The team members here at OpenCorp have been in property investment a long time. Some might say we’ve been around the block a few times. And we’ve noticed a few things during our forays around said block, including the imbalance between male and female property investors.
Hence, we wanted to write a helpful piece about property investment for women. We get that women’s needs are different to men’s so we wanted to cover the female property investment market, how to get started in property investment, what’s topical, how to balance priorities and other key facts.
Promising Signs in the Female Property Investor Environment
All in all, women are becoming increasingly active in the property market, taking control of their finances and becoming savvier about property investment.
In fact, Australian census data shows that 61% of women now own their own home, compared to 58% for men. This trend aligns with another recent article, which revealed that young women are increasingly concerned with financial stability.
Another article has delved into gender traits and come up with four reasons why women make great property decisions:
- Women like to do their homework before committing to a big decision
- Women are more likely to ask for help
- Women aren’t scared of long-term commitment
- Women should use emotion to their benefit
These are, of course, generalisations but they do a great job in helping women gain confidence in making property investment decisions. Us women do like to conduct thorough research and ask around before reaching a decision. And property investment is definitely a long-term game, so this trait is most certainly a plus.
Current Barriers for Female Property Investors
However, despite these promising signs, the current property environment is still not fully supportive of women. Part of the problem is that macro issues like pay equality and superannuation fund disparities still need to be addressed; it’s harder to become successful in property investment when you’re getting paid less.
Then there’s the traditional couple structure, still prevalent in our society, which can leave women less prepared for retirement than men. As the WIFE team state, ‘a man is not a financial plan’, which emphasises the need for resources that promote and educate women in property investment as a way to ensure financial planning.
A report, commissioned to better understand investment motivations of Australian women, has also found that nearly 4 out of 10 women believe the home loan industry treats women differently, such as lenders who are more hesitant to approve loans because of potential maternity leave.
Women Property Investors: How to Get Started & Achieve Success
But these reports and statistics shouldn’t deter anyone, irrespective of gender, from entering the world of property investment with confidence or enthusiasm. Here are a few tips to get you on the right track.
Working out costs
The first step to property investment is to make sure you have enough in the bank. The general recommendation is to save 20% of the property value as your home loan deposit.
In the initial stage, definitely seek expert advice from people you trust and people in the know. Investment seminars can be good but be wary of their ulterior motive. Whichever method you choose, the Foucauldian expression ‘knowledge is power’ applies very much to property investment.
Get budgeting & keep finances in check
Budgeting is essential so it helps to trim your spending and increase your savings habit, even prior to getting a loan and investing in property.
Another thing to remember is that your lender will want to take an in-depth look at your accounts and your savings habits, so make sure you prove that you’re dedicated by showing monthly deposits and such.
Find the right home loan
The ideal home loan for women borrowers goes beyond the bottom line interest rate (although a competitive rate is always important). Today’s savvy women prosumers are looking for lenders that can show a genuine understanding of their shifting needs.
Depending on your priorities, you should carefully choose your home loan based on factors like flexibility, effective communication and service.
Choose your investment property wisely
This is a no-brainer but different properties will generate different incomes. Utilise the aforementioned strong female instincts to research and work out a sustainable, long-term strategy.
Understand the property cycle of growth, slowdown, bust and upturn, as well as other key terms mentioned in the OpenCorp property glossary.
Consider getting property management help
People often underestimate the time and energy required to find and manage a property. But it can feel like a full-time job to, for example:
- find tenants
- manage rental payments
- conduct inspection reports
- advertise the property
- keeping informed on maintenance requirements.
It pays to think about working with a property manager, who will handle all of the facets listed above. There are other invaluable reasons for working the right type of property manager too, like being able to manage your property when you travel overseas or offering peace of mind.
We hope this article has helped you gain confidence and insight into the investment property market. For more, check out our dedicated hub for first-time property investors or salivate over your future by checking out some strategies for growing your real estate portfolio.