How to Buy the perfect Edinburgh self-catering apartment
Where to start?
People regularly get in touch with us and ask for advice on buying property for self-catering and short lets in Edinburgh. So what’s the most important thing to consider when investing in a self-catering holiday let?
Our ‘Advice for Owners: A Dickins Guide to Letting’ will give you a more general and don’t know where to start. Where should they buy, what kind of property lets well, how should it be equipped? So, we’ve decided that it’s time to share our knowledge and write a series of articles about buying the perfect Edinburgh self-catering apartment.
Location, Location, Location
As Kirsty and Phil would say, location is definitely key. The location is the number one consideration when buying an apartment as an investment. Like any other city in the world, Edinburgh a variety of areas that are suitable for rental properties. You should always try and buy in as prime a location as you can afford, as the best locations are the most desirable and, therefore, the most resilient in times of trouble. However, if you don’t have knowledge of a city like Edinburgh, it’s easy to get it wrong.
Guests that come to Dickins in the search of an apartment often have an area in mind. Whether they are looking for a holiday let for a week or so or for a short term corporate let for a few months, alongside price, location is the major deciding factor for them.
Where’s Hot and Where’s Not……?
So, where in Edinburgh is best? Should you be looking in the Old Town or New Town, East or West?
Obviously, we are biased, but we think that the centre of Edinburgh is as beautiful as a city gets. The architecture in Edinburgh is stunning and there’s so much to see and do. With the majestic Edinburgh Castle taking pride of place as the city’s focal point, our guests often prefer to be a short walk from Princes Street. Visitors love staying in central apartments and because Edinburgh is a small city, it’s possible to walk almost everywhere and take advantage of the brilliant shopping and dining scene that Edinburgh is famous for.
At Dickins, we like our self-catering apartments to be a 20-25 minute walk from Princes Street.
The demand for locations does vary throughout the seasons in Edinburgh. During the Edinburgh Festival and Fringe in August the Old Town, Southside, Pleasance, Lauriston and Bruntsfield are all in high demand, and we take on a lot of properties purely for this period. Throughout the rest of the year, The New Town and Stockbridge are the most sought after.
Where’s Best to Invest?
Dickins let apartments on a short-term basis across Edinburgh but how do those areas differ?
When people think of Edinburgh, they often think of our Georgian New Town with the elegant wide streets and graceful crescents. As our Georgian New Town is so sought after and covers such a large area, we’ve split it into two parts; The Central New Town and The East New Town and Hillside.
The Central New Town encompasses most of Edinburgh’s beautiful and enviable Georgian New Town. Central New Town highlights include George Street, The National Galleries on The Mound and Queen Street. In addition, the commercial art galleries around Dundas Street, independent shopping on Thistle Street and a leisurely stroll along streets like Heriot Row and Great King Street are popular attractions. Residential property in Central New Town mostly consists of Georgian apartments and houses, although there is the odd modern apartment too.
East New Town and Hillside is the Central New Town’s stylish younger brother. Still featuring Georgian architecture, the area encompasses Calton Hill, Broughton Street and Gayfield Square – all highly desirable Edinburgh locations.
Local resident, Peter Irvine, of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay fame, christened the area ‘The East Village of Edinburgh’.
The West End and Dean is another popular area. The Victorians created the West End of Edinburgh and aimed to create a bigger and better Georgian New Town. Highlights include St Mary’s Cathedral, Stafford Street and William Street. while the charming Dean Village is as delightful as it is historic.
Residential property in the West End and Dean is a mixture of grand Victorian apartments with high ceilings and smaller, charming apartments in Dean Village.
Stockbridge is a much-loved area one of our most popular areas throughout the year. Highlights include The Water of Leith, which runs through the area, some gorgeous little independent shops, a superb selection of restaurants and cafes and a weekly farmers market guaranteed to delight any foodies in the area. Inverleith Park and The Botanics are only a short walk away while the New Town’s George Street are just a fifteen minute away. Residential property in Stockbridge ranges from grand Georgian townhouses to charming smaller tenement apartments.
Inverleith is Edinburgh’s greenest area with an abundance of wonderful outdoor space. Highlights include the spectacular Royal Botanic Gardens and Inverleith Park – perfect for a walk with the dog, a morning run or a jaunt with the kids. A great area for families, Inverleith offers A regular bus service runs along Inverleith Row and into central Edinburgh. Residential property in Inverleith ranges from Georgian apartments to the modern development in Powderhall.
Old Town is the oldest area of Edinburgh with an incredible history. Highlights are too many to mention but include; a wealth of world class tourist attractions like Edinburgh Castle, The Camera Obscura, The Palace of Holyroodhouse and The National Museum of Scotland; fascinating ancient closes to wander down and explore; historic bars and great restaurants and Edinburgh University. The Old Town is always busy but becomes busier than ever during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in the summer. Residential property in the Old Town is mostly smaller apartments in and around the closes off The High Street.
Fountainbridge is an Edinburgh area which is on the up. Highlights include The International Conference Centre (EICC); One Spa in the Sheraton Hotel; movie nights at The Filmhouse and The Cameo; a relaxed brunch at Loudon’s. Residential property in Fountainbridge is a mix of modern new builds and traditional smaller tenement apartments and popular for corporate lets.
Lauriston & Bruntsfield is one of Edinburgh’s most loved area, with good reason. Highlights include a chip and putt on Bruntsfield Links which is one of the world’s oldest golf course; delicious cake from Peter’s Yard, Falko and Lovecrumbs and leisurely shopping in the independent boutiques along Bruntsfield Place. Residential property in Lauriston and Bruntsfield is a real mix from very high-end modern apartments in the Quartermile Development at Simpson Loan to traditional Victorian and Georgian apartments.
Marchmont is another of Edinburgh’s much-loved areas. Highlights include: a stroll, run, kick about or picnic on The Meadows and brilliant food shopping on Argyll Street. The Meadows is very popular over The Edinburgh Festival. Residential property in The Meadows is mostly in Victorian tenements.
Southside & Pleasance is a busy, vibrant city centre area. Highlights include: Edinburgh University has many buildings here: delicious food in many small independent world food restaurants; antique hunting on Causewayside and Summerhall, Dovecot Studios and The Festival Theatre. This area is the main hub of The Fringe in August and so in the summer, apartments are very popular here. Residential apartments in Southside and Pleasance are a mix of Georgian and Victorian apartments.
How to Buy the perfect Edinburgh self-catering apartment
If you’re in the process of buying an apartment that you plan to let for short term rentals or if you already have a property and would like to have a chat about property management, please get in touch with our property guru, Nicky. She can be contacted at the office at 0131 558 1642 or email her on [email protected].