Determining the right time to buy an investment property can be a challenging decision, especially when factoring in obtaining a home loan or mortgage. 

It can be scary to get into real estate, particularly when you’re new to the market, when you have so much money on the line, and when experts, friends and market forecasts all have different outlooks. 

In this article, we’ll explore in-depth the most important factors in determining the right time to buy, and how to optimise your property purchase timing. 

There are several important factors to consider when choosing the right time to invest:

  • Market Conditions
  • Personal Finances 
  • Long Term Goals 

But first, why purchase an investment property? 

An investment property is a great asset that offers many benefits. Along with the potential for long-term financial gain through rental income and property appreciation, a rental income can provide a steady cash flow that can cover your mortgage and other expenses. Property appreciation over time can result in a significant increase in the property’s value. 

A key reason to invest in real estate is the opportunity for diversification of your investment portfolio, especially as real estate can offer a hedge against inflation and market volatility. Purchasing an investment property offers a range of financial benefits that can make it a worthwhile option for many investors.

Determining the right time to buy 

Market Conditions 

If you’re considering purchasing a property, keeping track of market conditions is a good way to learn about the property market. It will also help you determine the right time to invest. The real estate market is cyclical, and fluctuates between a buyer’s market and a seller’s market. In a buyer’s market, the supply of homes exceeds the demand, resulting in lower home prices. In a seller’s market, the demand for homes exceeds the supply, resulting in higher home prices. When the market is in favour of buyers, it can be an excellent time to buy an investment property and take advantage of low prices. When taking out a mortgage, it’s especially important to look for opportunities when interest rates are low. 

Market conditions alone can’t determine the right time for you to buy an investment property. The picture isn’t complete without taking into account your financial position and long term goals. 

Key takeaway: study the market, but remember that market conditions aren’t the only factor in deciding when to invest.  

Personal Finances

The state of your personal finances, your job security, and your income potential over the period in which you intend to apply for, secure and pay off a home loan, is an essential factor to consider when deciding to buy an investment property. The purchase of an investment property is a significant financial commitment, and buyers need to ensure they have sufficient funds to cover a down payment, closing costs, and any necessary renovations or repairs. 

Sitting down with a mortgage broker to get an overview of your credit score and how it will affect your ability to obtain a home loan, is an important part of planning for an investment property. 

Key takeaway: take stock of your savings, assets, income, debts, and spending habits. Speak to a mortgage broker to learn about what kind of home loan you might be able to obtain. 

Long-Term Goals

Investing in property is a long-term game. Consider your reasons for investing in real estate and how the investment property fits into your overall financial plan. For example, if the goal is to generate a passive income stream, it may be advantageous to purchase an investment property when the market is in favour of buyers to secure a favourable purchase price and increase potential rental income. Consider how your investment property purchase might affect tax liability, as certain expenses related to owning an investment property are tax-deductible.

Investment properties come in many different varieties, and buyers often have different uses for them. Some investors may opt to occupy the property, whether initially or in the future, while others may be renting out immediately, and some may be considering an AirBnB. Factors to consider include whether it suits your family’s needs, or the needs of potential renters, the surrounding infrastructure and proximity to urban hubs including employment, entertainment, and shopping precincts. Put together a clear set of investment criteria and only consider properties that meet these requirements. 

Key takeaway: make sure to consider how the investment aligns with your long-term goals. 

Summary

While it’s a catchy headline, in reality, there is no perfect time to buy an investment property. 

However, assessing market conditions, taking into account your individual circumstances and having an investing strategy can help you determine if it’s the right time for you

A good way to start is by speaking to a mortgage broker. 

Mortgage brokers are experts in the type of loans available to buyers, and can help you secure the best mortgage. 

If you’re looking to assess your income, assets, savings habits and the likelihood of being accepted for a loan, speaking to a mortgage broker can fast track the process. Mortgage brokers can offer advice on how to obtain favourable terms and interest rates. 
Mortgage brokers work with you at every step of the property buying journey, and help tailor a property investment strategy for you.

Emmanuel Guignard (MBA)
Director & Principal Mortgage Broker
With over 15 years’ experience in the finance industry and a recently completed MBA in Financial Planning, Emmanuel leads the broking team at Loanscope. His experience includes working with a wide range of property investors, from first time buyers to investors with large property portfolios. This includes handling complex applications involving trusts, company structures and self-managed super funds. He also operates as a qualified mentor to other mortgage brokers via the FBBA mentor program.
Emmanuel Guignard