'Land is the only thing worth money.'
'Apartments don't appreciate in value.'
'Stick with standard bricks and mortar.'
All of these statements have an element of truth to them - but do they apply to you?
This decision can of course, be influenced by budget, but there are various things to consider before you decide on a particular strategy, thereby cutting off all other options. Apartments can present incredible opportunities to a savvy investor, as long as variables are taken into account and it fits with the overall investment strategy.
Luxury apartments for example, can attract high-end residents, who pay high body corporate fees in order to ensure the ongoing quality of their home. In fact, when presented with high ongoing costs in the form of body corporate fees, many investors are put off – but if fees are low, the body corporate can be limited in it's ability to maintain the development to a high standard.
This is not to say that there aren't great opportunities at the lower end of the market, but cutting of options and focusing on a 'type' of residence - apartments or houses - will limit the pool of options available. Remember, as an investor, it's unlikely that you're going to end up living in the home, so don't let your own bias, which may not be in line with those of the market, dictate what shouldn't be an emotionally led decision.
Just because you would never dream of living in an apartment, doesn't mean that there aren't opportunities for you to profit from other people wanting to - there are many people who don't share your lifestyle or ambitions, and your financial goals should take precedence. Thinking like an investor involves stepping into other people's shoes, and removing your own presuppositions about what is 'good' and 'bad.'
When evaluating a property for rental, consider who would likely rent it, what would they look for that could increase their interest – and rental payments – and why they would choose to stay long term.
If your goals are more short-term, take the same approach, looking at the property through the eyes of your potential buyer, rather than based on your own opinions.
Being an astute investor involves understanding the demographics of the people you will be renting or selling to. The hardest part is not understanding what different types of people think – you probably know that already – but removing your own thoughts and opinions from the process.
When purchasing a high ticket item, it can seem counter-intuitive to buy something that you don't necessarily love – which has likely been your process for most of your life – and instead investing in something that fits better with someone else. However, unless you are planning on working with people exactly like you, which will severely limit your investment options, understanding not only areas, rental rates and average sale prices, but also the demographics of people within those areas is mandatory for achieving the best results from an investment standpoint.