Investing locally or looking further afield

By Will Keall
Choosing the right investment property can be a long process – researching locations, property values and market trends amongst other things involves a lot of time, effort, and perhaps a few headaches.

That’s why opting for a property close to where you currently reside may start to look very appealing. You already have the local knowledge, so why not?

The main issue with investing in local property is that the reasons you buy a property to live in are different to why you buy something for investment purposes. However, it isn’t always unsuitable, especially if you live in an area with a hot real estate market.

The case for buying local

It does seem more logical and somehow safer to buy something close by – you can see it, you know the local property market, you can take care of any maintenance on the property yourself (or even renovate), and you can do a sneaky drive past if you are getting concerned about the tenants or the condition of the property itself.

The main advantage of buying locally is that it saves you time and effort in researching an unknown property market. Your local knowledge can go a long way when it comes to choosing a suitable property to invest in – you know the good and bad streets, where the best schools are, not to mention which parts of town are seeing a lot of development and change.

It is also a great option for those wanting to self-manage their investment property.

However, the disadvantage being a local can pose is that you have an emotional attachment to the area, given that you live there yourself, or have even spent your own childhood there. This may mean you are unable to look at the property market realistically and make rational decisions.

The reasons for looking further afield

On the other hand, by closing your mind to other rental markets around the country, you are potentially missing out on the best investment opportunities out there. Although there are some areas experiencing rapid growth and price rises, it is unlikely that your local area is actually the best investment option at this current time, so don’t sell yourself short by wanting to stick within your comfort zone.

Essentially, looking further than your local area for an investment property can increase the likelihood of finding the most suitable investment.

The downside to looking further afield is the extensive research that needs to be undertaken on the property markets you are looking to invest in. Interstate investments especially may involve more research on real estate laws, as they may differ from your own state. It also costs money and time to travel to physically check out the property before you actually buy it.

This being said, using the services of a buyer’s agent to do the hard yards for you when looking for a property that is outside of your local area can make things easier.


Will Keall, iMortgage’s general manager, has a wealth of marketing and business development experience gained in Australia and the United Kingdom. These include high level roles in a range of sectors such as financial services, insurance, travel and tourism, motoring and professional services.

Will played a pivotal role in the successful establishment of iMortgage. His dedication and passion for the mortgage industry have won Will the utmost respect as an integral part of the iMortgage brand.

A self confessed “numbers and brand geek”, Will calls himself a conservative investor with a long-term philosophy. He also believes it’s important to “love where you live.”

Will is a cricket and football tragic, who also enjoys running.