For most Kiwis, finding a property is a fun, sometimes frustrating activity that happens rarely in their lives. Even the busiest investors don’t buy more than a few properties in a year when you average out their portfolios.
But I’m one of a handful of New Zealanders who finds properties for a living. That has its challenges and rewards. For starters, doing this for a job takes a lot of the ‘fun’ element out of it, though it’s still immensely satisfying to find exactly what the client wants at the right price. On the other hand, it’s far less frustrating because for me this is a numbers game, not a hunt for the perfect family home. I’ve secured deals on more than $350 million in properties over my career in property acquisitions, both in the private sector and with Housing New Zealand.
Here are my three top tips for finding the perfect investment property to fit your portfolio:
- Create narrow buying criteria. Know what you want before you start looking and be highly specific. You need to have clear, defined and realistic parameters for your property. Talk to agents to see if you’re within the right ballpark price-wise, as we see some Auckland ‘investors’ who sit on their hands for years, determined to get a bargain and refusing to accept that the market has moved.
- Stay locked on target. Don’t let the agents talk you into looking at properties that don’t meet your criteria. You’ve done your research and figured out your buying criteria, so stick to your guns and don’t waste your time (and other people’s time) on the wrong types of properties.
- Look for properties in the ‘too hard basket’. The very best deals I get are usually properties where problems have been identified that have frightened other buyers away. For instance, the moment the word ‘weathertightness’ appears in a property’s report, that’s enough to scare off almost everyone. But is it just the garage, or the conservatory, or a strange drainage problem? Alternatively, it could be that the owner has failed to get consent for building works, but I know we can do it. If you can find a solution where others have failed and get the property for a price that more than covers the cost of your solution, you can make serious money in a short space of time.
I’m busy in the market every day finding deals for FUZO Property clients. If you’re looking for an investment property to rent, subdivide or build a granny flat (minor dwelling), I may be able to help. I see loads of deals every month that never appear on any property website and I can help you assess whether the property you’re looking at is the right one for your portfolio.