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Turning a family home into a student investment

Buying properties to let to students offers some of the highest yields on the market. If you are looking to move home, then rather than selling your house, you could consider converting your home in to a student investment. There are plenty of buy to let products that are available to enable a re-mortgage to raise finance against your home when it is let to students.

In heavily populated student towns such as Bath, Loughborough and Lancaster, students tend to head in larger groups to private rented houses after spending their first year on campus. A typical 3 bedroom terraced house with only 1 full bathroom could potentially be turned into 4 double bedrooms (or more) with potentially each tenant getting their own en-suite. It is not vital that en-suites are included but it could make your ROI higher and more appealing to prospective students.

4 Ways To Create More Space

  • Converting the front downstairs room (usually a living room) into a bedroom AND therefore turning what would commonly be a dining room into a communal living space with enough seating space – where possible include a small dining area
  • Knocking down the chimney breast – surprisingly they take up a lot of space (plus we don’t want to be burning fossil fuels anymore, so it helps protect the planet)!
  • Tanking the basement so it is waterproof, and turning it into a bedroom
  • Attic – conversion into a bedroom – this could mean constructing a dormer window or simply adding a velux window if there is sufficient roof space not to require a dormer.

Obviously, not every house is the same and they all have their own unique layout. However, providing there is enough living space per person, then having more bedrooms means more money for the Landlord. Mighty House are a sales, lettings and property management company based in Lancaster. They also specialise in the project management of refurbishing student investment properties for their student branch – Mighty Student Living. In Lancaster, one of their newly refurbished en-suite bedrooms will let between £115 – £117 per week. So, if there is a group of 6 students each taking a room at £117 per week and signing up for 48 weeks a year then the gross annual income is £33,698.

There are some minimum requirements to comply with fire safety and in some cases these will include provision of fire doors to bedrooms and kitchen and mains interlinked smoke detectors but often it is not much more onerous than this.

Expectations as regards to the standard of living accommodation for students are only getting higher – and rightly so. The houses are let furnished and modern furniture can make a world of difference along with care taken to layout rooms that feel good and make good use of space. It is attention to detail in the final fit out that is so important, and a little bit of thought and care goes a long way.

To make your investment more attractive to let you could include a tumble drier as well as a washing machine, plenty of fridge, freezer and cupboard space so all students feel like they can store what they require. Fast WIFI is also expected for studying purposes so this needs to be centrally located in the property, in order to reach every room. A nice touch would be to include USB points in the plug sockets and TV points in each room.

There is a small amount of work to create a property that appeals to students but help from a competent agent who can handle everything for you is possible. The additional monetary returns on investment often make this extra set up well worthwhile.

By Mighty House

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1 thought on “Turning a family home into a student investment”

  1. Colin

    Just a note of caution.

    Before purchasing a property to let please consult with an architectural technologist or architect on the viability of converting. An architectural technologist has the experience to ensure the layout is suitable and complies with the relevant legislation.

    I’m an architectural technologist and have seen first hand some of the mistakes people make, so please consult with the specialists before hand.

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