A leading buying agent in the UK says she’s increasingly seeing clients wanting to boost income from their biggest asset - their home.
Amanda Ake of Stacks Property Search says: “More buyers of all ages, from young families to the retired, are looking for properties that they can rent out on short term lets while they spend their time elsewhere.
“This may be for a lifestyle choice, enabling extensive travel; while for others it’s about generating income.
“Working from home is changing the shape of working lives allowing many of those who used to be chained to a 9-5 office routine to work from pretty much anywhere that has decent WiFi. Working from home doesn’t mean working from home, it means working from anywhere with functioning WiFi. Digital nomads are a growing and happy tribe.
“The options for homeowners are wide ranging. Some choose to do home swaps; some to head off in Campervans; while others may opt for an annexe in the garden that they move into when they have paying guests in the main house.”
She says that for some it’s about financing more extensive and lavish holidays; they’ll rent their house out and take the whole family off for the months of July and August.
Others whose children are at boarding school may want to keep the family home for the holiday months, but take off to warmer climes during term time, or pack themselves up into a Campervan and explore the UK.
She continues: “Age is no barrier; we’re talking to people both pre and post-family, and young, partially or fully retired. There are lots of buyers who are moving out of London, wanting a dream country home, but with the advantage of making some serious extra income when they travel.
“Buyers who are looking for a property that’s going to give them this flexibility need to be forensic in terms of getting the property right. It needs to be robust and easy to run. Creaky and quirky properties are likely to be a headache if you’re on the other side of the world when the roof starts leaking or the boiler gives up.”
And Ake gives seven top tips for choosing the right home in the right place.
- You’re looking for a property with two hats; first and foremost it has to be a good home, but it’s also got to tick the boxes that make it a good rental proposition. Ideally it should have something that sets it apart and is a good selling point – a plunge pool, or fishing rights, or tennis court. Something most people don’t have at home. (A swimming pool is likely to give you safety nightmares).
- Think about year-round appeal, not just the summer months. The safest bet is a Grade A location that guests can use as a base for exploring year-round.
- If you’re looking for a property with an annexe that you can swap in and out of, make sure it has separate access and separate outside space.
- Reception space is more important than large bedrooms, and you should aim for as many bathrooms as possible. Characterful and a good external appearance will help with marketing the property; but updated kitchen, bathrooms, and utilities such as boiler, heating system and log burners are essential for an easy life.
- Extensive storage will make your life much easier, allowing you to pack personal items away for the duration of the rental.
- Be realistic about the running and maintenance costs, and also about the number of weeks you’re likely to be able to find rentals. The holiday market is flattening out so crunch the numbers without being over optimistic.
- If you’re planning on being away, you will need a red-hot team to look after the property and handle changeovers. You’ll need to factor in around 20% for a full service.