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Buying an investment property. Is this an emotional purchase?

Updated: Sep 5, 2018

En-suite, south facing, large balcony, ground floor, closed kitchen, views, the list goes on when searching for your dream home. But should you be so particular when it comes to buying an investment property that you may never even step foot in?

I've spoken to hundreds if not thousands of property investors over the years and for some reason it still surprises me when I am fed a list of requirements you would expect from a lifestyle buyer / end-user.

Many of us have been through the process of searching for a new home, whether it be to rent or buy. It can be fun but very draining when trying to find the perfect property that ticks all of your boxes.

Some "boxes" are practical requirements and completely necessary such as number of bedrooms, location, car park or proximity to local schools. But others are based on emotion wants, , making sure the property is a place you are happy to call home.

It can be difficult for some to step away from this way of thinking when buying a property purely for investment. While it is widely understood that people are influenced to invest in property, based on some degree of emotion, thinking practically will help you to find the most suitable and rewarding investment for you.

Let emotional reasons be your motivation for investing but let the formulas be what dictates your decision on a particular opportunity.

I'm not saying there should be no emotional connection to the property whatsoever, but let it be minimal. Finding a healthy balance between the features, and the figures, will help you to decide what is right for you.

Let me give you a simple, but everyday example of what I mean and how this looks in the real world:

George has £80,000 cash and he wants to buy an investment property. He wants a three bedroom, semi-detached house in Halifax, that has a large living space, garden and a driveway.

Recent research in Halifax has found that there has been a surge in the number of young professionals working in the town, resulting in an increase in the demand for high quality apartments in the town centre. Occupancy levels within a mile radius of the town centre are above 90%, compared to 70% outside this area.

Option 1: For £80,000 George can buy a 3xbed with the desired spec that will generate a rental yield of £3,200 per year (4%).

Option 2: For £80,000, George can buy a brand new 1xbed apartment in the centre of town that will generate £5,600 per year (7%).

Which option would you choose? Why?

To help you answer this question you need to remind yourself why you are investing in the first place and what you are aiming to achieve. Option 2 seems the most logical but what if I was to tell you that George already owned three town centre apartments and wanted to diversify?

Every investor is different. Once you, your consultant and anyone else involved in the buying decision, have a full grasp of what YOU want from your investment, together you will be equipped to find the best and most suitable property.

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