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Property Hawk
Tips for Landlords Finding Property Investment Opportunities

FINDING INVESTMENT PROPERTY

How to find suitable investment properties?

There are a number of ways landlords can locate residential property for investment.  Success in all cases relies on careful searching and on being patient and diligent and sticking by my 3 pillars of buy-to-let.

Getting estate agents to help you find property

Having identified the area and types of property you are looking for, see if you can spot the estate agents that specialise in those areas and properties.  Register with them.  Talk to the sales staff, get yourself known and explain your situation and what you are looking for.  Then it’s a case of landlords just being patient and waiting for suitable properties to come in.  Hopefully a landlord will have established some rapport with the staff and they should let them know automatically.  Don’t rely on this though. 

Be proactive in your property search

Continue to scour the property press.  In addition, regular visits to the area of search to monitor what’s on the market should ensure that a landlord doesn't miss out on any opportunities.  If a landlord wants to be really proactive you can leaflet some of the houses asking them if they are interested in selling.  A friend of mine has done it successfully.  It could be that if a landlords search for property is lengthy or if there are after a number of properties the viewing list is extensive.  It may well be that in these circumstances that a Viewing Record would be useful.
 

Use the Internet to search for property

As well as finding properties in the ‘time honoured’ fashion of using a local estate agent.    The housing market in recent years has become dominated by a number of Internet property portals.  The dominant one is Rightmove with about 80% of all property search pages viewed through it.  Other popular sites are www.findaproperty.co.uk , www.primelocation.com , www.propertyfinder.co.uk , zoopla.co.uk

Therefore, if landlords start their search looking at these sites, they should give landlords a selection of properties to look at that meet their criteria.  If landlords want to find out more about the area because it is away from where they live; check out the ACORN demogeographic stats.  These give an interesting insight into the locality and are available on the website www.upmystreet.co.uk.

These websites tend to predominantly feature what is called second hand property or ones that have already have had at least one owner.  To locate new properties, landlords should have a look at sites such as: www.smartnewhomes.com and www.new-homes.co.uk

Buying investment property at auction

The other alternative is buying a property at auction.  Buying a property in this way is a little more complex than through an estate agent.  I did it  with my first property that I bought to refurbish.  It’s a little bit nerve wracking, especially as in my case when at the end of bidding somebody turns round and says “you’ve paid a lot for that, what are you going to do with it?” Not the words of comfort I wanted to hear!  Auctions tend to attract a high proportion of properties that need work doing to them.  As a valuer from Savills once said to me ‘the wreckers’.  If you are serious about the refurbishment route you should not discount this option. Having done your homework, it’s not as daunting as it might first appear.

Finding an investment property for me is one of the best bits. It’s all down to you and anything is possible!
 
 

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