How homehunting causes problems for couples: Property news roundup

Plus, renovate a former railway station, which properties landlords pick, and do you know your mortgage rate?

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The Independent Online

Two thirds of couples admit that their differences of opinion when looking for a new home lead to tension, arguments and even break ups.

Half the men surveyed by choose being close to local transport links as the most important factor when looking at buying a house. However, top of the list for women was the number of bedrooms (53 per cent) and proximity to local schools (35 per cent). CEO Michael Bruce said: "It’s interesting to learn about the different thought processes of men and women when buying a house, and to see just how much emotion the process can draw out of people."

Your chance to renovate a former railway station

This Grade II listed Victorian former railway station at Station Road, Rushton, Kettering, dates back to the middle of the 19th century and already has planning consent for conversion into a two-floor residential property. It was last used by the last station master and his wife, and now needs full refurbishment. Original Victorian character features include Gothic arched mullioned windows

It will be auctioned on 23 September at the Hilton hotel, Collingtree, Northampton

Most landlords invest in properties in perfect condition 

The most popular choice for landlords investing in a second buy-to-let property is a two-bedroom flat that requires no renovation, the most popular choice for two thirds of landlords expanding their portfolio.

The report from HSBC indicates that  landlords who buy a BTL property which needs no renovation get an average yield of 5.4 per cent, one per cent higher than those who buy a property that requires extensive refurbishment.

In the analysis of 10 UK cities, Liverpool and Edinburgh are the only ones where it makes more financial sense to buy a property that requires considerable refurbishment.

Peter Dockar, head of mortgages at HSBC said: "Ready-to-move-into properties are often the savvier choice for landlords looking to purchase additional BTL properties. Not only does this avoid the need for lengthy and expensive renovations, it can also result in higher yields in most areas of the country. While the initial purchase price will be significantly higher, rental returns are also improved, making monthly mortgage and maintenance costs more palatable."

Similar research by Countrywide shows that furnished flats in towns and cities give the best rental returns for landlords, with an 8 per cent premium for furnished flats and a 2.8 per cent premium for furnished houses when compared to their unfurnished counterparts.

Nick Dunning, Group Commercial Director at Countryside, said: "In city centre locations, most tenants now expect to be able to move into a high quality furnished property with minimal hassle and are willing to pay a premium to do so. The higher percentage of younger people living in city centres and the turnover of tenants mean tenants are less likely to have their own furniture and are keen to avoid the expense of moving it."

What is your current mortgage rate?

Just over 40 per cent of mortgage holders do not know what their current mortgage rate is, according to a poll by communications campaigner Keep Me Posted.

Two thirds of people with mortgages say they would prefer to be notified of a change to their mortgage rate by a printed letter - a similar figures say that a printed letter is most likely to prompt them into shopping around for a better mortgage deal. Five per cent would be happy with a text.