One of the most important things that anyone considering buying an investment property should focus on is doing their research up front. Being well prepared and having a strong grasp of what’s happening in the areas you’re considering investing in is critical to your success as a property investor. The internet has made researching property considerably easier with a plethora of data now available to any potential investor willing to do the hard work and comb through the data.
The most overlooked research tool however is not internet based at all, it’s more of a “boots on the ground” style of research. When you’re considering buying an off the plan apartment as an investment property, one thing you really should do is drive to the area and drive around the streets. Try and get a feel for what traffic in the area is like, what the parking situation is and scout around for public transport options. Ideally you’ll try and do this type of research a couple of times across different days of the week and times of day as the dynamics will change accordingly.
When it comes time to fire up your laptop and get into understanding the more financial aspects of the area you’re considering investing in, then a great tool to look at is Property Value by CoreLogic. The data in Property Value comes from Core Logic’s RPData information and is very comprehensive. You can easy find suburb and property prices, comparable information and even rental data. Property Value is able to show you median price changes over the past year as well as median gross yield. The user interface is easy to navigate and very intuitive. Basic information on Property Value is free, but there is a premium upgrade available if you want more comprehensive data.
To get a quick understanding of what’s happening in investment property from a more transactional level in certain areas, you can look at the multiple listing services such as Domain and RealEstate.com.au. These services usually have the latest properties for sale and for rent as the real estate agents generally publish all of their listings on these sites as soon as they become available. With these sites you’ll be able to ascertain what kind of price people in the area are selling property for and what kind of rental prices owners are seeking. If you’re diligent and do your research over a number of weeks you’ll also get a feel for what the demand is like as properties come and go from the listings.
If you’re considering buying an off the plan apartment, these tools and strategies will still work for you because a property isn’t built in isolation. The best property investors are the ones who have the most data and information available to them and can analyse it the best to help them make their decisions when buying an investment property. With the abundance of tools readily available and a bit of elbow grease, you should be able to get great quality information to help you build your investment property portfolio.
Property Value can be found at www.propertyvalue.com.au
Domain can be found at www.domain.com.au
ReaEstate.com can be found at www.realestate.com.au