Making money from property or storing money in property, which do you prefer?

Are you confused about what property investment strategy you should use? After all, there are a lot of options out there. You need to pick the right one. The one that will suit your risk profile, your time and your skills. If you get it wrong it could cost you. What works for me may not work for you. It took a business mentor to open my eyes to the two main ways that people use property as an investment vehicle and I thought I’d share that with you.

Confused about the whole investing in property thing? Read on.

Confused about the whole investing in property thing? Read on.

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Tiles, tiles and more tiles

Do you know how many tiles there are to be considered in a new home? We have three full bathrooms as well as the kitchen, office kitchenette and the laundry. That’s a lot of wet area to cover.

Beautiful big 900 x 300 tiles can be used as an alternative to a glass splashback

While it appeared fairly daunting at first, I have to commend the sales staff at Beaumont Tiles in Brendale QLD, for their assistance in explaining the different types of tiles to us and helping us narrow down the final choices. They also have a great in-store computer program that allowed us to see how the tiles might look installed using various laying patterns. Read more

Defining Your Investment Strategy

For those of you who have made the decision to stop living from pay cheque to pay cheque, or are facing a less than stellar Superannuation fund payout in years to come and are considering getting into investment, a word of warning. While it’s great that you want to take control of your future (well as much as we can control), if you haven’t sat down and defined your investment strategy you may end up just throwing your hard earned cash away.

An investment strategy forms part of your plans for moving forward. It is a tool to keep you on track.

So what is an investment strategy and why do you need one? Well settle back and I’ll tell you our story of investment, what I found when investigating different options for investment and how we developed our investment strategy. Perhaps you might find inspiration to start your journey.

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My New Year’s Resolution – that I’ll get to in February (maybe)

Ok, it’s the start of a new year and I’m sure that a lot of us have made all sorts of resolutions a few weeks ago. Now that we have passed the middle of January (January is always the shortest month of the year for me – to my mind it whizzes by so quickly and February appears out of nowhere), many of those resolutions and goals have been dropped and we are possibly back to square one. I decided that since January is such a short month that I would just enjoy it, take the time to set my goals and get started somewhere around February 1st (although, yes I know, technically February is shorter than January!). Since we are in the middle of a searingly hot summer here in Brisbane, Australia I don’t see the need to push myself too much – I’ll potter around in my air-conditioned office, concentrating on completing the work tasks we set last November. I’m sure when we did our planning we forgot how short January really is, because to achieve everything we put on our January to-do list we’d need a 60 day month! Oh well.

January seems so short, one minute you are relaxing on the beach thinking about what you should accomplish this year and the next thing you know it's nearly February, that's why I leave New Years resolutions till 1st February.

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The Home Office – My Grown Up Cubby House

One of the best parts of the new house is the home office. This is my productivity cave. I can go there and shut myself in and because I am ‘at work’ I don’t get as many interruptions. One of my work colleagues visited recently and playfully commented it was like a grown up cubby house and she is right – it does feel a bit like a large playhouse and I hope we all continue to have fun as well as be productive in it.

The Office - My Grown Up Cubby House

Having a separate home office was one of the primary reasons we decided to build a new home. The Old Queenslander was lovely as a family home, however the office was part of the house and it was so easy to get distracted with home stuff like laundry or cooking when I really should have been concentrating on paid work.

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Moving In

After nearly a year and a half of renovation and building, and a few weeks of frantic activity, we have finally settled into the new house. We are discovering all those things that were either buried in the move or have been packed away in boxes for the duration – it’s a wonderful discovery of how much you don’t need after all with the Op shops around us being blessed with a number of items that we obviously couldn’t part with 18 months ago but have now discovered otherwise.

The old Queenslander and the new Queenslander side by side.

The week before the move was filled with activity. At one stage we had plumbers, tilers and painters all working around each other; it’s amazing what a deadline can do to get things moving.

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Preparing the house for rent

Well with the imminent completion of the new home, we listed the Queenslander on the rental market, one viewing and it was rented and to a preferred tenant. How did that happen? This result I believe is because we followed a deliberate approach to the renovation combined with using a premium rental service and being clear about the sort of tenant we preferred.

Preparation is the key to getting a good tenant

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Finding the ideal house for renovation and development

I’ve actually learned a few things over our years of buying and renovating properties, some of these have been hard lessons where we made mistakes that cost us, while others I have learnt by listening to others who have trod a path before us. Now that we are getting to the end of our current small development I can see that those earlier lessons have paid off with positive results. Recently I have been reflecting on what we did right and what could have been done better, at least with the renovated Queenslander and general development process.

Finding the right property is essential when planning for a development. The costs can blow out if you don't do your homework.

When we initially ventured into purchasing properties for renovation we generally didn’t end up making a lot of money or creating much equity in the property; mainly this was because we didn’t purchase the right properties. After listening to, and learning from, other more experienced renovators and developers I gained a better idea of what we needed to look for when seeking a property to develop. Read more

Fenced In

A well-constructed and thought out fence can be both practical and aesthetically pleasing.

For me the fence had to be a considered part of the finished product, not an after thought.

A fence can be so much more than a barrier between you and the world.

A fence is one of the first things that introduces people to your home. It has the potential to not only complement the home, but make a statement. Of course, a fence also needs to meet some practical requirements of home life such as keeping kids and pets in and unwanted visitors out – not that I have to worry about keeping the kids in these days… it seems they don’t want to leave.

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