Farnham has always been close to my heart.
I have spent a number of years living there, I own buy-to-let property in the town centre and have a number of clients in and around the town. It’s a beautiful place and I believe it will continue to be a great place to invest in property.
The town has plenty of charm, taking into account the castle, cobbled walks, Farnham Park and riverside meadows. There is also a strong community.
With all of this in mind, I believe the town will continue to remain desirable for residents and investors.
Many residents want to live in a place that has plenty going on. Farnham offers this and can be compared with towns such as Godalming and Guildford for architecture and the general lifestyle.
For property investors, it also remains a great spot. With the desirability of the town being high, this creates demand for people wanting to move to Farnham. With its own hospital, large businesses in the area, an arts university and a direct link to London Waterloo, this attracts an abundance of tenants which means investors should get a choice of tenants if the property is priced correctly.
Farnham is known for its beautiful buildings, with many of them being Georgian. If you are investing in Farnham, the property you are buying may be more than 100 years old, especially if it’s in the town centre. This will not always be the case, but if so, it is worth considering a structural survey on the property.
If you take a mortgage on it, the lender will carry out a very basic valuation which is for their own benefit, not yours. If it comes back as acceptable, do not think this means that your property has been properly inspected.
If you feel that a full survey will give you the peace of mind that you need, ask your mortgage broker if the lender offers the option to upgrade the survey.
Alternatively, your estate agent may be able to put you in touch with a local surveyor or you can source one yourself online.
If you are buying a property for the long term and expect to have a family during your time in it, it’s important to research schools and find out which catchment area your property comes under. Depending on where your property is in Farnham, it may be that you fall slightly outside of the catchment area for the school that you would have picked if the process had been planned in advance.
Your estate agent should be able to advise you further on which catchment areas come under certain houses when you are buying one, although these are subject to change in the future.
If you are planning to buy a property as an investment property, consider carefully whether you want to manage it yourself or appoint a letting agent.
My advice would be to consider an agent, unless you are willing to learn all the regulations around renting out residential property.
There are constant changes and staying on the right side of the law with regards to contracts, obligations and deposits, and more, is fundamental. There are some great property managers around Farnham, so paying them a percentage of your monthly rent to know it’s being managed correctly will likely be worthwhile so you can get on with your daily business.
By Stephen Kerr