MANAGING DIRECTOR KAY AND CO WWW.KAYANDCO.COM
Q. I have inherited some money and want to invest in a London buy to let – where should I look?
A. I would suggest that you look at buying a one or two bedroom unit in a prime location, because there’s always a demand in central London for smaller units.
Larger units tend, (unless they are family homes), to let to more transient professional sharers or students, resulting in longer void periods. Whereas smaller units attract tenants who tend to stay longer. Location and the target market you are aiming for need careful thought; you want to identify an area which taps into a pool of the ideal type of tenant – doctors, lawyers, accountants and City workers.
Look for access to good transportation links to the City or Canary Wharf and proximity to the Central line or Jubilee lines in Zone 1. Marylebone, Bayswater, Paddington or Notting Hill are all good options. Alternatively, if you fancy a new- build right in the heart of the City, The Heron in EC2, is a first class development which ticks all of the boxes and would make an ideal rental investment.
Q. I want to sell my top floor flat but am concerned that I will have problems as it is on the fourth floor without a lift. Is there anything I can do to ensure it sells quickly?
A. Top floor flats without a lift are not ideal but at the end of the day they do sell – you just need to find the right type of buyer. Naturally, it’s going to rule out the elderly or those with young children, but there is no reason why someone in their 20s, 30s, or even 40s would not look at this as an option.
The positives are that you have no neighbours above – good from a noise perspective. Also no lift means a lower service charge, without expensive maintenance or insurance costs.
However, it’s vital to recognise that the walk up will impact on value and buyers will expect a discount as a result of the hike. You’re probably looking at a discount of around 20 per cent compared with the equivalent first floor flat in your building; this is where I suggest pitching the asking price.
A discount at this level will certainly attract a buyer, particularly if they have a limited budget, but really want to be in the area.