The diversity of information available in the market place right now can make property investing somewhat of a minefield. People arguing the merits of certain areas to invest and strategies to adopt can make even experienced investors stop and wonder if they are doing the right thing.

One of the things I’ve noticed, is that there are a lot of people out there with very, very strong opinions on what is right and wrong when it comes to property investing. My own belief is that there is no right or wrong.

Every decision you make around investment is more about weighing up the pros and cons and the opportunity cost of taking particular actions. Opportunity cost is defined as: “the loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen and plays a crucial part in ensuring that scarce resources are used efficiently”[1]. In other words, if you spent a dollar here, then what would you be missing out on if you had spent it elsewhere.

I was recently talking with a young first time investor, who is facing the dilemma of whether or not she should just jump into the property market now and buy a lower value property, or whether she should hold out for another few months and save hard to buy a better property. She has great mindset and good financial discipline, so for her, it was more about weighing up the longer term implications of holding a slightly better property.

The role of a property investment adviser is not to say that one is right, one is wrong, but more to help clients understand the implications of each decision. Now, this particular young investor has a very specific type of risk profile and who wants a set and forget type of investment. Through discussion we discovered that holding out for another six months until she could afford the deposit for a better investment property was probably going to be the right decision. For another investor, the outcome might have been different.

The ongoing debates about whether you should buy regional or city, apartments or houses, developments versus established, are all questions that many property investors dwell on or can have strong opinions about. Once again, I would argue that there is no right or wrong. All opportunities need to be evaluated with many considerations taken into account.

Every opportunity needs to be assessed against your masterplan and if it’s something that is congruent with your goals then it can be considered. It is very easy with property investment to get distracted by opportunities that come along that might seem like a good idea but which in reality may cause significant deviation from the goals which you have set out and which cause stress.

The best suggestion I can give people when it comes to investment decisions, is to be mindful of who you take your advice from. Taking advice and opinions from people who have not had widespread experience with property investing and who aren’t qualified to give advice can be very dangerous. I know that often well-meaning friends and family can often send us in the wrong direction or undermine what might have otherwise been a very clear and well understood decision.

Salena Kulkarni is a Chartered Accountant and Certified Property Advisor with Phoenix Wealth Group. She works with time poor professionals who want to leverage their time, create independent wealth and who are interested in maintaining their lifestyle into retirement. You can reach her at salena@phoenixwealthgroup.com.au, www.phoenixwealthgroup.com.au

[1] Wikipedia

About The Author

Salena Kulkarni

Salena is the founding director of Phoenix Wealth Group. She has been a chartered accountant for over 15 years, beginning her career at Deloitte then working extensively in Europe and UK in multinational companies and consulting firms before returning to Australia in 2000. Throughout her career, Salena has been actively involved in real estate investment and development.

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