Looking for your first (or second, or third…) investment apartment can be both an exciting and incredibly draining experience. The latter is mostly down to the time it takes to find the perfect investment – one that suits your budget and aesthetic. We put together 5 simple steps for you to focus on – they are simple and hard at the same time. It is simple to follow our steps, it hard to become an expert. However we all have to start somewhere, so we encourage you to use this simple list to help you stay focused.
1. research is your friend
You’re going to become very good at this if you plan to own investment properties. There are literally hundreds of real estate websites providing investment advice. Some of it is good, some of it biased and some of it is downright just wrong. You really need to be an economist to cut through most of it, but you can focus on the basics. Look at the basic economic trends – such as the property cycle and interstate migration. Invest where you have growth (in population) and value (the right stage in the property clock).
Research is more than just financial data of course. It also means comparing lots of Projects (on Propertymash.com of course – after all, that is why we exist!) and also understanding what tenants are looking for. So, before and during your search, keep a document (on your laptop, on your phone, in a handy little book, where ever) in which you list your wants for the investment apartment (ie. must have large windows, costs me less than $300,000), what you think a renter would want (ie. has two car parks, is close to public transport), and most importantly, which postcodes are the most desirable (or will be) to buy/rent in.
2. LOTS OF INSPECTIONS & Inspect with a friend
Do lots of inspections. It’s part of the first point really, as with every inspection you will become more knowledgeable. Also, carry out inspections yourself – but not alone. If this is your first investment apartment, chances are that you will do the inspections yourself, but if this is your third and you just don’t have time right now, I’m here to burst your bubble. Make time. No one will be better than you at knowing what you want. But, take experienced friends, family, advisers with you, but always inspect the apartment yourself. If nothing else, remember that every person has a different perspective, so those who you bring with you might pick up on something you’ve missed like the ceilings are low for taller men and women, or the area is nice but the suburb over is not as nice and mildly dodgy.
3. know who your renter will be
Look at demographics for the area. If you’ve found a property you think others will definitely want to rent, then it’s time to really highlight who is living in the area. Are the surrounding apartments and streets filled with university students? Then you probably won’t be able to put the rent too high, and you might be wanting to have different finishes than those you’d have in an area filled with seniors.
4. design for the renter, not for you
This leads us to our next point:
Make the apartment attractive to renters. If you’re buying off the plan, this is less of an issue for you, but if you’re buying an apartment which you will decorate yourself, then this is a must. Most people will want neutrals so that their furniture/photographs/pillows will stand out, so no matter how much you love bright floral wallpaper, not everyone does. The plan is to make the apartment as much of a blank slate as possible, without losing the character, so that people can see themselves living there – not you.
5. ask for help
Always remember: this is leading you somewhere financially. You want this apartment to make you money, so there’s no harm in asking for or outsourcing help. You want to create the best opportunities for yourself so that you can generate the best money inflow for you.
Hopefully, this will help you with begin – or continue – your search for the perfect investment apartment. Comment your thoughts on whether this helped below!