Gatehouse estates

Let to Buy

You may not have heard of ‘Let to Buy’, but it’s been around as a way of letting your existing home, to buy another, since the 1990’s. As the property sales market continues at a slow rate, more and more people are approaching letting agents for valuations, based on continuous lets for a ‘let to buy’ move.

There are many reasons to take up the option of ‘Let to Buy’. You may have to move with your job, you may need to move to a larger home because of a growing family, you may have specific requirements like the need for a garage to house your car. Whatever the reason, ‘Let to Buy’ could be the answer. One big advantage of ‘letting to buy’ is the possibility of getting a bargain on your purchase while riding out the current slow market on your sale until the market strengthens again.

Before we create a rush to our door, there are some factors to consider.
– If your property is leasehold, you will need to ensure you are allowed to rent out your existing property.
– You will need to have permission from your existing lender to rent the property out.
– You will have to inform your insurers for buildings and contents insurance.
The first step should be to have a rental assessment done. If your property rental value doesn’t match the amount required to make the move, it’s not worth going to the next step. Additionally, take advice from the rental agent about the ‘rentability’ of your property. Will it rent out consistently? Will the property rent for more with modest changes like re-decoration?

Having got a rental assessment, your next step is to get some professional advice from a qualified mortgage broker. Eligibility is dependent upon the proposed rental income on your current property being sufficient to cover the cost of your existing mortgage. Lenders offering this type of loan will usually exclude the existing mortgage from their calculations and offer you a mortgage for a new property based on normal income multiples. This means you can have two mortgages at normal residential rates, thereby avoiding ‘buy to let’ deals which often involve slightly higher rates.

Apart from getting you the home that you want, there are ways of reducing your tax bill. Think about using an agent to find and manage tenants. The fee will be between 10 per cent and 15 per cent of your rent, but the cost will be tax-deductible. Also, ask an accountant how to minimise CGT if you let your property for three years or more.

Professional, free, rental assessments are available at Gatehouse Estates Property Management in Godmanchester for ‘Huntingdonshire’ and Cambridgeshire.


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