Many people base property purchase decisions on numbers, data, facts and so forth.  And with good reason, too!  You'll need to know such things as vacancy rates, median prices, suburb features, population drivers, rental yield, capital growth and so much more.

However, you can’t go into your next purchase based on data alone.

The problem with data is that it has passed.  No-one can predict the future.  Even the "current" data is not current because it becomes "past data" as soon as it is published.  For example, sales prices might not become available for some 6 or even 12 weeks following a sale.  And if you've ever looked at several data sources to follow movements in median prices, you will have noticed that they all display different median prices and different movements in the median prices.  This is because property data portals collect information in different ways, resulting in variations to the data.

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Nothing replaces "feet on the ground" and actually physically viewing the property, the street, the surrounding area and so forth.  Know the important property fundamentals and apply them, but always remember that people live in homes; data doesn't.  Consider the data, but always remember it is not 100% accurate, it does not predict the future, and a real live person will live in the home.  Explore the home, the street and the area with feet on the ground - or better still, engage a buyer's agent to do so on your behalf.  You'd be surprised the number of homes that look perfect on paper and the numbers stack up, but when you go to view it and the street and the neighbourhood, you quickly realise it is a not investment-grade.

Melissa Maimann is a licenced Buyer's Agent in Sydney.  She assists home owners and investors alike with an affordable service that empowers you to make smart purchase decisions.  Melissa's service is fast, efficient and accurate.  If you need a hand with your next purchase, don't hesitate to make contact.