Investing in property is a very individual thing so the best advice you can have is to be as informed as possible before you buy. All the investment advice given here is personal opinion only but is based on sound experience. Firstly remember that investing in property is not speculative, it’s long term and if you are buying to reap a short term profit then you are not investing you are speculating and there is a significant difference.
Speculating carries great rewards because it carries greater risk, if the market trends down and you have to sell you could lose money. Investing is a time plan and if the market dips or trends down it should be of little concern because you have not purchased short term.
It’s an historical fact that property values in New Zealand tend to double every ten years. So investing in property is unique in as much as it returns an income and over time will increase in value. Most other investments do not have an almost automatic guarantee of recovery, shares for instance can lose value and collapse.
Throw your return calculator away when investing in residential property. Return on actual purchase price is impossible to calculate in a sensible and meaningful way. If you insist on return on investment calculate it on the amount you put in rather than the actual cost.
Bigger properties with more bedrooms may mean higher rent but they cost more and have more occupants wearing your investment out (so big can be good but not always best).
Choose a property that is relatively low maintenance and keep it maintained including within a location that you are comfortable with because that also has a bearing on who wants to live there.
Most of all think about this. When you buy an investment property you are investing in your own future and therefore you need to be active and interested in the property on an on-going basis. It will reward you well but it needs and deserves your attention, no one will care as much about your investment as you do - so stay in control of it.