Property investing can be an incredibly successful way to improve your financial standing in the world. However, you have to know what you are doing. What’s more, you have to have a few things up your sleeve before you start making offers.
Also read: The rise of the female property investor
Take a look at the essential items in a property investing starter kit.
Property investing for beginners: What you need
1. A big-picture vision
If you really want to succeed as a property investor, you need to have a long-term goal.
Your goal may be as simple as having a fully paid-for second dwelling that you can use to fund your retirement.
You may wish to take a different approach with a view to buying and selling homes for a profit so you can pay off the mortgage on your home and live debt-free.
Your big picture vision may have you as a property mogul with a vast portfolio and a seven-figure income.
No matter what you want, it helps to be clear on your long-term desires so you can make a plan to turn your dreams into reality.
As a female, having a vision like this can be really inspiring. It will motivate you to take control of your finances, stay independent when it comes to your money and to skip impulse purchases in favour of building long-term wealth.
Don’t be afraid to write down what you really want. You could also create a vision board that maps out your journey to financial stability.
2. Savings (or means to fund your purchase)
Yes, if you want to start property investing, you do need some money. This can be in the form of:
A 20 per cent deposit in your bank account, plus funds to cover stamp duty
Equity in your existing property
Assets you can turn into cash
A gift from your parents or an inheritance
If you have been saving for years and feel like you will never reach your target, remember there is more than one way to secure a home loan. You might want to consider pooling your deposit with a friend or family member and buying together (make sure you have a contract in place if you do this).
Otherwise, you can speak to a lending specialist or property investing mentor about what’s involved with having a family member act as guarantor for your loan.
And if you have no savings; my property tip for beginners is to start today. Find a way to put some money aside each month and hold yourself accountable. It may take five years but the money you save will then find a way to multiply on its own.
3. Loan approval
Unless you are already financially independent, you will need to apply for finance to fund your investment property purchase.
To get a loan, you have to prove you have a source of income. Ideally, you will also have very little other debt and a monthly budget in place which demonstrates you can meet those repayments.
Start keeping track of your spending, cutting back where possible and downloading financial documents which prove you are a good candidate to borrow.
An experienced and reliable mortgage broker is your new best friend. They will explain your options and help you stay on track so you can secure loan approval.
This is in great big capital letters for a reason.
If you want to know how to start property investing, the key is to educate yourself so you don’t make a rookie mistake.
Take the time to research the ins and outs of property investment. Things to investigate include:
The type of property you want to buy (e.g. off the plan, duplex, fixer-upper, apartment, freestanding home)
The type of loan that will work for you (e.g. fixed, interest only, split, variable, offset, line of credit)
The location of your property, the suburb’s historic growth and current average values
The benefits of a long term vs short term investment plan
The demand for rental properties in the area where you are thinking of buying
The reputation of the real estate agent who is selling the property, or the developer and builder
The worst-case-scenario and how you would avoid financial disaster
It’s a lot! But the more you inform yourself, the easier your decisions will be and the more likely it is that they will pay off.
So read up, speak to people who have experience in this area, make friends with real estate agents and reach out to mentors.
5. A strategy
You want your investment to be a positive one, so after you have done your research it makes sense to come up with an investment strategy.
For example, you may decide to buy a positively-geared investment property so you are ahead from day one. You could also plan to purchase a freestanding home, then add a granny flat or subdivide the land so you can create a dramatic increase in value.
As a buyers agent and property investing mentor, coming up with a ‘think smart’ strategy is something I help my clients with. It makes sense to have someone with experience on your team.
When explaining property investing for beginners, I’m always clear that it’s a long game.
Yes, you can take a big risk and hope it pays off but in my experience it is the slow and steady approach that wins the race. This means seeking out the properties which will provide steady returns and starting small with a well-placed investment in a popular area before looking to expand and diversify your portfolio.
Avoid salespeople and property developers who promise deals that are too good to be true. It’s usually because they are.
When you pack your ‘property investment starter kit’ with the tools and best practices above, you will be on the road to successful property investing. This opens the door to a financially secure future that’s filled with potential.
Take the first step by writing down your vision for your ideal future. Make a commitment to yourself to make it happen and you will be surprised by what you can achieve.