What investors should know before buying a home

AS AN investor, it's important to know your target rental market. What do they want and need from a property?

The answer to this question may influence your decision to buy or renovate in a particular market.

What you will find - and this may ring especially true if you own an investment property interstate - is that people want different things from a property depending on which part of Australia they're looking at.

What renters are looking for in a property in Tasmania may be vastly different to what they expect from a property in Queensland.

As an investor looking in those markets it pays to know what renters are seeking out before you buy a property that may not fit their needs.

Most popular property features in rental properties:

  • Pools are the most popular home feature for renters searching for property in every state except for Tasmania and ACT, according to realestate.com.au keyword search data.
  • In New South Wales, entertaining is potentially a bigger concern, with gas cooking and balconies among the most searched for terms.
  • NRAS (National Rental Affordability Scheme) is number two on the list for people searching in Queensland, higher than any other state. Dual living is also important at number six.

Managing director of Advantage Property Consulting and buyer's advocate on Channel Nine's The Block, Frank Valentic, says he's not surprised to see renters craving properties with pools this spring.

"Australians have a very outdoor focused lifestyle with most states experiencing warm weather for eight to nine months of the year," Valentic says. "Also, renters aren't as concerned about the long-term maintenance of the pool. Owner-occupiers may see it as more work than play."

He was surprised to see 'furnished' high on the list in most states, apart from ACT where universities and graduate jobs have always attracted a lot of short term renters.

"We find furnished rental properties to be a very niche market that normally attracts interstate or first time renters who don't want to have to deck out an entire apartment.

"Renters looking for short term tenancies prefer furnished properties as it minimises the amount of furniture they need to transport come moving day."

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