Check out some of the property resources I have used through out my journey.
There are numerous property resources which can help an investor through out their investing journey. Over the years of my investment journey, I have come across a range of resources that have been fundamental in my knowledge of property. They have assisted me in determining whether a particular purchase is viable and will serve as a sound investment. Within this list, I have compiled my top 15 resources which have proved to be extremely useful. Hopefully, by reading this you may stumble across a resource that will enable you to advance your knowledge of property and make better-educated investment decisions. Please note, I am not affiliated with any of these companies in any way, shape, or form and have simply found them useful within my own investing.
It goes without saying if you are looking to purchase a property as a home or an investment, you need a platform that will enable you to search through properties easily. One of the best property resources to do this is Realestate.com is one of the best platforms to do so and seems to be the most popular for real estate agents. The website has thousands of listings that show “for sale” properties, rental properties, and sold prices. I also use this website to look at median house prices of suburbs and average rentals in a particular area.
Domain is another great platform to search for properties on the market. I do find sometimes that properties on real estate.com may not be on domain and vice versa, and this is depending on the selling agent and whether they have chosen to list the property on both platforms. Sometimes, this can be beneficial to the buyer as a potential property may have less exposure if only listed on one platform. Domain also has a search engine which allows you to search the market value of a given property, building, street or suburb whilst also providing additional information such as the ratio of owner occupiers to renters.
Local Real Estate Agencies and the Public Trustee
Sometimes, particularly in a hot market, it can be quite hard to find a good deal as many properties are being snapped up quicker than you can inspect them. I have tied these property resources in together as they both serve the same purpose. I have found looking at local real estate agency websites or on the state’s public trustee website extremely helpful for finding properties unlisted from realestate.com and domain.com. If you know the particular area you are looking to purchase in, google that area’s agencies and see if they are advertising additional properties online which haven’t been advertised on the big 2 websites (realestate.com and domain.com). This can often mean less exposure to a property meaning greater bargaining power and opportunity.
DSR data is a website that scores the demand vs supply of a suburb. Now, you may be thinking that this website isn’t a free tool, and you would be right. In order to access all of their tools, you need to pay for a subscription. However, if you sign up for the website you are still able to use the DSR data scale for free without paying for a subscription. The score received outlines the demand to supply ratio of a suburb, the higher the score the more demand the suburb currently has. Demand is what drives growth and getting an indication into how hot an area is can give a great indication into the potential growth of the suburb in the short-term.
An alternative to this platform that serves the same purpose is Boomapp.com.au which I believe may also be owned by DSR data. The scale on this is slightly different but it runs off the same mechanics looking at the demand and supply of a suburb. DSR data is one of the best property resources to sift through suburbs and identify potential areas of investment.
Council Land Zoning
Once you have found a property that ticks your boxes it would be worthwhile, in your due diligence, to use the council website of the property you are purchasing to look at the land zoning. This can give you an indication of what the local council is planning on doing in the future and give you the specific land zoning of your property. It may be that your property is just zoned as residential with no future developments planned. However, many properties can be zoned with future development potential which would allow you to develop lower density housing into townhouses or units, on your land. It is best to check the specific requirements of your local council when doing this as it varies from council to council on what you can or can’t do.
State Land Value
If you are looking at determining the land to asset ratio of your next property purchase, it is worthwhile to use the state land value. To access this, you should be able to search on google your state’s land value. You then will be provided with a tool which lets you type in the residential address and gives you a value of the land for that particular block. Why is this important? The land of a property is what appreciates whilst the house is depreciating. When purchasing a potential property, you may want to consider what ratio the land to asset has. I like to use as a rough guide that the land value is at least 60% of the final purchase price of the property, the higher the better.
Property calculator is an app that allows you to type in the purchase price of a property with additional variables to determine the cash required, loan balance, and loan repayments of a property. I like to use this in order to determine how much capital I will require in order to make a purchase and then determine the cash flow of the property based upon the repayments. It gives you the option to select your deposit percentage and outlines the stamp duty and lenders' mortgage insurance (LMI) required for purchase. Overall, a great app that helps run the numbers before purchasing to determine if the purchase is a viable option numerically.
There are many banks online that will help you determine your repayments on a loan, however, many of them require your personal details in order to generate the numbers. The easy street loan repayment calculator is by far the best repayment tool I have found to assist in determining cash flow. I use this for my overall property portfolio to determine what my repayments are which assists in determining the overall cashflow of my portfolio. That way I can think a few steps ahead on whether or not I have the funds to purchase again and if so, what numbers work best for my own circumstances. You can adjust the loan amount, type of loan, mortgage rate, time of the loan, and even additional repayments to determine the life of a loan and its repayments.
Herron Todd White is a property valuation company which have a property clock tool that they post each month outlining where each major market in Australia is within their cycle. For example, if a market is declining it will be represented at 3:00 while if an area is in a rising market it is shown at 9:00. I found this helpful to gauge an idea of each market as it moves over time. I would take this tool with a grain of salt, but it can be useful to get an idea of what is happening on a national scale across Australia.
The CoreLogic market updates are a series of videos created by CoreLogic which outline the movement in the Australian property market on a monthly basis. They post these videos to their YouTube channel and outline what is happening across all major capital cities in Australia. The videos are easy to digest and place changes in numerical values into easy to interpret explanations. This can be extremely insightful when determining where you may want to invest next or which market may show greater value for your capital. They also have a great website with a ton of statistical analysis on everything property, but you will need a paid subscription to access their data.
SQM is another great property resource if you are looking for pure data, they compile a range of statistics on housing price movement which enables you to determine what is happening in a particular market. It appears to be updated regularly too as they show change on the previous week. You can look at capital cities as a whole or narrow it down to a specific suburb to get a better picture of how the market is faring. The graphs are quite useful too as they can show the performance of an area of the past decade which can help paint the picture even clearer. If you are interested, they do have a paid subscription on top of their free data, and this allows you to access a range of report’s relating to property such as the best performing suburbs or where to find distressed properties.
YIP is an excellent resource for property investors as it provides a range of articles, calculators, data and strategies to excel your knowledge of the property game. As a novice investor it could be quite useful to get an understanding of the basics of property investing. Although, they have a wide range of property resources for all levels of expertise within property investing. They also have a research tool that is quite handy to look at specific suburbs and how they are performing. They give information on suburb's weekly, quarterly and annual growth, median advertised price, and average days on market. They even have a breakdown of demographics within a particular area which outlines the population, median income, median age, and household size. Overall, with a range of resources and tools on the website, it has served as a great knowledge-building tool in my experience.
Homely is an interesting tool that I have used from time to time. The website allows you to search advertised properties to buy, sell and rent. However, I am more interested in their suburbs review tool which scores a particular suburb based upon reviews from other people. You can see the pros vs cons of a suburb, get a score out of 10 for the suburb which I believe is based on numerous metrics, and see where that suburb is ranked across its region. Below this, there is a range of reviews from real people living within that suburb giving their opinion/experience of how they have found living in a particular suburb. I have used this tool to see how people like a particular area and to get any insight into an area based upon its occupants. This tool may be more geared towards people considering purchasing in an area to live in but I still find it quite useful.
This list was created in no particular order, but I have saved the best to last in my humble opinion. Property Chat formerly known as SomerSoft is an excellent tool for property investment enthusiasts to talk about anything property. The website is a forum which a range of topics covered such as where to invest, what type of property to buy, and success stories. When I was first starting out, I found this forum one of the best property resources for getting a better idea of where people are investing, what their strategies are, and how they have built a substantial portfolio. The forum is filled with a range of people from novice investors to seasoned veterans boasting significant portfolios. You can chat personally with individuals which is what I would do quite often when I valued the opinion of someone on the forum and wanted to get their thoughts on future investment prospects.
Moreover, I have used PropertyChat to assist me in building my expert team which has assisted me in building my portfolio. I have found my Broker, numerous buyer’s agents, and property Manager's all on this forum, making it an easy place to find experts in the property industry recommended by other investors. For me, this forum is invaluable and has accelerated my knowledge of investing to another level. I would highly recommend you check it out if you are interested in chatting with other property investors, although, remember to take everything with a grain of salt because at the end of the day it is all just opinion.
So, there you have it! 15 free property resources which I have personally used from the start of my investment journey and still today. Each serving a different purpose from searching for properties to property statistics and articles. Hopefully, these property resources will help you as much as they have helped me and if you think there are other tools that should be added to the list, let me know.