Thursday, 1 December 2016

Penicuik buy to let advice for 2017

The Penicuik buy to let market has been quiet over the past few weeks. Sellers have not been keen to sell at levels that would be interesting to investment buyers, who lack confidence in the current market or bought earlier in the year to avoid LBTT changes. But some sellers have come to realise that unless they take action on their pricing they will not be selling this year.

If you do not buy now, the New Year will bring the usual inflated prices that come with the optimism of the turn of the year, even if it is not warranted. April then represents the next opportunity to invest if the first quarter does not deliver for sellers. In my experience April is always the first month that you can call the market for the year. If the first quarter has been strong, all will be fine. If it has not, it will be April before sellers react and start to take action to get sold.

Top Tips for Investing in Penicuik

Before investing, there are numerous things you need to research (including, but not limited to): cash amounts, mortgages and rates, fixed costs (such as service charges in flats), potential repairs and improvements, furnishings, gross and net yields, plus likely returns on capital employed.

Investing in new-build flats, old houses or purpose-built premises all have merit in different ways in Penicuik. It depends on your investment objectives, time frames and budget.

Penicuik is a great place to invest but you need to work out which area you are going to invest in which is, at least in part, determined by what sort of property and tenants you are looking for.

Size and Location

Two bedroom properties seem to be the most popular, houses OR apartments, with larger bedrooms better than singles. Good nearby transport links are also useful and gas central heating and double-glazing are becoming requirements for most tenants. 

However, three bedroom properties have grown in popularity. I am noticing more requests for three bedroom properties by Penicuik tenants; however the supply just is not there. I understand in most cases the yields are very similar to that of a two bedroom, but the initial cost is more for the larger property. However, you have fewer void periods with a larger three bedroom property and if you purchase at the right price the chance of growth will be greater than that of a smaller property.

As mentioned above, location of the property is vitally important in Penicuik. The main drivers are access to transport links, local shops and restaurants… local schooling can also be a factor.

Think carefully about the size and layout of the accommodation too. Most tenants will dislike small living spaces and odd shaped rooms.


The condition of property should also be considered. Tenants want dry, structurally sound properties in good condition (cracked fittings, marked walls, damaged appliances, grubby kitchens and bathrooms are all a turn off).

Think about the age of the property. The younger the property, the fewer maintenance issues you will have. If you purchase a character property, I would strongly suggest that BTL landlords have the gas and electric checks done on the property before buying. If problems are found, potentially, the cost of rectifying the issues could come off the agreed sale price.

A BTL property should look good from the outside (kerb appeal). If the inside is immaculate but the outside isn't you will struggle to get people through the door.

When Should You Buy?

So if you are buying to let in the next six months, it is worth getting out now and looking for those motivated sellers. Or you can keep watching the market (and this blog!) with a view to buying in April or beyond. There is of course the possibility that the economic news will be sufficiently good through the first quarter to encourage others to buy… then you will have to go with higher market values!

If you are looking for an agent that is well established, professional and communicative, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property.

Email me on or call on 01968 674601. If you are in the area, feel free to pop into the office – we are based at 6 Bank Street, Penicuik. There is plenty of free parking and the kettle is always on.

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