Tag Archives: investment

Top 7 Biggest Mistakes Property Investors Make

The beginning of any investors isn’t an easy one. You have to know what that business is about, how it generates money, and can the business expand in the foreseeable future.

This is applicable to being a property investor.

Being a property investor requires you to attend classes, get to know your mentors, and people who are successful in your respective investing fields. You would have to continually learn and apply the knowledge you obtained – constantly experiment and adapt your techniques around the market.

Why is this vital?

Certain people would think they are ready when they have attended one class but once is never enough. You must constantly learn (attend many classes) , talk to field experts, and mingle within your investing team members.

Hence, here are the top 8 biggest mistakes property investors make:

1. YOU BUY PROPERTIES ACCORDING TO QUALIFICATIONS AND NOT AFFORDABILITY

Well, many of us are happy when the bank loan officer approves our bank loan. Your salary plus side income seemed decent, your liabilities are pretty low – so he thinks, ehh why not…. But the monthly installment would take away more than half your salary?!

Is that a red flag? Should you worry? … The answer is – yes!

A safe principal to follow is 30% – 35% (where 1/3 of your total salary) of your total salary would go to payment of home installments. This is because 1/3 of our salary should go for savings, 1/3 to daily needs like foods and transportation, and another 1/3 for commitments and/or investments.

It is safer that way rather than having 2/3 of your salary dumped to pay your home. Well, some people can live under strict financial diets but what if emergencies happen? How would you survive? Worst off if you have kids! So buy properties that you can afford and not what you are qualified to buy.

2. YOU THINK YOU CAN FLIP (SELL) A PROPERTY RIGHT AFTER YOU BUY ONE

This is one of the dangerous tactics in the books of property investments. You think you can sell the house you just bought right off the bat. When you buy a property for the sake of flipping – that is not investing, it is called gambling.

Why?

Simply because you sell “in the hopes” somebody will buy that property. In investing, we rely on facts and numbers – not mere speculations without concrete reasons.

I understand that we always hear stories of people having able to sell their houses right after their purchase but sticking to the fundamentals would be a safer way to invest and make money. The risks associated with flipping a fresh property is too high to take. It would take years to recover from buying a wrong property.

Worst off – you may have a financial monster in your hands and would need to auction the property, which would not represent a good outlook on your financial backgrounds the next time you apply for loans.

This same advise is applicable to properties that YOU THINK can get high rentals and make good money!

Always go back to fundamentals and research well your markets and competitors. One key strategy to know if that area has good rental occupation rate is to make time and visit that area at night.  Observe how many lights are on in every units. If there are many units with lights on, that shows high occupancy – a plus point to buy a unit in that area! If it’s vice versa, you should consider other places.

3. YOU THINK GOING TO ONE CLASS IS ENOUGH

It is plausible that you make effort to attend property classes – that’s great. Then you will feel pumped up and highly motivated – and you feel highly driven to buy a property. You will think that you can make money with the current knowledge you have.

But little did you know that there are more aspects you need to know to buy the first house – which is the riskiest investment. That’s right, your first house is the most vital investment to make.

Read more:

5 things you should consider before buying your first house

Should I Buy Property For Investment First Or Should I First Buy To Stay? 

4. YOU DIDN’T MAKE SURE THAT ALL THE FACTS AND NUMBERS ARE PRECISED!

It will determine whether you can be on the fast lane or slow lane in property investments. Because you might get stuck with that property for at least 6 years or more as a result of bad judgement. But that’s alright, you will learn by experience.

Always ensure your knowledge checks are complete. Things to know or cover are mainly as below:

a) 3 Major Risks Of Renting Properties And How To Mitigate The Risks

b) 5 Traits of a good property to invest and get good rental

5. YOU DID NOT PERFORMED THE REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT CALCULATION

To be an investor, you must rely on facts and numbers – not hopes and rumours.

This applies the same with property investments. You have to know the basic calculations to know if your property can make money.

How do you make the calculation?

Ensure that the property you want to invest is below market value approximately 10% – 20%

You can do this by checking the price offered by sellers against the average price people offer around the area.

Better yet, in Malaysia, we have a website that discloses the transparency of actual price transacted on the sales and purchase agreement (S&P). It was a partnership between a company and the local government to improve the property market business.

So if the seller’s offered price < average market price?

That clearly shows the property price is below market value.

However, to easily know that you can get a property below market value, have a go at auctioned properties. These are properties that have problems mainly due to previous owners having trouble repaying their monthly installments.

Read more:

From Abandoned/Auctioned House (Lelong House) Into Cash Machine

6. APPLYING MULTIPLE LOANS FOR MANY PROPERTIES AT ONE TIME (MULTIPLE SUBMISSION)

If I would tell you one thing that is truly risky – the black magic in property investing; that is none other than multiple submissions.

Normally when you associate black magic with the practitioner, it would definitely harm the practitioner in return. The multiple submission technique applies the same consequences – it would do more harm than good if not applied carefully.

You might wonder why this is black magic?

Imagine you applied a loan for two properties because you think that you can flip (sell) the property right after purchase or rent it high – considering the fact that your income can’t sustain the installments for both units.

Remarkably, your loan gets approved probably because you combined loan applications with your wife/trusted partner. That’s great!

But……..

Things get scary when both the units can’t be sold immediately, or nobody would want to rent the units/ rented it at lower price!

What will you do when this happen?

Worse comes to worse you might have to auction the properties or you’ll go bankrupt. Would really hope this is the last resort.

There are times where you think that specific property promised a good deal, even if you know you can’t maintain it – it is recommendable to bolster your income or buy a property you can afford.

7. NOT BUYING PROPERTIES NEAR YOUR “COMMON AREAS”

Common areas are areas where you normally go everyday. It can be the area where you work, your neighbourhood areas, or the place you passed by everyday. The idea is to buy a property that you find easy to visit in case you need to be physically there!

What happens if you don’t buy a property near your common area?

One thing for sure…. you will find it hard to visit your property if you need to be there physically. Things like signing contracts with tenants or handing over of keys (if you are into Airbnb business) would be a challenge if you are not physically there.

However, the aforementioned challenges can be overcome by building contacts with the local janitors or neighbours  who can help you out – of course, with an additional pay. The key to implement this is to find people who you can trust to run your chores when you can’t be there physically.

With all that said, hope you will make wiser investment decisions! It makes a lot of financial differences between making the right decisions and a wrong one. 

3 Major Risks Of Renting Properties And How To Mitigate The Risks

So you have decided to invest in properties and are planning to rent it out. You have the capital, the knowledge, and a good sense of where you want to invest now. However, you must also prepare yourself mentally for the major risks that awaits you when the rental starts. Here are 3 major risks of renting properties I consider quite substantial during your journey ahead.

1. Tenant do not pay their rent

This is basically the major concerns of most landlords. Landlords screen out the right tenants – or so they thought, and maybe they get good rental payments on time for few months but things changed after a while. You don’t get back your rental income because the tenants keep on delaying their payments. Worse comes to worse, you don’t hear much from your tenants and their bills dued more than 2 months – you checked your house and found out your tenant is already gone. They stayed at your house for free which is being very irresponsible especially at your expense.

2. The house is damaged/ things stolen

Alright so maybe the tenant has left the house for good without making payments and you think – “well, that’s alright! I can always get me new tenants”. But things just got worse when you discovered that your TV is stolen! Or nothing else was left there unlike when you started the rental except for the built-in items which is really not moveable. These kinds of problems are landlords’ worst nightmares.

It happened to me once. We had a condo near KL and welcomed a new tenant. The tenants claimed that she’s married and will be living there with her husband and children. We screened through their background details and found no problems at all. The payments were going smooth sailing the first few months until we did not received it for a month and contacting her seems unreachable. We decided to go visit the condo and shockingly found that our tv and some of our furnitures went poof!! And the house was like a wrecked ship – not to mention the weird smell being left there. Since then we always opted for good property management companies and have seen better results in terms of home maintenance qualities due to good tenant filters. However, some property management companies are only in for the money ignoring their service quality, hence we always opt for well known companies. It is a bit pricey in their services but help reduce lots of unecessary stresses.

3. Rental income does not cover your monthly housing installments

Whenever you are renting out on properties, the best strategy would be to get rental incomes higher than the installments. This is how you make money out of your investments. This is also a reason why you need to consider your housing investments carefully, that is to buy a property that is not too expensive so that people on majority will be able to pay you rentals that they find affordable and in a way helps you generate extra income out of the rentals. One of my property coach who is also my father once advised me, “when you are investing in rental property – go for the people in majority”.

This simply means that you buy property which can cater to the affordability of most people around that area or country. If you think that area is of high income earners then you may consider buying a quality apartment/condominium because people around there have the financial means.

However, if you find that the people living in that area consists of middle to low income earners then you might as well consider the lower range properties which caters to the affordability of the surrounding society. This way, if you are not earning positive cash flows from the property – at least you can get half of the installments covered, even though that would be our last resort. That’s a way you can minimize your risks to this matter.

So how are you going to minimize your risks during rental period?

1. Hire a property management company to manage your property

2. Research your property in depth before you make the investment in order to get the most out of your returns

3. Get your property insured for rental business purposes (there is an insurance specially designed to protect your property provided by the banks)

All and all, provided with great insurance coverage and the right knowledge – any property investments will be a good investment and a worthy one for sure.

From Abandoned/Auctioned House (Lelong House) Into Cash Machine

Have you been walking passed that same house – that gloomy, window broken, cracked door house for countless times and has never been occupied? You might think there is no hope at all to restore that property into good function – you might have to think twice!

Why are abandoned properties considered an amazing investment opportunities?

Simple, normally an abandoned property is sold below the market value! This gets even better if it is auctioned by the bank because it will be auctioned by higher margins below market value. Even though you might need to incur some costs to repair – hey, you got the house way the market value, meaning you are buying it cheaper than most people bought the same unit in the same neighbourhood. On a side note, “Lelong” is a term called by Malaysians as auctioned house.

According to Leslie Low, an auctioned specialist from Malaysia stated that an auctioned property would offer 30% to 40% below the market price based on The Star newspaper. Who would give you a property offer of 40% below market value? A decent newly launched terrace home these days costs RM 500,000. That means you’ll get an offer of RM 300,000 for the same property type – or even better.

How would you know if that property can make money?

Then you might ask, how do you buy a property that will make good investments? It’s simple! So long as it’s below market value, returns positive cashflows during rent, potential capital appreciation, within your usual place of hanging out or work, good neighbourhood and…. that area have a 5 year upgrading/expansion plan (check with your local developer) – then you are all set!

All the good signs are there already giving you the positive signals. Sometimes only that particular house looked all scary and dark but the other houses looked neat and tidy, that’s a sign of a good neighbourhood. Especially if it’s nearby public transport, malls, offices or any kind of public attraction. All these characteristics will definitely drive high population into that area making it having high demands for basic needs and wants – in our case it’s a roof over our heads. People would definitely need a place to stay.

How much money can an abandoned property make?

That actually depends on many factors. One of it is the marginal percentage below market price you are purchasing it. Let’s say you are buying a RM 500,000 worth of property at RM 300,000 during auction, you already have a capital appreciation gap of RM 200,000 there! Even though that capital appreciation will slowly catch up to the market value once the function of the house is fully recovered – hey, that means you are investing at a lower capital.

Wouldn’t it be great to invest a lower capital and have a high return? Everybody else is investing at higher price but still have a return approximately close to yours. Whose the winner? You are! But you still have to do your homework. You must know how much Return on Investments (ROI) that property makes, the future developments that area will undertake, who will be your target customers, and your overall costs short term as well as long term.

Not all properties can make great returns, what is a good property for you may not be the best property for another friend – always keep the foundations in mind. Have a read on 5 Traits of a good property to invest and get good rental to get general ideas on what is a good property to invest.

What is the best way to take advantage of the capital appreciation and low purchase price?

The magic word is “refinance” your house. The gap between market value (bank’s value of the said property) vs property purchase price = extra cash! There are two ways that I know of which is available in Malaysian and international banks – you can use term loans or an overdraft. Take an example of the same RM 500,000 property bought for RM 300,000 and after some time your property value had a capital appreciation to RM 700,000 because there is a new train station built in front of your neighborhood.  Then you decided to settle your loans fast and you apply “refinancing”.

The banks will reimburse you loans at the current market value of RM 700,000 – this will give you extra money to settle your old loan of RM 300,000 and on top of that, getting extra RM 400,000 (RM 700,000 – RM 300,000) that you can use to settle other outstanding loans (education or car) and you even use the extra money to invest in another property or open a new business!

But always bear in mind that the banks will always win. The amount of loans you get will need to be repaid on top of bank interest. Have a backup plan on how you will repay the bank loans before and after you utilized your loans. A good way to utilize your loans is to use it for matters that will improve your life financially such as settling outstanding loans (to avoid long term interest incur), start a profitable business, or to buy assets that can give positive cash flows in the future which outruns the bank loan installments itself. Good luck fellas!!