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rental choice.

AGE can be a definite advantage when investing in quality rental property.

That's according to Mike Goddard, chief executive of lettings specialist Belvoir.

"From an investment perspective, period property can be compared to a mature wine," says Mike. "Like older wines, older properties are full of character and investing in them makes commercial sense because they tend to outperform new builds and enjoy above average price rises."

But Mike added new builds also have their attractions, with many investors keen on the fact that such properties are literally ready to go.

"Being able to rent out a property almost immediately is certainly an attractive proposition," says Mike. "Not everyone has the funds available to refurbish an older property or is able to wait several months before their property is ready to let and start earning income."

But Mike says that sometimes the easier property for agents to let is the well-maintained, well-equipped period property that has been finished to a high specification.

"Such properties are always in big demand and rarely stay on our books for long," he added. "If a landlord is looking to invest in a property that never sits empty, then the best bet is an older property."

Belvoir offers landlords the following advice:

Most tenants prefer properties which have character. New builds can often be identical but a period property has its own unique selling points.

Older properties can require a little more maintenance but landlords can save money in the long term if they handle minor DIY jobs themselves.

Older properties offer more space for the money and usually feature larger rooms and higher ceilings.

Strong demand for quality period conversions means that such properties will command a higher rent.

Older properties tend to be found in the most desirable locations.

Well-maintained older properties hold their value well and enjoy above average price increases.

Landlords have greater scope with an older property, allowing them to convert or refurbish it to meet local demand.

Many older properties have larger gardens, which are much sought after by families.

Built in storage such as airing cupboards, wardrobes and pantries are popular features found in many older properties.

Attics and cellars offer the investor considerable scope for conversion.

The latest features can easily be installed in a period property. Marrying tradition with technology will reap the biggest rewards for the buy to let investor.

"The beauty of a period property is its scope and flexibility," says Mike, pictured left.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Feb 7, 2008
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