27 January, 2015 / Category: Blog
Following your heart might sound romantic, but it isn’t always best. And those gut feelings we get when we walk into a home can’t always be trusted. Indeed, when we step over a threshold we start to imagine our lives playing out within the home’s interior, daydreaming of the future. But when it comes to investment, it’s wise to let these sentiments simmer and allow logic to take hold. Your aim is to maximise your return, not to find a home for a happily ever after.
Beware the flighty heart
Much like a teenager in love, your heart is flighty; it wants to follow its dreams. The heart sugar coats the ugly and concentrates on the good, but your head is very different. Your brain, if you allow it, will consider the facts both logically and methodically. It looks for potential problems with the home, not with malice, but with helpful common sense, to determine if your property will deliver in the end. Does the home tick all your boxes? Or will it become a nightmare later down the line? Only your head can tell you, not your flighty heart.
Listen to logic
If you’ve decided to invest, it’s wise to put your heart in the backseat for the entire ride. Even if the home is the property of your dreams, you need to think logically about the area and the address’s catchment zone. While a studio above a shop might not be right for you, it will be close to the city and transport, catering perfectly to a young professional’s needs. It is times like these where it’s wise to think in someone else’s shoes. This way you can reap the benefits of a continued rent, and a more solid income stream. Gems such as these are often cheaper to buy, but the rewards are still significant. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t see yourself in it, or if it’s not your cup of tea. Instead, consider who else might fall in love, and what the potential returns may be.
There is no denying that inner city Victorian terraces are full characters and big on charm. However, the older the house, the longer the list of potential flaws—old wiring, dodgy heating, rotten wooden beams, pest infestation, asbestos—the list goes on and on! While it might not be your preference, a standard new build apartment could be less of a hassle. Modern homes are easier to maintain, and will keep fussy tenants happy! Overgrown gardens also tend to put people off; a neat balcony with a few plants is less of a worry, and much easier to upkeep.
Take a (calculated) risk
Like many financial decisions, buying property can be a gamble—sometimes the greater the risk, the greater the reward. So don’t be afraid to take a risk. However, as with any venture, it’s important to research well. Before you start looking, make a list of what your property needs, research house prices versus potential rental income, and work out your budget. It’s also a good idea to check out the local area for any amenities it has to offer. But above all, make sure you know the type of tenant you want to attract. They may have different needs to your own; requirements you’ll have to keep in mind when selecting the right property.
Sleep on it
No matter what, do not invest in impulse. Once you’ve begun your property search, make sure to include a wide selection of homes. It’s important to consider a few different areas, exploring all your options. It’s also wise to view your favourite properties several times before making the final call; there’s no shame in being sure.
Like most things in life, buying property isn’t black and white. And while you shouldn’t wear your heart on your sleeve, you also can’t ignore all of your gut instincts. However, it’s essential to keep your wits about you and consider all your options, before being swept away by the open fireplace, or the size of the walk-in robe.