Five tips before joining the buy-to-let market

1. Location

Research the area before you buy. Consider tenant demand and the type of tenant you're hoping to attract. If you're looking to attract families, see what the local schools are like. Transport and hospitals are also important.

2. Rental expectations

You'll need to know what your achievable rents will be. This is important when applying for the mortgage.

3. Property price trends

If you're looking to sell your property at some point, it's important to consider property price trends in the area; local planning restrictions or major development plans looming on the horizon, for example, will have an effect on prices.

4. Void periods

What will you do if you experience a period when you have no tenants, known as a 'void period'? Will you have enough money to cover the mortgage for a few weeks? Make sure you have a cash buffer in place.

5. Exposure

Make sure you are not over-exposed in the property sector; explore other investments too.

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