There are a wide range of opportunities for buying investment property which should satisfy anyone looking to make an investment in property.

When buying investment property you could buy a second home or holiday cottage. This you can rent out throughout the year – albeit with some blank periods – and at the same time watch the value of the property rise over a number of years. You could also use the property yourself for a holiday when it’s not being rented out by other holidaymakers.

An increasingly popular method of buying investment property over recent years has been to invest in buy-to-let properties. These are properties in towns or cities and rented by locals who can’t afford to or don’t want to buy their own property to live in. As a buy-to-let landlord you hope to maximise your rental income by renting out the property for large chunks of time at once – a minimum of six months, and you hope for much longer. Your rental income should cover your mortgage outgoings and other expenses to bring you a net income, and, of course, the property should go up in value over a reasonable number of years.

Popularised by a number of television programmes, buying investment property that is need of renovation or redevelopment has also become a well-known way to make money in recent years. The theory here is that you buy a property in need of repair or modernisation, do it up, dress it up and sell it on for a nice profit. The dangers are that your renovation budget will be stretched so much that it will eat into your profits, and the time taken will also be “dead” time when you still have to make mortgage repayments on the property with no income from a tenant.

Another way of buying investment property is to buy off-plan.
This is where you literally buy a property from a plan, before it is finished, possibly before it’s even been started. You would look for healthy discount on the purchase price so that you can maximise your profits when you sell on. Buying investment property off-plan overseas has also become popular as the initial investment is often a lot less, though the purchase process can be more complicated.

Investing in commercial property is another way of buying investment property, where you buy a property and rent it out to local business. Such premises can include offices, shops, warehouses, factories. Commercial tenants tend to less hassle than residential tenants, and they stay longer and review rents more often.Buying investment property can also involve buying a business with the property. For example, when you buy a bed and breakfast property or even a hotel, you are buying the property and the business that goes with it. You might end up with a bigger property than in other circumstances but, of course, you will have to share it with other people.

Another way of buying investment property is to buy freeholds of large buildings divided into units. These can be cheaper than other property, but might only yield smaller ground rent from leaseholders.

When you buy at auction you are buying investment property at a cheaper price than when sold at an estate agents – or at least you hope you are. You may end up with a bargain, and the process is quicker, but the adrenalin of the auction room can tempt you to go beyond your limit. This is not for the faint of heart, and experience can teach you a lot.

Whatever way you decide to go about buying investment property, you should understand your reasons for doing it, and be clear about what you want to achieve. Indeed, with some of these options, be aware of what you’re getting into.

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