how to choose an investment property Dream Home Movement podast with Claudia Brdar from the Renovate Avenue
Claudia Brdar from The Renovate Avenue shares practical advice on how to choose a property (for investment purposes)
We cover:
  • Choosing a suburb to invest in
  • What to look for in the property
  • Checking the quality and structure of the property

Listen to the full episode below or read the detailed show notes.

Episode show notes


Welcome to your episode show notes. Here you’ll find:

  • Show overview
  • How to find guests and presenters 
  • Guest bio
  • Episode Transcript


Show overview


Guest Interview How to choose an investment property with Claudia Brdar from The Renovate Avenue

This episode is part of a very special DIY renovation series.
Claudia from @therenovateavenue and Founder of the DIY Renovation Academy will join us once a month on the show to take you through EVERYTHING you need to know to DIY your reno.⠀
This is like a little sneak peek into her super popular DIY Renovation Academy course.⠀
This series is exclusively for Dream Home Movement listeners.

 **This episode of the Dream Home Movement was recorded live at the RPPFM**


How to find guests and presenters 

Follow the Claudia and The Renovate Avenue
Follow the Dream Home Movement
Follow Carl and Jo Violeta

Guest bio

Claudia and her husband Pete have renovated small properties right through to large scale projects. Several years ago they bought a run-down 1960’s weatherboard house (purchased for $460K) and ended up completing a major renovation ($75K), creating a beautiful sought after home … on a tight budget! They set the suburb record for a property price of $1.035 million (2017)!

They’re currently renovating a 1960’s brick house to sell.
Both Pete and Claudia have a real hands-on DIY approach when it comes to renovating, focusing on achieving that ‘WOW’ factor … thinking bigger, outside-the-box, and never afraid to take a risk.
Claudia created The Renovate Avenue to share her knowledge, and inspire others to climb the property market via the renovation avenue, building a financially stable future to retire earlier (and do what you love).


Episode Transcript


This is an automated transcript, so it won’t be perfect


Welcome to the dream home movement. This is your weekly dose of home and property inspiration, bringing you clever tips and advice from the very best experts and real-life Reno stories with your host, Jo.
On this episode, we are looking at how to choose a property to renovate. So we’re going to unpack how to read, how to actually research suburbs and also what you’re looking for in that, in the property that you’re purchasing, what to look out for and to help us with that. We have friend of the show, show regular Claudia Brdar from The Renovate Avenue. Now, if you haven’t met Claudia before, or if you’re a new listener to the show, Claudia is a renovation and home-style specialist on any budget. And she’s the founder of The DIY Renovation Academy. I am a student of The DIY Renovation Academy. I’m learning so much. It’s excellent. And basically what the course does is that it helps you to learn to succeed with your renovation. And it just covers everything like all the way from the planning to the styling, to choosing trades everything.
So welcome to the studio. Claudia. It’s lovely to have you here. Thank you so much, Jo. I’m really happy that you’ve invited me to the show again. I’m I’m excited. Thank you. I’m enjoying this monthly series that we’re doing. I think our listeners are going to get a lot of value from it and this topic I’m particularly interested in because it’s just so important and buying a property is such a huge, huge investment. But talking about a lot of money here. Yes. Yeah. We’re not choosing which margarine and we’re going to, or if you don’t use much, we’re going to buy, like this is a big deal. Yeah, that’s right. Alrighty. Let’s start with not the property, but the actual area because where you buy your property is so important. So do you have sort of like a method or a process for researching neighbourhoods and suburbs to buy in?
Yep. So look, firstly, don’t ever buy a property on impulse. Do your research. It takes time to do research you know, you really need to know the area that you’re looking at buying into what’s around. Is there a school around, is there childcare what facilities are there close by? What’s the transport like? Are there buses around, is there a train station close by what other facilities are around in regards to shopping medical centres, things like that are really important when researching and finding the right property the sort of neighbourhoods tend to be popular more so with, so definitely
Do your research there and know what area you’re looking into for sure. And also talking to real estate agents too. And I think real estate agents get a bad rep, Joe, but there’s some really good honest and knowledgeable real estate agents that you can talk to and get some information from in regards to the property in the area properties there in the area. And I guess you would also, depending on what you want to do with the property. So if you wanted to resell it that’s right. You would be looking at capital growth in that that’s right. That area. I mean, I know we’ve gone through a bit of a market downturn lately, but be looking sort of at very long term trends or yes. I mean, it depends on when you’re wanting to sell and rental yields as well, if that’s right.
That’s right until yields too. So yeah, your numbers and, and also, yeah, those are manatees are so important. Aren’t they people that are looking for properties, people with families more so want a property where there’s school nearby there’s facilities, there’s transport. That’s really important. There’s also another tip that I wanted to share as well. So do you know what a sister suburb is? Joe? No. Tell me, so sister suburb is a suburb where it’s the same distance from the city to a popular suburb. So, okay. So there’s, there’s areas out there that are quite significant in property growth and in price as well. And there’s also the sister suburbs, which are on the opposite side, but at the same distance from the city that may not cost as much as buying in a more popular suburb. So I’ve done that in the past with a property.
It was a sister Saba was about 15 Ks from the city and we renovated a property property there. It was right next to the train station and it was also next to schools and other facilities too. And we did extremely well in that area. It was a sister suburb. Like it feels about 15 Ks from the city, but it was in the Northern direction. So really do your research. There’s suburbs out there that are untouched. When I say untouched, there’s a lot of properties out there that are un-renovated and they’re there they’re goldmines ready to go to be renovated. So that sister suburbs that’s really clever. So check that out, have a look at the areas and know exactly how far particular areas are from the city and then look in other directions as well. So don’t just look in the one area really try to see what else is out there in the opposite directions. Like I said, so they’re the sister suburbs. Wow. That is, I like that. That’s a new phrase for me to add a little bit of a tip for you. So once you’ve decided on the area that you’d like to buy in, or the areas
That you’re going to look at, house hunting, what are your tips?
So what are you looking for when you’re choosing an investment property to renovate? Yeah, sure. Is the building and roof structurally sound? You need to really know, don’t just take the agent’s word for it. Really have a look, get an independent building inspector in if that’s what you need to do, just remember this is the biggest purchase of your life. So get in an expert to have a look. If a house has a need re stumping, does, does the plumbing need to be redone? Really have a look at the overall structure of the property to an, a building inspector can check out the overall quality of the house and you know exactly what you’re getting into before you sign on the dotted line and hand over your money. Also does the house have the right number of rooms to suit your needs?
So how many rooms does it have? And how much work does does need to be done? How much will you need to spend to get that property up to a level where you want to get it to? So knowing exactly what you’re getting yourself into, I’ve got a due diligence sheet that I give my students and they can run through everything. There’s a list they can tick off once they’ve checked it out and they know exactly where, what needs to be done and what work, what work will need to be completed. Check your plumbing to avoid plumbing issues. What are the neighborhood know noise levels like? So is there a freeway nearby? What are the sound levels like? These are an airport nearby. It’s like on that movie the castle castle, well, there’d be an airplane flying over, you know, every hour. So does the house have good natural light as well? Is it dark and dingy in there? Do you need to, will you need to open it up with more windows and or doors and if you need to get a building report as well for termites and pest inspection, if, if that’s what you want to do to, that’s a good idea to do as well.
Oh, that’s a really good tip. Can I share a wacky tip? Yeah. Okay. So this might sound really weird, but trust me, if you don’t check this, you’re gonna regret it. Yup. Go into the toilet. Yes. Right. Close the door and turn around in a 360 degree circle and just make sure that there isn’t make sure there’s enough room in there. Because the reason I say that is we lived in a house a while back and the toilet, when you just looked at it, it was like a separate toilet to the bathroom and you just looked at it. It looked like it was a good, decent size, but then you’d go in. And like every time I would go in, I would close the door and then turn around and I would knock the toilet paper off the toilet paper holder because it just was, it was just a bit too. Yeah.
In there. I said, that’s very random tip something. I wish. Yeah. That’s a good one. I like that. Thank you very gracious to say that you like that too like that, but I’ll also things such as when people, when you see people going to house inspections and they’re knocking on walls, cause they’re trying to act like they know what they’re looking at. Which my father in law does, and he’s a carpenter slash builder for the last 40 years. And he does know when he’s not here at stuff and he listens to the sand. He knows what’s going on. But also things like checking the windows, opening and closing the windows and seeing if they get stuck on the hinge that I easy to open and close looking for signs of deafness or mold as well. The last house we renovated there was mold everywhere.
There was no ventilation. So just, just really looking at stuff like that. Also checking to see if the taps are running, listening for sounds. So, you know, when sometimes you turn taps on and you can hear a banging sound in the pipes yet listening for that. Cause that will be a telltale sign of plumbing issues. Things such as that are really important. Looking at defects, looking at squeaking in the floor looking up at the ceiling, just looking up and down and yeah, when you’re going to toilet do a three 60 being really aware of cracks and spots and creaking, just so you know exactly where you’re at with the house and what will need to be done. We’ll give you more insight, give you much more insight into what work will need to be undertaken. Yeah, definitely. And if you’re, yeah, if you’re renting, gonna buy that house and you’re renovating for profit in whatever form that takes, then you would run last episode.
Claudia ran us through her calculation to figure out whether a property is going to be profitable. And so, yeah, checking what you’re actually going to be working with, checking for those creeks and cracks. And that sort of thing is something that you would need to factor in to make sure that it is actually going to be profitable. That’s a, that’s a really good point. And with the cracks, you’ve got to look carefully, haven’t you? Because a lot of really clever painters will paint in a way that kind of covers up those cracks quite nicely. Then you’re in the house for three months and you’re like, Oh yeah, exactly. Giant crack. Yeah. That’s right. Come from that’s right. Yeah. So have a look and you know, what, if there’s carpet have a look with under the carpet, if there’s floorboards on there, I sweat when I go into an old house and there’s carpet, if there’s floorboards underneath, I swear I do a happy dance because I know that, Oh, this is fantastic. All I’ve got to do is now sand, hopefully sand and Polish, those floorboards. So it’s like an added bonus and most of the older house has got the floorboards underneath the carpet. So yeah, do that as well. Lift up the carpet when no one’s looking in the corner, you’ll have that, those amazingly beautiful high quality floorboards underneath, underneath that’s right. Okay. So we all now NAR what to
Look for when we’re going to buy a property to renovate. Thank you so much. I feel like I’ve got a really good like action plan to look for again, Claudia, thank you so much for coming in tonight. I really appreciate it. And this wraps up our little mini series that we’ve done as part of season three, with Claudia, where we were looking at planning your renovation. So this has been a lot of fun. Thank you so much. You’re welcome. I’m so happy to be speaking about this and sharing my information and my experiences. So you’re welcome, Joe. Well, I’m going to put you on the spot here now and say, will you come back? And I think we’ll move on to styling and design now. Oh, I love it. That’s like dressing the cake. That’s the fun stuff. Everything. It’s all fun when it comes to renovation for me, but sounds good. I’ll be there. Awesome. I can, I’m looking forward to it. So Claudia is back doing a monthly special guest appearance, little miniseries and we’re covering styling and design.
Hey, thank you so much for tuning into this episode of the dream home movement. Now, just to let you know, this episode was actually recorded to Claudia and I recorded it back in October. I think it was 2019 and it’s now I’m editing it now in May, 2020. I think it will be released in June, 2020. So as you know, if you’re a regular listener to the show, I do have a bit of a, a library, a backlog of episodes that I’m working my way through. But we will, we will get there. And as Gloria and I mentioned, she will be back for another little mini series of episodes coming out once a month. Hopefully I can keep my skin, my editing and publishing schedule on track. Yeah, she would be, there’ll be another monthly mini series with Claudia, with styling and design tips. I want to thank you again so much for tuning in.
And if you enjoyed this episode, which hopefully you did, if you got to the end of it, I would love it. If you could leave me a beautiful five star review and do a subscribe, couldn’t think of what I wanted to say. Please review and subscribe. I’m going to go now. I can’t talk anymore. I hope you have a lovely day and I will see you again. Or I will speak to you again soon. Bye. Thanks for joining us on the dream home movement. Be sure to come over and say hi on Facebook and Instagram. I hope that your dream home projects are going well. And I look forward to chatting with you again next week.

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