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What is the most popular type of property for a buy to let investment?

The buy-to-let within Brighton and Hove is robust. The City has a special appeal and is quite frankly, where many people wish to live. This in itself is a positive choice. There are some excellent returns up for grabs if you make the right choice of property.

For example, as Brighton tends towards a transient population, you may wish to factor in good yields offered by the student market but will need to accommodate potential re-decoration needs, or a high turnover of tenants.

Your choice of property should ideally factor in your desired type of tenant and the ideal period of time you would like the to rent your property.

Here's a quick guide:

Period Conversions

Pros:
  1. Very popular in the rental market
  2. High ceilings, feature fireplaces, ornate covings
  3. Tend to be properties of character and style
  4. Seafront locations mean few void periods
Cons:
  1. A high proportion are leasehold, meaning that freeholders own the building and make all maintenance decisions
  2. Annual maintenance fees can be very high and may affect your profit
  3. Seafront locations may be subject to high upkeep costs due to the vagaries of the weather
  4. Older buildings on the whole, meaning that rooms may be draughty due to sash windows

Purpose Built Blocks

Cons:
  1. Cheaper purchase price
  2. Larger properties in general than conversions
  3. Reasonable maintenance costs
Pros:
  1. Potential of longer void periods as most tenants may be seeking conversions
  2. Possibility of a lower rental figure (reasonable at between £50 to £100 per month)

Houses

Pros:
  1. Sharers (professionals or students) will help you achieve a higher rental figure
  2. A good long-term potential for a family
Cons:
  1. A family may pay less than a group of 3 or 4 sharers
  2. Less secure tenancy for students/friends as individual tenants may move out after a short time

Studio and 1 Bedroom Flats

  1. Very popular for professional singles and couples; easy to rent

2 or 3 Bedroom Flats

  1. Equal size room are advisable if you wish to attract a larger part of the market

Furnished or Unfurnished?

Plus Advice on Decorating Your Property

The choice to rent your property unfurnished, furnished or semi-furnished will depend on your current situation, your target market and your anticipated rental income. Unfurnished properties could appeal to more mature tenants with potentially longer term potential; furnished flats and houses are ideal for students, with Brighton and Hove a place where young people flock to study ‐ so the choice is up to you. Here are a few points to consider:

Furnished
  1. Initial outlay could be expensive and will make little difference to the rental costs
  2. Items will need to be replaced or repaired due to wear and tear
  3. Furniture may not be to the tenant's taste
Unfurnished
  1. Easier to manage long-term
  2. It is recommended to provide a cooker, fridge and washing machine (or space for plumbing) where possible.
Type of Decor

Being able to put a personal stamp on a rental property makes it an attractive prospect.

An unfurnished property is an excellent blank canvas on which a responsible tenant can make their "house a home": furniture of their choice, cushions, bedding etc in a distinctive colour or style will always look good with neutral basics, so bear this in mind when considering the decoration of the property. Neutrals are easier to spruce up between tenancies and you may wish to purchase extra paint and tiles to accommodate this.

Light colours give an impression of space but may show marks; dark colours, the reverse of course. For the former, we'd advise white rather than magnolia.

Although decorating to reflect your target audience is preferable, it's worth investing in robust, good quality . This will allow for wear and tear and some strong carpet shampoos! Likewise good, solid bathroom fittings. With many rental properties the watchword is: buy cheap, buy twice.

With furnished properties, again ‐ keep the furnishing simple, good quality and of a uniform colour if possible. There will be wear and tear so use your common sense regarding what will keep looking good over time.