The recent rise in mortgage rates has led to a slowdown in the buy-to-let market causing many would be investors to look elsewhere. However, despite the larger initial deposits required, buy-to-let can still offer a savvy investor a consistent profit. The combination of cheaper property prices and rising rents mean that anyone who can muster up the initial deposit can take advantage of the best buy to let mortgages available.

If you are a first time investor then there are a number of things you can do in order to avoid many of the pitfalls that new investors experience. First of all make sure you understand the potential risks and benefits that the buy-to-let market provides. Remember, an investment is not simply a license to print money, there is some risk involved.

Here is a checklist of important factors to consider when looking for properties to buy-to-let.

• Make sure you choose an area that people would want to live in, for instance where there are good schools to attract young families.
• Know how much your mortgage repayments are and how much rent you can charge. Typically rent should be 125% costs.
• Consider who your target tenant is and what they would want from a home. For example a young family would require extra bedrooms, whereas a professional singleton would most likely prefer a stylish apartment.
• Be realistic. The stories about successful buy-to-let investors who have built huge portfolios and netted millions hit the headlines because they are exceptional, not because they are the norm.
• Don’t restrict yourself to one area. Look for the best investment, not just the one that is most convenient to your own home or in the same area as any other properties you own.
• Negotiate the best price. The market is tough for sellers at the moment. You can take advantage of this and get a better deal
• Investigate the potential downside of your investment. For example, what happens if you can’t remortgage or can’t find a tenant?
• Consider using a management agency. This will cut down on the time you spend managing the property. They will also have access to reliable plumbers and electricians should they be needed, as well as advertising and legal services.

Armed with these tips above, you should be better equipped to invest in a buy to let mortgage situation.