Buying an investment property can be daunting, and without good advice from the beginning, there are many risks that you may not consider. This is where we can help guide you.
Seeking independent and unbiased advice when buying an investment is important, remembering that the selling agent works for the vendor (the seller).
Property managers know what tenants are seeking and where the demand is. We will review the property based on location, demand, maintenance required and future costs to consider.
We will provide a realistic rental appraisal based on actual results to allow you to plan your income and expenditure carefully.
Choose a property that is structurally sound and free from major defects. Look for low-maintenance homes that won’t require major upkeep and repairs. Always get a building inspection performed before signing a contract or as a condition.
Look in safe areas with good street appeal (including the neighbouring properties). If you feel you would not like to live in the area, chances are quality tenants won’t like it either. Look for limited supply homes to ensure demand for your investment property remains strong.
Check the local services, schools and amenities. Is the home within proximity to shopping centres, parks and sporting facilities? This will make the property more appealing to tenants or future potential buyers. Reputable schools nearby often indicate that the property will have strong tenancy demand.
Look for homes in the median price bracket, particularly for your first property. Being priced in the middle of the field will make it easier both to rent and to sell later on. A trap is to buy a 'renovator's delight'. Renovating can have hidden expenses like rewiring and plumbing. I advise adding around 15% to the estimate from your builder to cover any unexpected items. Spend your budget wisely on areas that will provide a return on investment.
Research the infrastructure in the area – are there adequate facilities? Check both existing and planned developments to support the needs of the community. In particular, consider schools, roads and public transport to and from the area.
Research the history of capital growth in the area. Especially look for suburbs/areas with a strong history of capital growth over time. Many websites report on past sales history and trends.
Research what is currently available for rent in the areas you are considering. What rental prices are they achieving? How long are properties vacant between tenants on average?
A good rule of thumb is to buy an investment property in which you would be comfortable. That doesn’t mean it will be a property you prefer to live in, and it doesn’t need to offer everything you would want personally. Start with the basics, like heating, energy efficiency, functionality, safety, cleanliness and practicality.
When you investigate what you can potentially borrow from the bank, be careful not to overcommit. Take into consideration change in circumstance. Your income may change, and interest rates can increase quickly, so you need to factor that in. Can you afford the repayments in the short to medium term if the property is vacant? Can you afford unexpected repairs, such as a new hot water cylinder? I recommend buying a property within your limit that allows you to cover up to 3 months’ rent as an absolute worst-case scenario.
When you find a property you’re considering making an offer on, contact an experienced property manager to confirm the potential rent. The agent selling the home may not be as accurate as they don’t specialise in rental returns (not to mention the conflict of interest). Most property managers will provide you with this estimate at no cost, particularly if you want to manage the property with them.
This could be the difference between a stress-free investment experience or your worst nightmare. If the investment is not effectively managed from start to finish, you will wish you had never invested in the property, and you will likely sell at a loss and never go back! The Residential Tenancy Act is complex and often weighted in favour of the tenant, which is why you need the best representation.
Researching insurance products can be very daunting. I would suggest talking to people who deal with this type of insurance daily, like your property manager, and asking them to point you in the right direction for the best options available.
Let us help you get started the right way. We will guide you through the early steps to ensure that you start your investment journey the right way.
Ask the experts if you would like to know what your property will rent for in the current market. Our award-winning team will provide an independent appraisal and a detailed market report. We can also provide valuable advice on risk management to protect your investment.