Would you Buy to Let without viewing?

by Readers Question

8:30 AM, 22nd November 2018
About 3 weeks ago

Would you Buy to Let without viewing?

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Would you Buy to Let without viewing?

I have been thinking of investing my money in Manchester, but I don’t fancy traveling all the way there.

My question to you all would be: Have you ever purchased a Buy to Let (or any type of property) without physically going to see it in person?

If anyone has can I ask what gave you the confidence to purchase as an alternative to the viewing and what precautions you took?

If you would never consider doing this can I ask why and what are the worst pitfalls?

Many thanks!

Jay



Comments

Paul Cummings

9:22 AM, 22nd November 2018
About 3 weeks ago

No never, and it is crazy to even think it.

I seen a house on Monday that ticked all my boxes. Only by viewing did I spot the issues. Went back next day with my builder, and the gable end was so riddled with damp the only long term solution was to rebuild it. 10k before even starting the refurb. Another 10k to refurb. The 53k price wasn’t so good suddenly.

If you can’t be bothered to travel to Manchester and research your areas then don’t bother investing here. Alternatively, JV with someone who knows the area.

AA

9:35 AM, 22nd November 2018
About 3 weeks ago

The question suggests you have a very abstract idea of what this business is about so would advise unless you are funding this out of surplus funds with zero effect on you if you lost it all - stay clear. This business is hard work. It requires effective control to succeed and is not a passive activity as some would portray. And it is not for everybody .I have never bought new property. Beware of the sales spiel, areas which are "up and coming" as the clue is in the old "location, location, location"

Paul Shears

19:23 PM, 22nd November 2018
About 3 weeks ago

I think that you are most definitely thinking of entering completely the wrong business for you.
This would have been very high risk some years ago but now that, on top of everything else, we have the UK government continually attacking us in the most utterly inept way. It would not just be high risk for you, it would be financial suicide.
Find something else to invest in.

Graham Bowcock

12:19 PM, 23rd November 2018
About 3 weeks ago

No, no, no no, no

I wouldn't buy a property in Manchester without seeing it - and I've lived here for 30 years, have a family property business and do portfolio valuations for banks!

I never understand the desire of "investors" to buy out an area they know. Okay, those with the balls to do it may make some good returns, but investing their own money that they can afford to lose. So many times such investments go belly up. There's so much to consider these days.

A recent landlord/tenant TV programme featured a landlord couple from the south who had bought unseen in the north east, after going to a seminar on BTL. Then moaned that they weren't getting the rent and it was too difficult to manage. All ended in tears.

Perhaps try something else.........................

Annie Landlord

12:25 PM, 23rd November 2018
About 3 weeks ago

Absolutely not!! 'Armchair Investors' have found themselves buying properties that have been condemned, in streets that no-one wants to live in, even properties that don't actually exist! Being a landlord is a time consuming business. If you wish to buy in the North, please come up and see us first:)

Kate Mellor

18:14 PM, 25th November 2018
About 2 weeks ago

I must echo the previous comments. Unless you have a highly knowledgable person to view in your place who understands property, what rents well, can spot issues with a property & is competent to evaluate an area and what represents good value in an area then you’re playing Russian roulette with your money and your peace of mind. There’s also the difficulty of managing property at a distance. It’s perfectly doable if you engage an excellent full-management agent, but you can still get burned by a bad agent.
If I worked in London and couldn’t afford to buy there then I would certainly consider buying in Manchester, but only after spending many weekends here and many many hours of research first to understand the local market and make contacts within the local property market and suss out a good agent.

Personally I feel if you’re not prepared to travel for viewings then you aren’t prepared to travel on a regular basis to carry out inspections and keep your eye on your investment.

Property is a brilliant investment and you can significantly reduce the risks by taking an active role in your property management. It’s your money and no one else cares about whether you make or lose money other than you. Basically there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

Manchester Landlord

8:51 AM, 26th November 2018
About 2 weeks ago

I would say you almost certainly have to view a property before buying it. You need to understand the area pretty well before potentially getting involved for what could be years or decades ahead. Having said that, I find properties for investors in Manchester. I advise my clients to come with me to view a property once I have negotiated a deal before they commit to it. Although, lots of my clients (rightly or wrongly) will then trust my judgement once they have a couple of properties, and will not necessarily make the journey to view further purchases.


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