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Buy to let has historically been a pretty safe investment prospect, and is particularly popular in the UK as a means of generating income. However, you should look at it as a medium to long-term option and not the means to make a quick buck.

Whether a prolific investor with a massive portfolio, who wants to make a living out of buy-to-let, or someone investing in a single property as a side-line or canny pension, it’s really important to research the area you’re thinking of buying in and the type of tenants you’re likely to attract.

WG can help you with that and advise you on the rental income you can expect, assessing whether that balances out with the investment you could be about to make.

MAKING THE FIGURES ADD UP

You need to plan and calculate what kind of money you could make from the property before committing, as with any business venture.

Calculating the percentage gross rental yield on your investment

(Total income per year ÷ the value of the property) x 100 = % gross yield

Calculating the percentage net yield

(Total income – total costs] ÷ the value of the property) x 100 = % net yield

Calculating annual running costs

Mortgage repayments + estimated refurb costs + vacant time (estimate 30 days per year) + service charge and ground rent (if the property is leasehold)

Be realistic

Set an achievable rental price – this will help to reduce the amount of time your property is vacant. This means you’ll be forking out money, but there’ll be none coming in.

This is our super-quick guide to buy-to-let. Of course, there is so much more to the process and every single case is different. So, we recommend you speak to your local Wilkinson Grant & Co lettings team and seek independent advice.