5 top tips for buying an investment property that appeals to tenants

5 top tips for buying an investment property that appeals to tenants
In contrast to purchasing a property to live in, buying an investment property needs to be approached with your head – not your heart. Features that you may desire in your own home, may not necessarily appeal to prospective tenants.
You need to think like a tenant and buy a property that meets their needs. 
1. Choose a central location
As with any property purchase, location is paramount. This is especially the case when buying an investment property. 
A common tenant requirement is proximity to amenities. Be sure to buy in areas that are close to key amenities like shops, transport and schools. It’s also a smart idea to seek locations that offer a good lifestyle, for example younger tenants generally value living close to thriving hubs, while families with young children will value being close to parks and kid friendly facilities. 
2. Look carefully at the internal layout
Give consideration to the internal layout of the property you choose to invest in. Many tenants choose to share accommodation, so it’s a good idea to look at properties that have features that appeal to this style of living. 
Things to consider when assessing the home include: 
– Is there good separation between living areas and bedrooms?
– How many bedrooms does the home have and are they spacious?
– Is there more than one bathroom?
– Are there plenty of storage options?
3. External living areas add appeal
We’re lucky in Australia that our climate is warm and favours outdoor living. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to factor in some kind of outdoor area into the rental home you purchase. Whether it’s a balcony, a courtyard or an enclosed alfresco – outdoor living options are attractive. 
While many tenants value outdoor living space, it’s worthwhile choosing a home that is low maintenance. Gardens may look beautiful, but they require a lot of upkeep so it’s best to invest in properties with low maintenance outdoor areas as prospective tenants may be put off by the work required to keep a garden looking good. 
4. Is there a designated parking spot? 
Being able to offer tenants a designated parking space is very attractive. While in most homes come equipped with a garage or carport, units or apartments – particularly those in the city – often require tenants to park off-street. A lack of parking options is an inconvenience to tenants, so it’s beneficial to look for investment properties that provide tenants with a secure parking space. 
5. What are the extra features
As an investor, you need to be competitive in the current market to secure a tenant. In order to make your home stand out, it’s worth ensuring the property has some attractive extras like: 
Air-conditioning – long hot summers can be uncomfortable without air-conditioning. Tenants want to be able to escape the heat when inside, so air-conditioning is often a key requirement. 
Quality appliances – modern appliances like ovens, dishwashers and cooktops can go a long way to help a home stand out.
Digital connections – we live in a technological age, so features like good cable connections for internet and wifi and strong mobile signals are increasingly important factors for tenants.
Investing in property can be intimidating – especially if it’s your first time. So before you start looking it's good to get clear on what you want, know your budget and stick to it.
BONUS TIP Don't forget to weigh up all of the overheads when calculating the rental yield. This includes things like body corporate fees and wether or not the tenant contributes to water usage. Are there pool or garden costs, or maybe some upgrades that need to be considered.