First-Time Property Investor's Comprehensive Checklist ​

  1. What is my budget?
    • Determine your total investment budget, including purchase price, purchase costs, rental income and ongoing expenses.
  2. What is my credit score and financial health?
    • Check your credit score and review your financial situation to ensure you qualify for a loan.
  3. What is my investment goal?
    • Clarify whether you aim for long-term capital growth, strong rental income, or a mix of both.
  4. What type of property do I want to invest in?
    • Decide on the type of property: single-family homes, apartments, townhouses, villas and perhaps commercial properties.
  5. Have I consulted with real estate professionals?
    • Seek information from real estate agents, financial advisors, and property managers.
  6. What locations am I considering?
    • Research and list potential suburbs and markets.
  7. What are the current market conditions in these areas?
    • Analyse market trends, including property prices, rental rates, and vacancy rates.
  8. What is the historical performance of the property market in my chosen area?
    • Research historical data on property values, rental income, and market trends in your chosen location.
  9. What are the local zoning laws and regulations?
    • Understand zoning laws and regulations that could affect property use and value.
  10. Are there any planned developments in the area?
    • Investigate upcoming infrastructure projects or developments that could impact property values.
  11. What are the neighborhood amenities and attractions?
    • Assess the availability of schools, parks, shopping centres, and public transportation.
  12. How does the property compare to others in the area?
    • Perform a comparative market analysis to see how your property stacks up against similar properties.
  13. What are the potential rental yields and cash flow?
    • Calculate expected rental income versus expenses. There’s a free cash flow calculator on
  14. What are the potential risks and how can I mitigate them?
    • Identify risks such as market downturns and tenant vacancies, and plan mitigation strategies.
  15. What financing options are available to me?
    • Explore mortgage options, interest rates, and loan terms.
  16. What are the legal and tax implications of property investment?
    • Understand legal requirements and tax benefits or liabilities. Speak with your Accountant to better understand these.
  17. What is the condition of the property?
    • Conduct thorough inspections for potential repair or renovation costs.
  18. Who are my target tenants?
    • Identify the ideal property type for the area and the tenants who would likely rent the property.
  19. What is the property’s rental demand?
    • Determine the demand for rental properties in the area to ensure steady rental income.
  20. What are the maintenance and operating costs?
    • Estimate ongoing costs such as maintenance, insurance, property taxes, and management fees. This will likely depend on the age of the property.
  21. How will I manage the property?
    • Decide whether to self-manage or hire a property management company. If you self manage you need to understand the compliance required in your State and the rights and responsibilities of the tenant and the landlord.
  22. Do I have insurance cover for my investment?
    • Obtain the right insurances for the property which may include building, contents and landlord insurance.
  23. What are my responsibilities as a landlord?
    • Familiarise yourself with landlord-tenant laws, maintenance responsibilities, and ensuring that there’s clear communication between you and your property manager. If not, find a new property manager.
  24. What is my long-term exit strategy?
    • Plan your eventual exit strategy, whether selling or paying down the debt to use the property as an income stream.
  25. Do I have a contingency plan?
    • Prepare for unexpected situations with a financial safety net.

Use this step-by-step checklist to ensure you’re thoroughly prepared for your first investment property venture!