Buying

Property investment checklist

Ready to become a landlord? Whether this is your first property purchase or you already own a property and are looking to build upon this, why not go over your property investment checklist to make sure you are completely prepared for the decision.

Property type

What sort of property are you interested in? Whether you invest in an existing home or an off-the-plan property is going to change your approach to the research you need to do and the advice you will seek in regards to your investment. For a detailed understanding of investing in off-the-plan properties, read our post on things to consider when buying off the plan

Future proofing your purchase

How will your investment perform in the future? Look at a range of factors and write down how your investment options size up to your requirements. Look at a property’s condition to see whether you will need to spend much on repairs. Is there room for improvement, such as one or more renovations, that may add value to the property in the future? Is the property within close vicinity to important infrastructure, such as shops, hospitals, schools, transport? If not, is there infrastructure planned and what is the likely timeframe of these projects? With these concerns, the key question to ask, will this investment drive capital growth or will you be relying more on rental yield?

Look at the land

Are land prices likely to increase in the area? If it is a new development/off-the-plan, look at its sales rate and if these are in their fledgling stages, consider the development’s values based on the questions above, such as landsize, property size, price of listings, access to infrastructure etc.

Research the area

What are the demographics within the area? An agent will be able to provide much of this information as well as on realestateVIEW.com.au’s Property360 portal. Does the property you are interested in align with the demographics of the area in which it is located? If not, can you be assured that it will attract strong interest from renters?

Inspect!

What is the condition of the property? If it is an off-the-plan investment, make sure you are aware of what sort of fixtures are in the home as well as materials in the build, and if these change during the construction process, will the developer let you know and will the replacement material be of equal quality? If it an existing property, download realestateVIEW.com.au’s open for inspection checklist. Following an inspection, make sure you have the home inspected for pests as well as a conveyancer.

Can you afford it?

It seems like an obvious question, but what risks are you taking in this investment? If you can only afford a 5-10% deposit, stamp duty costs and legal costs but don’t have a buffer, then this is a significant risk. If you can afford the same deposit and costs but leave yourself with a buffer following the use of Lenders Mortgage Insurance, then this is still a risk, but a more manageable risk. Lenders Mortgage Insurance can be a great way to cut the time required to save for a deposit, which continues to grow, but it is not without its risks. Read our post on the truth behind LMI to weigh up if this is the right option for your investment.

Structure your advisers

Make sure you compile the necessary outside sources of information and help for a smart investment. This includes your accountant, financial planner, solicitor and mortgage broker/banker, real estate agents. Develop your relationship with these people as they will help you get the most out of your finances and make the right financial decisions.

Is it the right time?

There is conflicting advice given by some about whether there is a ‘right time’ to invest. Some say that there is never a perfect time to invest, yet this is not entirely true. Be aware of how the times of year influence the market, such as the Spring market compared to the Winter market, while factor in the cyclical nature of real estate in your city. Demand drives supply and there is often a point where supply will increase to meet this demand and for a short period exceed this demand. This can be a fantastic time for the savvy investor to look at properties.

Can you afford it if things change?

What effect will personal changes have on your ability to finance the investment, such as if your salary does not increase over a set period of time, or if a partner of yours temporarily loses their income? If these scenarios, as well as external scenarios such as rising interest rates, tip the balance between being able to afford an investment, consider taking more time to save for your investment.