How to Find Great Properties to Invest in and Spot Ones to Avoid!

So, how to find great properties to invest in? There are a number of ways to invest in property and secure a good return. However, in most cases, a significant part of the risk property investors face concerns the type of property they choose as an investment prospect. So this article discusses some aspects to consider when evaluating a potential investment property in order to minimise the risk of making a bad investment and maximise the profitability of any subsequent purchase deal.

Evaluate the property location

Both the future rental value and the resale price of any investment property you decide to purchase will be heavily influenced by its location. While the age of the property is a given, and its state of repair can be tweaked to a relatively minor extent, how the property’s location develops in the medium to long term could be crucial to your success as a developer.

Though some community developments cannot be predicted, careful research at micro and macro levels will reveal much about many local and regional trends. You should consider whether house prices are rising or falling locally, and to what extent.

And likewise, you should also consider matters such as local crime rates and future plans affecting amenities such as education and healthcare. Beyond this, there are numerous other features, such as new road systems, town planning decisions etc., with the potential to enhance or diminish the anticipated appreciation of property values.

Evaluate the potential tenant profile

The kind of tenant happy to rent your residential buy-to-let property will depend on two factors: the type of property you purchase, and where it is located. Putting that another way, a careful look at these features beforehand should tell you whether a property has a good chance of attracting the kind of tenant you’re seeking.

So if you wish to rent out your property as a student let, then to do well it should be within fairly easy reach of local college or university campuses. This will give you a predictable tenant turnover cycle and the common multiple occupancy arrangements should make your rental returns fairly lucrative.

Nevertheless, you should also be aware of any competition from purpose-built student accommodation. And note too that some students from abroad now prefer to go for high-spec, feature-rich city-centre lets rather than lower status ‘student lets’ - which could influence the viability of your project.

If you’re looking for professional tenants, then you should be thinking of a property which has good transport links and is fairly near to large employers. And if you envisage renting to a professional couple with a family, then proximity to decent schools, shopping centres and family amenities will also be important.

These types of tenant are mostly easy to manage while returns are easy to predict, and if you plan to use a letting agent, such companies are usually happy to take on this type of responsibility.

Arrange a survey

Unless you have plenty of experience, you will need someone to accompany you while you look over a potential property. This kind of initial appraisal will look for any obvious flaws which might cause you to dismiss the property, as well as identifying any minor defects which could be cheaply rectified but might be grounds for reducing your purchase offer.

At a deeper level, there may well be good grounds for arranging a detailed structural survey to protect your interests should there be any hidden defects which could represent a real risk to your investment.

Though you would have to pay for such a survey, it could be money well spent to give you peace of mind. In any event, if you are arranging a mortgage to purchase the property, your lender will ask for some form of survey to protect their own financial risk.

A property investment franchise

Going it alone as a property investor is all about a realistic balance of risk and reward, and a practical assessment of how much you could afford to lose on a bad deal. That’s why many would-be property investors often decide to mitigate the risks by setting up in business as a property investment franchisee.

The advantage of such an arrangement is that you are no longer working alone, have ready access to a wealth of contacts, know-how and experience, and can often source finance at advantageous rates.

Franchisors looking to work with suitable franchisees can always be located by approaching a suitable online franchise broker. And as a result, it’s often possible for those looking to break into property investing to acquire invaluable ‘insider’ knowledge and access huge earning potential with just a modest working capital requirement.

We hope you have enjoyed reading 'How to Find Great Properties to Invest in and Spot Ones to Avoid!' By Joshua Antoniou Global Account Executive having started at Dynamis in the Customer Service department. He also writes for &