Getting back on track after a wrong property purchase

One of the biggest fears of budding property investors is making the wrong purchase, but while it can put one in a dire financial situation, propertybuyer's Rich Harvey and Smart Property Investment's Phil Tarrant believes that there are ways to get back on track and ultimately achieve success in their property investment journey.

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According to Phil, there are different levels of a wrong property, but it's always important to contact a field expert or professional to know exactly where the investor is standing and make a strategy to recover from there.

"It just depends on the impact of the wrong property. If you buy the wrong property first, it might mean that you can't buy another property for quite some time... They've got to either sell the family home to pay off the debt or worst case, go bankrupt," Phil said.

"If someone is in trouble, if they feel as though they're financially stretched because of the property that they have, I'd be looking for help pretty quickly and I'd probably start with an accountant."

Meanwhile, for Rich, property investment will always be about education—whether you're starting out, dealing with some issues, or just plainly on the way to achieving your short- and long-term goals.


One reason why property investors end up buying the wrong property is dealing with property spruikers, that's why it's always important to equip one's self both technical and practical knowledge when investing in property.

"There's card game, I think it's called, 'When to Fold 'Em and When to Hold 'Em,' and... in property terms, you've got to know how long [you need to hold]," Rich said.

"If you hold on to a loss-producing asset for five years... add up the opportunity cost of a five-year period. Let's say a property is costing you $10,000 a year to hold it and it's down in value. It's going to cost you $50,000 or higher in present value terms to hold that property over five years.

"You might actually be better in some cases just to cut your losses, exit out, but [in] some markets you can't even do that. Talk about property spruikers... Properties went from $1.1 million in value down to $500,000 now. And the rents are absolutely terrible, so I feel really sorry for investors that bought in those major mining towns that are... stuck with a property. And it's going to take a long while for those markets even to be able to have a sale of those properties."

Phil and Rich's last piece of advice for property investors: Make it a habit to watch the market movement and keep your "bullshit radar" out. "You really got to watch all of the market movements, days on market, volume of sales, median prices. Look at all the indicators to work out whether it's good to sell or to hold," Rich said.

Phil concluded: "I say it all the time—people get attracted to the property. It's this get-rich-quick way to create wealth immediately. [But] if it's too good to be true, it's too good to be true. You've got to keep your bullshit radar out... Property should be a long-term play."

Tune in to The Smart Property Investment Show's special Q&A episode to know the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about property investment, including off-the-plan risks, creating equity, the financial backing you need to get started. and identifying the best real estate agents to sell a property.


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