When Buying To Let, Don’t Develop For Living
Many real estate investors fall into a simple trap on their first development. Having purchased a property with letting it out in mind – or even the idea of selling for a quick profit – they behave too much like themselves. That may sound wacky, after all we are all told often enough to “be [your]self” when we are young, so why change? The problem comes with the fact that a buy-to-let real estate property may look wonderful to you when you are done with it – but you are not going to be letting it to you. It is all too easy to become personally involved with the development and make a mess of it. So remember to take a detached approach when it comes to development.
One thing to remember about real estate development is that it tends to involve homes. Even if only subliminally, a house conveys to us the feeling that it is for living in, and when we come to develop it we often do this based on what we would like to live in. This is fine, in small measures. To put it another way, you need to be able to look at the house and feel that people would be at home there. It is not about standing back and thinking that you would feel at home, because you are not going to be living there. Adding idiosyncratic touches to the development because you feel it gives the house some character may well be an artistic approach, but remember that your idiosyncratic touches will make the character of the house your character.
This is not to say that a new development should be bland and consciously inoffensive. There needs to be something innovative about it if you are to realize a profit. To get an idea or two, it is helpful to view a house or two in the same area, houses which are selling for close to the price you hope to realize. By doing this you will be able to see what kind of stamp you want to place on the property when it is finished. Location is important when it comes to the kind of touch you want to put on the house. If your development is in a neighbourhood that is by tradition the place for retired couples, then developing a classic bachelor pad or a house for a young family is obviously going to lose you profits.
It doesn’t need to be rocket science – you can do some very simple research and find the ideal development property, then with a few simple touches have the ideal house or set of apartments to sell to the local market. Don’t make the mistake of getting too attached to the house, or to your idea of what it should look like. The chances are the potential buyers will have tastes which differ with yours. Save those touches for when you develop a property for living in. that is when you will need them.
To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the realestateexpedition.com website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to Ahmed Dawn Dot Com. This article originally published on the above website on July 11, 2009.