1. Keep wall and carpet colours neutral. Classic neutral tones and colours tend to appeal to a wider audience.
2. Install smoke alarms. There are excellent low cost, long life battery operated smoke alarms that can be installed at very reasonable prices. One smoke alarm could save a life.
3. Work with your property manager and real estate agent regarding your next investment. A good property manager will assess the market rent and give some general advice about its ‘rent-ability’. While your property manager cannot give you investment advice, they can give you the benefit of their experience.
4. Invest each year in cleaning paths. A slippery path could cause harm to a tenant or their visitors. Slimy paths also look unsightly and may impact on first impressions when the property is available for rent.
5. Invest in a good advisory team. Good structures play an important role in investing.
Your team should consist of:
• Bank manager;
• Property manager; and
• Real estate agent.
6. Create a contingency fund. Sometimes things happen unexpectedly. Pipes can burst and so can your blood pressure. Mitigate stress by considering having funds tucked away earning interest in case of urgent and unforeseen repairs.
7. Read widely. There are great publications on investing including books, monthly property investor magazines, local investor groups, market wrap-ups providing rental statistics for each area of New Zealand and newsletters from your property management company. A well-read investor is an informed investor.
8. Ensure your insurance broker knows that you are an investor. Check your insurance policies for your rental properties carefully. If work is being carried out at one of your properties, e.g. a roof replacement, it is prudent (or it may be a requirement) to notify your insurer. If your property is vacant for a period of time, some insurance companies require that they be notified. Read the fine print.
9. If your property has a chimney, ask your property manager to arrange for it to be cleaned each year.
10. When buying your next investment property consider whether it has any ‘blue sky’ factor. Can a bedroom be added in easily? A large section could be sub-divisible and another investment property or two built. Check the Council rules.