Buy to Let might have fallen from the headlines recently after its popularity during the pre-recession housing boom, but it is still an option for many investors.
If you are making your first move into this market it’s important that you make your property as attractive as possible to your target tenants. Here are our tips for decorating your property which can be tweaked to suit any budget:
- Decide whether you will be offering your property furnished, unfurnished or part furnished. This will partly depend on the property type – for example student lets need to be furnished and they have specific requirements such as desks in bedrooms. For other tenancy types it’s best to research the local market and see what’s standard for your area and if it’s cost effective for you to furnish it. For furniture, choose fairly neutral pieces but tailor them to the market. For example, if you want to make it more homely you could use French style furniture in a bedroom to create a feminine family feel.
- It’s the standard piece of advice for landlords, but keep it neutral. Tenants will want to walk in and be able to quickly imagine themselves living there, and styles or colour schemes which are too individual and daring can be off putting. Avoid white apart from in bathrooms as it can look too stark. Magnolias and hints of yellow add warmth without being over the top.
- Think about your target tenants. Young professionals? Couples? Families? Students? This will impact on your design choices. Students are more likely to appreciate interesting or personal touches, while young professionals in general will want sleek, modern décor which is stylish but also easy to maintain and keep clean. Families are more likely to prioritise comfort and practicality, and touches such as storage space.
- Don’t forget that when your tenants move out you will need to fully clean the property for the next inhabitants. Decorating your property with this in mind can save you a lot of bother down the line. For example, choosing silk finish paints will make your walls easier to wipe clean and is durable and less likely to be marked. Use mould and water resistant paint for bathrooms and kitchens. Good quality carpets withstand industrial cleaning better than cheap ones, but this will depend on your budget. It might be more cost effective to choose cheaper carpets and just replace them every few years. Remember – patterned carpets hide stains better. Wood or laminate floors which have a good coating on them can be cleaned easily but consider whether your target market will prefer exposed flooring or carpets. You might need to change mattresses and update bedroom furniture, so think about how easy this will be do to.
- Always make sure the property is sparkling clean for viewings and think about other ways to show off your space and fulfil its potential. If you have a small room, putting in a mirror is a simple way to open it up and increase the light. If you have the budget to add a couple of fairly neutral decorations, such as a picture or wall hanging, and you think this would be appropriate then do it. Tiny touches such as putting a toothbrush holder in the bathroom can make it seem more hospitable and welcoming.
If you are looking for inspiration for a child’s bedroom and want to do something a bit different, this may give you some inspiration…..how about a treehouse in the bedroom?
This unique example from the blog ‘the slow life’ bu Juli, and it was designed and made by Juli and her daughter as her daughters first bed.
We think this is fantastic and as the article says, it’s not just kids that want to sleep in it!!
DIY and Interior Design
When you move into your first home, the first thing you really want to do is put your own stamp on it and give it a little of your own identity to turn essentially what is a house into home that you feel comfortable in.
In order to make your mark in terms of the décor and features there are two key areas that need to be considered – DIY and Interior Design, both with their own differing points to consider.
Here is what the DIY Doctor himself Mike Edwards has to say on the first of these topics:
“The best and arguably most useful advice that we give to DIY’ers and first time buyers is to practice!”
“Many construction and DIY tasks can look easy when observing a tradesman going about his business but what many casual observers neglect to consider are the years and years of practice, experience and fine tuning of a given trade that allows a skilled individual to make a job look easy”
“For anyone to attempt bricklaying or plastering with no prior experience and expect to get a decent finish first time is impossible so what we suggest is to buy a few extra bricks or an extra bag of plaster and find a space in your garden and just practice, practice, practice”
“By doing so you can in most cases quickly learn many of the common issues and pitfalls you may experience during a certain task and with a little thought and possibly some research overcome them…..”
To read the above article in full please visit the Door Deals blog.
Cast iron radiators have an old world charm that is bang on-trend. What is more they may be more environmentally friendly than they first seem.
Although they take longer to heat up than modern radiators but because they are excellent conductors with more mass of metal they give off heat better and longer than other types of radiator.
For more information on cast iron radiators, their pros and cons, with tips on where they are best used, then visit our Cast Iron Radiator project. See also how they can be given a modern twist with hot new paint effects.
DIY Doctor are really pleased to introduce our customers to Paladin Radiators who stock an extensive range of cast iron radiators, from the functional to the decorative, and they even have an electrical model. You can have any colour finish you like and we are particularly fond of this hot pink model.
Paladin Radiators - Custom colours
Paladin Radiators is a family run business set up by MD Helen Proctor, whose passion for interior design and renovating period properties led to her realisation that removing the original cast iron radiators and replacing them with modern radiators actually made a less efficient and more unsympathetic system in these older properties.
They work with English Heritage and National Trust, but they are also updating their range constantly so check out their website to find a product to suit your project and create a practical design statement on budget.
If you feel like being a bit creative and you’ve got some small pieces of furniture or picture frames you’d like to give a new lease of life to, you could try the art of decoupage.
Decoupage involves applying a collage of images to the surface of an object and is very effective on items such as boxes, frames, trays or small tables. Our new project on decoupage tells you all you need to know, from collecting your images and deciding how you want to decorate your item, to preparing the surface and actually applying the pictures. It talks you through what glues and varnishes to use and how to get a good finish to your piece.
Decoupage is great fun and is an easy way to transform accessories for the home or to give as presents, and you don’t have to be artistic to have a go!