If you are a landlord and are frustrated by the continuous rise in interest rates when all you want to do is start or expand your property portfolio, taking out an interest-only mortgage could be the answer. Many seasoned landlords choose this option when investing in property, even during the good times when mortgage interest rates were ultra-low.
Demand is incredibly strong
A survey conducted by paragon of 700 buy-to-let landlords found that 67% reported tenant demand over the first three months of 2023, up from 65% for quarter four of 2022.* Rents are increasing all the time, and one of the main reasons for this is rising interest rates. As a landlord, this will most likely be your biggest expense.
What is an interest-only mortgage?
Just as the title suggests, you only pay the interest and not the capital on an interest-only mortgage. At the end of the agreed-upon term, you must pay off the entire balance owed. Because you are only paying interest, your payments will be much cheaper compared with a capital repayment mortgage. Some landlords choose to sell their property to repay the outstanding balance.
So why choose an interest-only mortgage?
- Increased profit: if your payments are lower, there is far greater scope to make a profit from your buy-to-let business. This also gives you stability and lowers the price of your overheads, which could be less than half of that when repaying a capital and interest mortgage.
- Overpaying: while it’s possible to make overpayments on an interest-only mortgage, this will typically only reduce the amount of interest outstanding on the mortgage. If you choose to do this, your profit will increase further, giving you more options to expand your portfolio.
- Your property’s value: in the long term, property increases in value. It’s not an absolute guarantee, but if you look into the past, despite short-term rises and falls, property values have significantly increased. This is not expected to change in the future. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that at the end of the term of your mortgage (or if you sell up half or part way through your investment), there will be a profit between the capital outstanding balance on the amount you owe your lender and the selling price of your property.
- You can develop and improve the property: with more profit to plough back into your property, you can develop it. This will add to its value, ultimately increasing how much rent you can charge. And when it’s time to sell up and move on to bigger and better things, you will achieve a greater return on investment. The greener you make your property, the more rent it could fetch while future-proofing your investment.
- Security: preparing for the unexpected is a sure way to protect your investment. And by choosing an interest-only mortgage with fewer outgoings, you are already in a better position should the unexpected occur.
- You can always change mortgages in the future: as you become more seasoned as a landlord, you may devise a strategy so that you own your buy-to-let property outright. There is nothing stopping you from changing your mortgage type after a few years. And in the meantime, use the profit you make with an interest-only mortgage to use as a deposit, reducing the cost of a capital and interest mortgage.
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