Designing and building an investment property is very different to building your own home. So where should you be spending your budget?
Blogger: Peter Gianoli, general manager, Investor Assist
The ABN Group build more than 3,500 homes per year and, while the majority are for owner-occupiers, many investors choose to build with us because we understand what makes a good investment property.
It may sound surprising, but we approach the construction and design of an investment property very differently to a family home. Why? Because investors and tenants have different objectives compared with owner-occupiers.
Investment properties need to be able to withstand a high level of wear and tear, while requiring low levels of maintenance. The house design needs to be highly adaptable to appeal to a broad range of tenants and the interior colour schemes need to be fairly neutral for the same reason. Investment properties need to appeal to the masses – they are not being built for a single owner with a particular style and vision.
With this in mind, here are my 10 tips for those looking to build an investment property:
- Consider all materials used during construction, such as the roof covering, cladding and rendering, to ensure cost-effective, low-maintenance options are used where possible.
- Choose light-coloured roofing over dark Colorbond or tiles to minimise heat absorption.
- Consider the target tenant for your investment property and decide whether you are targeting singles, couples or families, as this will influence the house design. If you are unsure, select a flexible design and always make sure there are two bathrooms.
- Choose simple, neutral internal colour schemes that won’t date quickly and will appeal to a broad range of tastes.
- Choose neutral tiles and medium-length carpets over timber floors, as they are easy to keep clean and show less wear and tear. Darker tiles on the bathroom floor will require less cleaning.
- Allow for plenty of bench and storage space.
- Select middle-of-the-range, reputable appliances with good warranties.
- Avoid brightly coloured splashbacks and feature walls, as they don’t suit all tastes and will date quickly.
- Consider low-maintenance landscaping and appropriate security features so that any future tenants will feel safe and secure.
- Most importantly, always build with a reputable builder who offers appropriate maintenance periods (we recommend six months), warranties and a structural guarantee (which should generally range from 25 years through to a lifetime guarantee).