Is it time to get your finances in order? Why not consider these five property financial resolutions?
1. Consider increasing your mortgage payments
With interest rates at record lows, now is the perfect time to reduce the amount you owe on your mortgage. If you can afford to make overpayments - even if it’s an extra £50 a month - you’ll pay off your mortgage quicker and reduce your overall interest payments. This could potentially save you thousands in the long-run.
2. Beat the buy-to-let tax changes
From April, buy-to-let landlords will no longer be able to deduct the cost of their mortgage interest from their rental income when they calculate a profit on which to pay tax.
While these tax changes will make life a little harder for landlords, it’s important to note that landlords who are basic rate tax payers or those without a mortgage will not be affected.
Furthermore, there are ways in which landlords can cut their interest costs - such as re-mortgaging. Buy-to-let mortgage interest rates have dropped dramatically in the last few years, so you’re likely to be able to get a much better deal in today’s market.
As London property prices have increased at such a rate in recent years, another money-saver would be to get your rental property re-valued. This will ensure your lender recalculates your LTV, and a lower LTV translates into a better interest rate and a wider choice of lenders.
3. Invest smartly
If you’re considering investing in property this year, make sure you buy in a hotspot area that is undergoing redevelopment or infrastructure investment. That way, even in a weak market it’s likely you will profit from strong rental yields and capital appreciation.
In London, we predict that areas in the outer Zones are likely to experience the best property price growth in 2017. View the 10 key areas tipped for house price growth next year.
4. Create a new income stream
If you have a vacant property or room within a property, Airbnb can be a great way of generating a passive income. Short-term rentals are also a good idea if you’re a landlord with a gap between tenancies, or if you’re away a lot and your home is often empty.
Hosting on Airbnb does take time and effort, so we recommend using an Airbnb management service that provides a range of Airbnb host services such as cleaning, laundry, guest communication and allowing for round the clock check-ins.
Are you currently saving for a deposit, a car or a holiday? If the answer is yes, it’s a smart idea to make a saving plan to ensure you reach your goal.
Firstly, take a look at your monthly budget and then subtract your necessary expenses like rent or mortgage repayments, food, travel and household bills. This will enable you to assess how much you can save each month - and where you can make cutbacks.
Robert Nichols is managing director of London estate agents Portico.