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How to get on the buy-to-let ladder by 1 April.

For buy-to-let investors, the clock is ticking. The arithmetic of the investment is still tempting, with interest rates low, the rental market strong and some property experts predicting that prices will rise by around 4 per cent in 2016.

For buy-to-let investors, the clock is ticking. The arithmetic of the investment is still tempting, with interest rates low, the rental market strong and some property experts predicting that prices will rise by around 4 per cent in 2016. 

But the Chancellor announced in his Autumn Statement that, from 1 April 2016, stamp duty on second homes and buy-to-let properties would rise by 3 per cent. This is not money people will be keen to pay if they can possibly help it. Hence the rush to snap up buy-to-let properties before the end of March.

But how to make sure you meet the deadline? If you are thinking of investing in a buy-to-let property in 2016, and want the additional satisfaction of leaping on the ladder by April 1, here are our top ten tips.

1.Select the area you want to buy and search quickly and methodically within that location. There is no time to do a Cook’s tour of the British Isles.

2.Enlist the help of an agent with good local knowledge of the area you have decided to target.

3.Make sure that the agent is aware of the importance to you of the 1 April deadline and will work with you to meet the deadline.  

4.Take an early view of whether you are aiming to buy a flat or house. It will narrow down your search and help you focus on the $64million question – how much are you prepared to pay?

5.Take a hard-headed view of what individual properties are worth. The seller may be prepared to drop the price, but you cannot afford to dawdle, so any haggling over the price needs to be completed in days, not weeks.

6.Try to sniff out vendors who are in a hurry to sell. (Your agent will help you with this.) They are a far better bet than vendors who are house-hunting themselves, but in no particular rush.

7.Research the local rental market and make a conservative estimate of the likely rental yield on the property. Then factor in its potential to increase in capital value in the medium term. If the sums stack up, go for it.

8.Be ready to move quickly when the right property comes along. Forget that half-term holiday this year. Focus is vital.

9.Make sure you have a solicitor who is on the ball, will work to your timetable and is not heading off for a half-term holiday, either.

10.If you are going to need a mortgage on your buy-to-let property, shop around for the best ones with the help of a broker such as Trinity Financial. It is a competitive market and there are some attractive deals. Nat West, for example, is currently offering a five-year fixed-rate mortgage of 3.33 per cent with a 40 per cent deposit.

If you’re looking to purchase a buy-to-let and would like expert advice and help, contact your local Winkworth office today. Click here to find yours or click here to start your search. 


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