There is no doubt that property can be a great long-term investment, with a shortage of new homes available across Australia, along with an increased number of foreign buyers looking to invest in the country, property prices seem to have nowhere to go but up.
However, for private investors, there are many pitfalls to building up a successful property portfolio. You could end up buying in an unfashionable area, invest in the wrong type of property or purchase a property that will prove difficult to shift when it comes to selling.
However, with a little work these pitfalls can be easily overcome, so in this article, we’re going to show you four features to look for when buying an investment property. Remember, buying an investment property is different to buying your own home, so the aim is to make as much money as possible in the shortest amount of time. You need to think more about investment returns vs other factors like the colour of the walls.
Here are some factors that are known to make or break the success of an investment property:
Allocated car parking spaces are a valuable commodity in most major cities and urban areas. Just look at the Perth CBD, where parking spaces regularly change hands for thousands of dollars. While parking may not be hard to come by in some suburbs further out from the CBD, most people still like to be able to park in an allocated spot, even if they live in a unit. Try to look for properties that come with allocated parking spaces and don’t make the mistake of thinking a common parking area is enough as many times there are more cars than available spaces meaning some residents will miss out, especially in large unit complexes.
Try to look for properties that are in acceptable locations and where the number of properties available for sale is limited. For example, converted storefronts close to cafes and shopping centres are popular with affluent younger buyers looking to create a unique home close to the hustle and bustle of the community. While other buyers may be put off by the traffic or streetscape, younger buyers may see these things as positives. Because the availability of these locations are limited, prices can grow more quickly than the suburb median.
Look for apartment buildings that have character and are close to urban areas or creative clusters. The boutique-style blocks of the 1950s will always be popular with younger buyers and growing families, so long as they don’t have too many luxury extras such as gyms and swimming pools, which can send maintenance and strata costs through the roof.
Location, location, location
Try to look for areas that are located next to industrial or creative precinct, since these are the areas most likely to increase in value over the next few years. Locations close to universities or transport links into commercial hubs are always bound to be valued by working families.
You should also think about transport links and the quality of schools in the local area. Ideally, you want your property to be easily accessible to the city, with a choice of quality schools in the neighbourhood. You can compare the quality of local schools and colleges in your chosen area by checking the Good Schools guide: goodschools.com.au
A good layout
Finally, try to choose a property that has a practical layout; if you buy a property that has a quirky layout it can severely impact your ability to re-sell the property when the time comes. It can also take longer to rent such properties out. Don’t forget, you only make money as an investor when you have been paying tenants. So, you need to limit the amount of time between tenancies and the best way to do that, is make sure your properties possess all the right underlying attributes.
Things to look for include; a common sense layout with good sized rooms, large windows which let in lots of natural light, open plan spaces which allow families to spend quality time together and access to an open living space, which could include a balcony or private garden.
Think about these four attributes when searching for your next investment property. This list will help you choose a property in an area which will provide a reliable rental income and appreciate in value regardless of what’s happening in the underlying property market.