Limited cash flow and equity mean many first-time property investors feel the need to chase down a bargain to enter the market. But, like most things in life, you usually get what you pay for, which – in the case of property – can mean unrealised returns or even losses. While there’s nothing wrong with paying less in the hope of making more, investors need to understand when a cheap property is truly a bargain and when they could be selling (or rather buying) themselves short.
New home sales are back on the rise, fuelled in part by many investors and owner-occupiers buying off the plan. The concept is straightforward: put up a deposit (usually 10 per cent) to help the developer fund construction and pay the balance when the build is complete. Apartments are now springing up at a rapid rate in capital cities and popular holiday locations with the confidence that property prices will rise, handing buyers a tidy capital growth when they eventually take possession.