Case Study: How an expat in Qatar bought his first property

Posted 25 Oct '17

by Nick Gentle on
Article appears under: Case Studies, Wellington, Goal Setting, Investment Strategy, Local Markets

Simon first got in touch with us all the way back in January this year to have a chat about the New Zealand property market. Despite being a Kiwi (via his Mother), he had grown up in the United Kingdom and was currently working in Qatar.

As we talked about what he was looking for and some of the recent challenges investors living offshore were facing with lending, I remember thinking that I wouldn't be surprised if I didn't hear back from Simon after that call. I speak to a lot of investors, most a lot closer to home and my experience has been that it doesn't take many obstacles for people to talk themselves out of property investment... or at least procrastinate until it is too late, effectively the same thing.

Simon was facing the following challenges

  1. Despite some visits, New Zealand was relatively new to him and certainly far away
  2. Property investment was certainly a new field of knowledge, from financing to searching to due diligence to managing
  3. Would be buying sight unseen
  4. 40% LVRs would mean family help with the deposit to start with
  5. Banks starting to discount offshore income
  6. The market had jumped and with 40% deposit finding a property that was a good investment and within the budget would be a challenge

Many would-be investors delay or cancel plans when faced with just one of these road-blocks, Simon on the other hand (with a lot of introductions, skype calls and emails from yours truly and our team) didn't look at everything and decide "too hard", he simply tackled the issues one at a time.

First, his mortgage broker had told him he couldn't get finance. After hearing about his experience I felt it was a communication issue and referred him to another broker who was able to line up funding. Lending - check.

He then met with Kenina Court at Pathfinder Solutions, a property specialist accountant in Takapuna, who explained the ins and outs of how structures and tax work and helped Simon plan the best structure for his future goals. Structures - check.

I had had some conversations with Simon about different property markets in New Zealand, pros and cons, population and other statistics. We settled on the Kapiti Coast or Hutt Valley areas, which Simon had visited in the past, was comfortable with and liked the proximity to a high-income city.

Our team in Wellington checked a few likely deals and we had a hiccup, recent value increases meant Simon either needed to change his target property or look in a cheaper area. Many people at this point say they "had missed" the market and give up, I had a conversation with Simon and we expanded the search to units. His big picture is to build a portfolio over time and you have got to start somewhere. Area and criteria - check.

A likely deal came up, less than $300,000 in price with some easy-to-handle renovation items to increase the rent.

As Simon's buyers agent, we communicated with the vendor agent, secured a rental appraisal, got the property under contract, helped arrange inspections for him, obtained and lined up quotes for repairs that we and the property manager advised on, introduced a lawyer, provided him with information for his mortgage broker, put him in touch with an insurance broker and of course helped him navigate the half dozen conversations with the aforementioned professionals now involved in the deal.

Below is the result:

"After 9 years of searching for a way to invest in an NZ rental property whilst in the middle east, I finally found iFindProperty. It was well worth waiting for. Not only have I now purchased my first rental property, I have gained an incredible amount of knowledge from working with a team of professional investors who have a lot more experience than myself to help me make informed and sensible decisions.

The entire team was there for me every step of the way, regardless of how many questions I asked! I feel like I have not only been introduced to an entire network of contacts, whom I hope to use going forward, but I have also gained friends."

- Simon (expat Kiwi in Qatar)

Congratulations Simon. It was your optimism and persistence that got you there and we were very happy to help you along the way.

We helped Simon through our Premium Buyers Agency service, where we sit down with investors, discuss their criteria, find them a property, help them through the due diligence process and assist in the hand over to a good property manager for the long haul.

Nick Gentle
Business Owner & Operations Manager
027 358 3855

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