Thursday 7 January 2016

Which buy-to-let property is right for you?

I was contacted by a retired couple who were moving to Chichester and wanted some advice. They were looking to invest in a few rental properties to supplement their pensions and wondered what I thought they should consider.

They had been to four local estate agents who each had the perfect property for them. Yet they were all in a different part of town and in various states of repair!

So, what should they buy?

It depends!

Different circumstances call for a different approach to property investment:

- ‘Bargains’ can be elusive in and around Chichester as it is an area in high demand. Modest rental returns (yields average 4.4%) should, however, give way to better long-term prospects for capital growth.

- People seeking more rental income may want to look further afield where property prices are lower. Bear in mind though that these relatively cheaper areas may require more management, not rent as easily, nor provide such positive long-term prospects.

- Newer-build properties will require less maintenance and should attract good quality tenants. This type of property can give you a quieter life but at a higher purchase price, which will impact your initial rental yield.

- ‘Doer-uppers’ on the other hand can be great if you have the skills, time and money to inject new life in to a tired property. Buying the right property at the right price, with a sensible budget for refurbishment, could maximise your returns.

The retired couple had worked hard for the past forty years and now wanted the quiet life, with a safe investment giving them a reasonable return. They had a good amount of capital to invest and did not want to undertake a project nor spend hours chasing after ‘problematic tenants’.

In this instance I recommended they look at modern houses in and around Chichester, which should prove to be a good long-term investment. Well-kept properties will attract good quality, long-term tenants with fewer maintenance issues. They would be able to move people straight in and start earning a reasonable (4-5%) return on their money.

Whilst it may not make them a fortune overnight it is simple and relatively safe, which is what they wanted. It beats the return from a savings account too!

Consider the following when thinking about buying a rental property:
  • What is your budget?
  • What return are you seeking?
  • How much spare time do you have?
  • Are you looking for a project?
  • What type of tenants do you want?
  • Which location best suits your criteria?
  • Do you have the knowledge to manage it yourself?

(This article was featured in the Chichester Observer's property section 

on 7th January 2016).

Clive Janes, CRJ Lettings.


If you are looking for an agent that is well-establishedprofessional and communicative in Chichester, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property.

E-mail me on or call 01243 624 599.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view my previous buy-to-let deals and Chichester Property News articles:


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