Posted by Standard Bank Namibia on 22 Feb 18
Investing in properties is a wonderful way to secure a future free of financial worries. Of course, as with everything in life, it does come with a substantial amount of risk. But don't let that stop you: by following these handy tips, you'll be giving your chances of success a significant boost.
1. Be patient
It's incredibly tempting to dive right into a purchase if the price is right. However, most great deals come with some sort of hidden cost. So take your time and do your research. Compare properties in the area. Look at prices vs actual value. Get in touch with an estate agent and ask to see a comparative market analysis. Doing your research will empower you with the knowledge you need to enter into a deal with confidence.
2. Walk the streets
Location is massively important and should never be discounted as it determines a property's potential for appreciation. A great house in a terrible location will never achieve its worth. On the other hand, prime locations are always in demand and will therefore consistently push prices up. What dictates a good location? Look for proximity to business hubs, transport routes, good schools and shops. And don't forget the simple test of getting out of your car and walking around the 'hood', just to see if you like the vibe.
3. Check an double-check
Sellers have to provide a list of the property's known defects, but this isn't always a guarantee that every issue has been listed. It's always a good idea to hire a property inspector to give the place a once-over. It may be a costly exercise, but it could save you tonnes of money on repairs in the long run.
4. Ask for help
If this is your first time round the block , find someone who has been in the game for a while and pick their brains. Chances are they'll be able to point out mistakes before you make them, and provide useful guidance throughout the process.
5. Keep track of your budget
An in-depth budget and cash flow analysis is imperative. The ins and outs of property investment can prove to be a tangled web, so it's essential you plan your finances and keep a sharp eye on them. And don't forget that you'll usually need a deposit of between 10 and 30% to secure your spot.
6. Mow the lawn
A well-maintained property with a neat garden and fresh paint and taps that work will always fetch a good price on the rental or sales market. Maintenance costs should be front and centre in your budgeting and cash flow planning. Also important is to decide whether you have the time and inclination to do the maintenance yourself, or if you're better off hiring a managing agent.
7. Add some diversity
Don't put all your eggs in one basket. If you have means, it'll be a wise move to purchase a few properties in varied locations and minimise your risk.
Buy homes, not houses
Whatever your motives for getting into property investment, you'll be well-served to remember that the houses you buy will be lived in by people who have the same needs as you: comfort, convenience, space, beauty. If you buy with that thought in mind, rather than opportunistically grabbing at deals, your chances of reaching financial freedom will be very attainable.