A traveller's guide to investing in property | CPS Homes

A traveller's guide to investing in property

Boxing day photo by Erich Ferdinand on Flickr

Here at CPS Homes, we've recently finalised rental agreements with players from Cardiff City Football Club and, as a result, it got us thinking about how people who travel as part of their job find a place to live. In theory, travelling to a new place every two or three years might sound like an exciting way to make a living and, for many people, it could even be considered a dream job. However, constantly moving can be stressful and lead to challenges that people who don’t travel for work are unlikely to face. Footballers, for example, regularly move from club to club, both nationally and internationally, for varying amounts of times, but a job like this requires you to be flexible with your living arrangements, and to be able to move at short notice. The same principle can be applied to rugby players and other sportsmen, but also to people in other areas of employment, such as military servicemen (and women), who can also be required to move frequently.

Moving often is great to broaden your horizons and discover new places, new people and experience things you wouldn’t have if you had stayed put, however from an organisational point of view moving is really not that glamorous. Indeed the main issue is your living arrangements: you have to live somewhere when you arrive in your new location, and finding the right place – and deciding whether to buy a property or stay a tenant forever (or at least for the duration of your employment) – is always a challenge.

To buy or to rent?

In every property market there are two major options – you can buy or you can rent. Renting is a more attractive option to anyone who knows that they will need to move around a lot. Firstly, it is an infinitely more flexible arrangement to pay for the property on a month-by-month basis and, secondly, cancelling a rental agreement is a lot easier than trying to sell a property quickly and at short notice. However, renting can easily be dismissed by many as “throwing your money away” and this is when owning your own home really seems like the best option, especially as owning a property can be a significant financial investment in your future. So, if renting a property results in the inability to completely invest in the property market and generate capital, but owning a property means that you’re financially tied to one location, then what options are available to those who travel?

Buy-to-let investments: the ideal solution

Purchasing a property with the sole intent of living there for a short period of time is not a decision many migrating workers tend to make, in large part due to the fear of financial insecurity. Buying an investment property with the intention of renting it out, however, can provide capital gain and long-term financial security in addition to generating extra income in the form of your rental return. There are two ways of approaching buy-to-let property investment if you travel a lot: the first is buying a property purely as an investment to cover your own expenses, while the second involves buying a property you would be happy to live in. If you choose to purchase a property that you have no intention of living in, ultimately the aim would be to generate enough of a rental income to cover your own costs as a tenant while you travel. The latter, however, involves buying and owning a home, renting it out temporarily for the extra income while you travel, and returning to live there in the long-term. If you’ve fallen in love with a city – and a property - and know you want to go back, then why not take the plunge?

Of course, with both scenarios you need to make realistic decisions about your investment. Spending money on an expensive, tricked-out apartment in the heart of the city centre may appeal to you, but it is unlikely to attract many tenants on a long-term basis, whereas purchasing a family-friendly property in a nice community is likely to remain popular and reduce your property’s void period, resulting in a steady stream of rental income all year round.

At CPS Homes, our expertise covers a range of property services, including lettings and sales, and we also offer a property management service to landlords, which allows you to have as much or as little influence in the management of your rental property as you wish. Whether you’re looking to rent a property in Cardiff city centre in the short-term, buy an investment property in the buzzing student area of Cathays, or relocate here permanently, we are on hand to provide a high quality service you can trust. Contact us today to find out how we can help.

12 November 2014


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