Tips for researching a property

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When you’re buying a property, whether it’s an investment or your own home, careful research is the key to success. Doing your research to make sure you’re fully informed will help to ensure you make a profitable investment that will be a real financial asset for you now and into the future. But where do you start? Here we outline some of the research steps you need to take when climbing on to the property ladder.

What type of property do you want to buy?

Once you have your budget firmly in mind, it’s time to decide what type of property you can purchase. Obviously the amount of money you have to spend will influence what type of property you look at purchasing, but there’s a lengthy list of options and you need to do some research to help you choose the one that’s right for you.

Are you interested in buying an apartment, a unit, a house or perhaps a commercial property? If you are purchasing the property as your own home the decision will be influenced by your personal needs.

But if you are purchasing the property as an investment, then you should think of it as a business and consider all property types – as long as they give you the return on your investment that you need for it to be financially viable and profitable.

Where do you want to invest?

If you’re buying a property as your own home, you’ll want to research a suburb that best suits your personal lifestyle and the future needs of your family. But if you’re buying an investment property, it pays to look further afield and consider the locations that have good capital growth potential and will give you the best return on your investment.

Savvy investors spend a lot of time researching areas with excellent capital growth potential and then focus on finding properties in these areas that are within budget. This requires access to good property market data that gives you figures on the latest trends.

Research suburbs that are showing steady capital growth, and suburbs adjacent to ones that are already popular. Don’t be afraid to consider properties in other capital cities that may have better capital growth potential than the city in which you live. If you are buying an investment property, consider locations that will be popular with tenants – suburbs with good infrastructure, schools, public transport links, shopping centres, amenities and access to the CBD.

Locate the property and research its viability

Once you have an idea of your budget, the type of property you want to buy and general locations you may want to invest in, you can use search sites like domain.com.au or realestate.com.au to find potential properties to inspect.

If you’re purchasing an investment, you will need to research each property very thoroughly before you decide on one to purchase. First you’ll need to determine the right price for the property so that you don’t pay too much. You can do this by researching the sale prices of comparable homes in the area to see how yours stacks up.

Next you’ll need to do some research with real estate agents to determine what kind of rental return you can expect on the property you have chosen. It’s important to determine whether or not the rental return will cover all the expenses – including the mortgage – so that you can work out if it is a financially viable investment for you and suits your budget and investment goals.

Savvy investors spend a lot of time researching areas with excellent capital growth potential and then focus on finding properties in these areas that are within budget. This requires access to good property market data that gives you figures on the latest trends.

Research suburbs that are showing steady capital growth, and suburbs adjacent to ones that are

already popular. Don’t be afraid to consider properties in other capital cities that may have better capital growth potential than the city in which you live. If you are buying an investment property, consider locations that will be popular with tenants – suburbs with good infrastructure, schools, public transport links, shopping centres, amenities and access to the CBD.