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There are literally dozens (if not hundreds) of ways you can choose to invest in property, so it’s not always easy for investors to know the ideal course forward.

By Helen Collier-Kogtevs, Managing Director with Real Wealth Australia

Such was the case with Pamela, who, after having saved a small deposit, asked for some advice:

  • Is it best to use a 20% deposit for investing in property?
  • Is it better to buy a house and land, or off the plan?
  • Should I buy a complete house and land package or buy land and then choose my own builder?
  • Should I stay clear of off the plan altogether?

One thing is clear from Pamela’s questions: she is considering a number of options and has no clear strategy guiding her forward.

So, my first piece of advice is going to be: You need to become crystal clear on why you are investing in property in the first place. It all comes back to strategy.

Consider:

  • What are you trying to achieve in the first place?
  • What’s the purpose?
  • Do you want to generate immediate profits or are you investing for the long term, to build a retirement fund to fall back on?
  • Do you want to build a property portfolio or just buy a couple of investments?

The answers to these questions all come back to your individual situation, including your goals and your budget. Therefore, your answers will determine which avenue that you will take.

Generally speaking in my view, off the plan investments aren’t always the best value for money, although some house and land packages can be a solid investment. Whether you decide to buy a house and land package or purchase land and use your own builder is again another discussion about research: it’s imperative that you do your due diligence so you can see if the builders are reliable.

You may be picking up on a theme here? That’s right… it’s all about research!

I know I can tend to hammer home the same point over and over, but it’s because this point is so important. Research truly is the key to your success as an investor and it is my belief that extensive due diligence is what separates those who speculate in property from those who create wealth from property.

This research extends from the property market, to the suburb, to the builder, and to the rental market itself.

For instance:
What are vacancy rates like in the area? And when you reach the point where you’re looking at specific properties to invest in: What do tenants in the local area want?

If they’re chasing new homes first and foremost, then a new house and land package could be the right way to go. Your exploration of the local area and its tenants will show you the best way forward.

There is obviously a lot more research required to drill down further to ascertain what type of investment property is right for your strategy. But what concerns me is that many investors spend a few hours on realestate.com.au and call it research.

Having purchased property all around Australia over the years, I teach my students to nail their strategy first before they look at properties to buy.

Purchasing the property is usually the last thing you do so if you line up all your ducks first, when the right deal comes along you can pounce on it quickly and not waste time.

Helen Collier-Kogtevs
Helen Collier-Kogtevs

Helen Collier-Kogtevs is the Founder of Real Wealth Australia, an education company based in Briar Hill, Victoria. Helen is a self-made millionaire who built her wealth with her property investment expertise. Over the years, Helen has pioneered mentoring programs dedicated to helping Australians create property portfolios. She is the author of books including 59 Biggest Mistakes Made by Property Investors and How to Avoid Them, and How to Start Creating Wealth Through Real Estate.

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