Mortgage calculator. House, money and document. There are many factors to consider when purchasing an investment property. 

MORE Australians are investing their hard earned cash into investment properties, but how do you pick the right one and avoid the nightmares?

Founder of Dream Design Property Zaki Ameer said he had seen many investors make mistakes which could potentially cause them thousands.
His tips are;

  1. Be cautious buying off the plan.
    “This type of investment may seem enticing at first, as you will have a brand new property at the end.” Mr Ameer said. But he warned investors to be careful they weren’t overvalued. He said a client of his paid $443,000 for an investment property off the plan but once construction was complete the property was only valued at $337,000 by the bank. Make sure you get professionals to do all the checks for you before invest your money in a property, you don’t want to end up with a home falling down with termites.
  2. Make sure you have a financial buffer.
    If you lose your job and secure income, and are unable to keep up with loan repayments you could be forced to apply for loan extensions, which can result in thousands of dollars in fees.
    “Always set aside three months’ worth of mortgage repayments per investment property,’’ Mr Ameer said.
    “This will give you a safety net to fall back on should your income flow change. It’s better to have this cash for emergencies than to use it to pay extra loan repayments.”
  3. If you have to sell how do you avoid exit fees?
    Mr Ameer said early exit fees could apply if your loan was a fixed rate.
    “This is why I would recommend people seriously think this through before they commit to a fixed-rate loan,’’ he said.
    “Try to think about how many years you would want to keep this house for and choose a loan accordingly.’’
    Make sure you insure against the tenants from hell.
  4. Buy the right property
    Mr Ameer said make sure the property had no underlying problems by getting professionals to check it for you, including;

    • A building report from a certified builder
    • A termite report
    • A strata title report (if it’s an apartment or property on a strata title).
    • An asbestos report if more than 30 years old.

After the results of this report you may need to do further reports such as plumbing, electricity and roof cavity reports, he said.
He strongly advised using experts but said if you were inspecting yourself, look for taps or plumbing that may be leaking, cracks on the walls, any wood decay or damage, termites or mold.
If the house is on a foundation, you should take note of the house’s foundations and if they are seeping or sinking.

  1. Insure against the tenants from hell.

Nothing can spoil buying the right property investment more than putting the wrong tenant in it.
“Most property investors have had at least one tenant who has defaulted on their rent and many others who have experienced tenants who purposefully damage the rental property”, he said.
“What separates the nightmare scenarios from the rest is the crucial enlisting of landlord insurance; this will save you thousands in potential unforeseen costs down the road.’’

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