If you are sitting on a tiny amount of equity in your current home, or have money to invest (and are considering investing in property), as Sting once sang, it is something that you should “do do do.” But all those dos come with and an equal number of don’ts. There are many factors to consider when buying a family home, buying an investment property involves an added layer of financial responsibility. But if you do the correct due diligence, and don’t make a hasty, ill-considered purchase, you will be rewarded with a solid investment that will provide you with healthy returns.
Do… your homework and carefully consider the location of your investment property. It needs to be close to amenities, shops and transport. Don’t blindly chase the supposed hot spots or locations with a glut of new apartments as you don’t want to buy where there might be an oversupply which puts a squeeze on rental returns and capital growth.
Do… your sums properly. Look at capital growth as well as rental returns and buy with an eye to maximising both in the short and long term.
Do… talk to your accountant and/or financial adviser before you start on your investment journey. They will be able to provide you with a clear plan of your finances so that you won’t find yourself getting over your head.
Do… use the resources of property investment companies. Many offer their services for free and have proven track records of supply property to investors.
Do… talk to your broker. With banks tightening their lending to investors, it is essential to talk to a broker who will be able to compare loans from the big four banks, as well as smaller lenders, who are more flexible with their loan criteria.
Don’t… fall into the trap of listening to advice from family and/or friends, or idle social media chatter. There is a lot of terrible stuff on the internet, even without the trolls, so avoid making decisions based on something you read on an online forum. Hard facts from reputable professionals are a lot more reliable than good intentions.
Don’t… buy a property for the wrong reasons. The idea is to purchase an investment property that will give the best returns. It is not a home for yourself or your children, or a place for you to holiday. Approach the deal with the same detachment in which you would invest in the stock market.
Don’t… forget to consider all the tax implications. There are tax implications unique to each investment and loan structure. Many, such as negative gearing and depreciation, are likely to save you money, so talk to your accountant and provide them with a thorough tax depreciation schedule.
Don’t… manage your own property. In an attempt to save money, many people fall into the trap of trying to manage their property themselves, leading to undue worry and expense. In today’s cut-throat rental market, it is essential to use a letting agent who can properly vet potential tenants and ensure your property is well maintained.
Don’t… underestimate the true cost of property investment. By talking to and employing the skills of experts in the field, you will be able to assess the many ongoing costs of having rental property and gain a clearer picture of the returns.
Louisa Sanghera is a Finance Broker for Residential Mortgages, Vehicle and Asset Finance, Commercial Lending and Budgeting and Cashflow Coaching with Zippy Financial.
She has more than 30 years in the Banking and Finance Industry, and since founding Zippy Financial, has become a multi award-nominated expert in the field featuring regularly in industry press and speaking at finance and investment seminars across the country.