‘All about the numbers’: A buyer’s agent shares how he identifies a good investment property

Right Property Group’s Steve Waters has developed his own checklist for picking a good investment property during his time as a buyer’s agent, but no matter how discerning one could get when choosing the next property to buy, he believes that it all comes down to the numbers—from cash flow to total costs.

Calculator pen numbers

He explained: “It's not just what it produces in terms of cash flow but what it costs in terms of its outgoings. Once again, your body corporates or your strata fees. How healthy are the strata funds in terms of the admin and the sinking fund? What's the maintenance look like it's going to be?”

Steve also prefers to buy in older blocks because of better infrastructure, which can ultimately help an investor save money for the long-term.

“I like the older blocks because they were better built and they seem to stand the test of time. They're really on the better infrastructure… Opposite the shopping centres, near the stations, and what have you. It's just got to have a really clean cost to operate. Now and potentially,” he said.

For some of his clients who seem to have a hard time making a decision, particularly those first-time property buyers, Steve always offers the same advice: Think of the worst thing that could possibly happen and prepare yourself accordingly. After all, property investment is generally a cycle—you win, you lose, and you learn.


“What is the worst case scenario…? Can you handle that worst case scenario? Yes or no? Then once you actually take that leap of faith and purchase… once you actually have skin in the game, you'll never learn as quick[ly]. Everything seems to stand out clearly to you—whether it's good, bad or ugly,” he said.

“Once you've educated yourself enough, once you've had enough confidence, [and] more importantly, once you've got the risk mitigation and your buffers around you to cover worst case scenarios, then just have a crack.”

Tune in to Steve Waters' episode on The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about his first investment property and his worst investment property, as well the life lessons they taught him and his most valuable "nugget of wisdom."


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