Ever spent years trying to learn something and wish someone told you what you now know when you were just starting out?

For one of our team members, it was cutting tomatoes. He’d been doing it wrong until he was 32 years old, when he watched someone slice a tomato into cubes from the top, making it so much easier, quicker and more effective.

For you, it could be house-hunting for an investment property. Don’t stress if you’re a beginner in this space; you’re not expected to know everything and you’re already on the right track if you’re reading this post for advice!

Here, the experts at Patrick Leo property investors share some of the things we’ve learned over the past 20 years in the industry, outlining 7 mistakes to avoid when house-hunting for an investment property.

1)    Buying what you like

A key mistake, particularly for middle- to high-income earners – buying a property that suits their personal taste. This might be fine when buying a family home but, for investments, we need to put our hearts to the side and instead follow our heads: aim for high yield, growth potential and a low-vacancy suburb. Remember – this property isn’t for you to live in: it’s for you to invest in.

2)    Not planning for interest rate increases

This one actually turns into two separate mistakes: first, investing in what you can’t afford, and second, only being able to afford it on the current interest rate. An investment property is meant to increase your wealth and happiness, but will actually do the opposite if you’re unable to afford it should interest rates hike up (which, over the past 12 months, we’ve seen this mistake in action).

3)    Not assessing the suburb

It’s generic as all get-out, but we’re going to say it: location, location, location. Suburbs have all kinds of juicy facts about them, which indicate whether or not they’re good to invest in. Vacancy rate, average yield, median home price, median household income, access to universities and public transport – these factors play a huge role in house-hunting for an investment property.

4)    Looking only for residential

Who says you should limit yourself to a house or unit? What about a shop, warehouse or factory? There’s plenty of benefits in looking at commercial property, too.

5)    Rushing in or hesitating

Both of these can prove fatal when house-hunting for an investment property. We shouldn’t be rushing in without doing our homework, but we need to strike when we’re confident we’ve found something great.

6)    Failing to do a building inspection

It’s absolutely vital to have a professional building inspection done before buying any property. This could reveal expensive structural issues with the property, such as foundation movement, salt damp, etc.

7)    Not asking for professional advice

And finally, we’ve got possibly the biggest mistake you can make: thinking you know everything, and not asking a professional for advice. Even the experts at Patrick Leo won’t admit to knowing everything about property investment, but over 20 years’ experience in buying property for Australians, we certainly know a lot. Patrick Leo is Australia’s best team of property investing experts. Get in touch with our team and start house-hunting the smart way.

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