Rule No.1 is check the facts
THEREreally is an exception to every rule, especially in the property market.
You can be assured at exactly the moment you let your guard down, presume something is absolutely, unequivocally a fact, a definite outcome, or just good old-fashioned certainty, the above rule will jump out at you and slap you in the face like a proverbial for-sale board. Ironically, the no-exceptions rule is the only rule of property you can genuinely rely on without exception.
One of the real perks about being lucky enough to combinemylove of property with the world of media is I get to hear somanystories and questions that it givesmefar more insight into buyer and seller behaviour than I ever received as a practising real estate agent. It is simply wonderful! Some are short but sweet observations, while others are as long as a novel with all the intricacy of a spy thriller.
One question recently gotme thinking. It stated that due to job relocation this person was moving to a country town, with an approximate population of 2500. As he had about $40,000 saved, and there was nothing to rent within this particular town, he wanted to buy. Did I think this was a good investment? After all it might be just a short-term job placement, so it was possible he would need to sell the property after what I presumed was only a year or two?
Herein liesmycritical mistake; I forgot there could be an exception to every rule! Myfirst reaction was this guy clearly was not right. Howcould a town of 3000 have no rental properties available? I assumed I would find him some options on line and suggest he rent first. I would then recommend not to buy until he had time to research and get to know the local market by being there.
Luckily, however, I did check before hitting send. Initially, it was more to look at the housing market generally, rather than rental because, obviously, there must be something online.
However tomytotal shock – and I checked our two largest property websites two days in a row – there really was nothing. Absolutely zero. I did locate one or two in a nearby town, but that was 97km away – hardly ‘‘surrounding suburbs’’ is it?
So I had wrongly assumed that every town would at least have one or two homes available at any one time for rental. Myresearchnowmeant thatmyresponse needed to come from a completely different angle.
NowI wondered if this guy should buy ASAP, because as soon as he moves away, he can retain the home and the rental demand could make this one very positively geared rental investment.
What wasmyeventual advice? I played safe and suggested, after a lot of online searching, there were a number of short-term units and motels he could stay in in. This could potentially be a great little town to invest in, but to avoid entering the ‘‘high-risk’’ category I strongly suggested he should get to know the locals, watch the market, check out property papers, look at the sale/sold boards and attend open houses (if they have any) before buying.
Regardless ofhow big or small your town is, it’s important to try to get a true feel for the market and area, find out the right side of town. Most importantly check the rental market out, too, as that lack of supply could have been a blip – next month the market could suddenly see a real supply surge.
It seems there really is an exception to every rule. I mean a town with no rental properties available at all – whowould have thought of that?
By the way, I checked again and according to realestate.com.au, the biggest property-listing site in Australia, there still are no rental properties available in this town, or surrounding areas.
Should you be investing in a similar situation, please check all the facts and do your research, before you part with a single dollar. WhenI checked the 2011 census, it revealed more than 40 per cent of the town’s housing stock is actually rental properties. Clearly they don’t move out very often!
NOWHERE TO RENT: Finding temporary accommodation can sometimes be bewilderingly difficult.