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HS Brisbane Property
0419 782 133
+61 (0) 7 3254 0888
sales@hsbrisbaneproperty.com.au
PO Box 15301
Brisbane City East
Queensland 4002
Australia

Which property should I buy?

... is the question asked by countless property buyers, not only to themselves but also to friends, family and real estate agents too.

It's not rare that property buyers ask me this right at the beginning of the buying process, before they've started their research or know what they really want. I wish I could look in a crystal ball and say "Property 'X' or property 'Y' is exactly what you need" ... but I can't, and neither can anyone else.

The question itself is not the problem, it's when you ask the question. It shouldn't be at the beginning of their property search but once you have researched and narrowed it down to just a few i.e. at the end of the buying process.

"[Buyers] choose a property and build their purchasing strategy around it, rather than developing a strategy and then finding a property to suit it. In doing so, they run a higher risk of choosing a property that won't deliver the lifestyle or financial benefits they need. It may even put them behind the eight-ball, making it much harder to play catch-up down the track," explained property analyst, Mark Armstrong in a Property Observer article recently, and he's exactly right.

What questions should you be asking?

The most important question is: 'Do I want to live in it or rent it out?'

For those who answer 'both' the search becomes a bit more tricky - they then need to ask themselves: 'What is the primary use (rent or live in)?', and then weight the importance of the aspects according to your usage e.g. 80% invest (rent out) and 20% owner occupier (live in).

Owner occupiers

Remember that the property should be right for you not only now, but also adapt to your changing lifestyle in the mid-long term. The idea of "I'll buy it now and if I don't like it I'll sell in a year or two" can be an expensive decision, incurring agent's fees, legal fees, Transfer (stamp) Duty etc. that eats away at any potential capital growth over this short period.

Lifestyle is the most important factor, and you need to examine two key issues - Family & Work.

Family: How many people will live there? Do you already have or plan to have children? How old will they be in seven to 10 years' time? Will they need a lot of outdoor space, or is indoor space more important? Will you need to extend as your family's
needs change? Do you want to live near preferred schools / tertiary institutions?

Work: What about your working life? If you work in an office, can you commute by public transport, or do you drive? How much time are you prepared to commute, or do you want to live nearby? If you're planning to work at home, what work space do
you need?

Investors

A major mistake made by investors is to assess properties according to their own likes or dislikes. However property investment must be kept as objective as possible, not subjective!

What is most important for you from an investment view - capital growth or income? Again if you say 'both' then you need to adjust your property focus depending on the percentage importance of both. Only you and your financial advisors can answer this question, however it may also depend on the length of your future working life. For instance, if you are retiring within the next decade you may be more interested in securing an income stream for your retirement rather than potentially taking out a large mortgage that you are still repaying decade(s) later.

Once you have a clear list of your main priorities and objective, as well as possible secondary priorities, then - and only then - should you start your (re)search .. and not the other way around.

This way the 'What property should I buy?' question may never even arise, or only once you have a clear idea of the purchase path you're taking!

 

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