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Property investment has grown enormously over the years, becoming a popular choice for investors. However there are many different options for developing properties, and knowing your target market is key to a successful return on your money. As well as offering homes to low income tenants or professionals, student property investment is a popular choice, due to the relatively low investment and increased rental income you can achieve through splitting your property up into individual rooms to let. But it is a good idea to follow a few simple steps, to get the most out of your investment.

The first thing to consider is the location. Location is paramount when it comes to any rental property, depending on your market, but particularly so for student properties. Research the area you are thinking about purchasing a property in, and ensure that you are buying in an area where students are already residing. You can also contact the local University and check which areas are popular with students, as well as arranging to become an accredited landlord with the University directly.

It is a good idea to have a property close to good transport links, and also have shops, pubs or takeaways nearby. All of these factors are great selling points when it comes to renting out your property to students, and the right location can also allow a higher rental income from the property. Students generally like to be close to town and their institution of study, as well as near their friends so take a look round the area to get a feel for how busy or accessible it is.

Although it may be tempting to purchase low cost items of furniture for your property, the chances are cheap flat-pack furniture isn’t going to withstand the wear and tear that comes with a home full of boisterous students. If your budget won’t allow new quality furniture, consider second hand at auctions etc, which is a better alternative to new cheaper options.

Keep your décor relatively neutral, but think about whether you would allow students to decorate their own rooms. This should be discussed prior to them signing a tenancy agreement, which should also outline your decorating policy. Although you are offering accommodation to students, don’t think you can offer cheap scruffy rooms – parents are likely to view the property for one, and although students themselves may not be too fussy, they will most certainly be put off by an unkempt property regardless of their search for cheap accommodation.

Ensure a good shower and washing facilities are in place. This will save you many repair trips, as well as reducing the cost as they are likely to be heavily used. Investing in quality appliances and furniture is a must if you want to reduce repair bills or regular replacement. However, as with any property you need to keep in mind the responsibility you have to maintain the property, both inside and out and ensure it meets energy efficient and building regulations.

by Cormac Henderson

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