In an economic climate that seems somewhat uncertain, one of the best ways to prepare for a fruitful financial future is to invest in property.
Of course in The Big Smoke, where the population is dense and the city views are immense, a luxury flat or apartment is likely to yield a good return on investment - simply put: in London, flats are the done thing.
But buying and running a luxury flat does come at quite a cost. To give you a better idea, let's use an average luxury London flat as an example.
A breakdown of service costs for a typical luxury London flat
First of all, according to a recent housing study conducted by The Sunday Times, a whopping one-third of management companies have increased their services charges within the last two years.
That said, here is an official breakdown of where the service costs on a luxury London apartment go:
Equipment maintenance: 12%
Ground Maintenance: 6%
Swimming pool: 5%
The problem is that although a vast amount of services are included in said charges, it's been noted that in many instances - and we're by no means saying all - while these types of properties lure people in with a combination of glam building and modest service charge, once the building fills up, the costs rise and sometimes, standards slip. These are costs and headaches that landlords don’t really need.
Of course, another crux of the luxury apartment world is the fact that you're usually tied to a leasehold, rather than being able to enjoy the freedom and flexibility of a freehold situation. Having a freehold gives a landlord more room to manoeuvre.
North Staffordshire landlords and family homes
Now we don't want to put a big downer on luxury apartments; in London especially, they have the power to offer solid returns and are incredibly sought after housing options.
In North Staffs too, we've seen a host of exciting developments pop up in and around The Potteries including homes suitable for mature students and young professionals alike. But with such an abundance of affordable town terraces, semi-detached options, spacious bungalows, and grand stand-alone houses available in amenable areas like Clayton, Penkhull, Seabridge, and Wychwood to name a few, your time, money, and effort may be best spent on these types of properties.
Unlike luxury apartments, these kinds of the home offer the freedom of the freehold, have the potential for excellent profit margins, and will attract a stable kind of tenant that will look after your property.
Young families especially are more likely to take on extended lets to offer their children stability as well as long-term proximity to schools and other critical local amenities.
On the whole, young families are focused on setting up a pleasant home for themselves and their children, meaning they will treat their properties as a haven rather than a stop gap. In return, you'll have a home that is self-sustaining - with help from the right property manager, of course - and less stressful to let in the long run.
With The Potteries recently being named as one of the country's biggest property hotspots, there's little doubt you'll enjoy a lovely return on a family home investment - and there's no better time to do so than now.
In summary, luxury apartments are great in many ways, but based on our personal experience, family homes may well make the best investment for the budding North Staffordshire landlord.