Seven common mistakes investors makeI

uWhen it comes to winning big in real estate, many turn to property investment. But achieving success takes time and patience, with only a handful making it past their first investment.
To ensure you don’t fall into the property trap talk to an expert and do research.

1. Don’t buy in an overheated market

Momentum Wealth Research Advisor Shaun Strickland said many investors see reports of unprecedented growth in one area and assume this must be the next ‘boom’ suburb.

“If you are reading about a boom in the media, chances are it is already too late to be buying in the suburb. Instead, investors need to be identifying areas that are likely to outperform in the long-term, which is where the advice of a professional buyer’s agent could prove invaluable,” Mr Strickland said.

2. Not doing enough homework

The property market is always changing, and you will never know EVERYTHING there is to know about real estate. But, doing your homework nonetheless is essential and studying the suburb you wish to buy in will make it worth your while.

Mr Strickland believes research is the cornerstone to a successful property investment.

“Identifying high-performing properties requires analysis of demand and supply, knowledge of the local demographic, consistent market monitoring and awareness of other key growth factors,” he said.

“Once investors have narrowed their search to a specific suburb, they will then need to assess the potential of individual streets and properties.”

Another common mistake investors make is that they tend to only research properties within five kilometres of their current location.

Mr Strickland also said “whilst it’s a natural reaction for investors to look in areas they are most familiar with, this could result in them missing out on key investment opportunities elsewhere.”

3. No backup cash

According to Momentum Wealth Finance Team Leader Caylum Merrick, many investors fall into the trap of not saving up a sufficient cash buffer once they’ve actually acquired a property, which could leave them in a disadvantaged position should unexpected scenarios arise such as property repairs, rises in interest rates or tenants leaving a property.

Mr Merrick advises investors to set aside a cash buffer to cover unexpected costs for each property in their portfolio.

“We also advise investors to work with an experienced property manager to understand any of the potential costs that could occur for their particular property,” he said.

Find a property manager

4. Cross-collateralisation

This is when more than one property is used as security for a loan or multiple loans.

“Cross-collateralisation can significantly reduce an investor’s ability to borrow in the future, so it is especially important to seek the help of a mortgage specialist who fully understands their financial needs and long-term investment goals.

“Choosing the right loan strategy from the start can significantly maximise an investor’s borrowing capacity and give them more flexibility moving forward,” Mr Merrick said.

5. No plan, no gain

All property investors have one goal – to build a lucrative property portfolio. However getting there without a plan or goal will backfire. As the old saying goes, if you fail to plan you plan to fail.

You need to have an end vision of where you want to end up and then follow a strategic plan to get there.

6. Thinking with your heart not your head

With the Perth property market starting to show signs of recovery and stabilisation, interest will grow from property investors, meaning buyers need to act fast to secure their ideal property.

An investment should be look at as a business decision. Making an ’emotional purchase’ is to be avoided at all costs. A decision driven by your heart can lead you to over-capitalise rather than prioritise the best outcome for your investment goals.

Base your decision on facts, statistics and research.

7. Choosing to self-manage

Seeking the advice of a professional can help you avoid making simple mistakes, and they can also play a vital role in helping investors identify opportunities to maximise rental returns.

“Property investment experts can assist investors in identifying properties with the highest growth prospects that a single investor may not be able to discover or analyse on his or her own,” Mr Strickland said.

It can be very daunting trying to handle all aspects of property investment on your own, especially if you have a portfolio of more than one or two properties.

Momentum Wealth Asset Management Advisor Clare Christiansen said property managers play an important role not only in the day-to-day running of properties, but also in supporting an investor’s overall investment strategy and protecting their long-term wealth.

“Property investment doesn’t stop at the acquisition of a property,” she said.

“Savvy investors will also realise that smart asset management is key to their long-term wealth strategy.”

Read more about why property managers are vital to a successful investment.