Strike while the iron is hot
There is a common misconception that the longer you take, the more research you do and the more property choices you have, the better. However, the saying “strike while the iron is hot” has some truth in deciding which property to buy. Surveying the market for too long or having too many properties to analyse can negatively affect your chances of buying the right property.
By over-analysing, there is a risk of taking too long to decide and eventually, your interest dampers. In the market, there is not one perfect property. So it is best to first rid of that perception of finding the perfect property and acknowledge that all properties will have their own imperfections. That way, you will not waste too much time on a blind search for “the best” property.
Research a manageable number of properties
In their search for the right property, some people tend to have countless properties to analyse. It is advised that you come up with a manageable sum of properties which you can throughly research and even personally visit. That way, you will be giving yourself less headache as well as minimising the paradox of choice.
The ideal market
If you find yourself analysing a large number of properties that are available for sale in the same area over a time frame of several months, you should be wary and question whether this could be a problem of over-supply. Though looking at a number of properties in the same area over time may give you a good ballpark on what is available and what the appropriate price should be, the ideal market should have about only half a dozen to a few dozen properties for sale. This shows that demand for property in the area is high, and thus the limited supply.
The ideal time frame
So how long is too long and what is the best time frame? According to experts, three weeks to three months is about normal. Ultimately, the time you to decide take depends on how soon you can understand and interpret indicators of the market, such as the potential selling price, targeted buyers of that market as well as whether that market is highly attractive to buyers. If you take more than six months of research, chances are there is a problem with your method of searching or in making the final decision.
The best way to start
The key to kick-starting your research is by first finding the right suburb. It is the location that counts, not just the property itself. As experts put it, you are better off buying the worst property in the best area than buying the best property in the worst area.
Gaining momentum in your research
To make things faster, map everything. Google maps is a great tool (and not to mention, free) to use in pinpointing good and not so encouraging areas. Take your time to determine which neighbourhoods within a town, city or state have higher potential and make the effort to even take a drive to the area
Several aspects to keep a lookout for are:
- Accessibility to major roads.
- Proximity to industrial areas.
- Nearby public transportation, schools, shops etc.
- Whether the property has been taken well care of by previous or current occupants. - Security/ whether the neighbourhood or township is gated and guarded.
Talk to local agents
Reducing the time you take in researching a property or market can also be done by talking to agents who have been working with the specific property or other properties in the area of your choice. Plan the appropriate questions to ask them to gain better insight from their experience.
Some information that agents have which you may not be able to find out on your own are:
- What are the common demand or aspects that buyers and tenants look for?
- Which properties are the most in demand or of highest interest to buyers and tenants?
- Are there any affordable housing in the area?