Top 10 design tips for investors

Peter Gianoli

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).
Peter Gianoli

Peter Gianoli

Peter Gianoli joined ABN Group in 2011 to establish Investor Assist. Peter has more than 15 years of experience in the property industry working across some of the country’s premier development projects and throughout his career has overseen the sale and settlement of properties worth in excess of $1bn.  Peter is also a highly sought after public speaker and has educated audiences throughout Australia and around the world on topics including property marketing and investment.

Top 10 design tips for investors
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