How the experts buy property: Infolio's Nicholas Morrison

One thing we have plenty of access to at Property Observer is a pool of buyer's agents who are selective about their investment stock and the properties they choose for their clients.

In this new series, we'll be interviewing a number of experts and industry members about the type of properties they're putting their clients into.

Not only will this give you an understanding of the different ways buyer's agents select their properties, and make you think twice about your own investment criteria, but it will show you one of the more exciting things about property - that there are many different opinions out there around what makes an investment work or fail.

It's your job as the investor to figure out who you agree with, and who you disagree with.

Our first in the series is Nicholas Morrison, a Buyers Advocate for infolio property advisors - a Melbourne based buyer's agency. 

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Type of property

We try to go for the same type of property every time. We always look for something on a quiet, leafy residential street. Something that's in a boutique block of say less than 18 properties in the block.

We look for properties that must have an outdoor space, they must have a carpark and something that has a bit of an x-factor. We're trying to find properties that will eventually sell to an owner occupier, or hopefully when you go to sell it have two owner occupiers fight it out at auction.

It's very important that the properties we buy aren't generic investment-style properties. Whether it be in a block of 200 apartments that are all the same, or maybe an off-the-plan development that's in a major road that's in an area that's constantly developing other high density product. These are the products we find don't go up in value as well as the more boutique blocks in the quiet, leafy, affluent suburbs.

The price point

Most of our investors are looking for property between, say, $400,000 to $650,000. At that sort of range or price point we're looking at mainly units, two-bedroom units we do a lot of. We quite often do units that are maybe an older block, a 60s or 70s block that a small amount of doing up can actually add a huge amount of value to. And, generally, mostly at that level we're looking at stuff that is inner city affluent suburbs.

Not right in the middle of the city, we don't advise going into high density areas like the CBD or Port Melbourne that are really pro-development, just simply because of the supply and demand and how many apartments there are, and there are always apartments coming on. This creates many options for anyone who is looking to buy, there's always someone there who is willing to sell because there are so many apartments there.

So we try and find suburbs that are a little further out of the city, that obviously have good transport links but where they're not developing, where getting into that suburb is not only desirable for an owner-occupier but also for a renter.

The location

Depending on the budget of course, we purchase a lot of investment properties in St Kilda, Elwood, Armadale, Malvern, South Yarra, Prahran, Elsternwick, St Kilda East even, are places that are starting to maybe grow in value and become a bit cooler as the place to live. But it really comes down to the person's budget to where we can actually invest. Generally, if it's a suburb that has good transport links, has a good cafe culture, also has a chic reputation to it, there's always going to be someone who wants to rent there.

And if you go to sell the property, eventually there's always going to be someone who wants to live there and create that as their new home.

Contact Jennifer Duke  if you'd like to be considered for our "How the experts buy" series.

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