Editor's Note: February 2015


The first property I bought was $350,000. It was listed for slightly over that amount, but as soon as I saw it – after a number of fruitless months searching in a warming-up market – I knew it was the one for me. And the one for my brother, too. You see, a few weeks before that purchase, my sibling and I had agreed to buy our first property together. I’d realised I couldn’t get into the market by myself and fortuitously his rental unit was about to be sold so he needed to shift anyway.

We didn’t buy his unit. We bought something much better. It was a little further out of the city than we’d planned but it was bigger, had an attractive frontage and a unique floor plan.
Back then $350,000 was probably at the upper limit of affordable, but with two salaries instead of one – and a tenants in common agreement that we were both happy with – we were soon first homeowners. I still vividly remember the moment when we signed the contact. We were equal parts excited and terrified.

That property is still in my portfolio today. We amicably parted financial ways after about five years, which worked for him and worked for me.

It’s now worth much more than we paid and has been a helpful asset to draw upon to fund other purchases. Indeed, buying that first property was the catalyst for my investment journey because, obviously, you can’t own two, three or 12 properties if you don’t buy that first very special one.

Buying your first property has never been easy but there remain many affordable areas to consider. In the February issue of API, Residex founder and consulting analyst for Onthehouse.com.au John Edwards has exclusively penned our cover story (page 40), which outlines the key steps to selecting the best affordable investment suburbs across the nation.

He’s also crunched the numbers to find 109 top suburbs with median prices under $350,000 because quality affordable investments can still be found if you understand what makes a sound property prospect.

Also in this issue, we delve into the secret world of research analysts (page 24) to find out how they calculate the numbers that we as investors all rely on. And on page 74, we explain how you can profit from a break up. That is, a property break up or strata titling.

Until next month then, may you find that affordable location (that’s slated for strong capital growth) so you can buy another investment, and then perhaps just one or two more. 

Nicola McDougall


Nicola McDougall