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  • Deal Finding

    Newbie needs guidance to get started ...

    Hi there, I have a potential area(Darlington) where I would be interested in getting my first buy to let for a single family.

    Considering that I live in Sutton (Surrey) how would you go about arranging views and finding potential deals for what I am looking for?

    I am open to other locations, it’s just that while researching I found Darlington being affordable to begin with.

    Another obvious question which I feel the need to ask, if I am to work with a deal sourcer what are the things to look for to make sure that he/she is a professional one?

    Thank you all
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    Hi Alessandro,

    Welcome to the tribe.

    I must confess, I am concerned to hear that you are buying remotely and, even buying through a deal sourcer, the risks are massively amplified.

    Have you visited Darlington?  There are reasons why properties are cheap.  How have you ascertained tenant demand?  If no one wants to rent the property or you can only rent to LHA tenants (tenants in receipt of housing benefit), then the risks and hassle are even greater.

    I am afraid, that, in my opinion, you need to go back to square one.

     I always recommend starting out buying close to home. 

    My advice would be to go onto rightmove, put in your home postcode and gradually extend the search radius until properties start to appear within your price range.

    I would then do due diligence on that area and source a tenanted property - see the video below about how that could mitigate your risk of buying remotely.



    Be aware that deal sourcers are often people who have been on a training course but have little experience.  There are actually professional deal sourcers, who are properly regulated, on every High Street .... otherwise known as estate agents.  You would be far better off working with local agents to find you a suitable property than paying an unregulated person a fee imho.

    I hope those ideas help for starters?

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    Hi Vanessa,

    thank you so much, it really helps.

    I feel a bit lost in starting this journey but I am determined to go through it as I have very clear objectives ahead.

    Aside from your valuable suggestions is there anything else I can do to gain more confidence and feel more comfortable?
    I have attended few property free courses and although I gained some valuable information most part of it was not property related with the usual ending that involved paying for a more structured course.

    I have a broker already (used to buy the property I live in) and I guess that’s a start.

    Looking forward to your reply.


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    Hi Alessandro,

    Have you checked out the council fees you will pay if the house is not rented?  You do need a good letting agent if you are determined on buying a property so far from home. You should also consider ensuring the property is well presented. Speak to local letting agents to find out who your likely tenants will be and to get a feel on how long it will take you to rent it out. Also, talk to trade people and start identifying those that are reliable. Most importantly  take out an RGI. Good luck.
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    Forgot to add, visit the property at least once to see it for yourself. Hotels are relatively cheap in Middlesbrough. You can stay in Middlesbrough overnight and then carry on to Darlington. Also, I think there is a company you could send to view a property on your behalf but I have never used them so cannot comment on their service.

    As per finding deals, let the estate agents know how much you are looking to pay for the property before you visit the property. If you like what you see online, call them to find out if any work whatsoever is required, if you are happy with what you have seen and heard, make them an offer and see if the seller seller accepts. If it is accepted, then go and view it. Explain to the agents that is a long trek for you hence your  making the offer before viewing. Some are very understanding and will let the seller know of your offer, others are not but you got to try.

    If every letting agent says no to the above then book to see a number of properties for one visit. Maximise the one visit. Good luck
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    What value properties are you thinking about? Darlington is a bitty missy place get wrong steeet and you have travelers racing horses up and down street good luck you will need it, but where you know
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    My advice is to buy something local to you.

    Search on rightmove, put in your town, set your budget +20K and see what you can find. If there isn't anything then widen the search area and keep widening it until you do find a property.

    Don't be hellbent on buying a house, flats rent very well to young couples.

    Avoid: ground floor flats on a busy street opposite a petrol station, new flats with high service charges and ground rents (service charge under £100 pcm and ground rent around £10/year is reasonable), flats in high rises (keep it 3 floors max). 

    Rent out to a hardworking young couple.

    There, you have a winning formula.

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