Whether you’re new to property investing, or are an old hand looking to build your property portfolio there are a number of free and subscription-based online tools you can use to help you research, analyse and buy property.
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The better informed and prepared you are, the better your investment decisions and choices. Most information on the internet these days is free, and one of the best property investment strategies is to become as educated you can while you’re waiting for the right property to appear or before you even begin. Property experts suggest that people thinking about investing in real estate should keep track of a range of “big picture” strategic factors such as government policy and economic growth as well as issues such as property prices and rental income. Finding information in sources such as the Australian Financial Review can be invaluable for building up a general picture of the market and its outlook.
If you use Google News, consider customizing the newsfeed to include articles on property investment or property in general (but don’t forget to ensure the articles are being sourced from local news outlets). One advantage to using online versions of newspapers and property magazines online rather than in printed form is that you can easily search for the exact information you are looking for.
Finally, there are many blogs published every week by property experts that can be subscribed to for free which provide interesting and thought-provoking commentary. Not all will be relevant to your situation, but many provide a good idea of what’s going on in the local market. You can also search online for free webinars conducted by many professionals working in property sales and management. Webinars can be a great introduction to the world of investing all in the comfort of your own home.
There are many great tools online you can use when looking for the right property to invest in. Obvious examples include Domain.com.au and Realestate.com.au. Both sites now also offer a “New Homes” category where you research off the plan property. One of the best uses of these free sites is to build up a picture of the property market over time, giving you an accurate picture of which suburbs are booming and even the type of rental income you may get in a certain area. Another useful site is Next For Sale, which provides information on buying and rental patterns within suburbs.
Online calculators are a great boon for the property investor. You can find a range of free online calculators that will help you answer a range of financial questions such as mortgage costs and loan repayments. Keep in mind that most of the calculators are offered by the banks and other mortgage lenders, so therefore their calculations for various loans and other data will vary.
The internet has been both a blessing and a curse for property investors – on the one hand research and analysis that used to take weeks or even months can now be accessed at home while you finish a cup of coffee. Important trends such as rental income in certain suburbs or apartment price fluctuations can be recorded and analysed now with a click of a button. On the other hand, many property investors complain about “information overload”, with just so much data and associated commentary that sometimes it’s hard to see the wood for the trees. This is where expert opinion can help. Property professionals such as Ironfish can help you clarify your goals and provide expert advice and help on all aspects of finding and buying the right new, off the plan property for you.