Should you buy a 2-bedroom house for sale?

We look at the advantages and disadvantages of this property type in detail and give examples of some 2-bedroom houses for sale. For anyone considering buying a 2-bedroom house, there are 4 main things to think about.

  • Location: It’s important to carefully assess the area and its demographic as this may affect the house’s resale value in the future. For instance, beware of buying in an area dominated by 3-bedroom homes as a 2-bed house may take longer to sell here. Look carefully at sold house prices for your location radius. The Land Registry compiles information on all residential house sale prices in England and Wales in a monthly survey.
  • Price: If your budget is limited to a 2-bedroom property type, think about opportunities for improving it. Properties matching this approach are usually older houses such as a Victorian terrace or a mature semi-detached house, which may offer scope for an extension into the garden if there is a generous plot, or a loft conversion.
  • Rental opportunity: If this is your priority, a 2-bedroom house may be a good investment in terms of yield (the annual sum you can expect in rent as a proportion of the property’s value), as they obviously cost less to buy than a 3-bedroom house. You should carefully calculate the precise amount you need to spend to make a viable return.
  • Character property: This always has appeal in the right areas; if a character 2-bedroom house for sale is ideally situated close to a town or city, there’s a good chance of future demand for it from professionals wanting to buy or rent.
2-bedroom terraced houses.

The advantages of buying a two bedroom house for sale

According to the estate agent and property developer, Tim Kampel of Box Property Solutions:

A two bedroom property is still a good option for a first-time buyer. The market remains strong and there are options for buying with a friend, renting out the second bedroom or using it as an office.

  • As house prices continue to rise, 2-bedroom houses are cheaper to buy and they are often seen as a stepping-stone house, allowing people to get onto the property ladder.
  • A semi-detached, terrace house, new build or mature house with 2 bedrooms may appeal to single people, couples, retirees, divorcees, home-share friends, and people downsizing.
  • If you buy in a good location, you may expect to see capital appreciation, for instance, if it’s in an area where young couples may want to buy a property as their first home.
  • A mature, traditionally built 2-bedroom house, whether terraced, end terrace or semi-detached, will usually have more square footage than comparable modern new homes, offering internal flexibility. There will generally also be more garden space, providing options for an extension.
  • The room layout may be appealing, for instance, a large kitchen may compensate for having 2 bedrooms.
  • A 2-bedroom property offers the advantages of costing less to buy, furnish and maintain and the potential to renovate in the future and add value.
  • A 2-bedroom freehold house may be a better option than a flat which would be leasehold and incur ground rent charges.
Traditional Victorian terraced houses.

Investment opportunities

If you’re buying as an investment and plan to rent the house out, investigate the best places to invest in buy-to-let property. Look at comparable rental houses and the average age range of people in the area. Think about whether there are jobs nearby that would generate a pool of prospective tenants, such as a hospital or major employer.

Having good transport links to a city or sizeable town may also ensure a supply of professional renters. A house in a good location can be given some luxury touches; setting it apart from the competition will make it a desirable rental.

If you’re considering investing in student properties, limit your area search criteria to relevant properties within walking distance of the university campus. Student property offers an attractive yield but requires careful management.

According to The English Private Landlord Survey, couples aged 25-49 are the biggest sector of private renters, so aim to buy a property that will appeal to this age range. Buying in a good location where growth is forecast may be a better decision than buying a bigger house in terms of maximising returns. With Generation Rent meaning that many young people will be unable to buy a home, the rental market for 2-bedroom houses is set to remain strong (Property Investor Today, 2019).

Calculate rental yield

While more rooms may mean more rent, consider the potential yield on your investment (this is calculated by assessing annual rental income minus costs associated with maintenance, and dividing this by the purchase price) as this can be more attractive on a 2-bedroom house as the purchase cost is less. Bear in mind that currently, the best yields are to be found in the north of the UK where house prices are lower.

Tenants tend to stay longer in a 2-bedroom property than a 1-bedroom house as they offer more flexibility (Buy Association, 2020), especially now that a home office is so desirable, and it could also be shared with a friend.

Traditional 2-bedroom terraced houses.

The disadvantages of buying a 2-bedroom house

  • It’s important not to buy a 2-bedroom property type in an area dominated by 3+ bedroom family homes as this may affect its resale value. In the suburbs or areas near to a good school, 2-beds may be less attractive as family space is the priority here.
  • If you are buying as an investment property, there will be a smaller rental pool in an area dominated by 3-bedroom family houses.
  • Selling the house in the future may take a long time in certain areas.
  • Retirees may reject a 2-bedroom house if it has two floors.
  • They may offer less space for an extension project than a bigger property with a more generous plot.
  • Today’s home office space requirement may limit its appeal to home and hybrid workers.
  • With the prospect of more people renting for longer, space becomes more of a priority and renters may prefer a 3-bedroom property.

The next steps

If you do decide to buy a 2-bed house for sale, it’s advisable to consider the following at the earliest opportunity:

  • Mortgage and protection advice from recommended providers. Make sure they are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
  • Legal expenses insurance.

On purchase consider:

  • Household insurance.
  • Rent protection insurance if you plan to let the property.

6 examples of 2-bedroom houses for sale

This deceptively spacious mid-terrace house for sale is on Netherhey Street, Oldham. Key features include a recently fitted kitchen and bathroom. It has an enclosed garden yard area and is within walking distance of local amenities and transport links in a popular area of the town. Home estate agents are looking for offers over £130,000.

If you’re looking for a beautifully presented home in a great area, this property at South View, Leeds could be for you. This terrace house comprises a hall, spacious living area, fitted kitchen, two double bedrooms, and a family bathroom. It’s for sale with Strike Yorkshire estate agents, with a guide price of £190,000.

This semi-detached house for sale is on Millcroft Avenue, Orrell, Wigan, Greater Manchester, and is ideal for a small family or first-time buyer. It’s ideally situated for local shops and a train station and is well-presented with a lounge, kitchen, shower room, rear porch and bathroom. Standing on a generous plot, there are front and rear gardens and a detached garage. Estate agents Abode are looking for offers in the region of £200,000.

This fifth-floor apartment on Goulden Street, in the heart of Manchester, is in excellent condition and has two double bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a balcony. Key features include access to a communal swimming pool, a 24-hour concierge, secure parking, and a gymnasium. There are 125 years left on the lease and the asking price is £270,000 with estate agents Yopa Northwest.

Key features of East End, near the popular village of Fairford in Gloucestershire, include a log burner, well-equipped kitchen, dining room, and a recently refitted bathroom. This terrace house has cottage-style gardens to the front and rear and a parking space. Estate agents CB Slade are asking for offers over £300,000.

This much-loved period home is in a desirable semi-rural location with great views. Common Lane, Binfield Heath, Henley-on-Thames is ideally situated, just five miles from Reading. It’s a deceptively spacious terrace house and the current owners have created an open-plan living room/dining room. There is also a bathroom, fitted kitchen, conservatory, driveway parking, and a 65ft rear garden. It has a guide price of £500,000 and is for sale with Tim Peers Estate Agents.

Would you buy a 2-bedroom house for sale?

If you have a view about buying 2-bedroom houses for sale in the current market, we would be interested in sharing it with our readers.

Please leave a message in the comment section below.

References

Property Investor Today. 2019. Does size matter for property investors? [Online]. Available here. (Accessed 22nd July 2022)

Buy Association. 2020. How many bedrooms is best for a buy-to-let property? [Online]. Available here. (Accessed 22nd July 2022)

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