Thinking of buying your own home, or buying an investment property? Here’s how to set property goals to make your move in the property market.
It seems that every commentator has a different view on the housing market and a different property market forecast. But no matter what the property predictions, a home is not only the Australian dream, it can present a great opportunity to both have a roof over our heads and build wealth.
A well thought-out strategy will help you achieve your property goals, whether that’s saving for your first home, building an investment property portfolio, selling your property or something completely different.
Here is the step-by- step process I use to set my own property goals. I hope you find it helpful!
Set your property goals
Step 1: Define your short, medium and long-term goals
Before you begin the journey, you need to have a clear idea of what you hope to achieve. Set aside time to write down your short-term (three month), medium-term (one year) and long-term (five year) property goals.
Don’t limit yourself, put down everything you aspire to achieve under all three categories like the following example:
What I want to achieve in the short term (3–6 months)
- Pay off credit card
- Start regular saving plan to save a deposit
What I want to achieve in the medium term (1–2 years)
- Save $10,000
What I want to achieve in the long term (5+ years)
- Buy an investment property
- Renovate my current home
Step 2: Set priorities
If, like me, you end up with multiple goals it can be difficult to know where to focus. Ask yourself, in each time frame, what goal is most important to me? Look at your list and in each column put a star next to one item.
Step 3: Write them out as SMART goals
Look at your three prioritised goals and rewrite them so they are specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and time-based. If your short term goal was to pay off your credit card you could rewrite it as:
Pay off the $1500 owing on my credit card by 31 December
Step 4: Determine the smaller actions
Once you have your three SMART goals, identify smaller actions you need to take to achieve that goal within the timeframe you’ve set.
Using the credit card debt option, some of the smaller actions could include the following:
- Set up a regular payment plan to deposit $60 per week into my credit card account.
- Cut up my credit card so I stop using it
- Apply for a debit card, so I only spend money I have in my account
- Take my lunch to work 3 times a week (and put the money I save towards paying off my credit card debt)
- Learn to use the coffee machine at work, so I don’t buy two coffees a day (and put the money I save towards paying off my credit card debt)
Make a similar list of smaller actions for your medium and longer term goals.
Create a development plan
Step 5: Do a personal stock take
How do you sit in terms of ability to tackle your property goals? What do you need to address?
If you find this task overwhelming, you might like to try this: Draw up a table with three columns. List obstacles in the left column, possible solutions in the middle and an expected timeline in the right. You may discover that you have more options than you first thought.
Lack of knowledge about investing in commercial property
Read real estate articles
Seek advice from agents and brokers who specialise in commercial property
Post questions on forums
Step 6: Identify action points
From your personal stock-take, write down a list of action points. What can you do now? What can you do this month or this year? Create a to-do list of all the actions you can take.
This week: Calculate how much I can borrow for buying an investment property.
This month: Meet with a mortgage broker to get a clear understanding of investment options.
This year: Start an investment property meet-up group for first-time investors and hold my first event.
Think of these action points as the smaller steps that will take you from short-term to mid-term to long-term property goals.
Track your progress
Step 7: Establish a system to track progress
Once you have fine-tuned your goals and created your list of action points, it is important to monitor your progress and make sure you stay on track and celebrate your successes along the way.
To track progress you could set email or phone reminders and schedule monthly check-ins with yourself to review progress to date and make adjustments as needed.
Or you could make use of an app or website. Strides or GoalsOnTrack provide charts that visually show your progress, Level Money helps with budgeting and Nozbe assists with task management. There are many more apps and sites out there to help!
To help set your property goals today, download Aussie’s Property Goal Setting Action Plan Worksheet now!
If you have set property goals, let me know what they are by posting them in the comments. And let’s check-in in six months’ time to see how we’re all going!
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