What do tenants want?

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Are you considering investing in real estate? Before you buy anything flick through our expert guide outlining what tenants have at the top of their wish lists, so you can be sure to buy a property that has tenants lining up to rent all year round.
Investing in property is a strategy that many homebuyers use to get ahead, especially if they’ve been priced out of the market to buy their own home.
But Lisa Parker, buyers' advocate with Parker Investment Properties, says there is a right way and a wrong way to go about researching potential properties – and knowing who to turn to for help is crucial.
“Not all renters want the same thing in a property,” she explains.
“In the inner city, for example, people pay more to live on a higher level, whereas in some outer areas the ground floor apartment with a small courtyard will command an extra $20 per week in rent.”
Your best bet is to contact a local property manager “before you buy”, she adds: “These are the best people to advise on what matters most to local tenants,” she says. “Every area is different, so you should always do your homework.”
Top tenant tips for inner city investments:
  • Low maintenance is key
“Inner city dwellers opt for low maintenance living,” Parker says. “They choose a stress-free lifestyle with everything at their fingertips and don’t want to spend their weekends weeding, cleaning gutters or cleaning large homes. Low maintenance living is a must.”
  • Think about transport
Tenants need to get around somehow, so you either need to be close to public transport, or offer parking options. Private, secure off-street parking will fetch a premium.
  • Consider renovations
Older houses “always rent easily”, Parker confirms, “but for a much lower rental yield compared to apartments, townhouses or fully renovated homes in the same area.” She estimates that renovations can increase the rental value as much as $50-$80 per week.
  • Look for grocery stores
Access and proximity to local amenities are vital, according to Rich Harvey, managing director ofpropertybuyer.com.au. “They need to be able to bring home their food without struggling!” he says.
  • Balconies are best
“Whether you’re a homeowner or a tenant, your home is your haven,” Harvey says. “A balcony that is big enough to put your feet up and read a book or air some laundry is ideal.”
  • Don’t discount the importance of coffee    
“People want to live close to the CBD because there is a sense of community and belonging,” Parker says. “Solo dwellers rarely feel alone living in an area where the streets hum with other people and activity, as residents often form relationships with other locals when dropping into their local cafes and regular eateries.”
  • Value the view

Tenants will pay more to live in an apartment with views than an equivalent apartment without desirable views. “Views to the CBD, across a park or towards the bay or mountains will increase the rent by $20-$60 per week,” Parker confirms.

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