Letters to Tully #5: Where to Buy

Dear Tully,

 Happy birthday... as you’ve just turned 21!

 Congratulations for making it this far. Now that you’re 21 you know I don’t care who stays over at the weekends, but can you just text me how many and their names so I can avoid those awkward introductions when I’ve stumbled into the kitchen in the middle of the night and may have forgotten pants!

 Okay, to recap what we’ve learnt about property so far … we’ve remembered the long game and to buy like the neighbourhood, to buy sellable houses and to watch the bank account. Here’s my next tip: buy as close to the centre of the city as you can.

 You’ll need to push yourself a little to do this. Why? Well, in a very simplistic manner, houses that are closer to the city are more desirable as rentals, attract higher rents and consequently have more upside than those out in wider suburbia.

 And, if you can, avoid apartments, opting for inner suburb houses instead.

 This is obviously easier said than done but at least make it a goal. In Wellington I would certainly target anything on the south side of the Terrace tunnel. Follow all the other rules I've outlined but make it a goal to move your property into town.

 Don’t be afraid of student flats; just don’t rent to your mates! It’s a myth that they will respect your property more. In fact, I think it’s the opposite. That’s why I will never rent one of our places to you or your mates! Actually, maybe I should have titled this lesson “Don’t rent to friends or family especially your children”. What happens is that you tend to not treat the transaction as professionally as you should. Inspections drop off and often you don’t keep increasing the rent from year to year as you would if you had a normal tenancy.

 Okay that’s enough: buy in the centre and don’t rent to your children.  

Graham Goodisson is a Registered Financial Adviser with Velocity Financial. No investment decision should be taken based on the information in this blog alone. A disclosure statement is available free of charge upon request.