5 questions that every first time investor should ask.

You’re ready to make your first real estate investment – and property brochures are your new bedtime reading. How do you know when the place you’re viewing is a worthwhile investment? Here are 5 key questions to ask yourself before you start bidding.

  1. Can I stay for the long-term?

The real estate market is a very difference place these days and you can’t rely on making a fast buck anymore. When you buy a house you have to be prepared to hold onto it – and that generally means living there – or renting – for at least 3 years.

  1. Am I ready for a big financial commitment?

After purchase, maintenance and repairs can eat up a lot of your money and time. If you’re unsure, start small – maybe with a 50:50 share of a refurb. Once you’ve gained confidence you can move onwards – and upwards – with a bigger project.

  1. How quickly have other houses in the neighborhood sold?

Days on the market can show how desirable the neighborhood is. Take a look at the local MLS (multiple listing service) to find out – and compare original list prices with final house prices.

  1. What are public and community facilities like?

If your property is in a catchment for good schools, houses tend to sell – or rent – quickly and for a good price. Even if you haven’t started a family yet, this is one feature that will appeal to just about everybody when you put your property on the market.

  1. Is the house designed and finished to your standards?

Don’t reject if the answer’s no! Just remember to include the cost of the renovations and improvements you need to do in your calculations. Houses that need work can be a great way of adding value to your property from the get-go.

The real estate market can seem daunting, but now you’re well on your way to taking your first step on the property ladder!