While there is always an opportunity to do well in the property market, that doesn’t mean that what is right for one investor is right for another.
This is especially true if you’re looking to have children, or potentially add to the family with another child in the coming months, and it’s important that you give consideration to a few factors in order to make a successful (and stress-free) purchase.
1. Borrow before the bump
One of the first things you should consider is getting your finance in place as early as possible (preferably before you’re showing).
This is important because the bank will look at you very differently once you have another dependant.
They understand that babies cost money which then affects your household budget which in turns affects your ability to service a loan.
If the bank is aware that you have a baby on the way they may reduce the amount that you can actually borrow, so try and get in as early as possible and get that pre-approval in place.
2. Leave the fixer-upper for another mother
The second thing to look out for is a property that is reasonably low maintenance.
Now is not the time to rush headlong into your dream renovation project – you don’t want anything that’s going to take your headspace in the future, because it will be hard enough looking after those little ones once they do come.
A property that requires a lot of maintenance can be trying and stressful at the best of times, so it’s always wise to opt for something that won’t take too much bandwidth.
Opting for a well maintained, brick property that doesn’t need immediate upgrades is usually the way to go – something that you can put in the portfolio and will be a ‘set and forget’.
Of course, one of the key things in making a property investment as streamlined as possible is having a great property manager on board who can pull it all together for you, so make sure you get someone dependable in your corner.
3. Know your cashflow
The third point is investing in a property that has the right level of cashflow for your circumstances.
Depending on your current incomes, you may need to adjust the property criteria to match your post-natal cash flow, especially if one or both of you are looking to take some time off work.
This is going to be different for everybody, but understanding how much the property will cost you on an ongoing basis and whether you can afford it is critical as babies can put a strain on the budget.
Sitting down with an experienced buyer’s agent or somebody in the property investment space can be beneficial if you want to work out how much a new investment will affect the household budget moving forward.
Avoiding investments with high strata fees is a good start, and if you’re investing in a negatively geared property, make sure you have the funds to make up the shortfall.
So if you are looking to have another child in the near future, make sure you don’t put more of a burden on yourself than necessary by investing in the wrong type of property. Property itself can be a great investment for the future if you choose well.