An architects perspective on property investment

Our client Andrew has engaged BFP Property Group to purchase three investment properties over the last few years. Each property has appreciated in value over the years allowing growth of the portfolio in a short space of time and will be held for long term wealth creation.

Andrew is an architect by trade and although valuing Ben’s overall guidance, Andrew simultaneously approached his investment journey through his architectural lens. The following is a summary of how he also evaluated the properties, recognising that quite often, these are qualitative view points and not necessarily focused on capital growth.

Location

  • Ensure property is away from major roads, or other sources of noise.
  • Check for nearby DA approvals to see any other nearby developments that may adversely affect the subject property.
  • Look for proximity to public transport, amenities and other essential services.
  • Check for potential views from upper floor extensions.

Building condition

  • Covered by the building and inspection report, but checking the condition of the timber, roofing, and brickwork, electrical and plumbing etc.
  • Built in ground floors of QLD properties in particular may attract watertightness issues and have insufficient ventilation, something to keep in mind for maintenance budgeting.
  • Avoid high maintenance items such as swimming pools, extensive landscaping and retaining walls. Painted walls attract more maintenance than brick face.

Design and Layout

  • Look for regular shaped blocks, the less slope the better.  If ever considering rebuilding project homes, generally work on a height difference across the land of less than 1.5m.
  • Generally look for a north to rear aspect for good solar to living areas and  indoor to outdoor transition.
  • With an established property, it is not always easy to get the building with the optimal layout.  That’s ok if you are intending to extend and improve in the long term.

Zoning and Building Codes

  • Check to see options for extension, granny flat or redevelopment.
  • Check whether there is side access for rear development.
  • Check whether the land is zoned for multistorey development, and whether there are any approved DA’s nearby.

Energy Efficiency

  • Established properties don’t have the same features of new properties in terms of water saving initiatives, energy saving appliances, good insulation etc.  There are opportunities to improve in the future.  Examples include awnings to shade windows that get excessive heat gain in the afternoons, solar panels, rainwater tanks, and modern tapware and appliances.

Renovation and Expansion Potential

  • Look for opportunities to create open plan living / kitchen and dining spaces.
  • See where additional bedrooms could be created in the future.
  • See where master suites could be created.
  • See where indoor/outdoor transitions could be improved.

Resale and Rental Condition

There are a few considerations that maximise resale and rental returns including:

  • Low maintenance, for example, no swimming pool
  • Number of bedrooms.
  • Fully fenced gardens.
  • Air conditioning in warmer climates.
  • Parking for two cars.
  • Fresh paint and carpet.

Keep in mind that involving a qualified architect or construction professional for a thorough inspection can provide valuable insights and help you maximize the property’s potential.

Andrew’s bio

Andrew is an architect, photographer and website builder.  His most recent site bestcafedesigns.com is an intersection between design and travel niches.  A great place for travel inspiration, when looking for your next coffee around Australia or beyond.