Property investment in commuter towns: Planes, trains & automobiles

Reasonable rent… Fast broadband… Garden space… Parking… Local amenities… These are a few important considerations for tenants when they are choosing a place to live.

When it comes to property investment in commuter towns Good transport links are a must.

It’s not much cop living in a fantastic flat with high ceilings, beautiful furnishings, a to-die-for outdoor area, etc, etc, if it’s going to take you four hours to commute to work.

Research has shown that 52% of tenants live within five minutes of their nearest public transport, and 73% within 10 minutes.

Often tenants are willing to forego certain ‘would-be-nice’ aspects of a property to fulfil their principal needs, such as getting to work in a timely manner.

It’s not just the work commute that good transport links are useful for, though – people need to be able to travel easily to visit friends and family, plus get to places for their leisure time, such as restaurants, cinemas, pubs, evening classes, and the like.

Such transport links put the ‘fun’ in ‘fundamental’.

So, as a landlord, if your property has reliable transport links (well, as reliable as British transport links ever are – those pesky leaves on the track and signal failures!), make sure you big them up, both when advertising your place for rent and when you are showing the prospective tenant around.

It’s a tempting selling point that will make you one step ahead of the landlord 10 minutes further down the road.

A train station or bus stop within walking distance will get a big thumbs-up in the eyes of a tenant – plus you’ll be able to charge more rent for this convenience.

The importance of the type of transport link will vary depending on the tenants’ needs.

If they live in a remote area, easy access to a road network will be crucial, whereas if they travel abroad frequently – whether for business or pleasure – being able to get to the airport with a minimum amount of faff will be attractive.

Moreover, if they live in a commuter town, train links will be the big pull.

Bottom line: if you’re a landlord who wants to go places, make sure your tenants can get places.