Friday, 27 November 2015

Penicuik semi detached house buy to let opportunity


Today’s opportunity from the Penicuik Property Blog is a spacious three bedroomed semi detached house with a conservatory that provides extra living space at 26 Kirkton Bank.  Kirkton Bank is off Rullion Road so it is in a quality area of Penicuik.

The property, which has wonderful views over Penicuik, has a lounge, a consrvatory, a fitted kitchen, three bedrooms, a family bathroom and a separate shower room.  It also has gardens front and rear, a separate garage, gas central heating and most windows are double glazed.


This house is on the market with Allan McDougall for offers around £155,000.  You should get a rent of £800 for a house like this so that’s a yield of 6.1%.  Given that it is a quality part of Penicuik, that’s a reasonable return.

We hope you find our posts useful.  If you want some buy to let advice on this property, another property you have in mind or anything else property related, come and see us in our office (6 Bank Street, Penicuik), call us on 01968 674601 or email either of us (robert@thekeyplace.co.uk; linda@thekeyplace.co.uk).

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Will Penicuik party poopers bag a property bargain in December?


I was out with a landlord from Mauricewood last week viewing one of the properties featured on the Penicuik Property Blog that he was thinking about buying to rent out.  When we were chatting, he said that he was going to stop looking for buy to let properties until the New Year as December is not a good month to buy given that everybody was more interested in shopping and parties than properties in December. 

Well, that got me thinking. 

True, December is one of the quietest months of the year for house sales with only around 6% of Penicuik house sales being agreed in December compared to 10% plus in the peak Spring and Summer months.

However, this can be an opportunity to get a good deal.

Your bids look better

When other potential buyers are taking a break from property hunting to shop and party, a keen seller will be really happy to see you and a lack of other bids will make your ‘competitive’ bid seem more appealing.  This year it is a particularly good idea to carry on looking for properties while other potential buyers are distracted as, at the moment, property demand is outstripping supply so by hunting for properties when it is quieter and you stand a better chance of snapping up good property at a competitive price.

You might get a better mortgage

Another reason to property hunt in December is that with many people distracted by Christmas you are also likely to find mortgage lenders aren’t quite as busy as normal either. This means your application may be dealt with quicker and you could even get a better deal.
Lenders have certainly been competing harder in the buy to let market recently and many fixed rates and fees have been cut as a result.

In my experience, towards the end of the year many lenders are either eager to get business on the books before the end of the year so they can hit their bonus targets or to start building a pipeline of business to go towards next year’s bonus target.

Getting ahead

Finally, sticking with your search through the busy Christmas month can also put you a step ahead of the numerous new buyers who come to the market in the New Year.  Early January is a very busy time of year for the property market. After the Christmas lull, thoughts turn to plans and resolutions for the year ahead or have to deal with the consequences of break ups over Christmas, which in turn triggers more people looking for properties.

I looked on the property sales websites this morning and spotted that there are around 50 properties in Penicuik for sale at the moment ranging from 1 bedroom flats costing £70,000 to 6 bedroomed palaces costing over £550,000 and some of these properties having been on the market for over a year. 

I am not wanting to be seen as a party pooper but December can be a good month to bag a buy to let bargain and I am sure that you can multi-task and look for a property bargain in Penicuik as well as shop and party in December!

We would be delighted to be dragged away from our shopping and partying to have a chat with you and advise you about the Peniciuik property market in general or specific properties that you are looking at. We don't charge for that advice.  If you want some advice, phone us on 01968 674601, come and see us in our offices (6 Bank Street, Penicuik) or email either of us (robert@thekeyplace.co.uk; linda@thekeyplace.co.uk).

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

‘Easy’ buy to let Penicuik mid terraced house


After our mild Autumn, Winter is certainly upon us with this cold snap.  However, I spotted this new to the market, ‘easy’ buy to let property that will warm the heart of even the coldest buy to let investor!

Today’s opportunity from the Penicuik Property Blog is a spacious three bedroomed mid terraced house with a large conservatory that provides extra living space at 13 Assynt Bank.  Assynt Bank is within a mature residential area behind Tesco near the River North Esk. 

The property has been recently refurbished and is in excellent condition throughout including having a good quality kitchen and bathroom.  On top of that, it double glazing, gas central heating and a low maintenance garden.  Overall, it is truely in walk in condition which makes it an ‘easy’ buy to let property – all you need to do is buy it and it is ready to go on the market!


This house is on the market with McEwan Fraser for an offers over price of £124,995.  Given that the property is empty and part exchange is available on it, you should be able to negotiate a reasonable price on this one so let’s say it goes for £130,000.  The right tenants should pay £800 for a house like this so that’s a yield of 7.4%.  Given that it is an ‘easy’ buy to let property, that’s a good return.

We hope you find our posts useful.  If you want some buy to let advice on this property, another property you have in mind or anything else property related, come and see us in our office (6 Bank Street, Penicuik), call us on 01968 674601 or email either of us (robert@thekeyplace.co.uk; linda@thekeyplace.co.uk).

Friday, 20 November 2015

6.8% return on this Penicuik end terraced house


The weekend is almost upon us so I thought I would leave you with a property to have a think about over the weekend.

Today’s buy to let opportunity from the Penicuik Property Blog is a fairly standard spacious two bed end terraced house with an extra box room/study at 24 Lomond Vale in Penicuik.  The property, which is in fairly good condition internally, has double glazing although it only has electric heating.

Lomond View is a pleasant cul-de-sac within a mature residential area off the bottom of Meggat Place. 


This house is on the market with Stuart & Stuart for a fixed price of £110,000.  The right tenants should pay £625 for a house like this once it has been done up so that’s a yield of 6.8%.

We hope you find our posts useful.  If you want some buy to let advice on this property, another property you have in mind or anything else property related, come and see us in our office (6 Bank Street, Penicuik), call us on 01968 674601 or email either of us (robert@thekeyplace.co.uk; linda@thekeyplace.co.uk).

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Are Penicuik houses becoming a rarer commodity?



A buy to let landlord popped into the office last week saying that she had read my recent blog about the new flats that Miller are building at Dalmore Mill between Auchendinny and Penicuik and wondered whether she should buy one of them.  As an experienced landlord, she was less interested in the low maintenance nature of these new flats, rather she was thinking more about whether buying a flat or a house would be better.

I did a bit of research and it interesting what I found.

There are currently far more houses in Penicuik than flats.  In total, 82% of properties in Penicuik are houses (split 18% detached, 34% semi detached and 30% terraced) with only 18% being flats.  Interestingly Penicuik has a much higher proportion of houses (82%) than Scotland as a whole (63%) as the ‘Scottish as a whole’ figure is affected by the high proportion of flats in cities particularly Edinburgh and Glasgow.

However, the trend in Penicuik is to build more flats than houses.  Over the last 10 years more flats than houses have been built as 10 years ago 83% of Penicuik’s properties were houses and 17% were flats.  This trend is continuing if you look at the recent, current and projected building plans for Peniciuk overall.  The main developments include Midlothian Council’s building programme in, for example, Eastfield Drive, Jackson Street and Craigiebield Crescent, Miller’s development at Dalmore Mill and Taylor Wimpey’s planned development at Greenlaw Mill – overall more than 18% (the current proportion of flats in Penicuik) of properties being built in these developments are flats.

The trend in Penicuik is seen across the country where the current proportion of flats (32%) is more than double the level of 20 years ago (15%).


So more flats than houses are currently being built in Penicuik.  I believe that this trend will continue for a number of reasons:
  • The current housing shortage is only going to encourage developers to create more and more flats.
  • Institutional investors coming into the Private Rented Sector will be building on a big scale, and again, flats will most likely be their preferred property type as they can manage blocks more effectively.
  • The planning regime will encourage the change of use of office and commercial buildings into flats in city centres.
  • Councils are keen on high density flats as they can extract more council tax, therefore this might influence planning decisions. They also need to solving the housing shortage on a local level.
  • Developers are turning big houses into flats to increase their overall value.

I suspect that the reason we are building more flats in Peniciuk is more to do with what the builders want and the planning process rather than flats actally being the property of choice for people in Penicuik looking to buy or rent a property – most buyers and renters in Penicuik want houses rather than flats.  Given this, demand for houses should increase should increase as should both their sale and rental values.

Having this detail of information at our finger tips, allows us to spot trends in the local market, which then enables us to give the very best advice to our clients. We don't charge for that advice.  If you want some advice, phone us on 01968 674601, come and see us in our offices (6 Bank Street, Penicuik) or email either of us (robert@thekeyplace.co.uk; linda@thekeyplace.co.uk).

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Penicuik new builds .... the Penicuik Property Blog ventures there!


The properties that we feature in the Penicuik Property Blog are not mainly new properties as you have a better chance of picking up a bargain in ‘second hand’ properties.  However, new properties can be attractive to certain buy to let investors, particularly new investors, so today I am featuring a new build property.

Miller Homes as building flats at Dalmore Mill which is between Penicuik and Auchendinny.  Dalmore Mill was the home to Midlothian’s last remaining paper mill and stands in a hollow, on Glencorse Burn, near the North Esk River. 


The properties are bright spacious two bedroomed apartments with an open plan L shaped living and kitchen area with French doors.  Being new builds, they will come with a fully fitted kitchen, a fancy bathroom and all mod cons.  These properties also come with an allocated parking space. 


The 2 bed flats are on the market for prices starting at £135,000, let’s assume you buy one at £135,000.  Rents of new properties are harder to assess as they, or properties similar to them, have never been rented before but I can see you getting £625 - £650/month.  This gives you a yield of 5.6% - 5.8%.  This yield level is lower than normal for 2 bed flats in Penicuik due to the new build nature of the properties.

If you want some advice on this property, another property you have in mind or anything else property related, come and see us in our office (6 Bank Street, Penicuik), give us a call 01968 674601 or email either of us (robert@thekeyplace.co.uk; linda@thekeyplace.co.uk).

Friday, 13 November 2015

Time to negotiate hard for the Penicuik 1 bed flat


I have been tracking this flat for some time now and the eagle eyed amongst you will remember that I featured in on the Penicuik Property Blog in July.

The flat is being sold by our friends at Stuart & Stuart.  It is a fairly basic 1 bed flat at 4 Andrew Court in Penicuik, just off the Queensway, although it does have gas central heating and double glazing.  The description and pictures do not make it clear whether the bathroom has a shower or not so it would be worth checking this.  Also, the bathroom picture does not have a full shot of the WC so I am not able to see whether it has the tell tale sign of repossession – tape across the WC seat!  Again, worth checking this out.  Finally, the external picture shows that there is a defective communal down pipe and it is worth considering the difficulties landlords sometimes have in getting even simple communal repairs done.


The property is now on the market for a fixed price of £70,000.  It will rent for £500 which gives a yield of 8.6% based on asking price of £70,000.  However, as I said at the start, the property has been on the market since July so a cheeky wee offer may secure the flat for a lower price – a price of £60,000 would get you to an impressive yield of 10%.

If you want some advice on this property, another property you have in mind or anything else property related, come and see us in our office (6 Bank Street, Penicuik), give us a call 01968 674601 or email either of us (robert@thekeyplace.co.uk; linda@thekeyplace.co.uk).

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Penicuik landlords owe more than £47 million!


The Brits can’t stop talking about property. The hot topic of discussion at the posh dinner parties of Mauricewood, Broomyhill and Milton Bridge’s movers and shakers is the subject of the Penicuik Property market, but in particular, buy to let. These people are buying up buy to let properties quicker than an ace Monopoly player ...... or so it would seem if you read the Sunday papers. So is the buy to let market a sure fire way to make money?  Is it something everyone should be jumping into? Is it a sure fire way to make money? Am I asking too many questions? The answer is Yes and No to all those questions!

Firstly, the government gives tax breaks to landlords, as it allows some mortgage interest payments on a buy to let property to be tax deductible. Also, a landlord only has to flick through Rightmove or Zoopla, pick any property at random and agree a price. Then, find a modest deposit of 25% (often by remortgaging their own home) which for an average Penicuik terraced house, would mean finding £34,836 for the deposit (as the average Penicuik terraced house is currently worth £139,343) and borrow the rest with a low interest rate buy to let mortgage.  Finally, the landlord would rent out the property in a matter of hours for top dollar and live happily ever after, with the rent then covering the mortgage payments, with loads of money to spare and come retirement have a portfolio of property that would have quadrupled in value in fifteen years. Sounds wonderful – doesn’t it? Or does it?

Let us not forgot that the half of one per cent Bank of England base rate is artificially low. The international money markets can be fickle and if interest rates do rise quicker and higher than expected because of some unforeseen global economic situation, that monthly profit will soon turn into a loss as the mortgage will be more than the rent. Even though tenants are staying longer in their rental property, tenants still come and go and my guidance to landlords is they should allow for void periods, plus the maintenance costs of a rental property and of course, agents fees ...... all things that eat into that profit.

Interestingly, by my calculations Penicuik landlords owe in excess of £47 million in mortgages on buy to let properties.  An impressive amount when you consider Penicuik only has 0.04% of all the rental properties in the Country. It really does come down to a number of important factors going forward to ensure you are water tight for the future. A lot of my existing landlords are fixing their mortgage rates. One told me that Legal & General are currently offering a 5 year fixed BTL remortgage rate at 3.69% for 5 years (based on a 75% loan). I don’t give financial advice, so you must speak with a qualified mortgage advisor...... but that sounds very fair!

However, one thing I do know is that buy to let is a long term investment, it’s a ten, fifteen, twenty year plan and property prices will go down as well as up. You wouldn’t dream of investing in the stock market without advice, so why invest in the Penicuik Property Market without advice? We give bespoke detailed advice to our landlords to enable them to spot trends in the Penicuik Property Market before others, enabling them to buy better properties at better prices. For example, did you know that terraced houses are selling for around 0.3% lower than 12 months ago in Penicuik yet semis are selling for 5.4% more (with every other type in between). This means we can advise on which properties will go up in value better (or lose less if property prices drop), we can also advise which have lower voids and which properties have higher maintenance issues. 

Information on the local property market and ability to process it is the strongest asset we can give you. As Lois Horowitz, the famous author says, “Not having the information you need when you need it leaves you wanting. Not knowing where to look for that information leaves you powerless. In a society where information is king, none of us can afford that”. One place to find information on the Penicuik Property Market is the Penicuik Property Blog, where you will find many articles just like this. www.penicuikpropertyblog.com.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Myth or reality? 8.3% yield on Peniciuik 3 bed house


I spotted this property today that was new to the market yesterday ..... so it’s hot of the press to use old fashioned newspaper speak!

The property is a well presented, 3 bedroom mid terrace house in Carnethy Court that is being sold by Springbok Properties.  Carnethy Court is quiet crescent off Loanburn Avenue. There is plenty of accommodation including a good sized lounge, a fitted dining kitchen, 3 good sized bedrooms one with stairs up to a floored attic space that would be ideal for an office or teenager’s den, a bathroom, gardens and on street parking.  The property is in lettable condition and, by the looks of the photos, it has been well looked after. 


This house is on the market for offers over £105,000 with the sellers, Springbok Properties, saying that it is “attractively priced property to encourage a faster than average sale”.  Based on Penicuik norms, you would normally be looking at paying around £115,000 to secure the property which is a sensible price given the type of property and location.  Rent of £800 pcm is likely to be achievable on a property like this which gets you to a healthy yield of 8.3%. 

But, and it is a big but, I would recommend that anybody interested in this property has a chat with Springbok Properties to get an idea of the price they are looking for as my experience with them is that they put properties on the market at prices far, far lower than they are prepared to accept to increase interest.

If you would like any advice on buying a property to let, feel free to pop into the office at 6 Bank Street for a chat, give us a call 01968 674601 or email us on (robert@thekeyplace.co.uk; linda@thekeyplace.co.uk).

Friday, 6 November 2015

9.1% yield on Penicuik lower villa


Today’s buy to let opportunity is a new to the market 3 bed, lower villa on John Street just along from the Angle Park Garage corner that is being sold by Allan McDougall.  John Street is the main drag into Penicuik.

There is plenty of accommodation including a decent sized lounge, a fitted kitchen, 3 bedrooms (2 good sized double and 1 single), a recently refurbished bathroom, gardens and on street parking.  The property is in lettable condition and, by the looks of the photos, it has been re-decorated and re-carpeted as well recently. 


Doing the maths. The price is £99,000.  Rent of £750 pcm is achievable on a property like this which gets you to a 9.1% yield.

If you would like any advice on buying a property to let, feel free to pop into the office at 6 Bank Street for a chat, give us a call 01968 674601 or email us on (robert@thekeyplace.co.uk; linda@thekeyplace.co.uk).

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Could your Penicuik property save you from Pension oblivion?


If you were born in the late 1960’s or early 1970’s and you haven’t started to think about it yet, retirement is closer than you think. In fact the number of years you have left to work is less than the number of years you have worked. The basic state pension is worth £115.95 a week for a single person in 2015/16 (or £6,029 a year) and £231.90 a week for a couple (£12,118 a year).

As a household, could you live on just over £12k a year?

However, could the property you are living in save you from poverty when you reach retirement? You see, a regular income is vital in retirement, and the bricks and mortar you own in Penicuik could provide a way for you to finance life when you retire.

If you are in your 30’s, instead of saddling yourself with bigger and bigger mortgages, going from your first time buyer flat, to a terraced, to the semi and then the large detached house, you could instead keep your terraced or small semi, turning it into buy a buy to let property, let the rent pay the mortgage and then rely on capital growth to provide you with a lump sum when you sell the property and retire.  One of the biggest plus points of buy to let is what is known as leverage. To explain ... say you have a deposit of 25% and the value of the property rises by 3% a year, your gains in fact multiply to 12%.  However, if property prices drop, 'leverage' can be catastrophic, as losses will also be multiplied. Property values have dropped a number of times in the last 50 years, but they always seem to bounce back ... property must be seen as a long term investment.

Let me explain how leverage could work for you. If you had bought a Penicuik house in Spring of 1983 for £30,000, using a 75% mortgage and 25% deposit, (meaning your deposit would be £7,500). Today, that Penicuik property would have risen in value to £129,060, a rise of 430.2%. However, when you look at the growth on just your deposit, the rise is even better ... instead of 430.2%, we see a rise of 1,721% (remembering that the mortgage would have been paid off).
However, buy to let is not all about capital growth and in retirement, income is more important than capital growth, as rent is the key to a steady income.

So surely the best strategy is to buy those Penicuik properties with the high rents (when compared to the value of the property). These are called high yield properties in the buy to let world because the monthly return is so much greater. So surely they are the best in Penicuik? Possibly, but the properties that offer these higher yields (over 7% to 10%) tend to be in “not so nice areas” of Penicuik, historically they haven’t offered such good capital growth when compared to the city average, and have a higher tendency for void periods and such properties tend to attract tenants that have a greater propensity to be high maintenance.

Therefore, if a high maintenance rental portfolio wasn’t for you, another strategy could be buy a property with relatively smaller rental returns of 5% to 7% per year (i.e. lower yields), but in a more up market area. Properties such as these tend to suffer from less void periods (i.e. when there is no tenant in the property paying you rent) and they historically have had better long term capital growth when compared to the city average.

Every landlord is different and every property is different. All I suggest to you is do your homework. I am always happy to give advice and would be more than happy to talk to you so, if it would help, call us on 01968 674601 or visit our office at 6 Bank Street, Penicuik, EH26 9BG for further details.

Don't forget to visit www.penicuikpropertyblog.co.uk to view back dated articles and deals from the Penicuik Property Blog. 

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

A wee bit of modernisation needed for this Penicuik property opportunity


Good morning everyone, the sun is shining and the sky is blue .... isn’t Penicuik a great place! 

Now Halloween has passed, we are beginning to move into Winter when the property market can change a bit as less properties generally come on the market in Winter months.  

However, do not dispair, Winter can be a time to negotiate yourself a bargain as people selling properties in Winter are often keener to get them sold and can therefore be a bit more flexible on price so let’s all keep looking for bargains.

Today’s Buy to Let opportunity from the Penicuik Property Blog is a fairly standard spacious two bed mid terraced house at 5 Anne Street in Penicuik with gas central heating and double glazing. 

Anne Street is on the boundry between the Rullion Road and the Queensway parts of Penicuik.
 
The house is a wee bit tired, particularly the kitchen and bathroom, and so needs some work to make it rentable.


This house is on the market with Allan McDougall for offers around £110,000.  You may want to spend a bit of money doing the property up, let’s say £5,000.  The right tenants should pay £625 for a house like this once it has been done up so that’s a yield of 6.5%. 

We hope you find our posts useful.  If you want some buy to let advice on this property, another property you have in mind or anything else property related, come and see us in our office (6 Bank Street, Penicuik) or email either of us (robert@thekeyplace.co.uk; linda@thekeyplace.co.uk).