Number 3 in a series of short articles by an educator and licensed real estate agent from Victoria Australia.
Location, Repeated three times
If you think that sounds like the name of a television show, you're right! Everyone it seems who talks about property will stress how important location is. But what do they mean?
Technically it just means where a property is located/situated. Whether it has a good location or not is not completely straightforward. It is a bit like beauty, it is in the eye of the beholder. For example if I were a passionate surfer a good location to me would be near the beach, for a bushwalker perhaps a location with easy access to bush trails would be a better location than in the middle of the CBD. It really depends on the needs of the inhabitants. There are some people who swear that country living is the best, other prefer the bustle of the city.
When people use the term a good location they are usually referring to what are generally considered positive things about a location. Is it on a quiet street? Not many people would choose a busy road in preference to a quiet street but some do because the noisy street is cheaper and it gives a buyer a less expensive option. Try to choose the high side of the street if the land is on a slope. Look carefully at which part of the property faces north. (Read No. 4 Aspect, Aspect, Aspect).
Is it close to public transport? Usually a winner for any buyer or renter as it allows some flexibility of access. If rental properties offer the same accommodation the one closest to public transport will attain the highest rent. Closeness to shops, sporting facilities and entertainment also add value to a property.
Educational facilities are also important but remember that it needs to suit the potential occupants. For example the tenants of a one-bedroom apartment will not be interested in a primary school nearby, but a university or training facility, which is close, may be very attractive to tenants.
If you are an investor look carefully at the properties around the one you may be considering. That will give a hint to the type of people who have been attracted to this particular location. Are they like the tenants you are hoping to attract? It is good to have more expensive properties in your location, as they will help maintain the value of other properties in the area.
Many cultures have strong beliefs about the various aspects of a property. I have found that these beliefs often make good sense. Running water nearby or at a property is appealing but beware it may mean higher insurance costs. A property facing a street at a Tee intersection has car headlights shining in the front windows at night. Having an oversized building nearby can also change the ambiance of a building. Being close to major roads to the city is fine as long as you can't hear the traffic. Check the location for noise levels on a rainy day.
As an investor you really have to think like the tenant you will want to attract. What things will make the difference to them - is it family things like playgrounds kindergartens and schools or for singles/couples the lifestyle amenities like trendy coffee shops? If you can't afford your first choice of suburb, look at its surrounding areas. It is worth taking the time to find the right location for your needs and your budget.
Toni Planinsek, principal of Planinsek Property Group, is happy to answer any queries through social media - Facebook and LinkedIn. She has prepared some free offers to help you on your road to becoming a successful property investor. To access yours go to www.toniplaninsek.com.au