The Hidden Costs Of Investing In Real Estate


If you are thinking of becoming a landlord and renting out a property for income, but have no idea about the costs involved then you may be surprised at just how much there is to consider, including insurance for real estate. More importantly, knowing what to expect in terms of the costs will put you in a much stronger position from which to make a success of your venture.

Buying the Property

Properties in the UK are far from cheap to buy; average house prices are approaching £300,000 and once you factor in the cost of buying the house, you could be looking at a whole lot more. If you need a mortgage, then the first big cost is a deposit and the bigger the deposit the better. You should look to have a deposit of at least between 10% and 20% of the properties price and so for an average house up to £60,000.

On a £300,000 house you will have to pay stamp duty of £5000, then there’s the valuation fee and the survey costing around £1500 and on top of that there are legal fees of around £1000, estate agents fees £3000 and an electronic transfer fee £50.

This comes to a grand total of £310,550 and so it’s important, when looking for a property, that you account for these hidden costs.

Preparing the Property for Tenants

Costs for the preparation of the property will differ greatly, depending on the size and condition of the house when you buy it. Making sure you have a pot of money to get any work required done quickly will mean you can get the property on the rental market quicker. As well as structural and cosmetic work, you’ll need to have a gas safety check (once every 12 months), these cost around £30. Other safety costs will include smoke detectors that cost as little as £8.

Normal buildings and contents insurance is not adequate for a rental property, but luckily companies like, provide bespoke insurance for landlords that covers buildings, contents and a range of other things, such as legal expenses, should you incur them.

Once the property is ready to let, then just make sure you have set aside some contingency money that you can use for repairs and replacements.

The Taxman

The final cost to you when renting out a property comes from the taxman and you will pay between 20% and 45% of gross profits to HMRC. Don’t forget however that there are several allowances that you can deduct before you calculate the final gross figure.

Being a landlord really isn’t all about costs, but being aware of these well in advance is a must, as it will enable you to set a competitive rental price for your property and at the same time ensure you aren’t left out of pocket.

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