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It’s a little easier to be rational about buying an investment property than buying a home.  Since you don’t plan to live there you can inspect places with a more business-like eye. To make your investment a success you really need to do your research before making an offer in order to predict how your investment is likely to perform both now and in the future. You should consider issues such as:

Location

  • Many experts suggest close to the CBD for capital growth since scarcity and demand will push up prices, versus the suburbs and regions for better rental yield since prices in these areas are cheaper.  Also at any time there will be suburbs and regions that are seen as under or over valued compared with the national or state average.

Recent sales and rent history

  • Recent sales and capital growth rates will help you understand current market prices and trends.
  • Recent rental history and vacancy rates will help you understand likely yields and the strength of local rental demand.

House versus apartment/unit

  • Units tend to be cheaper and the upkeep and maintenance is collectively paid by all the strata owners. Check the strata fees and any possible additional levies for any upcoming major works.  Renters are more likely to be to professional singles and couples.
  • A house will be 100% yours to maintain. The extra land can provide more opportunities for improvements and potential capital gains. Renters are more likely to be to families.

Maintenance costs

  • Including council rates, strata rates, garden and external facilities such as gardens and pools.

Current and future infrastructure and planning issues

  • Features such as existing and proposed public transport, shops, cafes, schools, other community facilities will effect the current rental desirability and the longer capital growth potential of your investment.

Features that may appeal to tenants

  • A family is likely to be interested in things like the property’s proximity to schools and the quality of its kitchen.
  • A professional couple might be interested in the proximity to cafes, jobs and convenience shopping.
  • Some features may have board appeal such as balconies/decks, good natural light, on and off street parking.

Once you get serious about a particular property it is advisable to get a building and pest inspection.

  • A building inspection will cover the condition of the building and identify any potential problems, including cracks and rising damp, structural movement or inadequate plumbing.
  • A pest inspection should include getting into tricky areas under floors or in the roof to pick up any termite or woodworm infestations.

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This advice is general and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the PDS and Terms & Conditions, available from IMB, before making a decision about products related to property investment. Financial Planning services are provided by IMB Financial Planning Limited ABN 23 094 730 195 AFSL 234 660

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