A guide to property investment part 3: Which property to choose?
When you’re looking at starting an investment portfolio, it’s really important to determine what your target market is. The COVID-19 pandemic has really changed the landscape of target markets, as for example, more people are working from home.
With pundits predicting that ‘hybrid working’ will become the new normal going forward, it could mean that a large number of people will be working from home for 2/3 days a week and this doesn’t feel beyond the realms of possibility, with railway companies looking at more flexible annual tickets to London.
What might home workers be looking for?
- Excellent broadband coverage is essential
- A space to work, that can have the door shut on it – this is a really desirable feature in property searches at the moment, and if it’s not something that you can accommodate inside a property, it’s well worth considering building a garden office space. Not only does this benefit tenants, it’ll also increase your capital asset value – win win!
The 5 main categories
In this Guide to Property Investment, there are five other main categories to consider when it comes to target audiences. What these aren’t, are stereotypes putting people in boxes, it’s likely that most tenants will fit into more than one category, but it’s a good starting point to help you consider making the most of your investment.
Young upward mobile
This might be a single professional person, or a young couple who lead a busy, active, and social lifestyle.
- The newer the property, the better
- Are there good places to socialise nearby, such as decent independent coffee shops, restaurants and bars
- Thinking ahead, with many people starting to move towards electric vehicles is there a charging point locally?
- Is it close to a location to fitness facilities like a swimming pool and gym?
- They’re likely to be moving either from home, or from shared renting so offering a fully furnished property could be a good option here.
Although the word ‘family’ can mean a lot of things to different people, here we’re talking about a family unit which includes parents/carers and children.
- Interested in schooling, so might be looking to live in the catchment area of a popular school
- Green spaces and local activities for children
- Family units are more likely to own multiple cars – a garage, or other off road parking could be a deal clincher
- For practical reasons, families often want a bath rather than a shower, and depending on their number the more bathrooms and loos the better!
This might not necessarily be someone who has already retired, it can be someone looking to rent long term looking ahead to retirement.
- Location to shops is important. Is it a short, safe, and flat walk?
- The fewer the stairs, the better. Especially when it comes to access.
- Garden maintenance. If you have a bungalow with a large garden, think about landscaping to reduce flower beds, and other things which could reduce the burden on the tenant.
- Gated developments are popular, if this is the demographic you’re looking to cater for, then take a look at some brochures and pay attention to features people will pay more for – it gives you an idea of what the demographic values most highly.
- In Cambridge city centre, you would be most likely expected to offer a fully furnished property. Pay attention to your market, because the funkier the furniture the better!
- There are two stations in Cambridge, which bring the ability to get to the financial centre of London (Liverpool St) as well as Kings Cross. Centre your searches on these areas for the best return on your investment.
- For villages, you need to make sure you’re purchasing a property somewhere that there’s a bus route running, and the nearer to the guided bus into Cambridge- the better!