Ask Margaret: Where is a good place to invest with home equity?

Ask Margaret: Where is a good place to invest with home equity?
Ask Margaret: Where is a good place to invest with home equity?

Hi Margaret,

My wife and I are in our late 20's and have a small mortgage and a lot of equity in our Sydney home.

We are keen to use the equity in our home to invest. A while ago I heard you talking with Steve Price on 2GB about investing around Logan or about 25km outside Brisbane. But we have had a few discussions with people and they have suggested to keep out of that area. Do you still think it is a good place to invest?

From memory you also mentioned to search for a place where population growth exceeds the national average, is this still the case?

Do you have a new list to keep and eye out to invest in and one to keep away from?

Thanks for your help.



Hi Mike,

It's great news that you are ready to invest in property and I am really glad that you wrote to me before you took the plunge.  So many people leap right in without getting good, independent advice, and later suffer the consequences of having purchased a property from a spruiker who subsequently got a greater financial advantage  from the sale than the investor ever will! While that statement is likely to raise the hackles of the majority of self- styled property experts, that's ok - I'd rather have you forewarned than make friends!

So, having said that, now for a pep talk!  If you are serious about building a portfolio of sound, well performing properties, then you should not be deciding where to buy based on some expert's hotlist, and that includes my own!  If you are only going to be buying according to what any expert has to say about an area, then you are very likely far too late, as everyone else is also hearing that expert and buying there too.

You should also not be buying, or as is your case, NOT buying based on your discussions with 'people' who say not to buy in an area.  I'll hazard a guess that those people are well meaning friends, or perhaps locals who are providing suspect 'advice' based on their emotional feelings about an area.  Using Logan as an example, if you know what drives growth it's easy to see that Logan has growth drivers in spades, and these same drivers are likely to exert influence over the area for many years to come.  If you live in Brisbane, though, your view is likely tainted by the unpopularity of the area as a place to live in, and this view does not allow people to see past this inappropriate summary of an area's investing potential.  For my money, I'd prefer to buy in an area which can offer to me years of what I like to call 'generational' growth, than follow the sheep into the latest, upmarket area which may go great guns in the good times and plummet dismally the moment the economy turns in any way.

And so for you, your first port of call is education!  Learn how to become a successful property investor before you even start - all the ins and outs, what drives growth, how to negotiate, spot a bargain, and put in place the right structure - and this way, you won't need to ever take advice from anyone again.  You'll be less exposed to the danger presented by the spruikers, and more able to find, on your own, the next hotspot, buying there before the crowd descends and enjoying the very early growth that you get when you buy into a not-yet-known future hotspot. You'll also learn all of the factors which result in a great long -term investment, including how quickly the population grows, how the demographic mix affects property prices, how to identify meaningful infrastructure and much more.

But, be warned - spruikers are wolves in sheep's clothing.  They look just like the good guys and they certainly have an amazing gift which will seduce you and make you feel like your best interests are foremost in their minds. A good way to start in weeding out the opportunists is to ask a simple question - Does the advice being given also have a property sale attached to it?  It's simply not possble for any expert who ultimately sells a property to you, for which they gain a commission, to be providing independent advice which is also appropriate for your own personal circumstances!

Have a property question?      Ask Margaret!

Margaret Lomas

Margaret Lomas

Margaret Lomas is a best-selling author and writes and hosts the popular Property Success With Margaret Lomas and Your Money, Your Call, both on Sky News. She is the founder of Destiny.

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