Are you buying or being sold to?
You've just got off the phone and been dazzled with the latest buzzwords that are tempting you in to a purchase: Brand new LCD televisions, superfast broadband, gold plated beds and so on. The savvy amongst us are already clear that this is all gloss and has no depth. Investors that are being sold this are forgetting that the actual investment, once the TV gets a scratch on it, is the actual property.
Questions to ask to safeguard yourself
We have been asked on numerous occasions to sell student pods and student room investments to our client base, but when these deals come across our desk, we always ask these three questions:
- Why is this unit priced so much higher (in square footage terms) than the properties next door?
- Seeing as the property is overpriced, how am I supposed to sell it?
- Who am I going to sell it to, considering that there is no current secondary market?
The biggest concern of ours are points 1 and 3, as there is no legitimate answer to them. We should make it clear here that we have sold student pod investments and student room investments in the past, and intend on doing so in the future, should the right product come up. At the same time, we believe in pricing any product sensibly. The student room investments that are now being flogged by every man, his dog and agent (in the UK and abroad) is doing a major disservice to the genuine opportunities that are available to student property investors.
So... should you invest in student property?
Yes, there are legitimate opportunities to invest in student property, but before you sign on the dotted line, please, please ensure that you are not paying for an investment of which you will have no way to sell in the future. There is a crucial difference between an investment that you can sell on your own terms (student HMOs) and an investment (such as a student room) which you have very little control over. Don't make an investment you are going to regret!