5 tips for buying property the right way

19th Jan 2018By: Greville Pabst

What factors determine a quality real estate asset? Whether buying as an investor or an owner-occupier, buying a property is a tricky business. Here are five top tips to point you in the right direction.

1. Never speculate

When it comes to buying real estate don’t risk everything on a guess. Base your decision to buy on the available facts including comparable historical sales history. A long-term consistent performance history is the most reliable indicator of future outcome. Basing your decision to purchase on a location’s proposed future development such as improvements to local infrastructure or amenities can provide some disappointing results. Also, consider property that is in limited supply rather than those that offer a ubiquitous quantity of similar available stock. Quality scarce dwellings such as Victorian terraces offer limited opportunity to buy, and benefit from significant demand and subsequently higher levels of capital growth.

2. Value land

Land size underpins the value of a property, and in some instances accounts for 70 per cent or more of the total value of a property. Before deciding to purchase, consider how the value of the physical site compares to the value of the dwelling. If the value of the property is weighted towards the dwelling itself, such as is the case for high-rise apartments; it is unlikely to benefit from significant levels of future capital growth. When assessing a property remember one simple thing; land appreciates and improvements (buildings) depreciate.

3. Avoid main roads

While access to transport infrastructure is important, avoid buying on main access roads and near train or tramlines. Properties in these areas can suffer from traffic congestion, impeded access and significant noise disturbance – all these factors can influence the property’s growth potential. Select property located within walking distance to a bus route or train line in quiet streets or cul-de-sacs.

4. Ditch off the plan

Like any business, developers need to make a profit and a typical development is likely to have a minimum profit margin of 25 per cent. This means that every unit or apartment in the complex must sell at 25 per cent or more above cost. Off the plan buyers also absorb the cost of expensive marketing campaigns and advertising, additional costs that can take years to recoup in growth terms.

5. Buy for capital growth

The majority of property wealth is achieved through capital growth. In the long run a property with a high capital growth profile and moderate rental return will outperform those properties with seemingly high returns. It is also worth noting that rental guarantees are in fact no guarantee of long-term growth performance, so be wary.

Adhering to these simple steps will assist you in differentiating between an average property and a high performing investment-grade real estate asset that will bring you that step closer to securing your long-term financial goals.

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018