First-time investor: Papatoetoe

Meet Irene Prasad, who purchased her first investment property in August 2013 and then started looking for a second one straight away.

Property description: Residential, 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom, stand alone house

Property location: Papatoetoe

Date you purchased: August 2013

Name of Property Manager at Barfoot & Thompson: Katrina O'Connor, Te Atatu

Investment experience: First-time property investor

Why did you decide to invest in property?

My father was into property investment so I knew that it was one of the safest investments which also provided one of the best returns.

What were the key things you looked for when investing in property?

Someone once said location, location, location, it was no different for me. Location was the key and easy access to transport and school. The roof, bathroom and kitchen were in good condition so I knew I wouldn't have to spend on maintenance and redecorating for some years.

Did you have a specific philosophy or strategy for property investment (or investment overall) that you followed?

I had seen other properties that I had liked but the prices were not ideal as the rent would not have been enough to cover the mortgage, you would not want to top up on your mortgage as there are other costs such as city rates and insurance.

What advice would you give to a new investor?

Know your area, and have a feel of the market for the area. I had gone to several auctions in the area I invested in just to understand the market. So when I bought this property I knew I got a good deal.

What do you know now that you wish you had known before you became an investor?

Keep some savings aside for some unexpected expenses. Remember you haven’t lived in the property so there might be some minor maintenance issues that crop up when your first tenants move in.

Would you invest in property again?

I am already looking for another one!!!

How easy was it to find suitable tenants?

I had worked with Katrina O’ Connor in the past so knew about her strong work ethics, and firm but fair attitude so I knew exactly who to call. She got me a tenant within 2 weeks of settlement and is currently managing the property for me – bliss!

What do you think has been the easiest thing about investing?

It has been very easy for me to get a loan for investment as I already had equity on my home. I didn’t realise that within a year and a half there had been a good capital gain so it was a good surprise to get the loan approved.

What do you think has been the hardest thing about investing?

Taking that first step whether at auction or making an offer was hard, even with the research I did on the property and having a preapproved loan. Due to that insecurity, I invested in a location I knew that would give me the returns or I could easily off load if the need arises. However the first investment experience has made me much more confident and I’m ready to take some risks and invest in other areas.

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