Property investors seek bargains and value for money

Buying property in the US has provoked a lot of comment on the property forums in the last week. Potential investors are keen to know if they can make money out of foreclosures and take advantage of the weak dollar.

On the totallyproperty.com forum there are a number of threads running on this subject, particularly from investors wishing to buy to let.

General opinion is that there are bargains in Florida and as the British in particular love to holiday in the 'sunshine state' then rental income is usually good. But Las Vegas is also mentioned as being an up and coming place to invest and it is also a popular tourist destination. Although one post suggested that most development property in LV is perhaps too far away from the Strip to benefit from tourist custom.

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For those looking for property in the US a number of threads recommend looking up Craigslist for the area you are interested in to see what properties should cost rather than take the word of developers, agents and rental companies.

Practical down to earth matters are often raised on the property forums, especially when investors are buying outside Europe and can't visit the area easily. One such issue is moving money to pay for property and for bills. Brazil is one country where it can be tricky according to a thread on the Channel 4 overseas property forum. Buyers have been paying Euros to a Brazil Homes through a Luxembourg bank account. Others say it is not easy to set up a bank account in Brazil.

There are some useful figures on this thread about potential rental returns and costs including taxes. But one thing is clear – buying off-plan in a country on the other side of the world is stressful. A lot of buyers are anxious about how well developments are progressing, seeking photos from people on the ground, and asking those visiting the area to report back. There are concerns when completion dates are moved back.

There is an interesting insight into the buy to let market on the singingpig.co.uk forum. A thread started by flatstomachfatwallet in January suggests that more and more people are entering this market and he believes they are pushing up prices. Constantly updated, the thread gives an insight into the thinking that goes into buying properties to rent at below market value.

On the surface there appears to be a lot of BMV properties around in the UK but a number of those involved in the thread advise against buying at the moment. Generally the advice from 'professionals' is to sit out the spring and summer and then look again at prices.

Once you've bought your property abroad then there are various options on how to furniture it. Most new developments now offer furniture packages. The value of these packages obviously varies from country to country. If you are buying a long way away then it is not easy to visit to buy furniture and be there for delivery.

The ins and outs of the various packages offered are covered in various forums. A nearby IKEA means that buyers opt to do it themselves. On the propertyshowrooms.com forum on buying in Morocco some find the furniture packages pricey whereas others think they are value for money.

When your property is furnished and ready for rental another new set of headaches can creep in. According to the forums too many investors believe that rental income will come on stream quickly and you can just sit back and enjoy the profits. But a chartered surveyor points out on the totallyproperty.com Spanish forum that a lot of work has to go into getting a reasonable return from rentals and there is a delay before the income stream gets going.

Brian Rowlands advises that investors also need to think about what their customers will want. 'I have rented many times in Spain and more often than not the owner has not thought about what their customers want,' he says. A golf course, swimming pool and good beaches are pretty essential, he believes.

Another point that comes up is making sure you have the right kind of mortgage as you cannot rely on rental income covering the mortgage in the first few years. Rowlands points out that if you opt for an interest only mortgage for the first few years then your outgoings will be less at a time when income is less.

Property investors seek bargains and value for money

Buying property in the US has provoked a lot of comment on the property forums in the last week. Potential investors are keen to know if they can make money out of foreclosures and take advantage of the weak dollar.

On the totallyproperty.com forum there are a number of threads running on this subject, particularly from investors wishing to buy to let.

General opinion is that there are bargains in Florida and as the British in particular love to holiday in the 'sunshine state' then rental income is usually good. But Las Vegas is also mentioned as being an up and coming place to invest and it is also a popular tourist destination. Although one post suggested that most development property in LV is perhaps too far away from the Strip to benefit from tourist custom.

For those looking for property in the US a number of threads recommend looking up Craigslist for the area you are interested in to see what properties should cost rather than take the word of developers, agents and rental companies.

Practical down to earth matters are often raised on the property forums, especially when investors are buying outside Europe and can't visit the area easily. One such issue is moving money to pay for property and for bills. Brazil is one country where it can be tricky according to a thread on the Channel 4 overseas property forum. Buyers have been paying Euros to a Brazil Homes through a Luxembourg bank account. Others say it is not easy to set up a bank account in Brazil.

There are some useful figures on this thread about potential rental returns and costs including taxes. But one thing is clear – buying off-plan in a country on the other side of the world is stressful. A lot of buyers are anxious about how well developments are progressing, seeking photos from people on the ground, and asking those visiting the area to report back. There are concerns when completion dates are moved back.

There is an interesting insight into the buy to let market on the singingpig.co.uk forum. A thread started by flatstomachfatwallet in January suggests that more and more people are entering this market and he believes they are pushing up prices. Constantly updated, the thread gives an insight into the thinking that goes into buying properties to rent at below market value.

On the surface there appears to be a lot of BMV properties around in the UK but a number of those involved in the thread advise against buying at the moment. Generally the advice from 'professionals' is to sit out the spring and summer and then look again at prices.

Once you've bought your property abroad then there are various options on how to furniture it. Most new developments now offer furniture packages. The value of these packages obviously varies from country to country. If you are buying a long way away then it is not easy to visit to buy furniture and be there for delivery.

The ins and outs of the various packages offered are covered in various forums. A nearby IKEA means that buyers opt to do it themselves. On the propertyshowrooms.com forum on buying in Morocco some find the furniture packages pricey whereas others think they are value for money.

When your property is furnished and ready for rental another new set of headaches can creep in. According to the forums too many investors believe that rental income will come on stream quickly and you can just sit back and enjoy the profits. But a chartered surveyor points out on the totallyproperty.com Spanish forum that a lot of work has to go into getting a reasonable return from rentals and there is a delay before the income stream gets going.

Brian Rowlands advises that investors also need to think about what their customers will want. 'I have rented many times in Spain and more often than not the owner has not thought about what their customers want,' he says. A golf course, swimming pool and good beaches are pretty essential, he believes.

Another point that comes up is making sure you have the right kind of mortgage as you cannot rely on rental income covering the mortgage in the first few years. Rowlands points out that if you opt for an interest only mortgage for the first few years then your outgoings will be less at a time when income is less.