Before you buy property, you often think whether you want to buy to live or buy to let. Do you want a home or do you want an investment? Would you rather swap your monthly rent to pay towards a mortgage or would you rather rent out for potential additional revenue? Here are a few tips that will help you decide.
A buy-to-let strategy is an attractive investment option offering regular rental income, long-term capital growth and security, even for those with a mortgage to pay. When you are buying to live, your major initial investment will be monthly payment towards mortgage in addition to insurance, property taxes and ongoing maintenance of the house.
Once the house is paid off, remember you need to keep investing in maintenance of the house so that your property value does not fall, even if you decide to rent it out in the future.
Make sure that the rental demand is high in the location you buy if you are planning to let. This will help you get better returns on your investment in the long run.
If you are buying to live, ensure that the resale value of the property will, subject to unforeseen circumstances, be higher. Rental demand will hold lower importance in this case as your long-term plan is to live in the property.
In general, whether you are looking to live or let, location, proximity and accessibility are common factors that should be given high importance. Whether it is for yourself or your tenant, place of work, supermarkets, schools, activities, amenities and other points should be considered.
When you own a buy-to-let property, you should always keep it in good condition by carrying out frequent maintenance and repairs causing less inconvenience to your tenants. While the property you live in also requires effort, you have a longer time frame in which to complete any alterations, additions or renovations because you will not be inconveniencing any tenants, only yourself.
When you decide to buy a house, you need to look at your reasons for buying to live or let against your short and long-term financial goals. Then you can decide what is right for you and your family.
Kaizar Patla is the head of consumer assets at ADCB. The views expressed here are his own.