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The Telescope

The Telescope

College student, investor, and world traveler!

United States passports for international travel. Photo courtesy of Deb Hellman.
United States passports for international travel. Photo courtesy of Deb Hellman.

I am currently finishing up my undergrad studies in Bend, Oregon, and I was accepted in grad school in Cleveland, Queensland (Australia). My dad is in the restaurant business and has always encouraged me to invest in what I know.  It’s kind of hard to do all that while in grad school, so I am thinking of investing in real estate while in Australia: sort of live in the property, and when I graduate, sell for a profit. The idea is to sell my stuff now, including a few run-down appliances, and head to Boston while I wait for the semester to being. What should I look for when searching for properties?

So, moving to the Land Down Under, eh? Sounds exciting! You’ve got quite the journey ahead of you. The best thing to do is to think ahead while planning out as much as possible while being detailed in the plan. This way, you can sell your current belongings that you will not be taking with you while preparing for the next chapter of your life. We do want to say, congratulations on being accepted to grad school and on having such a clear head for investing in your future. Your father has taught you well! Have a nice steak at Durgin Park Restaurant and enjoy Boston while you wait for school to start!

Selling your Items

First, let’s review your current items as those would need to be sold off. The objective is to obtain the highest possible value. Therefore, analyze the highest value items such as your stove, refrigerator, and other appliances that are simply too heavy and bulky to take. With this, you can at least recover some funds to purchase appliances for your new property. If some items are worn down, have an expert review them to see if they are worth repairing. Since you are in Bend, Oregon, refrigerator repair in Bend may be worth looking into.

Investment Differences

Investment properties have become a popular technique used to generate profit. TV shows seen on HGTV and other networks portray this type of investment as exciting and always profitable. However, this is no different than any other investment and comes with risks that need to be understood and possibly accounted for.

There are also several ways to invest in real estate. Some people choose to purchase property to rent, while others purchase property to flip in short timeframe. Your investment differs a bit given that you would like to live on the property a few years while you finish your graduate program. This provides a bit of an advantage as you have some time to strategize and make improvements.

What to Consider?

The main idea behind any investment, be it in property, stocks, or general merchandise, is to buy as low as possible and sell as high as possible. This idea, although simple, must be in the forefront of your decision process. Patience and knowledge will be needed as you find the perfect opportunity to buy a property below its current market value. Although you have time for the property to increase in value, the objective is to be ahead from the beginning of the investment. You will need to research property values and their respective fluctuations. You can try to obtain this information from lenders, realtors, and mortgage companies, as they often have access to such data.

Next, visit several properties and review the details of each. There are always characteristics that you need to look out for. You can purchase a property and make adjustments, improvements, or repairs that will immediately increase the value. For example, if the bathrooms or kitchen are in need of an upgrade, remodeling these areas is a positive enhancement. However, there are issues that will have a negative effect on the investment. For example, doors that stick, cracks above the windows frames, uneven floors, or gaps may be an indication that there is a bigger issue with the property’s foundations. Roofs are also expensive to replace. Ask how old the roof is, and expect the life expectancy of said roof to be about 20 years; although, this does depend greatly on the materials used. Do your research and keep in mind the amount of time that you expect to live on the property. Account for this so that does not become a problem when it is time to sell.

Also check windows. Make sure that they open and close correctly. Replacing windows is not one of those repairs that you’d like to do, as such repairs are expensive. Mold and water damage is another one of those problems that you want to stay away from. Look for musty odors and small black or gray spots as these are indicators of mold and water damage. Also, check how much storage space is available. This is not only necessary for you, it will be an asset when it comes time to sell.

Look for what is around the property. Is there a park or is there a noisy power station? When looking to sell the property, these will play a role. Look for attractive perks such as shops, access to public transportation, and good schools. What is around may or may not bother you but should be accommodating to possible future buyers. Remember, this is an investment. You must think about how what you invest in today is going to pay off in the future. Finally, review the legal requirements of purchasing property in Australia as a foreigner or on a student visa.

Final Thoughts

There is no shame in asking for help. Given that you are moving to another country, it may be best to seek the advice of a real estate agent that understands the area and understands the idea of investing. Review agents like Ryan McCann, who can assist in determining property values and investments that are guaranteed to pay off. Learn a bit about where you will be living and enjoy the time there!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” — Albert Einstein


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College student, investor, and world traveler!