Ten years ago, savings accounts earned interest and those of a less risk-averse persuasion could earn a decent income by investing their spare cash in the stock market and other investment vehicles. But since the global recession, savings accounts and investment funds are no longer performing in the same way, so if you want to make your money work harder, property investment is a much better choice.
Buy To Let Property
Investing in rental property can be a smart move. There is always a demand for rental property, particularly in certain parts of the world such as London, New York, Tokyo and Shanghai. Young people are far more likely to rent an apartment than buy, and with demand for rental property so high, it is possible to enjoy excellent profit margins on an investment property.
Location, Location, Location
Choosing the right location is vital. Some areas are always more attractive to tenants than others. In the case of student lets, student tenants will want to be close to their college or university campus as well as in the middle of the nightlife. Young professionals will prefer to have public transport links at close hand, plus they too will want to be in the thick of it. Executive lets are a different story. To attract higher paying tenants, you would be better off investing in larger properties in more affluent areas.
Do Your Homework
If you are looking to invest in an unfamiliar area, be sure to do your homework before you buy a property. Talk to property agents and find out where the most popular areas are and whether there are any large developments being planned which could affect local property prices in the near future. Once you have identified a few potential properties, investigate the average rental income for such a property to help you decide whether (or not) it would be a worthwhile investment.
What Type of Tenant Are You Aiming For?
There are several key types of tenants in rental properties.
- Students – You will never be short of tenants if you aim at the student population, but properties are more likely to suffer from wear and tear.
- Young professionals – Young people in the early stages of their careers make good tenants. They don’t have huge amounts of disposable income, but they will generally treat a property better.
- Executives – This is the higher end of the rental market, but the cost of the investment property will be higher and profit margins lower.
Apartment or House?
The type of property you invest in will probably depend on which area you are looking at. In many large cities, rental apartments and multiple occupancy properties are the norm. This type of property will often be cheaper to buy, but it may be subject to different legislation, so always make sure you are familiar with your obligations as a landlord before you invest.
Before investing in an apartment or house to let out to tenants, think very carefully about whether the investment is right for you. Property prices can go down as well as up and if you end up with a significant void period between tenants your investment property could end up costing you a lot of money.
The author of this post, Wei Wong, is an avid blogger who often writes for Jason Property, a company providing flats on rent in Shanghai. Her hobbies include cooking and baking. Log on to jasonproperty.com/ to know more about her work.