Are you not crazy about the stock market because of the risks? And you don’t like the classic savings account any more because its interest is so paltry and poor? Then buying a house to let can be a crisis-proof alternative for your savings.
Below you can read more about the advantages of this form of investment.
We then highlight three different options for buying a house as an investment.
We also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these three options. In this way, you can discover which form suits you best.
On this page, you will also learn about the financing possibilities and the minimum equity required to buy and rent a house.
Table of Contents
- 1 Advantages of buying a house to let
- 2 Buying and letting a house – How much personal contribution?
- 3 Three options for buying a house to let
- 4 Take care of the letting yourself or have it done for you
- 5 Paper real estate such as real estate bonds or shares
Advantages of buying a house to let
As an investor, you may want something without too much risk. No stock market turmoil and as little fluctuation in valuation as possible.
Investing in real estate, such as buying a house to rent out, fits perfectly into this picture.
Some characteristics of real estate as an investment alternative are as follows:
- Crisis-resilient investment
- Low risk compared to the stock markets
- Tax incentives (possibly supplemented by significant subsidies in certain cases)
- Liquid investment market and easy to resell
- Interesting financing conditions (interest rates on loans are still low)
- Smart financing of investment properties possible (alternative financing of real estate is also possible)
- Alternative to the weak savings rate. Due to the low interest rates on savings accounts, people are looking for alternatives. Nowadays, more and more people understand that rental income provides a better return than a traditional savings account with a savings rate of less than one percent.
Buying and letting a house – How much personal contribution?
It is often wrongly thought that one needs to have EUR 150 000, 200 000 or 250 000 to make such an investment in real estate profitable.
Fortunately, however, the reality is different. You’re probably wondering now how much of your own money you should have at least…
Well, you certainly don’t need to overestimate the required input either!
In fact, you can acquire full ownership of a house to let from as little as EUR 50 000 of your own funds.
This is possible because you can then finance the rest of the purchase price with the help of an additional loan.
Examples of offers where you can participate with 50 000 euros of your own funds are the following:
- Swedish rental properties [AVAILABLE SOON] with a carefree annual rental yield of 7%
- German real estate as an investment with rental security
- Buy French second home with secure return as investment property
- Recreational real estate with rental guarantee and minimum entry yield of 7%
Remark: You have to be professionally active and you have to receive a salary to be able to apply for funding.
This minimum amount of own funds certainly does not have to consist only of savings. So what you can also use as your own input are:
- Accrued capital in group insurance as employee or manager
- Pension capital
- Reserves in your company (applicable to the self-employed, entrepreneurs and company directors, but also to family holding companies and patrimony companies)
- Asset portfolios (with shares and bonds)
- Savings insurance
- (Partially) paid off property such as your sole and own home that can serve as collateral
Depending on your wishes (positive cash flow from day one versus positive returns in the medium to long term), the amount of your own contribution can then be assessed.
This is always tailored to your needs and specific financial situation.
Three options for buying a house to let
Buying a new house and letting it out
The advantages of buying a newly built house to let:
- In most cases, there are no unexpected costs to the property. This ensures a stable return.
- Immediately rentable so instant return on investment.
- New is new, it doesn’t get any better than this.
The disadvantages of buying a new building to rent out:
- For new buildings, only limited subsidies are available (in contrast to renovation, which is much more attractive in this respect)
- The purchase price may be higher than the price of a renovated house.
Buying and letting a renovated house
The advantages of buying a house to let that’s renovated:
- Substantial subsidies are sometimes available, giving an extra boost to returns.
- Provided that you purchase from a legitimate, specialised construction company, there are few, if any, unexpected costs associated with the house.
- You buy renovated, so you will not experience any renovation stress yourself.
- Often, the purchase price of such a property is somewhat lower than the price of a similar house that is newly built.
- Directly rentable and therefore direct return on equity (such as the offer of German real estate as investment with income guarantee and the offer of rental property in Sweden [AVAILABLE SOON])
The disadvantage of buying a house to let that’s renovated:
- It can be dangerous if you buy from dishonest companies or do-it-yourselfers with poor construction knowledge. Always choose a partner with a solid reputation. Be sure to ask to see some renovated properties. Preferably a recently renovated property and then also some properties that were renovated, for example, five years and/or ten years ago. In this way, you get a good idea of the level of finish, the durability and the degree of finish. “Seeing is believing” must be the motto here.
- You can’t get your hands dirty. You are buying a fully finished, renovated house.
- The furnishing of the renovated house is done by the construction company.
Buy a house to renovate and then rent it out
The advantages of buying a house to let that has not yet been renovated are the following:
- If you search well, you can get bargains. A public sale, a newly divorced couple in dire need of money, a bankruptcy, and so on. Sharp buying is certainly possible.
- If you are handy, you can do a lot of work yourself. In this way, you save a lot of money in terms of hourly wages for professionals.
- You are free to furnish the house however you like. You have the maximum right to decide how the house will be furnished. Ideal for those who like to be in control.
The disadvantages of buying a house to let that has not yet been renovated:
- It takes an enormous amount of work and preparation.
- Brings stress and has significant impact on your life (both professionally and privately, such a DIY renovation project is not to be underestimated).
- Dangerous in cost budgeting if you do not have enough experience in the construction industry.
- No immediate return on your investment (there can easily be an eight-month delay between the time of purchase and the first rental income)
- Bad choice if you can’t deliver an acceptable level of finish as a do-it-yourselfer. Half-assed work will be detrimental to the appreciation of the property later.
- It may be that you are buying a property with hidden defects. You might find out later that there is a water leak under the floor tiles, for example.
Take care of the letting yourself or have it done for you
Apart from the type of house (new construction, renovation or yet to be renovated), it is also important to consider the rental itself.
Specifically, you have two options for buying and renting a house:
- Rent out the house yourself,
- Outsourcing rental and property management
The issue of hands-on or hands-off investing in real estate is important to consider!
It can save you a lot of stress and headaches in the future. This is not insignificant, as it determines your quality of life and sleep.
Play the role of landlord yourself
Performing the tasks of a landlord yourself is the cheapest. But at the same time, it is also the most stressful and time-consuming.
As a landlord, you have to deal with different types of tenants… So think carefully about what you want. Do you want to invest actively or passively in real estate?
Do you want to build a property portfolio passively or actively?
In other words, do you want to become a passive property investor or an active property lessor?
Outsource rental and management
Do not underestimate the management of buy-to-let properties! You have a lot of responsibilities and tasks and getting rich in real estate is an illusion.
Is being constantly on standby for your tenant(s) nothing for you? Because you don’t want any additional headaches or stress?
Or because you already have a busy family life? Perhaps you spend a lot of time abroad…
Passive investment in real estate may be the right choice for you… This can be done in various ways (see below).
Using a real estate agent
There are always exceptions, but in general the fee for finding a suitable tenant is one month’s rent (excluding VAT).
At first glance, this seems a lot. But you get guidance, service and peace of mind in return.
The tasks of the real estate agent include:
- Screening of the solvency of the potential tenant(s)
- Drawing up a property survey (paid for half by both parties)
- Checking that the rental deposit is in order
- Recording meter readings
- Registration of the lease
- Transfer of utilities
- Provided with all necessary mandatory information
- Mandatory mention of special issues such as location in flood zone, whether the property is protected, etc.
- Conducting publicity in accordance with the law
Constantly changing legislation makes it increasingly difficult for private landlords to meet all their obligations.
Buying a house to let and outsourcing the rental to a real estate agency can therefore be a solution.
We also call this using the bronze rental guarantee.
Examples of ready-made buy-to-let properties with bronze rental guarantee are:
- Investment property in Brussels for sale in a prime location – Tenants with purchasing power and all-in rental service by the building developer
- Swedish rental property as an investment [AVAILABLE SOON] – Scarce opportunity with tax benefits
- Luxury real estate in Montenegro [AVAILABLE SOON] – New building on top location and variable return depending on occupancy rate
Opting for rental guarantee by a building developer
Buying and letting property without worries… Is it a dream or is it possible?
Good news, investing in real estate with a rental guarantee is indeed possible.
Please note: There are various types of rental guarantees for investment properties, so be sure to do your due diligence!
There are also building promoters who offer a carefree rental guarantee in the form of guaranteed rental income for a certain period (the silver rental guarantee).
This is turnkey investment property that enables passive investment in real estate.
This means that through such an investment you can earn passive income from real estate. Without having to suffer the consequences of your investment as landlord…
Are you interested in this? Then check out the following offers:
- Investment properties in Germany as a completely carefree investment with guaranteed return and all-inclusive stewardship + rental service
- Real estate in Germany as a savings plan with attractive returns
- German real estate as investment and carefree real estate investment (including rental guarantee, syndicate and professional management)
- Buying a house in the United States as a property investment with contractually guaranteed rental income
Opt for rental guarantee and advantageous personal use
Buying a property to let can also be done in cooperation with a building developer who, in addition to a rental guarantee, also offers advantageous own use.
In other words, you can use your buy-to-let property yourself for x number of weeks per year at a low price.
Through this formula, such a building promoter offers you a watertight rental guarantee and professional guidance and rental service. In addition, you are entitled to x number of weeks per year of private use (free or at preferential rates).
We call this watertight rental guarantee the golden rental guarantee!
And it is the pinnacle of passive real estate investing in a carefree manner.
In other words, you can outsource the rental and get a watertight rental guarantee from the promoter.
The icing on the cake is a fantastic benefit in kind in the form of advantageous own use for x number of weeks a year.
The following offers fall into this category:
- Buy a second home in France with up to 8% return per year (with an investment horizon of 10 years) and 2 weeks free private use per year (including access to luxury resort facilities: golf, spa, water park, swimming pools, indoor playground, etc.)
- Recreational real estate as investment property with up to 8% return (on investment horizon of 5 years), invest from EUR 17 230
- Holiday home in Samos for sale in a luxury resort in Greece
- Flats for sale with rental guarantee on the Costa del Sol [AVAILABLE SOON] in Spain
Are you interested in other investment alternatives besides effectively acquiring full ownership of a property?
Then you will find plenty of inspiration on the following pages.
We are sure that you can find something that suits your needs and risk profile:
- What to do with 10 000 euros of savings? [AVAILABLE SOON] 15 options in a row
- What to do with 50 000 euros of savings? [AVAILABLE SOON] Discover numerous investment opportunities here
- What to do with EUR 100 000 in savings? [AVAILABLE SOON] Tips for generating passive income
You can find out more about alternative investment methods via the pages above.
For example, consider investing in loans or investing in property bonds, shares, packaged investment funds or consider investing in property funds.