get into the market. Here are some tips on how to get into property investing in the UK.

First Steps

Business professional calculating finances.

First, gather your financial records. If you have outstanding debt, consider paying it down or completely off. Investing in property for beginners is no easy feat and requires a sizable chunk of change, so it is best to have a clean slate.

After you have paid off your debt and other expenses, calculate how much money you have in savings. This should be money outside of your emergency funds and retirement. Always make sure you save for a rainy day. Figuratively speaking, you should also have enough money to pay for rent, food, and other necessities.

With what is left in reserve, check and see if it will cover at least a 20% down payment on the house. Keep in mind that some people renovate their new place before they move in or rent it out. Therefore, in addition to the down payment, you may want to ensure that you have a decent amount of money saved for remodelling or repairs.

Financial literacy is important when making a big decision to buy a house. It is essential to know and understand how much you have so you can spend wisely. Equally relevant, you should consider budgeting to prepare yourself for this huge financial chapter in your life.

Buy-To-Let Investments

Buy-to-let investments are investments in rental properties that can generate a second income for you. These properties are purchased solely to be rented out rather than lived in. You can choose whether or not you want to rent out the entire property or if you want to rent out a single bedroom or garage unit. You can use platforms like Airbnb to rent out the house. If you want something more stable, consider renting to a long-term tenant.

Property Manager

Property manager shaking hands with new tenants.

If you do not want to be the primary contact for the long-term tenant living in your property, hire a property manager. These managers take care of any issues that the tenant may have, such as plumbing or if an appliance needs maintenance. They can also:

  • Market the property
  • Find a tenant
  • Help you understand the rental market
  • Create a price point for rentals
  • Screen and interview potential tenants
  • Collect rent
  • Handle evictions

Property managers are extremely helpful, especially if you have a full-time job and are too busy to manage the property.

Property managers typically charge around 8% to 12% of collected rent. This cuts into the profit that you make, so factor this into the budget.

Property Development

Some individuals may buy a commercial or residential property and make renovations and improvements to increase the value. Usually, when the owner sells the place, they will make a profit from the additions and changes.

There are a couple of things that you have to consider if you choose to develop a property. First, you will need extra money to spend on renovation work. You will also need to be aware of the market demand for the area. Lastly, consider any possible setbacks that may result from construction delays.

How to Start Property Development With No Money

Engineers discussing building construction blueprints.

If you don’t have sufficient funding to buy a property, consider making the purchase with other investors. You will be able to pay significantly less while still retaining co-ownership. When you sell the property, you will split the profit with the other owners.

REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts)

REITs can be a great opportunity to invest in property without owning it outright. Several investors will buy the property together through a fund. Each investor is paid based on rental income and how well the property is doing. However, in doing this, the returns you receive from your property investment will be smaller due to the shared profit pool.

If you invest in REITs, you do not have to pay corporation tax in the UK. As a result, this is preferred by some investors who want to be tax-efficient. A benefit of REITs is that you do not have to hire a property manager or manage the tenant yourself. If you are new to property investing, this can be a great way to get started.

New-Build Flipping

New-build flipping is one of the more experimental and risky property investments you can make. This investment method is when you buy a new property during or right after development. At this stage, the property is usually the cheapest. Then, when the market is in high demand, you sell it at a profit. If you buy and sell at the right time, it can generate extra income.

To get started:

  • Decide where you are going to buy the property
  • Decide how much money you are willing to invest in remodelling and construction
  • Choose if the venture is a long-term or short-term investment

When buying and renting houses, there are risks, so it is always important to do your research. If in doubt, consider speaking to an expert, such as a solicitor or conveyancer. They will be able to help you stay on track with your investment. You can also seek out a property investing guide if you do not want to spend money on a consultant.

Down Payment

The down payment can range depending on the type of property that is being purchased. Most people put a 20% down payment on a rental property, whereas a primary residence can be as low as 3%

Typically, rental properties require higher down payments due to the stricter policies instituted by lenders. Therefore, incorporate these added costs into your budget before purchasing a property.

Mortgage

Mortgage financial advising.

It is beneficial to choose a mortgage that best accommodates you. You will have to figure out how much you are borrowing and the repayment term. You also have to keep in mind that there is either a fixed or variable rate. The fixed-rate stays the same for the repayment term, and the variable-rate can fluctuate depending on the economy.

It is best to consult with a bank associate, mortgage broker, or direct lender to determine which mortgage option is suitable for your situation.

Survey the Property

You can have your house or property surveyed at any time. This is important to do because surveying can save you on extra costs and surprises that can affect your budget. For example, a land survey will help determine how wide and high you can build. This can also help you determine your property size by establishing the property line. Also, most mortgage companies will require a property survey before finalizing your loan.

The surveyor will look into the property and confirm the history of the deed. They will make all the legal checks to ensure the land and history are legitimate. The surveyor will also conduct fieldwork of the entire property and give you a map of the premises’ boundaries, including right-of-way establishments if there is a shared yard or driveway. This can prevent things like building on someone else’s property. Having a surveyor inspect the property is an important step to avoid spending extra money on renovations.

Location

Individual overlooking city from apartment balcony.

It is crucial to factor in location when buying and renting houses. Many tenants heavily consider the area they want to live in. Therefore, investing in a high-demand area, such as the South West, can increase your chances of quickly renting out your property. Also, keep in mind that property value and rent are affected by location.

Landlord Insurance

Buying property is a huge investment. Therefore, it is important to protect your new home or land with insurance. There are different types of insurance, such as homeowners insurance and landlord insurance. These protect against property damage, lost rental income, injuries, and offer liability protection. Additionally, insurance can ensure you are protected against future problems that may unexpectedly crop up.

If you find yourself short on cash when it comes to purchasing a home, consider taking out a small payday loan. This can help you get started until you can generate a monthly income to sustain the mortgage. An important thing to note is that loans are not meant to be borrowed frequently and should be taken out with caution. It is best to do your research first before making any big financial decisions.

Sum Up

At the end of the day, it is important to find the investment that best suits you and your needs. It is also important to be realistic with what you can afford to invest in and what you hope to achieve from the investment.