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Julie's Top Five 'Buy To Let' Tips

13th December 2014

In the current climate it’s tricky to know how best to invest your hard-earned cash for the future.  Long gone are the days when stocks and pensions would guarantee you a solid return on your investment.  This is why, while rates are low and prices have levelled, many are taking the opportunity to initiate or expand a property portfolio.  

Seen as THE big investment a number of years ago the bubble burst when the market started to slump. However, with first time buyers struggling to get onto the ladder there are more tenants than ever before in the market and combined with low house prices and low rates there has been a resurgence in property as a long term investment in recent years. 

Assuming you have the capital required, it is an attractive option especially when you look at the alternatives in the market place today. However, please do consider that with interest rates as low as they are, it is likely you will require some give in your budget in years to come – like all investments there are no guarantees.

But if, like us, you’re happier in bricks and mortar than stocks and shares then here at Lettings Direct we can offer you expert advice in Buy-To-Let financing. Our MD, Julie, served over 19 years as a bank manager and she has helped many people take that first step onto the Buy-To-Let ladder, as well as offering experienced landlords assistance and support in maximising their investment and ensuring their return continues to grow year on year wherever possible.

If you’re serious about property investment and looking to this as a potential nest egg or mid-term investment plan then it is essential that you do things properly from the outset.  This may sound obvious, but you would be surprised…. Read on and if you’d like to know more then get in touch!

Julie’s Top Five Tips

1. Research the Market

Buy-To-Let comes with many opportunities and if you take advantage of a management agent such as Lettings Direct, you will find that after your initial work there is little input required long term.

However, it is essential that you go into this with your eyes wide open and you must be aware of the risks as well as the gains. Although the market is steady right now in terms of interest rates and tenant potential, this can change.  You must ensure you have the capital available for long-term investment to increase your chance of return.

Of course, should house prices rise, there is the opportunity to make serious gains both in capital investment and rental value.  Research your market – know what to expect!

2. Location, Location, Location

Choosing the right location is a big deal and you should look at your locality and the places people want to live before deciding on your property.  There are loads of reasons why a person wants to rent in a particular area and these can range from good commuter possibilities to great schools.  Just remember, you want the property to match the reason, the tenant and your budget!

3. Crunch Those Numbers!

Be realistic! Look at your budget, find out how much you can spend on a Buy-To-Let and then discuss the rental value of any property before you commit to the deal. This may sound simplistic but we have found that those people who prepare in this way, rather than buying a house they like, will make the best return.

Should your property lie empty for a couple of months can you afford to cover it? This is where many people consider the management fees of an agency to be worth the added investment. Factor it in from the outset and you’ll find life much easier!

4. Shop Around On The Mortgage

We are creatures of habit when it comes to our banking! Julie relied on this for 15 years! Now she advises you to scope out the details of the latest buy-to-let mortgage deals and check lenders' websites.  Julie is happy to advise you on how to start this procedure.

Of course, you may be looking to turn your existing property into a rental income and shopping around for the best deal on remortgage will also pay dividends – you don’t need to go to your existing bank!

5. Who Will Your Tenant Be?

Unless you are looking to let your home or an existing property, this purchase isn’t for you but instead for your best potential tenant! If you are buying in an area where you expect to rent to students then you need clean, comfortable and safe (mum and dad may be paying for this). But you don’t need big rooms, luxury fit outs and great schools nearby.  And the opposite is true if you’re hoping to rent to families or longer term tenants. 

Lettings direct have direct access to the whole of the market and can advise on price, area and interior standards and furnishing when considering your target tenant.

If you’re interested in finding out more and chatting about investing capital or turning your home into a rental income then call the office on 01738 630004. 

Julie Cumming Property investment expert

Lettings Assistant

Position Overview

Lettings Direct Perth is an independent lettings and property management company which has been operating in the city since 2011.  We have experienced considerable growth over the past few years and now require a Lettings Assistant to support the Lettings Team in our busy office.

The position requires a friendly, efficient individual with a keen eye for detail and a great way with people.  The right candidate for this responsible part-time role will be highly organised, able to prioritise quickly, remain calm under pressure, and possess excellent customer service skills.

Based at our city centre office, this person will be a first point of contact for many of our tenants and landlords, delivering on our promise of exceptional client care.  The position also requires visits to our properties – a driving license is a must – including taking inventories and inspection visits.

From answering phones to replying to emails, dealing with property enquiries to arranging viewings and tradesmen visits, the role is varied and busy.

Lettings Direct are committed to the development of its staff.  The team will fully support the successful candidate and training will be provided in-house, particularly in relation to customer systems and online portals. This role gives the candidate the chance to join a booming and dynamic organisation with the opportunity to learn and forge a rewarding career.

This is a part-time position offering 10 to 20 hours per week.  As an essential service, the position is available for an immediate start. Click over to our website for full details.

Reporting to: Julie Cumming, Director of Lettings Direct

Office Location: 8 Atholl Crescent, Perth PH1 5NG

Hours: 10-20 hours per week.  From time to time, some additional work may be required.



We often get asked by landlords, why do I need an inventory, there is nothing in my property, it's unfurnished, surely it's an expense I don't need to incur? My answer is always the same - it's vital that you offer a proper, detailed inventory of a property to a tenant upon move in. 

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