What if ...

Considering investing in property, but worried about all the things that might go wrong? Here we look at how to deal with a number of common 'what if' scenarios.

What if I buy the wrong property?

Rental yield, capital growth, tenant quality and demand should be upmost in your mind when searching for properties, which means not allowing your emotions or personal preferences to influence your decision.
Think about what appeals to a tenant and what property types are in demand now and in the future. Researching your market is an important part of knowing what features tenants are looking for.

What if I have problems with my tenants?

Screening tenants before signing contracts is the single most important tip for protecting yourself against this scenario. If you choose to hire a property manager to screen tenants, make sure their process is thorough and detailed, like using industry databases that list bad tenants. Conduct as many background checks as privacy laws allow and always ask for the tenant's references to include company names (not just mobile numbers) to ensure their legitimacy.

Remain vigilant after the tenant has moved in by conducting regular general property inspections and promptly dealing with any issues that arise. Landlord insurance can cover you against damage by the tenant or loss of rent.

What if I can't get a tenant?

This is a common fear among first time investors but you only need look at the low vacancy rates for rental properties to realise you are unlikely to have trouble finding tenants. Of course nothing turns potential tenants off faster than a run-down, dirty house, so for the greatest tenant appeal ensure the property is in good condition and the rent is on par with other similar properties in the area.

What if now is not the right time to buy?

Many property investors will tell you that 'when' to buy is nowhere near as important as actually 'buying'. With a long term strategy in mind, so long as you take a reasonably cautious approach, a decent property is more than likely going to deliver growth in the long term. The longer you hold off, the more time you spend missing opportunities to enter the market and grow your wealth.

What if I get the wrong advice?

You wouldn't take advice from an unqualified doctor, so don't take property advice from smooth talking sales people. Do your research and triple-check all the fine print before you enter purchasing schemes like rent guarantees and off-the-plan purchases. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

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