Of all the asset classes available, property management seems to be the most popular and fertile market, especially for Australians. Property investment is about owning and maintaining a property while you rent out the home to a tenant who’s rent will ideally cover most of the mortgage repayments. While the market may fluctuate, there is always value in property and a way to time the market to get the best purchase and resell price.
Today we are going to look at 10 tips for first-time property investors.
1. Understand Property Depreciation
Not every country, city, suburb and street are going to grow at the same rate, and some areas might even depreciate in value. Use a property depreciation calculator to play with some hypothetical figures so you can start to understand how this may impact your property investment. Ideally, this will not happen with your first investment, but having clarity over the impact you can sustain and what that would mean to your cash flow is going to make you aware of the risk involved.
2. Keep Your Emotions Out Of It
This is easier said than done, especially when you are sinking a significant investment into this property. You want to be making decisions based on practicality for future renters, rather than be driven by how the property makes you feel. This is now where you will be living, so be prepared with a must-have checklist and assess the worthiness of the investment based on that list alone.
3. Research Your Areas
Just because you live in Sydney does not mean you should be looking to buy your investment property in Sydney, in fact, usually, the best opportunities are not where we live but in new and upcoming suburbs and cities. You can use tools like RP data to learn more about the areas and it will tell you things like population growth, number of schools, average home price, average rental rate and any developments on the horizon that could advance or threaten the area.
4. Bide Your Time
Being ready to make an investment purchase is great, but the market might not be in the best position at that time. By timing the market and riding the property bubble, it allows you to get more with your financial sum, and it will also mean that you are competing with fewer investors seeking the same type of property.
5. Consider A Buyers Advocate
A buyers advocate is a trained professional who you work with to find, bid and purchase a property that is to your specified brief. This is a great solution for people who are new to property, too busy to look for themselves, or if they cannot separate emotion from the sale. A buyers advocate has software, contacts and a number of tools to identify opportunities in the market and then work with you to secure that investment.
6. Understand What Your Goals Are
It goes without saying that you should know exactly what you want from this property purchase, but take the time to really consider this move and how it impacts the rest of your goals. Will this financial commitment rob you of future opportunities, or will it align with the goals that you have as the provider of your family? If you can, put these goals and intentions into words so that you can keep yourself accountable to them and always make investment decisions that serve you now and in the future.
7. Get To Know The Agents
If you have decided on the area that you want to buy, you will start to see the same names representing sellers in that area. Don’t be afraid to make contact with these local agents and let them know what you are looking for and how much you want to spend. Transparency will not only earn the trust of these agents but it will be more eyes watching the market for your gain.
8. Speak To A Financial Advisor
There is a misconception that only wealthy and desperate people see financial advisors, and this is not accurate. Everyone can get value in consulting with a financial advisor as they probe your spending habits, cashflow and existing investments with an expert eye. You really want to secure that sign off from them that the figure you are intending to spend on your investment property is achievable with your savings and earning potential so you are not stretching yourself too thin.
9. Find A Reliable Mortgage Broker
Even in today’s day and age when the banks are less trusted, individuals still see mortgage brokers that are affiliated with banks. Finding an independent mortgage broker will give you access to a number of finance providers and flexible terms. Individual mortgage brokers work only for you, and so they will not be pushing mortgage packages from one bank that may or may not be the best fit for you.
10. Prepare For Rainy Days
When you become the owner of a home, the buck stops with you. That means that any maintenance issues, insurance coverage and any incidentals are going to be covered by you. While saving for your deposit, have a separate fund that can be dipped into on a rainy day.
Use these 10 tips to make an informed decision on your first investment property. Location research, risk assessment and guidance from experts will ensure that you find a property that will yield you long term growth.