How to choose the right property investment

Buying a property as an investment is very different from when buy somewhere to live yourself.

Of course, both things do have a lot in common because they are essentially about finding the right place and then making the purchase.

However, when you want to rent out a property to make money there are so many things to consider that simply don't apply when buying a home for yourself.

In this article we'll let you in on some of the secrets successful landlords use to find the right investment property and point you in the right direction so you can follow in their footsteps.


As with most things involving buying any type of property, the first thing to do is identify your own priorities.

If you were buying somewhere to live in yourself you would be thinking of how many bedrooms you'll need, if an en-suite would make life easier or maybe how a home office could be a great addition to your home.

When it comes to choosing the location, nearby schools might be high on the list, likewise access to shops or amenities. The exact opposite may even be true if your dream of a semi-rural getaway is your idea of new home heaven!

These things all still apply when it comes to buying a property you intend to rent out, but often the conclusions you come to will be very different.

Return On Investment

If you’re a landlord already you'll be familiar with the term 'return on investment', usually shortened to simply ROI. If this is the first time you're dipping your toes into the world of owning property in the rental sector then it's something that you quickly need to get to grips with.

Essentially ROI is all about how much money you make in relation to how much you spend.

Any type of financial investment you ever make will be done with the idea of getting more money back that the amount you put in.

This could mean putting a lump sum into an ISA or similar long term 'safe' account with relatively low interest, or being more risky and buying stocks and shares in companies that might give you a much bigger ROI - but also run the risk of losing the lot!

It all comes down to your own reasons for investing, as well as your character and 'risk profile'.

Capital Growth

Being a landlord is a business like any other, so the idea is to turn a profit. However, there are different ways to do this and the ones you prioritise will come down to your own unique circumstances

We all know that it's great when you buy somewhere in an up and coming area where a few years later asking prices have soared. Likewise, a wrong choice could leave you with a property that falls into negative equity, with the mortgage ending up being bigger than the price you could sell for.

So the amount that you pay for an investment property and the value it might have whenever you decide to sell are one big element in the decisions you make.

If you're in it for the long haul, it's a relatively safe bet that no matter where you buy prices will go up over ten, fifteen or twenty years.

However, if you're looking at getting a return on your investment on a much shorter timescale, then you'll be more interested in concentrating on achieving an income from high monthly rents than you are from the capital growth of a property’s value.


Even though the rental sector shows little expectation of significantly slowing down any time soon, if you want to get a tenant to pay rents at the top of the scale you'll need to invest in the kind of property they want to live in.

As well as being in a good location, this also means offering prestige style accommodation with all mod cons.

However, that doesn't mean you have to fit a 48 inch HD TV or luxury high end furniture. Whether you choose to let a property as furnished or unfurnished is yet another choice you have to make, at whatever level of the market you decide to invest in!


An 'unfurnished' rental might save you money on furniture, beds, dining tables and the rest but it will still involve an outlay. You’ll need to make sure that fixtures and fitting such as kitchen appliances, heating systems, flooring and window coverings are all in place and to certain standards.

In contrast a fully furnished rental will essentially provide a 'straight out of the box' new home experience, meaning a tenant should expect to be able to move in, unpack bags and get on with enjoying their new home.

This means a bed in each bedroom, seating in communal rooms and a much more detailed list of things like a TV, kettle, cutlery and crockery, lamps, coffee tables, bookcases and so on.

The rent on unfurnished properties is expected to be lower than on a furnished property, so the choice you make as a landlord will have an effect on your ROI. It's an early example of getting your priorities right and working out exactly what you want to do.

Short Term / Long term

As well as choosing an investment property based on how you want your ROI to span out over time, another short term / long term decision involves what type of tenant you want to have.

Targeting the ideal person you'd like to rent your property raises some obvious questions - can they afford the rent? Will they look after the place? Will they get on with the neighbours?

You’ll also have to decide whether you'd prefer a tenant who might be looking to put down roots and stay for a period stretching out over the years, perhaps a family with young children looking for stability in terms of attending local schools for instance.

Or you might prefer to aim for a more regular turnover of tenants - perhaps investing in an area with a university and a never-ending supply of new students year after year.

These choices all factor in to the type of property you should buy, the area, the furnished/unfurnished aspect - everything must come together in a unique way for each landlord.

Be A Pro

That's quite a lot of food for thought isn't it?

So, we promised to tell you how successful rental property investors get the answers they need and the solutions they're looking for and the answer is easy - they use professional help.

That's where we come in. Using our lettings property finder service means you can filter your property search to fit in with your own aims and requirements.

When you buy your investment property you can then take advantage of our letting management services too - get in touch and find out how we can be your investment property partner for life.