Buying property, when done wisely, is rarely a bad decision. Although property markets do flatten out occasionally, they always pick up again eventually, and if you’ve bought a decent property in a good area, it is always going to be a good investment in the long term.

The key question potential buyers often ask is: Do I buy a property to live in myself, or do I buy one purely as an investment?

This is a very good question because the considerations when buying for yourself are very different from when you’re looking at a property purely as a return on investment.

Buying Property For Yourself

Buying property for yourself is often based more on heart than head decisions! Perhaps you love a certain aspect of the house – a quaint fireplace, a romantic bay window, or just the way the place feels. You are likely to overlook small imperfections because you know that you can fix them over time, slowly turning your house into your dream home.

You will also focus on issues that are directly relevant to you, such as how far the property is from your place of work, or your children’s school. Is it close to family and friends? Perhaps you have a caravan, boat or trailer, so is there enough storage space? If you have dogs, issues such as the condition of the boundary walls or fences will also concern you.

And naturally, price is a big factor. Can you afford it, and is it worth the asking price? What have other, similar properties gone for in the same area? This is where a professional valuer will be able to help you, by offering an objective opinion of how much the property is really worth.

Buying Property As An Investment

When buying property purely as an investment, it’s important to keep your emotions out of the decision-making process and stick to the hard facts. Don’t let yourself be influenced by décor, for example. This is not going to be your home, so be practical and focus on those points that will be attractive to prospective tenants.

When thinking about tenants, it’s important to decide what kind of tenants you would like to attract. Students or young graduates will have different budgets and requirements to families or retired couples. Younger tenants will no doubt prefer a property closer to amenities and nightlife, whereas older couples may prefer a quieter location. When looking at properties to buy-to-rent, the location will definitely influence the type of tenants you’ll attract.

Buying an investment property is a numbers game. Unlike buying your own house, where you might be tempted to push your budget a bit to secure a property you really love, buying to rent means sticking to a realistic purchase price in order to maximise the profit you make from the rental every month. Focus on properties that offer the strongest yield returns, highest tenant demand and the best potential for strong future capital growth.

Once again, a professional valuer can give you practical, useful advice on buying property for investment, helping you determine feasible rentals and offering valuable insight on which properties offer the best value for money.

At Property Partnership, we have extensive experience in the valuation of commercial and residential properties. Our core focus is commercial, industrial, retail, development land, residential and specialised properties. For objective, professional property valuations you can rely on, contact The Property Partnership East Rand on 0860 999 440 or Email: – we’re standing by to help you.