Have you been following the property news and trying to decide when the best time is to invest? Are you asking yourself – when is the best time to buy property?

According to financial adviser, Noel Whittaker, the answer to this question is – whenever you are ready!

The author of Making Money Made Simple has some very pertinent advice for potential investors – stop reading the news and start ignoring property headlines.

Mr. Whittaker warns against making decisions from information gathered in the news or risk being put off making a decision to buy due to pessimistic property outlooks.  He cites the volatility of reporting and unreliability of real estate figures as the main reasons to overlook property outlooks – in any given week, experts can report on real estate booms yet others be predicting crashes and falls.  Real estate data, in particular, takes no account of the $8 billion a year Australians spend on home improvement, creating inaccuracies in figures and values.

How can I prepare to buy, without heeding the headlines?

Mr. Whittaker’s advice is simple – the time to invest is not when market outlooks are predicted to be good, but when you are ready and have done your own ground work.

For prospective buyers, here’s how to develop your investment strategy:  

  1. Find out what you can afford. Speak to your broker or bank and establish your price bracket.
  2. Do your research. Research what areas you can afford to buy the type of property you would like at the price you have established you want to pay.
  3. Choose a high growth, high demand area with established infrastructure and core industry sectors, preferably one with future growth potential and a low vacancy rate so you can always rent out the property if you don’t want to live in it.
  4. Become an expert on the area. Once you have priced yourself into that area, research the market.  Become an expert on the area – go to open homes, build relationships with real estate agents and get to know all about real estate in your chosen town/suburb/region.
  5. Once you’re an expert on the area and the market, you’ll clearly identify a genuinely good buy and you’ll be ready to purchase.

The key to property success, according to Noel Whittaker? Buy smart and grow the value.