First time buy to let – North West

First time buy to let – North West

19:34 PM, 14th August 2013, About 10 years ago 15

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Okay readers. I’m a buy to let newcomer looking to spend approx £25k, hopefully on two BTL properties priced up to £50k, thus 25% deposit. First time buy to let - North West

I have considered Bootle in Merseyside and Rochdale/Oldham area with the new metro link.

Any thoughts as to where to find the best priced properties as I hear there are better places than the commonly advertised agents online?


Damian Sabino

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Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

19:43 PM, 14th August 2013, About 10 years ago

Hi Damian

Take it one step at a time.

How much reading have you done on this and other forums?

It's always better to learn from other peoples experiences than by making mistakes.

Rightmovtmove and Zoopla are good starting places when you are sure you are ready to start looking. Both websites have data on recently sold properties which is a great way to work out the maximum you should be paying once you've found something you like.

Talk to letting agents in the areas you are considering about what's always in demand. Be careful they are not also estate agents trying to sell you a property they just happen to have on their books though.

Avoid websites which tell you they can get you properties below market value, very few are not scams.

Don't buy two at the same time.

Read this series of articles >>>

and then read this series too >>>

Vanessa Warwick may also post some links to discussions on Property Tribes which are also very helpful for newbies.

That little lot should keep you busy for a while 🙂

Peter Hindley

20:01 PM, 14th August 2013, About 10 years ago

You need to factor in your legal costs & gas certificates etc. Plus any lick of paint or new carpets refurb.

You could then probably get 2 x £40k properties in those areas but they are a bit grim!

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

20:09 PM, 14th August 2013, About 10 years ago

We had another Newbie post very recently and a lot of good advice was given there too - see >>>

Also, I analysed a deal in your target area and price range a couple of weeks ago - see >>>

Vanessa Warwick

8:57 AM, 15th August 2013, About 10 years ago


Please forgive me if you have already undertaken this, but I think it is vital to make "tenant demand" your first point of reference when choosing where to invest.

In other words, find the demand before you go about creating the supply.

Too many novice landlords do it the other way round. They buy a one bedroom flat when there is a waiting list of tenants wanting 3 bed family homes.

If no one wants to rent your property, or it is wrong for the tenant demographic, then you are going to struggle imho.

Some parts of Manchester are over-saturated and also have a high proportion of LHA tenants. Is that who you are interested to renting to?

None of us can afford the cost of ignorance in property, so please take your time and do intense research before deciding where to invest.

My post "How to get started in BTL ... in 10 easy steps" was written precisely to help novice landlords avoid expensive mistakes.

I hope you get value from it and good luck on your property journey!


7:37 AM, 16th August 2013, About 10 years ago

Damian, your post indicates that you do not live in the North-West and don't know the market in that area. Far better as a BTL newcomer to choose an area that you know, and perhaps closer to home. Much easier to learn the ropes - then branch out once you have the 1st one under your belt. I have 2 properties in/near Burnley - which are doing just fine - but they are 325 miles from home!! I only bought them after a bit of practice closer to home. Sensible advice from other commenters. Good luck!

Damian Sabino

11:02 AM, 16th August 2013, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Vanessa Warwick" at "15/08/2013 - 08:57":

Thank you guys and Vanessa. I've taken on board your comments.. My next step is to identify tenant demand with a few agents I know, loosely. I am from the Liverpool area and though I don't live there anymore, I live in Chester, there appears less cheap property up my way and I understand the safest bro is terraced property, 2 bed at the moment. I had looked at apartments but am aware that whether let out or not service charges are often required and also it appears that new blocks spring up very regularly offering better deals and swisher accommodation than the last.

My idea is that cheap terrace property market is viable as there are lots of people (benefits or not) who 1) can't get mortgages or save deposits and 2) ceive benefits which even in these austere times of cuts in housing benefit payments, cover the cost of properties in the likes of bootle or possibly the south end of the city.

I did consider buying just one property for circa £100k with 25% deposit but was concerned that this would not be spreading the risk, hence my idea that I should buy two cheaper properties.

Additionally, I am so situated that I have contact with people throughout the nor west who sporadically are looking to rent relatively cheap properties in the areas identified.

The more I read the more I realise I don't know about this market but am looking at a long term plan 10-20 years not a quick profit and so want to make sure I don't dive in and hit my head on the bottom.... That said, I want to get on the bandwagon before its gone as I hear that property prices are going to rise, albeit steadily.


Peter Hindley

14:42 PM, 16th August 2013, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Damian Sabino" at "16/08/2013 - 11:02":

Hi Damian
If you work in Prenton have a look at Wallasey, Tranmere, or Rock Ferry for maybe a first one to "learn the ropes". Across the water then prices around Anfield & Goodison are cheap but beware that some are below the mortgage threshold.

Closer to home would mean Blacon but some streets need to be avoided. I haven't looked myself, but I'm told just over the border has some bargains with employment at Airbus etc.

Not sure if I am going myself yet, but the Chester PIN (Property Investors Network) is on Thurs 12/9. There are other PIN meetings in Liverpool and Manchester , as well as other property networking events locally. In my limited experience property people like to share.

Good luck!

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

15:36 PM, 16th August 2013, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Peter Hindley" at "16/08/2013 - 14:42":

PIN events can be good but for a newbie I do worry that they are swimming in shark infested waters. All too often they get suckered into spending their hard earned savings by falling for "get rich quick" courses - caveat emptor - when it comes to slick sales people oozing confidence, driving super-cars and wearing designer clothes. If they were all they made themselves out to be they could afford to run all of their courses for free if teaching others was their real passion and calling as most tend to claim. If it's not their passion or their calling then why do they bother? Why don't they just get on with making their millions doing what they tell others to do?

Tom Doolin

17:48 PM, 16th August 2013, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Damian Sabino" at "16/08/2013 - 11:02":
The best advice you are getting on here is "Read all you can and do your own due diligence". Only you can determine the level of risk you are comfortable with.
I have lived and worked in the Rochdale / Oldham area for over 40 years and know them both extremely well. If / when you identify a prospective purchase in either of these towns I would be happy to give a personal unbiased opinion on your chosen area.
I wish you the best of luck with your endeavour. I just wish there had been a "Property 118 forum" when I got started 17 years ago, I could have saved myself a lot of heartache and progressed much quicker.

Peter Hindley

21:52 PM, 16th August 2013, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "16/08/2013 - 15:36":

Good point Mark. I was thinking more of the interaction with other landlords with small portfolios. It is the anecdotal stuff, as Tom offers, after the number crunching has been done and looks promising.

I nearly bought a property but it failed the mortgage valuation. I found out a few months later that it was in a road notorious for being the base of so-called gang leaders. Adult serious crime not teens. You can only get this by knowing your patch or interacting with other investors or locals. Lucky escape for me.

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