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Buying property ‘sight unseen’: Is it a good strategy?

by Bianca Dabu | March 20, 2020
research
1 minute read

Buying property ‘sight unseen’: Is it a good strategy?

March 20, 2020

Through the years, property investor Jacqui Zielinski has successfully built a 10-property portfolio worth $3 million – all without seeing her assets. Could this strategy work for every investor?

Before turning 20, Ms Zielinski bought her first property in Wagga Wagga, her hometown. Then, before moving to Sydney with her husband, she added three more properties to her portfolio.

In Sydney, she and her husband invested in more properties across Mount Druitt and Macquarie Fields. Almost a decade later, the couple continues to hold their 10-property portfolio, which has been valued at $3 million.

Her Macquarie Fields property, a one-bedroom villa, was bought online from a mortgagee, and much like it, most of her assets were “bought sight unseen”.

“A lot of my properties are bought site unseen and I’ve just done offers over the phone... then get building and pest people to go through,” she said.

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While the process of buying sight unseen worries most people, Ms Zielinski appreciates how it helps her save time and money, as well as the effort of going back and forth from one location to the next.

The strategy also helps her avoid any emotional attachment to the properties, which allows her to make sound financial decisions.

According to the property investor: “I can just concentrate on the numbers. I get enough photos to give me comfort on the condition and I get people in there that I trust to give me honest feedback on what work needs to be done.”

“I feel like it’s not essential for me to go through every property.”

While the strategy has worked for her through the years, Ms Zielinski reminded her fellow investors that this may not work as well for everyone, particularly budding investors who are only at the beginning of their wealth-creation journey.

At the end of the day, it’s best to take the time to study the first few properties personally before finding a reliable professional to do it for them for future purchases.

By doing so, they can get acquainted with the fundamentals of property investment, which will ultimately help them maximise opportunities moving forward.

Further, they can assess the extent of the services they will need from their own financial team.

“I still recommend eyeballing it... But if I can’t see a property and we want to purchase it, I just have my buyer’s agent give me a thorough thing… I should know that people I trust have gone through it,” she said.

According to her, the best financial team is composed of people who understand the investor’s motivations and goals, as well as their capabilities and limitations as an individual and a property investor.

“It’s okay to pay for that advice… After all, if you haven’t got time to fly to Brisbane or anywhere else, to look at a property, they will do a good job making it work for you,” she said.

Buying property ‘sight unseen’: Is it a good strategy?
Wagga Wagga
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