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3 tools to take the fear out of investing

Fear of missing out, fear of failure, fear of looking like an idiot.  I have experienced them all.  I still do, every single day. 

My fear of missing out is a particularly bad one for me. Over time it has improved slightly, I don’t HAVE to go out partying until 6am in the morning anymore, but I now obsess over missing out on a good property deal, or a business opportunity or anything really where I can show my old corporate self, that I really can make money for myself.

But in the early days of starting out in property, my biggest fear was telling an estate agent what my budget was.  You see, I had no idea what I was even looking for, how much money I wanted to make from the property so never mind even trying to explain to a stranger how much I am willing to pay for it.  So I dreaded picking up the phone to talk to an agent.  What if they won’t take me seriously, or worse what if they DO take me seriously…. They will realise I am a fraud, that I don’t know anything about property and this will get me into trouble.  I think I might even have feared going to jail for stretching the obvious truth that I have never invested before.

Well I was a girl on a mission and I needed to get over this FAST.  I couldn’t.  For 3 weeks I literally just scrolled through page after page of properties on the property listing websites. After a while I dared to put in my contact details and pressed the dreaded “call me back” button, secretly hoping that nobody will notice… well they did and exactly 30 seconds later I got a call and they asked the question… what is your budget.  I stammered, I ummmm and ahhhhhed and said something stupid I can’t even remember anymore.  And never felt so embarrassed before.

Since then I learned a much better technique from a dear friend whose secret I am happy to share with you!

If, for example, I am responding on a R2m property, then my budget is always just a little below asking price, so in this example, maybe R1.8m. It is close enough for them to actually show me the property and low enough for them to expect a lower offer should I wish to make one.  This has has helped a little with the guess work and I managed to call and view hundreds of properties using this technique.

Now with 7200 hours of experience behind me, I know there are much more scientific tools to establish a proper budget and do an analysis of an area, property prices etc. that takes all the guess work out of the process for me. 

Here is a short list of the tools I use and where to find them:

  • Found at www.lightstoneproperty.co.za I use this website to see analyse the property I am interested in. It shows the last price the property sold for, recent sales in the direct vicinity, municipal valuation, ownership details etc.  All very useful stuff to determine what price you will offer on the property.
  • Found at www.tpn.co.za This is a very useful tool to determine the rental values of properties in the suburb that you are looking to purchase your property in.  Super useful if you are buying a property with the purpose of renting it out.  You want your rental to cover your bond and all your other expenses so this gives you a good idea of what income to expect.
  • Found at www.ooba.co.za I use all their calculators to determine what my transfer fees and monthly bond payment amount will be. You will need to know this to determine all the purchasing costs you need to plan for and to calculate your profit from your rental.

I never skip any of these tools whenever I investigate or decide whether I will buy a property.  I don’t believe in guesswork anymore, just facts and those are cheaply obtained from the internet…..  Google became my best friend.

For more tips on how to get started with property investing you can download the free book bundle on this link:  Download Books

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