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There’s a good deal of misconception about building wealth through property.

Along my journey, I’ve heard all sorts of reasons why people “just can’t” invest.

The most common ones are: 5 Common excuses that stop investors before they begin 1

  • I don’t have enough money to buy property
  • The market is too unreliable for property to be a safe investment any more.
  • It takes several years to see any results
  • I don’t know anything about buying property or having tenants
  • I’m going to stick with my superannuation rather than risk my future on property.

Property investment is often delayed or bypassed as a way to build wealth, because there is a lack of awareness around how it really works.

People think they need to have a big bank balance behind them in order to climb the property ladder, or that it’s only for high-flying brokers who live in penthouses.

In reality, property investors are often regular, everyday Australians.

If you’ve been considering investing in property but you haven’t yet made a move, you may find the following points familiar.

Yet for every excuse of not getting started in property there’s a valid counter-argument, so I’m sorry to say I’m about to take the wind out of the sails of some of your excuses!

So let’s look a little closer at 5 common reasons people are wary of real estate investment:

1. I don’t have enough money to buy property 5 Common excuses that stop investors before they begin 2

Are you sure?

Have you ever consulted with a mortgage broker to see what your current borrowing power is?

Many people think that you need to have a sizeable deposit sitting in your account, but that’s not necessarily true.

There’s the possibility of using the equity in your own home, or borrowing a higher percentage of the property’s value.

It might mean exploring lower-priced properties, but a small apartment in a high growth suburb is a better first investment than nothing at all.

2. The market is too unreliable for property to be a safe investment

It’s true that property markets can be unpredictable, but owning the right type of property in the right location and having a financial buffer in place is likely to help you make it through the ups and downs of the property cycle.

Remember that some properties represent a far better investment opportunity than others. In fact, in my mind only around 1% of properties currently on the market are “investment grade.”

3. It takes several years to see any results 5 Common excuses that stop investors before they begin 3

Only a very lucky few find their fortune overnight.

Gaining real, long-term wealth involves a number of years; this is true regardless of what asset class you invest in.

While your first several years as a property investor may not seem to be very productive, using the power of leverage, compounding and time will help you to achieve your goals, whereas time out of the market fails to get you anywhere.

4. I don’t know anything about buying property or having tenants

This may be the case – but you don’t need to know about these things in the beginning.

Start reading, do some research, find a mentor, speak to a finance broker and get a proficient property independent property strategist on your side.

You’ll soon see that there is a formula of sorts with investing in real estate that doesn’t require you to have any previous experience, as long as you have a good team to advise you along the way and you are willing to learn.

5. “It’s too hard to figure out when to get into — or out of — the market.”

Human beings have a natural urge to transact. But getting into and out of the market is gambling, not investing. If you treat the property market like a casino, and you’re picking or attempting to time the market, you need to be right twice—in an aim to buy low and sell high. Fortunately, you don’t need to time the market to have a good investment experience.  Once you decide to be a long-term investor, the timing debate is off the table. And that’s a big relief.


6. “I’m afraid I’m going to lose it all.”

If you’re lucky enough to live a long time, you’ll face property market downturns. Let’s consider the worst case situation, your house burns down and you have no insurance. A terrible situation no doubt, but at the end of the day you still own the block of land, and in most cases it is worth more than the house that was on it.  So you are not likely to “lose it all”.  Oh, and make sure that you have insurance.

7. “I don’t know what I don’t know, and that makes me nervous.”

It’s OK to be nervous! If investing were a slam dunk, there wouldn’t be a positive expected payoff. In order for an investment to offer the possibility of a return above bank interest, it needs to carry risk. And when it comes to deciding how to grow your hard-earned money, the stakes are high. Uncertainty is scary, but without uncertainty, there would be no opportunity. Property market behavior is uncertain, just like most things in our lives. None of us can make uncertainty disappear, but dealing thoughtfully with uncertainty can make a huge difference in investment returns and quality of life. Your challenge is to stick with an established plan.

8. I’m going to stick with my superannuation rather than risk my future on property

Putting all your retirement eggs in one basket is a big risk in itself.

Don’t assume that 40 years in the workforce will allow you to accrue enough super to last you a couple more decades, without other sources of income.

The sad fact is that Australian retirees are increasingly learning this the hard way.

It’s up to you to take other steps to ensure you’re not just ‘scraping by’ when you’re out of the workforce.

How can you move past these excuses and take action as an investor?

None of those excuses hold any water if these Hicks Real Estate essential steps are implemented:

1 Research:

Find a team of experts to work with, such as a property strategist, a finance broker and a good accountant. 5 Common excuses that stop investors before they begin 4

Leverage the knowledge and experience of others when you don’t have any of your own.

Do your own research too, through books, investment property mentors and any literature you can get your hands on.

When you’re ready to purchase, it becomes a matter of researching market trends, locations and supply and demand of housing to find a sound property within your budget.

This is where your Hicks Real Estate team really shines.

A Complete Guide to Capital Gains Tax  

2. Calculating:

If you’ve got a nifty deposit saved and ready to go to snap up your first property, that’s great, but don’t lose faith if that’s not your current situation.

Explore your options with your expert team to see how you can get onto the first step of the property ladder.

Remember to keep a decent buffer in your loan or offset account to cover unexpected expenses or shifts in the market.

3. Planning:

An investment plan is essential for anyone embarking on a real estate investment venture. 5 Common excuses that stop investors before they begin 5

our plan should incorporate the amount of money you need to retire comfortably on, and how many properties you need to purchase to reach that figure.

With all of your research, your expert team, and the calculations you’ve made based on your current finances and borrowing power, you’ve got the knowledge to plan your long-term property investment strategy and get started.

So what is your next move going to be?

Are you going to fall back into the comfort of making more excuses ‘why not’ – or take action towards making your wealth creation goals come true?

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Hicks Real Estate is a Brisbane based, full-service real estate agency supporting buyers and sell as well as renters and property investors. With almost 20 years experience in the local market, we are the real estate experts you can rely upon.