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Newbie targeting short term holiday lets in Edinburgh

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Hi all. It’s a pleasure to have found you all here. I’m an Edinburgh-based property investment newbie. I’ve enjoyed, and still do, a career in the public service and am lucky enough to earn a decent salary. But at 47 I’ve have recently had the epiphany that unless I find a way to significantly supplement it, I won’t have the options, lifestyle and security I need for my family in the years ahead. I have a long standing interest in property. I’ve renovated a number of my own properties and run a successful interiors blog. But I’ve never before had the capital, knowledge and confidence to take the leap into investment. Thanks to @robert dix I’m ready to start. I have a high level strategy - to take £70k equity from my family home. Using mortgages I want to buy an Edinburgh city centre property for short term holiday lets which will be fully managed. I also plan to buy a couple of buy and holds in Aberdeen (I’m originally from there and know the city) where yields look solid but capital growth could be strong. To scale up I’ll save the rental incomes and remortgage to reinvest asap. So, how to start....


Focusing on the Edinburgh property first, my initial action plan looks like this 

(a) speak to letting agent for advice about demand/rates/occupancy etc. 

(b) with that intel appraise the viability of the project in principle and start identifying possible properties  

(c) get along to the Edinburgh property hub meet up (6 Sep)

(d) source an accountant - need advice about whether to buy through company wrapper before I can start offering on properties

(e) find broker to get finance in place 


Writing that down makes it seem like I have a clear plan but I confess to feeling a little overwhelmed at this stage. Does that sound right for making a start? Does anyone have any suggestions about how to source the right accountant/broker or recommendations? Is local knowledge or investment specialism more important? Any other comments or advice about getting started also welcome. Thanks folks.  


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Hi Fiona,


Tthe Edinburgh short lets/Airbnb market is really quite saturated now and flats are going for well over asking. I have good friends who own a beautiful, newly renovated flat in an excellent location (you can see the castle from their flat), it is fully managed and they are Superhosts on Airbnb...their property comes up on the 4th or 5th page when you search their STREET on Airbnb and their occupancy is not what you would expect. £70k is a limited budget for buying and kitting out a holiday rental, especially in Edinburgh-there is so much competition that you need to be on top of your game with furnishings and excellent facilities. Edinburgh City Council are a lot more dubious about the future of short term rentals, which is also something to watch out for. Sorry if that was a mega pessimistic post, feel free to message me as I have some experience with FHLs.  I also hold a couple of properties in Aberdeen and agree that there are some bargains to be had (if the city recovers)!


Kind regards





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Hi @kirsteenb. Many thanks for taking the time to comment. Your feedback is very much appreciated and has given me food for thought. I’ve lined up some chats with letting agents in the city and will see whether they give the same note of caution (though I will bear in mind their vested interests!). Thanks for the offer of experience sharing too - so kind of you. I’ll drop you a DM. 

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Hi Fiona,


Kirsteen's response is spot on. But, in my mind there is always room for a quality product with quality service. I know letting agents who would not recommend you short letting through them as you'd lose money due to the limited time they'd be able to spend marketing your property to make enough to cover your bills, maintenance, cleaning and commision. On the other hand if you manage yourself, on a daily basis and have a flat in a good area, decorated to a high standard you can still perform well. It is definitely tougher now than before and as Kirsteen says the rug could be pulled from under our feet by the council soon so have a plan B & C ready for your property.


I'll be at the meet-up tonight so can chat there with you about your other questions :)




PS I'll be next to the buffet

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