I am 28 years old, I have 2 kids, a 28 year old fiancé and 2 pets. As far as young families go, our little unit fits the criteria perfectly. When it comes to renting properties, we know exactly what we’re looking for, and there’s quite a list. Having rented quite a few flats and a house, I’m in the position to advise on what it is that young families actually look for when renting a property. And, by a happy coincidence, that also means I know exactly what landlords can do to make their buy-to-let properties more attractive to young families.
Housing Locations Are Important
The location of your buy-to-let property is arguably the most important aspect to consider. For young families, it is likely, for at least a portion of the time, that one of the parents will stay at home while the other works. In my case, I’m the stay at home parent who is left without a car to get around in. Therefore, a location that is within walking distance of good schools, bus stops or train stations, convenience stores, and parks is an important factor for young families to consider.
Buying a property that is within walking distance of local schools will maximise the chance of a young family wanting to move into your buy-to-let property.
It’s likely that a young family will want to remain a tenant of yours for longer than other demographics you may encounter. Therefore having good transport links and good schools within walking distance will maximise the chances of having a young family move into your buy-to-let property.
If you’re investing in a buy-to-let property that you’re planning to target towards young families, a garden is a must.
The second most important thing when searching for the right property for us was the size and quality of the garden.
Having a garden is an absolute must if you’re planning to attract young families. A good grassy area is best, although it is important that you highlight the maintenance of the garden when talking to your potential tenants. Young families with children are more likely to enjoy a grassy garden than one that’s fully paved, although if you invest in a buy-to-let property that has a small patio in the garden, then you are getting the best of both words and pleasing both adults and children alike!
Some landlords charge a little extra to cover the cost of garden maintenance, whereas others leave it up to the tenants to look after. Whilst looking into ‘extras’, landlords will need to make sure they’ve got good insurance to ensure their investment is protected. Compare landlord insurance to find one that suits your needs and covers whatever life, or your tenants, may through your way.
If you’re not interested in attracting a young family to your property, I’d avoid buying a house with a garden. They are a lot of extra work and if it isn’t likely to be used by the tenant then it may not be properly maintained either.
Present your buy-to-let property well – don’t fill it with knick knacks to make it look “lived in”.
Obviously you want some finishing touches to add that lovely ‘homely’ feeling to your property when showing potential tenants around, but don’t be tempted to go over the top.
A few simple items will suffice, don’t go over board with knick knacks and colourful cushions in an attempt to make it more appealing to tenants. When a young family is viewing your buy-to-let property, they are looking around with the view of making it somewhere they can grow and flourish together. They want to look at your property and imagine themselves living there with all their own items and items of furniture.
Buy all means, if you’re hoping to rent your property out furnished (we’ll come to that next), feel free to throw some bedding onto bare beds – no one wants to see a pre-loved mattress with no bedding on it! Borrow some scented candles from your own home to help create a warm, welcoming atmosphere and stick to neutral colour schemes when it comes to soft furnishings.
For young families, unfurnished properties are more appealing.
When preparing your buy-to-let property for viewings, it’s important to know the type of tenant you’re looking for. Whereas professionals may be looking for a sleek and furnished place to live, young families will be looking to move their own furniture into the property.
There’s a good chance that young families will already have beds for their children, maybe those long-promised bunk beds, or the bed shaped like a race car, so the simple, off the shelf bed you might provide would be unnecessary and unwanted. The same goes for all other items of furniture; you families definitely prefer a blank canvas to work with and make their own.
Space, space, space!
Families have a lot of stuff – that just goes without saying. There are hundreds of toys, loads of towels and bedding, bulky vacuum cleaners and so much more. When looking for a buy-to-let property geared towards young families, ensure that there’s enough storage space for families to be able to keep their belongings at hand, but out of sight. A big under the stairs cupboard is perfect for storing the vacuum cleaner, a spacious airing cupboard is perfect for those bulky towels and duvets and having a lot the is accessible will entice young families with sentimental items that need storing.
When it comes to buy-to-let properties, landlords have a lot of factors to consider. Not only does the property need to be in the right location, but it needs to have the right amount of space.
Traditionally buy-to-let landlords have bought flats, however, as a mother I can assure you that getting a mortgage in today’s climate is much more difficult than it used to be. Renting houses is a must for us until we can purchase our own home. Houses offer more space, gardens, better storage and lots of other factors that haven’t been mentioned here (for example, a place for storing bikes and tools).