Can I Afford An Investment Property?

Purchase and stamp duty

This probably goes without saying, but having a clear idea of the price of the purchase with the added stamp duty is essential, as this will affect everything. You will need to put forward a deposit, and for a buy-to-let property this tends to be a minimum of 25% for most lenders, if you’re buying with a mortgage. If you’re buying with cash, it will be down to the seller what deposit needs to be paid and at what stage.

Legal and conveyancing fees

Certain legal fees apply to any property purchase by both owner-occupiers and investors. Conveyancing is usually carried out by a solicitor or conveyancer, and involves legally transferring home ownership from the vendor to the buyer. The process begins when an offer is first accepted on a property – this is the stage at which the buyer instructs a conveyancer or solicitor to act on their behalf – and continues right through to completion when you are handed the keys to the property. The rate you pay for this service will depend on the individual solicitor. Most agents will recommend a local solicitor to use, but buyers can also shop around.

Mortgage and valuation costs

Most lenders will charge an arrangement fee, and many buyers will also choose to use a broker who can find and arrange the best deal, which may involve an additional cost. Further to this, lenders require a bank valuation of the property to be carried out to ensure there’s no discrepancy between what is being paid and how much the bank deems the property to be worth. This can cost anywhere in the region of £250 to £1,000 plus VAT, depending on the property value. Buy-to-let mortgage rates are currently very competitive, although still tend to be higher than traditional residential mortgage rates.

Furniture packs

When buying an investment property, many landlords and investors want to offer a fully furnished apartment. One way to do this is to buy a “furniture pack”, where the whole home is furnished to suit your budget and property. It can make it easier to budget rather than trying to source items individually. It also saves time for busier landlords and investors, and the brand new furniture can be a selling point for potential renters. Costs will vary depending on the size of the property and the quality of the furniture.

3 Primary Factors To Consider When Investing In Property

Timing

The old cliche that timing is everything couldn’t be more true with property investment. Housing markets tend to work in cycles, so while investing at the peak of a boom might not get you the best returns in the short term, over time you are still likely to see your investment rise. Getting in when prices are at a lower point, or just as things are beginning to rise, is often the preferred strategy. Keeping an eye on house prices in an area can be helpful, with some locations performing more strongly than others at different times. The length of your investment matters – property is normally a long-term commitment, rather than a way to make fast money, so investors should be prepared to see their gains grow over time.

Location

Choosing the right place to invest is vital, but is also a decision that will vary from investor to investor. Emerging markets are a good place to start, which could include areas that are about to receive or have recently benefited from local investment, or parts of the country that have been relatively undiscovered until recently. While London was once the go-to property investment location, this has been overtaken by parts of the north-west including Liverpool and Midlands where rental yields as well as capital appreciation are much stronger. Investing close to where you live, in an area you are familiar with, might seem appealing, but researching and considering other areas can prove more beneficial in the long run.

People

Who you work with can have a big effect on the outcome of your investment, so doing your own thorough due diligence is vital before making a big commitment. For example, working with property developers and contractors who have a good track record should mean that you can be confident your investment will pay off. You should also look into how each company works, to make sure that it fits in with your own investment strategy. For example, will you be buying a tenanted property with assured rental yields, or would you prefer a more hands-on approach where you manage the property yourself?

Spending Priorities Of Todays Renters

What are Generation Rent splashing their cash on?

Going on holiday

As a society, we are moving towards valuing experiences above assets, with holidays being near the top of the list of go-tos in the “experience economy”. Perhaps then its no surprise that holidays came out on top for renters’ spending goals. A third proclaimed they were saving to go on holiday, be that a lavish summer holiday in the Caribbean or a staycation in Brighton – for renters, a trip away tops the list.

Emergency funds

Second on the list, 31% of savvy savers are stashing cash away for a rainy day. This flexible-living cohort might lease their cars and stream their films, but they still know that an unexpected expense can arise out of the blue and prove problematic for your wallet. Financial gurus recommend that everyone has an easy-access account with money that will see them through three to six months’ worth of essential outgoings, and renters are abiding by this rule by saving for an ‘emergency fund’.

Buying a house

Less than a quarter of renters (23%) are saving for a house deposit, with women leading the charge at 26% to men’s 17%. Perhaps unsurprisingly, younger renters are most likely to be pocketing the pennies with an eye to getting on the property ladder – 38% of 18-34 year-olds are saving to buy, compared to 25% of 35-54 year-olds.

Other top savings goals for UK renters include saving for retirement (14%), spending money on their children (10%), buying a car (10%), and leisure activities such as going to the cinema or family days out (9%).

Disposable income is used to fund the lifestyle people want to live, and it’s clear that owning a house is no longer the main financial goal for renters. Landlords must make a concerted effort to understand they’re tenants. Those who really comprehend the wants and needs of renters in the UK will be most equipped to provide the best accommodation, the best service, and ultimately generate the best yield from buy-to-let properties.

The Cost Of Running A Buy-To-Let Property

Management fees

Many landlords pay a letting agency or management company to run their rental property for them, which is normally charged as a percentage of the rental income. Their services will include finding tenants, carrying out reference checks, taking a deposit, organising contracts and dealing with ongoing tenant queries and issues, as well as contract renewal. This cost can be avoided if landlords wish to self-manage. Landlords who choose to manage their own properties must be completely up-to-date on the latest regulations and legislation. Some landlords simply will not be able to keep up with the management without using an agent, such as those with multiple properties and those who live too far away to provide an adequate service.

Service charge

Many flats and apartments with communal facilities will be subject to a service charge. This normally pays for things like maintenance and repairs of communal areas and gardens, servicing lifts, and upkeep of communal heating and lighting. When you buy a leasehold property, you should be made aware of these charges and will be liable to pay them as soon as ownership is transferred. For properties that are subsequently let out, it is up to the landlord whether to pass this charge on as an additional cost to the tenant, in which case it must be set out in the tenancy agreement. Otherwise, you might recoup the costs by including it in the rent charged.

Council tax

Council tax is charged on every residential property in the UK (with some exceptions and discounts). The cost will depend on the valuation band of your home, what the local council charges for that band, and whether you are entitled to a discount. When a property is tenanted, it is up to the tenants to cover the cost of the council tax, but the bill must be paid by the property owner for rental properties that are not tenanted. Some local councils offer a discount if the property is a second home or is empty, but owners must check with their local authority if this applies to them.

Void periods

A void period is when a tenant moves out, and no immediate replacement moves in, meaning that all property costs must be covered by the owner until a new tenant is found. When selling a rental home, properties that already house tenants can either be sold with vacant possession on completion, or sold subject to an ongoing tenancy, in which case the tenancy will be handed over to the new owner on the day they get the keys.

This avoids void periods for the new owner, which can be costly and are something every property investor must consider when factoring in their risk and returns.

Liverpool – Investors Looking To Maximise Their Rental Returns In 2020

Affordable Property Prices

Liverpool’s incredibly low property prices are a huge reason to invest in the city’s rental market, and make Liverpool investment an affordable option for both first-time investors and those looking to grow their portfolio. Many people wonder is buy to let worth it in 2020, especially because 2019 was such an uncertain year for the UK property market. However, with a lower cost of entry, the things that the Liverpool property market 2020 and beyond has in store can provide a lower risk investment strategy. Investing in Liverpool couldn’t be easier and there are so many opportunities out there for savvy property investors. Also, because of these low Liverpool property prices, it may be much more affordable than you think to invest in Liverpool.

The average price of a house in the UK is now around £217,000, compared to the far lower average Liverpool property prices of only £130,000. These low house prices allow investors to get far more for their money compared UK property investments in other areas, especially in the South, like London, where average property prices are around £480,000, or Oxford where they’re around £411,000. Investors have discovered that for the price of one London property, they could get a couple of comparable properties in Liverpool, along with the high Liverpool rental yield average. With low property prices and high rental income, Liverpool is one of the best locations for buy to let investments in the UK.

Thriving Student Population

Another major factor in the appeal of Liverpool property investments is the city’s huge student population. Liverpool has a long reputation for academic excellence, with the University of Liverpool dating all the way back to 1903. The city is also home to Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool Hope University, LIPA, and Edge Hill University, all of which have led Liverpool’s population to be filled with students. Liverpool is home to over 70,000 students, and the strong demand for accommodation for them is set to continue. With a high student retention rate, these recent graduates and young professionals are perfect tenants for high-end, modern city centre apartment buildings.

The Perfect Time to Invest

Liverpool property market forecast predictions are expecting big things over the coming years. With property values in the Liverpool buy to let market set to rise, it’s worth considering investing while average house prices in Liverpool are still affordable but have the potential for growth. The range of properties, the unique appeal Liverpool holds, its impressive rental yields, and affordable house prices all make the buy to let property Liverpool offers the perfect option for your 2020 property investments.

Landlords – Your Electrical Safety Obligations

How are the rules changing?

At present, anyone who owns a rental property must protect tenants from the risk of electric shock, or fires from electrical items. This involves checking and maintaining electrical installations – such as sockets or light fittings – over the course of a tenancy to ensure they are safe.

Where a property is furnished or part-furnished and this includes appliances, such as a toaster or TV, appliances must have at least the CE marking to show that it meets all the requirements of European law. For houses in multi occupation (HMOs), inspections must be carried out every five years by a registered electrician, but this is not currently required for a non-HMO property.

Under the up-coming regulations, from July 2020 all new or renewed private tenancies in England will need to have all electrical installations inspected and tested by a qualified person before the start of the tenancy. They must then be inspected and tested a minimum of every five years after that, unless the safety report requires it to be done more often.

Tenancies that are already in place or ongoing will have the same rules applied to them from 1 April 2021, so they have slightly more leeway. After this point, the same rules will apply to all private tenancies in England, including HMOs.

What do landlords need to do?

Landlords who take on new tenants after 1st July must employ a qualified person to test all electrical fixtures and fittings prior to the new contract. They must obtain a written report of the findings, which they supply to the tenant before they occupy the property, as well as to any new tenants who request one after this point.

For existing tenants if a tenancy is being renewed after this date, landlords must supply a copy of the findings within 28 days of the inspection being carried out. They must also keep a copy for their records, and in case the local authority requests to see one.

If any faults are found, landlords must ensure any repairs are carried out as soon as possible, but at least within 28 days of the inspection – and this must be done by a qualified person, too. Once all electrical fixtures and fittings are compliant, the report can then be issued to existing or future tenants.

HMS Prince Of Wales Will Sail Into The City On Friday

Thousands are expected to line the Pier Head to see the 65,000 tonne warship when it docks at Liverpool Cruise Terminal this Friday 28th February.

Nearly 13,000 free tickets to board the aircraft carrier were given away online within an hour of them going live. However don’t worry for those who have missed out on tickets, you will still be able to feel part of the event as there will be a range of activities happening on the quayside to give you a Royal Navy (RN) experience.

Activities

You can have a go on the inflatable challenge bungy run or try out the army fitness or masterchef challenge.

There will also be unarmed combat and weapons displays from the Royal Marines commando recruiting team as well as RM offshore raiding craft (ORC) and enjoy entertainment from HM Royal Marines Band although a number of these displays are weather dependent.

The Royal Navy Village on the waterfront will see the navy with our other armed services and you will be to see a RN dive tank, RN aircraft including a Lynx, Gazelle and Typhoon, plus RN, RAF & Army mobile outreach vehicles.

Facts About HMS Prince Of Wales

HMS Prince of wales is one of the most powerful surface warships ever constructed in the UK.

Her flight deck is 70 metres wide and 280 metres long – enough space for three football pitches – and she holds 45 days’ worth of food in stores.

She will have a crew complement (minimum crew) of around 700, increasing to around 1,600 with aircraft onboard.

HMS Prince of Wales’ size and scope is awe-inspiring – she can embark 36 F-35B and four Merlin Helicopters.

Facts & figures

  • 65,000 weight in tonnes
  • 40 helicopters can be carried and embarked
  • 700 crew members

Skills

HMS Prince of Wales’ crew will have an expansive range of skills, so she will be able to meet the widest range of tasks around the world, including:

  • Humanitarian relief, saving lives across the seven seas
  • High intensity war fighting
  • Fighting terrorism

Virgin Cruise Ship Scarlet Lady Arrives On Liverpool Waterfront

Virgin Voyages new cruise liner Scarlet Lady in Liverpool
The epic Virgin Voyages cruise liner is visiting Liverpool today before heading to New York.The 2,700 passenger luxury liner is set to arrive into Liverpool Cruise Terminal at around 10am, depending on the weather.She will spend one day and night in Liverpool before sailing onto New York and Miami, where she will make her inaugural passenger voyage around the Caribbean in April, as part of a 37 day tour.

Sir Richard is aiming to bring the luxury of a boutique hotel to the sea, with his Virgin Voyages fleet. On board is more than 20 places to eat, lavish ‘Rockstar suites’, elegant bars, a spa, tattoo parlour and an area designed for outdoor yoga.

During her visit to Liverpool, people can view the Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady cruise liner while she is docked at Liverpool Cruise Terminal, 2 Princes Parade, Liverpool L3 1DL. Members of the public will not be allowed on board.

The Liverpool Cruise Terminal is a 350-metre-long (1,150 ft) floating structure situated on the River Mersey enabling large cruise ships to visit without entering the enclosed dock system or berthing mid-river and tending passengers ashore. The terminal was officially opened on 21 September 2007 by the Duke of Kent when the Queen Elizabeth 2 berthed at the terminal. The current terminal is composed mainly of a floating landing stage, with a small passenger terminal building, but a larger terminal is under construction.

The cruise terminal is part of the £5.5 billion Liverpool Waters scheme to regenerate 60 hectares of dockland in Liverpool. The terminal received UK Government approval in March 2013, after Liverpool City Council approved the scheme in March 2012.

Second Cruise Terminal

A second cruise terminal is under construction as a part of the Liverpool Waters scheme. Liverpool City Council unveiled preliminary plans for a £50 million development for the proposed new cruise stage in September 2017. The new facility is being built slightly further down the Mersey at Princes Dock where the old wooden landing stage currently lies. The new terminal will be able to handle ships with up to 3,600 passengers and would include dedicated passport control as well as a cafe. Plans were submitted for planning permission by the council in November 2017 and work on the new facility began in 2018.

Will The New UK Immigration Law Affect You Or Your Tenants?

Buy-to-let landlords must check tenants

There are already laws in place – under “Right to Rent” regulations – which mean that all landlords or letting agents where applicable must check their tenants’ right to rent property in the UK. This involves checking passports and any relevant original documentation prior to a tenant moving in.

When the points-based system comes in, the same rules are expected to apply, meaning the onus is on the landlord or letting agent to ensure their tenants are eligible to reside in the UK. At present, failure to do so can lead to an unlimited fine or even a prison sentence.

Currently, despite the EUSS being in operation, it is illegal to ask EU, EEA or Swiss citizens to show that they have settled status or pre-settled status when starting a new tenancy. It will also not be necessary to make retrospective checks for existing tenants from 2021, although there is no current guidance for what landlords will need to do after this date for new tenants.

However, the Royal Landlords Association (RLA) is now urging landlords to have a conversation with their tenants about the EUSS rules, to ensure they are aware of what they might need to do.

What landlords need to do

Discrimination against tenants based on race is illegal, and it is important for landlords to be aware that whether or not they believe the tenant is from overseas, the same eligibility checks still apply. The Right to Rent  scheme has come under extensive criticism for promoting discrimination based on nationality, as landlords have perceived that avoiding letting to non-UK citizens will reduce their risk of getting it wrong.

If you operate through a letting agent or managing agent, you should find out if these checks are carried out by them as part of their service. If you self-manage, it is vital to keep up to date with any immigration changes as they happen that could affect you or your tenants, and get professional advice where necessary.

If you’re a landlord for student accommodation, the current advice is that students will be assessed under the same points-based immigration system, but under slightly different characteristics. They will need to prove they have an offer from an approved university or college, can speak English and are able to support themselves during their studies in the UK.

International BeatleWeek 26th –1st September 2020

Mathew Street street sign
Live music is the focus of International Beatleweek. Not only is there live music on the Cavern’s 3 stages all day, every day (with a different band on every hour), but the festival also goes out into the city to various venues so you can get a real feel of Liverpool.International Beatleweek takes place in venues across the city all week long. Festival highlights include theatre shows, outdoor venues, late night parties and of course our Annual Beatles Convention at the Adelphi Hotel.The convention on Sunday is the place to be and features guest speakers, a massive Beatles marketplace, videos, quizzes and of course more live music.There is so much to do and see that you don’t need to be a Beatle fan to enjoy the festival, though it probably helps! This is truly an international event with 70 bands from over 20 countries and fans from over 40.

The Best Beatles Attractions in Liverpool:

  • The Beatles Story, found on the Royal Albert Dock, this exhibition is perhaps the ultimate way to get The Beatles experience
  • The Beatles Statue
  • Strawberry Field
  • Casbah Coffee Club
  • Childhood Homes (Mendips & 20 Forthlin Road)
  • Penny Lane
  • The Cavern Club

Where did the Beatles first play in Liverpool?

The Cavern Club Matthew Street in Liverpool was the venue where the Beatles’ (formerly known as the Quarrymen) UK popularity started. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Pete Best were first seen by Brian Epstein at the club.

None of the Beatles could read music. They could play the guitar, piano, and drums and write lyrics, but they never learned to read music. The Beatles formed in Liverpool in 1960, and their most famous lineup consisted of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr.

What made the Beatles unique?

The Beatles had such a different style from any other band at the time, because they worked in many different genres of music. The group started off rooted in the Skiffle and 1950’s rock and roll, and later on expanding into pop ballads, psychedelic rock and also having some classical influences in their songs.